The Creepy Downside Of Sex With 6 Superheroes

If you've never read the essay "Man Of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex," you're missing out on one of the most immaturely mature thought pieces ever written about the world of the superhero. The basic ideas were purloined for a memorable scene in Kevin Smith's Mallrats, but the topic had been bandied about for decades -- how could Superman, with his Kryptonian physiology, ever make love to a human woman? Wouldn't his ejaculate simply destroy her?

Written by Larry Niven in 1969, the essay is pretty thought-provoking and worth a look. As with all speculative fiction, and Internet message boards, we can offer up all kinds of explanations and instances where this would happen or that would happen -- a current favorite of Superman fans is to say he could use his Super Flare ability, render himself inert, and bang like a screen door for 24 hours or so. And that's fine. You can give him Kryptonite condoms or magical spermicide too; it doesn't matter -- it's just make-believe. But man, in those make-believe worlds, you have to admit, there would be some weird and terrible sex going on if we take these characters at face value.

#6. The Thing

Marvel Comics

Ben Grimm got the shit end of the Fantastic stick when it comes to powers. Of a four-person team, he's the only one who came out looking like a turd rolled in walnuts, while the rest of his team can blend into polite society any time they please. Sure, he's super strong and nearly invulnerable, but what good is that if every time you try to jack off you just make a handful of gravel?

It stands to reason that the cosmic radiation that made The Thing's body into an old country road probably didn't tactfully or thoughtfully avoid his junk. There's no stony flap in his drawers that he can push aside to get out Lil' Grimmy and please the ladies, or even pee properly. The internal logic of the Fantastic Four dictates Ben Grimm has a stone dick. And hey, that's cool; archaeological evidence indicates our ancestors used stone dildos. There's probably a neighborhood out there in time and space where Ben will fit right in.

Marvel Comics
If you know what I mean ...

Early on in the comics, and also in the terrible first movie if your subconscious hasn't scoured the memory of it clean just yet, you'll find that Grimm still has a romantic interest with, of course, a blind woman. Because a woman who can't see is somehow more OK with a man made of stone than one who can. But it's not the inability to see what Grimm looks like that impedes their relationship; it's the fact that he's clearly made of irregularly shaped rocky plates. His fingers look like tiny, shitty inukshuks, and you know his wang is no different, which means any woman bold enough to try to bone him is probably going to be chafed in a medically unsound and terrifying fashion.

#5. Bloodshot

Valiant Comics

You may not be familiar with Valiant's Bloodshot, but you should check him out. His new series, Bloodshot Reborn, just started, and it's phenomenally written by Jeff Lemire. And he's going to be getting a movie in the not-too-distant future, so you may as well brush up.

As far as a crash course in the character goes, Bloodshot was created to be a kind of super soldier, and that involved injecting him with millions of little silicon-based nanocomputers that make him nearly immortal. You shoot the dude through the head, the little nanites will rebuild him, brain and all. The downside is he has no memory of who he really is and the people who made him are kind of nefarious, but such is the life of a superhero.

Valiant Comics
"I can't even tell if I'm actually Catholic or just heal that way."

Those nanites that make Bloodshot so cool are also his potential downfall, insofar as they're in the man's bloodstream, which basically makes them the same as, say, AIDS. He has robo-AIDS. If he swaps fluids with a lady friend, she's going to get those nanites in her, and one of two things will happen -- either they start reproducing in her and spreading the Bloodshot powers around like an STD, or they're just supposed to be for one Bloodshot, in which case they'd potentially recognize every molecule of this other person as a foreign invader and try to kill her from the inside out.

#4. Carl Grimes

Image Comics

You have to bear with me on this one. For those who don't already know: The Walking Dead TV series is based on the Image comic of the same name, which you totally should read because it's superb. But even if you've only seen the show, that'll mostly do for now. The show kind of screws up the point I'm trying to make, but whatever. Just imagine Carl. Poor, little Carl with his hat and his gun in the goddamn zombie apocalypse. The world is over. It's not going to come back. There's not going to be a cure or a reset or anything. The best thing Carl can hope for in life is that he and the few people who have survived the apocalypse so far don't get eaten. Try to put yourself in that headspace, where your chief daily concern is being eaten by someone.

So in the comics -- and maybe don't read this if you don't like mild, probably-not-related-to-the-show spoilers -- Carl and crew find a place to stay and years literally pass. Carl is in his teens, and as any teenager is wont to do, he goes hunting for some tang. Well, maybe not that aggressively, but he does have an interest in girls and he even starts a relationship with a character named Lydia. Sounds great, right? Except no. Gross.

Image Comics
Gross.

Lydia is a Whisperer, a person who wears the skin of zombies so they can roam among them. Carl bangs a girl who wears flesh suits. Routinely. There's nothing good or normal or sexy about any of this. And that's literally the best he can do. He lives in a world where the lack of interesting women in his age range forces him to pursue a relationship with a girl who wears people suits.

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Felix Clay

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