I’m a big fan of super-heroes. In general, I limit my fandom to the Big Two (Marvel and DC), because otherwise there is just too much to keep up with. Plus, I grew up reading about the Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, the Thing, Human Torch, and Invisible Woman), the Avengers (always changing roster, but mostly Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, and the Wasp), the Defenders (Prince Namor, Silver Surfer, Hulk, and Doctor Strange), and the X-Men (ever-changing members, but principally, the Beast, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, and Colossus) from Marvel, and, to a lesser degree, the Justice League (Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman). But looking at childhood heroes with adult eyes tends to change things.
First, there is the glaring fact that women are under-represented in these teams – most teams had only one female member. Second, there is the blatant over-sexualization of women (an article here takes on both issues). Third, there is the tendency for female characters to be mentally unstable (Jean Grey/Phoenix, for example).
My interest lately, however, has been the idea of the actual sexuality of superheroes. There are very few married couples in the superhero genre – Reed and Susan Richards of the Fantastic Four, Hank and Janet Pym of the Avengers, and the Vison and Scarlet Witch of the Avengers (although the Vision is not actually human…so he might not count). Even fewer have children. While the Avengers introduced Starfox (Eros, the God of Love) who played the field, as far as I know, the She-Hulk stands alone as a female super-hero with a sex life (she and Juggernaut actually broke the bed…and the floor underneath it). Of course, most of She-Hulk’s hot-stuff happened in alternate universes…which makes sense, because we can’t deal with a horny woman in this one. Due to her super-strength, though, her dating pool has to be limited.
What I really wonder, of course, is which of these super-dudes submits to which of these super-fems?
Let’s start ruling folks out – Superman and Batman have NO sex life, for very different reasons.
Superman cannot physically have a relationship with anyone who is not indestructible. Remember, every muscle in his body – including his prostate – is super strong. His breath can freeze and his gaze can melt. What would his jizz do? At the very least, it would tear a hole through any human flesh that got in its way. If Superman wants to wank, he has to go to at least the dark side of the moon (to get some privacy), which means he has to hold his breath while he wants – kinky, of course, but not really of note beyond fringe porntube videos.
Batman, of course, is hell-bent on destroying crime. If he ever locked up all the murderers, he’d go after jaywalkers. He’s a sociopath whose madness tends to be beneficial to society. Bruce Wayne might get laid once in a while – to keep up appearances – but Bruce is just a mask that Batman uses to pursue his vendetta.
Wonder Woman is a pseudo Dominant. She’s big and strong (AMAZON!), so she could (and, I’m sure, DOES) fit into a lot of fantasies of being physically overpowered. But she becomes powerless when she is tied up – and she would have to LET herself be tied up, because she is physically a match for Superman.
Green Lantern – take your pick of which one – can’t even hold together a relationship because he’s responsible for a whole sector of the universe. It’s bad enough for a guy to run out to save the world, but if you have to save the universe, you are never getting a date-night off.
Green Arrow…hey, this guy has possibilities. Since he’s a normal human who has trained to inhuman levels, he doesn’t have the physical problems in a relationship that Superman does, and he isn’t the psycho that Batman is. Not only is he not interested in saving the universe, he’s really not concerned with much beyond his own hometown, Star City. Also a bonus is Arrow’s romantic interest, Black Canary. (For a bone to the “over-powered” folks, Arrow fathered a child against his will with Shado.)
Black Canary: Like most women in comics, she looks like the classic BDSM Dom. Take a look:
She’s strong and smart and doesn’t take crap. Yowzah. Her super-power is creating ultra-sonic waves with her voice….hmmmmm. With martial arts training that equals (or surpasses Batman’s) she could pretty much do whatever she wanted with a guy, maybe even using that voice to vibrate a guy’s flesh and bones right at the peak of pleasure/pain. In my mind, there is the bonus that she has self-restraint – she uses her super-power as a last resort, and only against beings who won’t be injured by it, preferring to get down and dirty with the fisticuffs. MMmmmmmmm…
The Flash…maybe. He could do awesome things with his fingers, but it might be a heavy dose of premature everything.
On the Marvel side, we can discount the entire Fantastic Four. Either physically or emotionally, they just don’t fit. The Defenders are also out of contention – the Hulk can only have angry sex (Hulk SMAAASSSHHH-FUUUUCKKKKK), Doctor Strange is busy with demons invading, Namor is an ego-maniac who can’t see beyond himself, and the Silver Surfer probably had his John Thomas removed by Galactus when he was given the Power Cosmic.
Ironman/Tony Stark is a hound. He’s no submissive.
I always thought the Wasp would be a good choice as a Dominant woman (she is divorced from the unstable Hank Pym). Her power is that she can generate a bio-electric sting (and shrink to the size of a wasp)…which would turn a handjob into a whole new thing. She was once the chair of the Avengers, so she can handle power relationships. Plus, she’s rich, so she doesn’t NEED a guy to prop her up. In fact, I could see her making Captain America do things the Red Skull just never dreamed of…
Captain America, as indicated above, would be close to my ideal submissive man. He’s rough and tough and macho without even thinking about it. He’s passionate. He’s faithful. He can take orders…and he could take as much punishment as the Wasp wanted to hand out. Or, um, anyone else. Plus, he wears chainmail (NOT spandex or foam rubber like the STUPID movie costume).
Hawkeye would be a good choice – especially to pair with Mockingbird. Neither of them have actual super-powers. They are highly trained and in tip-top-shape. They are basically the Marvel version of Green Arrow and Black Canary. Mockingbird gets extra points for dressing sensibly:
The X-Men are the biggest source of fetish material. I mean, Wolverine actually hurts himself to use his claws. The problem is that there is a LOT of mental instability in the X-Men. Jean Grey goes crazy and tries to destroy the universe. Scott/Cyclops goes crazy over her loss and can’t take off his glasses or he blows this up with his gaze. Rogue would be an awesome Dominant, but she can’t touch people. Storm was worshiped as a Goddess, but shows no inclination towards men or women. Still, a little well-placed lightning would be an awesome playtime toy. Shadowcat can actually put her hand inside a guy…without lube! Colossus has a deferential attitude, but is strong and can take a hell of a lot of punishment (his skin turns to living metal). But Beast is too philosophical and Nightcrawler is uber-religious. Of course, Emma Frost looks like she just walked out of a BDSM party, no matter what is going on.
I guess that’s all there is to say, except…Given my lack of mutant genes and super soldier serum, I should probably take up archery…Feel free to talk amongst yourselves in the comments.
PS – there was a short-run comic called Cloak and Dagger that I think would have played up some fantastic BDSM themes. It didn’t hit big enough to stand on its own, though.