Saturday, 30 November 2013

BIG Is Back @NPC Nationals 2013

The annual pre-Christmas treat of the best amateur female muscle beef in the USA that is the NPC Nationals took place last weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

I don't know about you, dear reader, but I always look forward to the Nationals. How could you not when past winners have included Sarah Dunlap (2002), Gina Davis (2004), Sheila Bleck (2008), and last year the juanderful Juanita Blaino?

And there are weight classes! It's one of the last places where you can see lightweight against lightweight, heavyweight against heavyweight (and middleweights and light-heavies in between), which is how I think it should be. And to cap it all off, the class winners (who all get pro cards) have a big ole posedown for the overall title.

What's not to like?
Class winners in the midst of their 'big ole posedown'.

Well, this year, what's not to like is the alarming fall in the number of female bodybuilders who took to the stage. Like the value of your investment, the number of competitors at the Nationals can go down as well as up, and has done so over the past ten years (which is the period FMS has got round to researching). And the trend has been most definitely downwards in the last few years, from 60 in 2009 to 42 last year. But this year's figure, a mere 30, means, as I'm sure you don't need me to tell you, there's been a 50% drop in the last five years. Worrying stuff.

But wait. It may not all be doom and gloom. Of those 30, 17, yes, SEVENTEEN, were heavyweights. A stunning 57% of all the competitors were 'big girls'. This is, in the last decade anyway, completely unprecedented. The proportion of heavyweights to the total number of competitors has varied little over the last ten years. 2010 (24%) and 2007 (25%) were the lowest, and, until this year, 2011 (35%) was the highest, with all other years falling inside this range.

Why the sudden (relative) increase in the number of heavyweights? Well, it is without doubt partly because the numbers in the other weight classes have dwindled, with 2013 a new low. As recently as 2009, there were 22 light-heavyweights, 16 middleweights, and 14 lightweights. Last weekend the numbers were 5, 3, and 5 respectively. So there were more competitors in any of the classes in 2009 than there were in the light-heavies, middleweights and lightweights combined this year.
The light-heavyweights. All of 'em.

Seems to me, and I'm just theorising now, that the ever-growing popularity of the physique division - a quite understandable popularity given that in 2014 there will be five IFBB pro shows for female bodybuilders but twenty pro physique contests - is undoubtedly hurting female bodybuilding. But at the same time, if you're a heavyweight, physique is not really an option. Shannon Courtney, for example, a light-heavyweight, was so frustrated by the loss of size the switch to physique would entail that she decided to stick with bodybuilding, and so, it seems have the heavyweights.

The conclusion? The future of female bodybuilding at both amateur and pro level has been uncertain for some time, and continues to be so. But at least we can say that while it's still around, it's going to be populated by properly BIG competitors.
Top 5 heavyweights, left to right: Jennifer Kennedy (4th); Keli Watkins (2nd); Victoria Dominguez (Winner); Kristine Mele (3rd); Alyssa Stroud (5th)

To celebrate, this week on FMS, we'll be bringing you some of the biggest and best from the (heavyweight class) of 2013 at the NPC Nationals, kicking off tomorrow with look at the overall champion and new IFBB pro, Victoria Dominguez.


Friday, 29 November 2013

Prof. Pennypacker's Pectarium

Though the construction of The Pectarium was now complete, the professor's sudden descent into ill-health and the awful diagnosis that followed meant that he would have little time to enjoy it, and that he was fully aware of that fact. The images, gifs and clips that he enjoyed in the days before his final hospitalisation (he was allowed to return to his home for the last few days of his life but was unable to have one last night inside the temple of muscle worship he had built) included those which are presented today. Morsels from Professor Pennypacker's final female muscle worship meal...

from Pennypacker's diary 4th September 2012
The archive - both print and digital - is as complete as it can be, and automatic updates will continue long after I am gone, God willing. I am sure they will fight it - I would if I were them, and who knows, they may win, though I hope the law will protect my wishes as it should, queer as they may seem.

Within weeks of his death, just how 'queer' was evident, not only in the vehemence with which his family reacted, quite publicly, to the reading of the will, but also in the press. MAD MATHS PROF BLOWS £1M ON FEMALE BODYBUILDING BEASTS is just one of the many headlines that sticks in the memory.

It was a 'queer' time for female muscle fans. Their little-known fetish was suddenly catapulted onto the front pages and from there onto the evening news and beyond. Suddenly, the water cooler talk was of the secret world of the female muscle worshipper. Suddenly the IS THERE A PENNYPACKER IN YOUR WORKPLACE? guide to spotting a 'female muscle perv' was being poured over during coffee breaks. Suddenly everyone knew the word 'sthenolagnia'.

To begin with, we kept our heads down. Feigned disgust at the latest (doctored) image of female muscle beauty that was pasted across the tabloids and held up for ridicule in the places we worked. In fact we were disgusted, but disgusted with ourselves for betraying the women we most admired and desired, and for our own cowardice.

Then, at last, we started to gather ourselves, to share information. Which country are you from? Which city? Oh really! I'm just down the road. Where do you work? For real? I was chatting with another guy who works there, I'll put you in touch...

