Some theoretical ramblings here...


Why am I interested in the subject of sexuality

for comic characters.?


Well, I love both comics, and erotica, so to look for combinations of both

is only logical. Also, if we stop to consider the iconic nature of several

comic book characters, the issue of sexuality becomes even more important in

the context of the superhero as the modern myth, a concern which has been

ever present in all mythological

pantheons and collections of folklore. In iconic characters, traits are

emphasized to represent major symbolism, so to deprive superheroes of sexual

natures would be to render them unnaturally stilted, incomplete, artificial.


Does this mean superheroes should be perpetually horny bastards? No of

course. What I meant is that their sexual nature should be addressed, even

if simply to explain its nonexistence.


Is the sexuality issue out of place in a medium aimed theoretically at

children? Not really. Are morality, politics and other such concerns also

unfit with cohabitation with the superheroic ideal? No. You just need to

express them properly, aiming it at the proper audience in proper fashion.

Younger readers may see surface plot and action, but the more experience

reader can see deeper meanings in reading, and sexuality can be one of those

deeper levels. And, just as there is a Batman Adventures comic geared toward

younger readers, there could be a Batman Mature geared towards the adult

audience, focusing on more "touchy" issues.


Some books have written about sex in superhero world, aiming more for

sensationalism, seeking to shock the reader with the inclusion of "dirty"

matters in the pristine, innocent comicworld, than trying to explore it as

just one more seldom seen side of normal existence in the superhero

existence. These books, like Veitch's Bratpack, focus on perversion, on the

depravity hidden behind the innocence.


What I prefer however are books like Savage Dragon and Starman, where

innocence, normal sexuality, and depravity, can exist side by side, showing

a more real, more complete image of the fictional scenarios.


The fact is that the perennial titillation factor of comics leads to

inevitable sexual thoughts, but like I have written before, lead nowhere,

foreplay without payoff, teasing the reader with innuendo and showing off of

the wares while declining to sell. This leads of course, to deviant

mentality, with shame and regret as consequences.


Who has not thought to himself "Boy, if I were SUpes, I would nail WW for

sure" or "Man, the Hulk must be hung like a Brontosaurus!". Very few, but

most repress that ashamed of projecting sexuality onto an innocent, chaste

situation/character. Well, the sexuality IS there, just not acknowledged.

And to acknowledge it would deprive it of much of its perversion stigma.


One of you commented once that you believed that drawing personal erotic

comics was a normal development for any comic fan with artistic abilities.

Well, I agree. As we begin to seek that which we are growing more interested

in, and find it lacking in our comics, we begin to try to fill the lack



And surprisingly, much like the potential for action, I believe comics have

enormous potential for depictions of sexuality.


Another once told me that he did not share the need of some people to see

cartoon characters indulging in sex. That it puzzled him a bit. Well, I do

understand that sex may remove the patina of innocent joy some cartoons such

as Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Bambi have for us. But I feel that

superhero comics in particular do suit the erotic treatment.

Why? Because superhero comics are based more upon the action/adventure genre

than other comic characters, which focus on humor or whimsical adventure.

And we all know that most action adventure stories are based upon a constant

sexual tension between characters.


And what mostly interests me in the comic medium is the potential for

defusing troublesome situations. Simply, sex in comics can be more

imaginative, diverse and appealing than in real life because of the

aesthetic distortions possible in the medium.


We all know that people in comics are idealized to the point of absurdity.

Women are impossibly beautiful and voluptuous. Men are exaggeratedly


and powerful. Thus, to show them as sexual creatures engaged in erotic

endeavors also benefit from the virtues of such possible exaggeration. The

sex can be as athletic, intense, and beautiful as desired. Sad is the fact

that real people engaged in sex rarely paint pretty pictures, often giving

the impression of unappealing animal mechanicity or even ridiculousness. My

wife often tells me that I never look so dumb as when I am having sex (!).

But the comic book sex can be depicted as beautiful. it can be idealized

and defused from negative connotations much as violence is.


We often see outstanding feats of physical action and extreme violence in

comics. The hero punches the villain and he is sent flying. The furious

exchange of blows and the hurling of object to be shredded upon impact

account for great dynamic scenes with intense excitement.

