The appeal of athletic and strong women is fascinating in it’s complexity. I recall an event when I was single and much younger, that sums up that complexity. I had a large poster in my bedroom featuring a very sexy female bodybuilder called Tonya Knight. She was by no means as big as some, but was very athletic, and in my eyes, very feminine. A girl I started dating saw it and said, “You must be gay to like her!” I had already demonstrated my fully heterosexual appetites to her on several occasions, so I found this comment puzzling.
Since then I have heard similar comments from men and women. I can see why they might arise in the case of female bodybuilders that push too far and take testosterone and other drugs. They do often look, at best androgynous, and at worst masculine. My character Rachel is not of that type, she is athletic and genetically suited to building muscle. She is fully feminine and beautiful. In these stories she struggles with societies perceptions of what it is to be female. She is often described as an amazon warrior. I use these tales to explore sexual roles and to push against stereotypes imposed by those who are threatened by strong women, strong of character and body.