And day by day and week by week we established that the professor's inklings were, in fact, correct. Many of us DID know each other, if not by name we took the same trains, ate in the same snack bars, worked in the same factories and shops and offices. And we set the day, and the time. The day and the time. As one.

We emerged from our cells to worship together. At last.

Sondra Faas by Shirtrippers
Sandy Riddell by 'the street fighter'
Desiree Ellis by Muscular Girls in Motion

The Pectarium
Visits by appointment only
Closed Christmas Day


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Prof. Pennypacker's Pectarium

Pennypacker on download limits
If there is anything more irritating in this new world than the ridiculous imposition of daily download limits then I have yet to find it. I pay my subscription, set my program in motion and within the hour it has all come to a juddering halt. 'You have reached your daily limit for download'. Incensed, I fired off several emails and received replies ranging from the unsympathetic to the downright rude. XXXXXX [name removed for legal reasons] simply refunded my membership and as good as asked me not to bother them again. The nerve! Now I have no option but to seek out their material through not strictly legal means via my ever-growing list of (ever-generous) contacts. A ridiculous state of affairs. In future, I will simply write to websites and ask them to quote a price for their entire back archive.

At the time of his death, the professor was a paid-up member of six clip and photo websites and no fewer than twenty-eight websites belonging to individual female bodybuilders. We can only guess at the number of photo websites he had been a member of previously, though his archives suggest that at one time or another he had subscribed to all of them, and had paid for access to the members sections of quite literally hundreds of individual websites.

from Pennypacker's diary 19th June 2011
Debit card blocked due to 'unusual activity' according to the peon I spoke to (no doubt in some call centre on the other side of the planet). Had to ring another peon to assure them that, yes, I had authorised the payments and would they please unblock my card. After I'd calmed down (thanks to some archived Sondra Faas), for no other reason than my own personal amusement I called the manager at my branch direct and asked at what point my spending had become 'unusual'.

Whether or not Pennypacker's spending was 'unusual' or not, it was certainly copious. A statistician by profession and calling, he noted, some time in late 2012, the amount of money he calculated that he had spent on website subscriptions, pay-per-view clips and private cam shows until that point. The figure he arrived at was £7,650. In addition, he had donated £2,500 to individual bodybuilders to help with expenses, and spent almost £5,000 on state-of-the-art IT with which to 'indulge my passion'.

But rather than that being a cause to rein in his spending, Pennypacker instead rejoiced at the fact that he had the means to not only continue spending this way indefinitely, but could, in fact, increase his outlay without the slightest worry. 'Since the success of the first book I have had money but never knew what (or who) to spend it on,' he wrote. 'Now, at last, its purpose is clear.'

And the spending did not stop there. It was revealed during the legal battle over his will that the final cost for the construction of The Pectarium from first surveys to the final electrical installations broke the £200,000 mark.

from Pennypacker's diary 13th May 2012
They [the builders etc.] wonder what this thing they have made is. Most of them believe it is a place in which I will conduct scientific experiments or has something to do with 'gaming'. I wonder, if I did tell them, would one or two (or more) want to come back and experience it for themselves? I would gladly let them. I find to my surprise that I have designed the whole thing to be a private yet (potentially) shared experience without ever once realising it. My subconscious obviously craves to have like-minded company to enjoy my archive with. Perhaps I should start advertising on the forums: "Come see The Pectarium. Available now for weekend breaks/long stays. Groups welcomed." Ha!

The idea of turning The Pectarium into some kind of holiday camp for female muscle lovers may or may not have been one that the professor would have pursued. We will never know. Within weeks of his first 'glorious' night within its walls, he fell ill...

gifs by
The Ankle (Christa Bauch)
Shirtrippers (Angela Salvagno)
Muscular Girls in Motion (Rene Campbell)

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Prof. Pennypacker's Pectarium

Like many fans of female muscle, Pennypacker was, at times, curious to know who he shared his passion with. Ultimately, he decided it was an impossible task to try to identify who, exactly, the 'sthenolagniacs' are. However, the questions about the group to which he felt he had come to belong are certainly ones familiar to the author, and may well be questions readers have asked themselves at one time.

from Pennypacker's diary 10th October 2011
I find the statistician in me is not gone. How many of us are there? Do we number in our thousands, millions, tens of millions? Are we numerous enough that we are almost certain to know a fellow female muscle worshipper, even if we do not know that is the case? How many, I wonder, have I met in my life? How many are friends, though we would never speak of it and so never know?

from Pennypacker's diary 12th November 2011
At times I feel like such a diletante. The knowledge some of the forum bods have of the history of female bodybuiding, their knowledge of the training methods and lifestyles of the women, their knowledge of when and where the competitions are, even the bars where the women go after the contests... I have so much to learn before I feel I can talk to them without feeling like a schoolchild being quizzed by a university lecturer. Oh, the irony of that!!!

from Pennypacker's diary 17th February 2012
From what I can understand, I am unusually old and developed sthenolagnia (how much new vocabulary I have learned?!) relatively late in life, but this is based only on the confessions of those who are prepared to share this sort of thing, and only then when protected behind the anonymity of the internet. Hardly empirical.

