Don’t Fear The Fetish

It should be no surprise that the world of female muscle and fitness has a fetish element. There is one section of the female muscle fandom highly devoted to mixed wrestling, sessions, fmg art, and stories. Typically, the hardcore fans are called schmoes, which carries a pejorative connotation. Supporters and fans of the female fitness culture tend to be suspicious or want to repudiate this section of fans. The reason mostly surrounds an irrational fear of fetish element. Everyone fan and athlete alike has an opinion about the female muscle fetish subculture. Some believe such activities lower the image of the sport. Other view it as harmless. It would be a hyperbole to say that the female muscle fetish element has harmed female bodybuilding. The biggest damage came from the corporations in the fitness industry and lack of sponsorship. Generally, this is the case with the majority of women’s sports along with unequal pay. Yet, detractors never mention those issues. Thus, a scapegoat is created to deflect attention away from the actual problem of institutional practices holding women back. Some athletes and fans have become very fearful of the female muscle fetish element within the fitness industry. There should be no concern  about this aspect of women’s involvement in fitness. Rather than judge there should be an understanding about why people like it and participate. Fans who are content creators even avoid the subject. A female muscle fetish is nothing to be scared or ashamed of.

            The male followers of female bodybuilders develop a female muscle fetish for a number of reasons. Personal experience, media images, or the ideas about aesthetics contribute to this development.   This is not just liking the muscular physique, this is immersing one’s self into the subculture. Men may go to session wrestling appointments, be members of websites , or produce web content of their own. That could feature art or stories. An outsider looking at these materials may be perplex or have more negative feelings. the first thought is that this is strange or abnormal. Other  opinions are more exaggerated such as this is a sexual perversion.  These views are spoken from a perspective of ignorance rather than knowledge.

The question then becomes, how is this anything different from other activities ? Every subculture as a strange uniqueness to it. There is memorabilia collection, platforms of fan communication. and merchandising . Anime fandom has cosplay, conventions, and fan dubs. What is colloquially called “nerd culture” consists of comics, video games, and science fiction.  The female muscle fandom and fetish follows in that similar sociological model. Fans enjoy discussing their favorite subject with other fans and exchanging materials of the subculture. The muscle woman fetish happens from exposure. Many men in say in their youth they were exposed to an image that sparked their interest. As the years pass the attraction grew. Others may just like the concept of a strong woman. It seems that now in popular culture and wider society  the notion of a strong independent woman is slowly becoming more accepted. The female muscle fans were celebrating this idea in a more literal way.

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It seems odd in the age of girl power being promoted that the muscular woman is still regulated to the space of subculture.  The female muscle fans were more progressive before many people were.

       Some say that the fetish element tarnishes the sport. This seems more facetious, rather than a statement of fact. Whatever the general public view is of the sport is, has little to due with the fetish element. The problem is the narrow view of what women should be and can do. Traditionalist would say women should not be allowed to do this at all. That dated mode of thinking needs to be retired. The idea that some how if the fetish element did not exist, female bodybuilding would gain more mainstream appeal is false. The sport itself is smaller compared to team sports like soccer  or basketball. There has been rapid expansion over the years, but it may not reach the level of larger sports. The subcultural appeal makes it unique and fun for longtime dedicated fans. Adding certain subculture to the mainstream tends to degrade their quality to a generic and uninteresting activity. Female bodybuilding and muscular women are slowly becoming more mainstream. The hope is that the wonderfully unique quality of women’s fitness culture remains intact. The fact that women are posing on stage in very little clothing is sexual. The only reason there is some distinction is that the women present a different type of beauty. The women’s bodies are analyzed from their chests, legs, arms, and torsos. That is in itself a fetish.

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There are certain parts of the human body that people like and pay attention to. The sport just wants the body sculpted into an aesthetically pleasing representation.  It cannot be ignored that there was a sexual element before the female muscle fetish. Women in bikinis who appeared in advertisements and TV are not just there for the sale of products. The fact that there is a sexual or fetish element should not reflect poorly on the sport. Human nature enables this sexual expression. That is not what the sport is all about either. Bodybuilding is about creating a powerful and balanced physique.

