Thursday, 12 September 2013
What's (Been) Going On: Brian Eno, Carla Dunlap, Customs and Coming Out
I remember in the early 1980s when female bodybuilders first started appearing and there was one I really liked, Carla Dunlap. She was Ms Olympia or something like that. She was this amazing black woman, absolutely musclebound, beautiful.
Brian Eno's admission in Dazed & Confused's Dazed Digital was immediately picked up by female muscle heads as the best kind of news, and came splashing across the forum boards towards the end of July.
While most greeted the news with a sense of celebration, it also prompted some of the more ridiculous comments I've ever read on a fan forum (and I've read a few), blaming Eno and other celebrities whose female muscle love remains hidden for the demise of the sport because they don't use their wealth to fund it.
Fortunately, on the same boards, other female muscle heads showed themselves capable of great wit and no little irony. My favourite retort to the "Brian Eno must save female bodybuilding" lunacy has to be: Yeah, I hate Brian Eno too. He's the reason we don't have 250lb heavyweight FBBs.
The Eno quote was in response to the question from Dazed's editor that You seem to be very confident in everything you do. Where does that come from? Eno uses the fact that he was turned on by images of Carla Dunlap as an example of how the only difference between my tastes and everyone else's is that I admit to them sooner. I don't feel uncomfortable liking something if others don't like it yet because I think they'll catch up.
However, this was not a 'coming out'. In the interview he mentions I remember showing this [images of Carla] to guys and them going 'eerrgh' (shudders dramatically). They were so horrified. So he was never shy about admitting it to friends. But furthermore, FMS has uncovered a previous reference in Eno's work to his fetish for (or as he might say, sexually-enlightened attitude towards) female muscle.
In his book A Year with Swollen Appendices: The Diary of Brian Eno, published in May 1996, one of the entries reads: Customs confiscated a video I ordered America (Muscle Up - female bodybuilders) on grounds of 'indecency'.
Customs probably just read the description: For anyone who has ever fantasized about making it with a big, very strong and totally uninhibited woman, this tape is custom made for you. Against a background of soft music, Cyndy titillates you in a tight black dress and sexy lingerie, slowly stripping to reveal all of her nakedly tanned, shaved beauty. Oiling herself into every private crevice, hands begin the process from which there is no return. Cyndy is erupting with desire (the growth of her erect clitoris confirms it!), and shortly four fingers are ramming to the hilt inside of her, with another penetrating her rear. "This big muscle woman can take anything", she claims. She also hints that you'd be in for the strongest, tightest, wildest "airborne" ride of your life - until she "takes you".
You can see how a zealous customs official might think they'd just found something deeply indecent on reading that. Or perhaps the officer on duty that day just couldn't resist taking it home to have a look...
Anyway, both the Dazed interview and the Diary entry demonstrate that Eno, while not exactly broadcasting it from the tree tops, refuses to hide his appreciation of female muscle. It is, simply, his taste. I trust my taste. I trust it completely and I always have done. He would not deny his taste for female muscle any more than he would deny or hide his taste in politics, art, architecture, music or food.
I'm sure there are many of us who are more than a little envious that Eno can be so open and honest about his preferences while we hide ours away. What is it that stops us from being open? Yes, I'm open in an anonymous, 'second life' kind of way - you've probably learned more about me than you care to know - but what I'll admit to here and what I'll admit to in 'real life' are two very different things. It's not particularly pleasant to live with the knowledge that your nearest and dearest don't know you as completely as they should, and that you are to blame for that. Not particularly pleasant to have to live a kind of double life.
It's fear that stops me. Fear of being judged. Fear of losing the friendship, the love of those around me. Perhaps what Eno can teach me is that I need to conquer that fear. I need to trust myself, to trust my own taste. Perhaps Eno's candidness might inspire others too, inspire them to get their female muscle love out in the open. If this is the legacy of Brian Eno, famous fan of female muscle, it will be a very worthy one.
And I leave you today with a treat for Mr Eno (just in case you are a reader, sir)...
Coming soon on FMS, 'Brian Eno Presents...'