from Pennypacker's diary 22nd February 2012
Like mad monks in the most extreme of orders we practise our common religion from within our own cells, never meeting, passing notes to each other under doors.

from Pennypacker's diary 9th April 2012
A thought on the prevalence of available material. Statistically speaking, it holds that at any given moment a female muscle worshipper somewhere is more likely to be masturbating to an image or clip of Annie Riveccio than one of Georgia Fudge. It amuses me to think that this might be remembered as Pennypacker's First Law. Ha!

from Pennypacker's diary 4th May 2012
For a moment I lifted my head above the parapet. Received email from cousin Larry. The family is worried about me. I wrote hundreds of words in reply, confessing to everything in some detail. Candid and unapologetic, I was ready to 'come out' as they say. Never pressed send. Deleted it and wrote something about being kept busy with the renovations to the house and various loose ends from work that needed tying up. Promises that I would visit him and do the family rounds in the summer. I wonder if this is a common experience, something other female muscle lovers go through.

from Pennypacker's diary 19th July 2012
What I know. 1) Sthenolagnia exists all over the world and it is a taboo fetish everywhere even though 2) it takes many different forms. 3) The lovers of female muscle are as varied in age, social status etc. as the male population itself.

from Pennypacker's diary 28th August 2012
Bank holiday with the family at Larry's. Conversation turned to the Olympics and Larry, never one to hold back on his opinions, spouted forth about how impressed he was at the 'Amazonian women' on display at the Olympics in London, how wonderful the physiques they had developed were and that kind of thing. I agreed wholeheartedly, perhaps a little too wholeheartedly - there was more than one comment made about this being the first time me and Larry had ever agreed on anything. Could Larry possibly be one of 'us'? On the train home I daydreamed of a test. Sending him pictures of Rene Campbell. Subject: A Real Amazon.


Rebekah Kresila by Muscular Girls in Motion
Viviana Violante by 'the street fighter'.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Prof. Pennypacker's Pectarium

from Pennypacker's diary 6th January 2012
Made my first gif today from a favourite clip with Christine Envall and learned a new word: 'forverse'. The alpha female is admired by a lesser woman, who runs her hands over Christine's shoulders and chest. Back and forth, back and forth. I'm as proud of this as I am any of my achievements as a mathematician and teacher, not because it was difficult, it's just rather satisfying to watch. A small contribution to the world of female muscle worship. I have posted it to one of the fan forums.

Some of you may recognise the professor's username 'Profetik' from one or more of the forums. His gif of Christine being touched up was the first of many he would make and post, gifs that would eventually make their way into The Pectarium.

Pennypacker on power
Envall and women like her, women who make little or no concession to the roles or norms associated with their sex, or, more accurately, seem to deliberately defy and transgress as far as possible from them, possess immense power. Of course this power is partly physical - they are extremely strong, but it is also mental - they are determined, bloody-minded almost, in their pursuit of such singular goals - and in addition to that, it is sexual. Yes, there are many men who would find them abhorrent (or at least profess to doing so), but at the same time there are also many men to whom she is the 'perfect' woman; a sexual fantasy come to life ...

... I wonder how I would react in the presence of such power. I was never what you might call 'good' with the ladies, never got to have much practice, but I doubt any man is prepared for his first encounter with such an abundantly powerful woman.

from Pennypacker's diary 6th January 2012
I dreamt of female bodybuilders last night. A commune of them I stumbled upon during my morning walk. I was utterly tongue-tied yet they knew what I was thinking and replied to my thoughts. Many of them were recognisable - Colette Nelson, Gina Davis, Denise Hoshor and Gayle Moher among them. I woke with the kind of morning glory I have not experienced since I was very very much younger. Is this new passion of mine enhancing my virility? I certainly hope so!

Many of the professor's diary entries from the last year of his life detail his rediscovered libido, his reinvigorated loins, and reinterest in masturbation. Many of these entries were used as evidence of his 'mental regression' by the contestants during the will hearing, but no firm scientific evidence was provided by the contestants' lawyers that vigorous and frequent masturbation reveals mental failings.

from Pennypacker's diary 18th March 2012
I am absolutely convinced that my passion is extending both my sexual life and my vocabulary. Two or three years ago I might have thought cable flyes was some kind of adventure sport. Now I know them when I see them. And I know I like them!

from Pennypacker's diary 20th March 2012
Came across a blog whose American author posts clips of himself masturbating over images of his favourite female beefcakes. I immediately went out and bought the first decent camera I could find and spent the rest of the afternoon trying to make my own version of such a clip. Nothing I'm totally happy with yet - though I am happy that I can masturbate like a teenager again. When I do make a satisfactory clip I am determined to send it to him. Maybe my 'tribute' will end up on his blog.

Throughout the remainder of the spring of 2012, as the old barn on his property was renovated and made ready to house The Pectarium, the professor's idea of what he was creating shifted quite significantly from a place to house an archive to a place in which he could indulge in the pleasures these extracts show he was already enjoying.

Enjoy yourself!

Today's gifs by Pennypacker and Muscular Girls in Motion.