         The fear surrounding the fetish element has several origins. Ignorance seems to be a major culprit. People tend to ostracize what they cannot understand. The intense predilection for the athletic or muscular female physique produces these feelings. Liking or having a fetish for muscular women should not be feared. It is no different from liking women who are red headed or have another particular type of  feature. Another issue is people’s problem and lack of knowledge about human sexuality and behavior. Sexology  is a topic rarely discussed in mainstream circles. Human sexual behavior is driven by psychological, biological, and sociological forces. It is not entirely understood and more research has to be done. Fetishes are not bad or abnormal rather just a type of sexual expression. The only time it could be harmful is that it interrupts daily functioning. Most men with this fetish are average and come from a variety of backgrounds. The other reason for the fear of the fetish element is that it makes the women’s fitness culture appear sleazy. This has to be the most illogical fear. Women wrestling men or doing wrestling session is no more sleazy than offering pole dance fitness classes. Making such claims makes a critic look like nothing more than a traditionalist fanatic creating a moral panic. The fitness industry has operated on the concept that sex sells for decades.  The “moral purity” argument lacks credibility.

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Objections and irrational fears seem to held together by weak or spurious claims. Society must learn to deal with human sexual behavior in a healthy and balanced way. The desire to either eliminate or act like it does not exist does not help. An opened mind about other people’s behavior and decisions can go a long way.

       The fear of the fetish element can also be internalized by fans. It is not uncommon for fans of female muscle to hide their videos, books,magazines, or any other material related to strong women. These items are not even adult content. The nervousness feelings about being judged for their preference in women becomes intense. What should be noted is that not all female muscle fans are hardcore fetish fans. Some may watch those videos or read fmg stories, yet have never done a session. These two factions of fans are not abnormal or deviant. They just enjoy different elements of the female muscle fandom.This is the life of a secret fan hiding what they like for fear of judgement. This is unfortunate to love something in secret. There should not be shame if a person has a female muscle fetish. People are into different activities. It does not matter what others think of it. Just as long as individuals like it and get enjoyment out of it. Denying the existence of the fetish element seem more ridiculous when it is an open secret.

       Session wrestling has been a financial tool for some athletes, when the sponsors left. Even women’s sports that are larger in exposure face a money problem. The women just found out how to finance their expenses for competition . However, there are women who have enough money not to do sessions. Some do it for the fun of it. There is no surprise that women may share with men some fetishes. Women just like men have sexual urges and fetishes. The reason it is not been discussed is that women were forced to be silent about it. Throughout history women’s sexuality and behavior was rigidly controlled. The sexual revolution change that in the 1960s. Women had greater sexual freedom and birth control enable more control of their bodies. Sexual expression was no longer for men only. It should be no surprise that women may feel some type of turn on wrestling men. This may be acting out a female power fantasy. Male sexual fantasies are well known, but female versions remain a mystery. The women who get pleasure out of sessions may like the idea they can dominate a man physically. When it is the instance of muscle worship, the idea of being treated like a Queen. This has not been studied in depth so what can be stated is just conjecture.

        session wrestling, muscle worship, and the female muscle fetish are just a part of the female muscle fandom. Accepting that fact will not damage the sport as a whole.The fetish element is nothing to be feared or treated with ignominious behavior. Humanity must come to terms with its sexual behavior and sexuality. This is not to say that the female athletes are sex objects designed for male pleasure. These women are athletes of the highest caliber; they deserve respect. That does not mean all should pretend that the sexual or fetish element does not exist. The reason fans flock to contests, collect photos, and watch videos is to see the unique aesthetic  presentation of the muscular  female body. Maybe the controversy is not so much about what the women and fans do, rather it is how people react to a new image of woman. The public may not realize it, but there has been a major change in gender roles and how the sexes relate to one another. What can be learned is not to fear change or something different.

Don’t Fear The Fetish

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