Friday, 18 October 2013

Secret Pleasures

In my life I'm generally attracted to things that exist outside the mainstream. In fact, I'd go as far to say that I am downright suspicious of mainstream tastes and trends. It's become almost a reflex I have. The more popular something is, the more it'll take to convince me it's got merit. The more accepted an idea or belief, the more I will question it. And by the same token, if most people don't like it, I tend to think there must be something interesting in it.

I don’t know whether my inclination towards an unconventional (even subversive) lifestyle and life choices is a result of my admiration for female bodybuilders, or whether the admiration is an aspect of my inclination, but I do have a tendency to sympathise with outsiders, original talents, new ways of thinking and so on.

The fact that female bodybuilders subvert their traditional gender roles or archetypes completely is definitely a major aspect of what makes them so very very sexy to me. And even better, most guys don't find them attractive at all - quite the opposite, in fact. My instinct suspects that 'most guys' are missing the point.

True story. Some years ago, I was with my partner at a friend's house for a boozy lunch with him and his wife. After we'd eaten the ladies were chatting and my friend was showing me some weird stuff he'd found on the web, tubes and so on. Funny stuff, shocking stuff - a python that had died trying to ingest an alligator - you know the kind of thing. Stuff that makes you go 'Whoa!' Well, one of the things he told me he wanted to show me was the 'scariest woman I've ever seen'.

And he showed me this.

Now, in many respects, me and my friend have, not identical, but very similar tastes and opinions - authors, music, cinema, social issues and so on. Clearly though, our ideas on what constitutes a 'scary' woman are very very different.

So, what did I do? Did I tell him that actually the image he was showing me was not genuine, and that if he wanted, I could easily find the undoctored version for him?

No, that's not what I did.

Did I tell him that her name is Dianne Solomons? Did I tell him that on my laptop I have a Dianne Solomons folder positively bursting with images and clips of her - images and clips that I have spent some quality time with in the past, and no doubt will spend even more quality time with in the future? Did I tell him some of my personal faves were images of Dianne taken a few years after the image he was showing me, when she had gained even more muscle and was even more vascular?

No, I didn't do that either.

To be honest, I can't exactly remember what I did say or do. There was probably a slight delay while I adjusted to the fact that I was looking at the kind of image I only usually view in private with a very close friend. And then I probably just went 'Whoa!' Or something.

True story.

Alina Popa at the 2013 Ms Olympia, where she was given 2nd place by the judges, but would have won a fans' vote by a landslide. To many many female muscle heads, Alina represents some kind of ideal in her marriage of feminine beauty and extreme muscularity, but to the majority, Alina is at best a curiosity, at worst repulsive. She, like other female bodybuilders, exists outside the boundaries of what is considered acceptable for a woman to look like.

We like to think, at least in my part of the world we do anyway, that we are free. Free to choose. Free to think. Free to express. Let's face it, you could do a lot worse than be Western European, despite our problems. But though, in many ways we are lucky, and we are free, there are still boundaries that exist. Some of these boundaries are necessary. They are set down in law. They stop us killing each other, they stop your dog crapping on my lawn. But there are also social boundaries. Boundaries of 'acceptability'. Any debate must and does take place within these boundaries. For example, some guys like skinny women, others like them big and fat; but both of these types exist within the acceptable boundaries.

Female bodybuilders exist outside the boundaries of what society deems acceptable for a woman to look like, or even want to look like. So men who find female bodybuilders attractive also, by association, operate outside the boundaries of what is acceptable.

Generally, if you hold an opinion that society, the media, or whatever deem to be unacceptable, you are best advised to keep it to yourself. And that, in a nutshell, is why I didn't say any of the things I could have said to my friend.

I am prepared to stand up for my opinions on any other issue you care to mention. I will stand up for them even if, as is sometimes the case, my opinions do not fall between the boundaries. But on the issue of female bodybuilders and my sthenolagnia, it's a different story.

Everywhere but here.


  1. Great post! I couldn't agree more! I think we, as FBB fans, have all been in the situation you described above.