But we know real violence is not that pretty or well choreographed. Violence

is messy, chaotic and brutal, and can very easily be sickening. However, the

comic medium manages to portray it in more innocuous ways, "it is just sheer

fun" we are told. Well, the same can apply to sex. Sex can be then portrayed

as violence is, forsaking certain realism for enhancing its "fun" aspect, so

that when certain degrees of realism do intrude (premature culmination,

temporary impotence, etc.) we notice it pleasantly.


But it is important that the comic IS capable of showing sex as FUN.


And isn't that a message we should be teaching people more often?


Also, the technical lack of restriction in a comic, that can allow us to

show a character performing impossibly feats of strength, or facing

immensely disproportionate foes, can also allow us to show sex in as wildly

possible configurations as we wish. Storytellers have always played around


impossible match-ups, like Beauty and the Beast, like Pygmalion, which

if enacted in realistic depictions would seem grossly grotesque most likely.

But comics can give life and make palatable such clichés as the beautiful

heroine falling for the noble monster, and can show us the culmination of

such relationships in a way that can sidestep the absurdity and frank

ugliness of such a liaison.


But that does not mean I want all comic characters to screw everyone and

everything in sight. Their particular, individual sexuality should be

approached as another part of characterization, enriching it.


And superheroes in particular should lead interesting sexual lives both in

its richness of lack of, given that as larger-than-life figures, they fall

under what Heinlein called great people. Those, he expounded, were generally

either Apollonian or Dionysian, since their wider range of opportunities and

choices allowed them to go to extremes, either becoming extremely

promiscuous (Dionysian) or chaste (Apollonian). Being fully honest, who


us would not have a richer, varied sexual life if given the chance? Anyone?

And anyone who decides not to, must have a particular reason for it, which

is often strong enough to lead to strict monogamy or even celibacy.


For example, a large part of Superman's appeal is his iconic character as

the "savior form above", the benevolent all-powerful overseer of good

behavior in the world. Superman is the one who came from high, from the

heavens, seeming like one of us, but truly a superior order of being, yet

humble enough to cohabit with us, and share our mundane existence. He uses

his power not to change drastically the status quo, as he easily could, but

more to provide a role model to aspire to, being a defender from non-mundane

concerns, which acts only upon extraordinary circumstances with miraculous

actions. He saves us from evil although he does not dabble in political

change. To Caesar what is Caesar´s. The Christ symbolism is truly strong.

Thus, Superman perennially remained a chaste symbol. His relationship with

Lois Lane was more in the ideal plane, Platonic in the true sense of the

word, and he constantly spurred the advances of worldly temptation, such as

Maxima, and others. Part of the strength of the Superman icon is his

character of purity. Even through the biologically impossible marriage with

Lois, Superman can still be seen as chaste, trapped in the standard

stereotype of dulled sexuality that marriage has become.


Batman however, is a womanizer, not only to preserve his playboy facade or

because he seeks gratuitous pleasure, but because he needs an anchor to his

humanity to avoid being consumed and destroyed by his obsession. Batman does

not love, he grasps for companionship, for humanity. Will his sexual life be

then frantic, desperate, fueled by an urgency to remind himself of his basic

human normalcy? Is Batman's sexuality a cry for help?


On the other hand, Wonder Woman represents a figure with enormous sexual

potential and curious ambiguities. She comes from a matriarchal society, a

messenger of peace, of reformation of values. Unlike Superman, she wants to

change the status quo, she wants to preach love and sharing. She represents

the female principle of preservation, of protection against the runaway

destructive tendencies of mankind. And she wants to better ourselves through

integration of the male/female principles, not through domination of one

over the other. She is against the cancerous side-products of ownership, of

subjugation. She wants freedom of expression, of realization and of

integration. Thus, WW should be the antithesis of Superman, and as such, she

should practice freely her sexuality as a further means of expression.


Still, just as WW's warrior nature seems to contradict her message of peace,

there are other dichotomies hidden at the basis of her persona, mostly

involved sex, because of her restricted upbringing and her drastic change

of environs when entering Man's World.


WW was raised by an all-female society, composed particularly of women with

a very bad opinion of men and their behavior. By current DC continuity, all

Amazons are reincarnations of women abused by men through the ages. Thus,

despite their stated philosophy of love and understanding, Amazons are

probably justifiably paranoid about men and their sexual urges. And so, WW

was raised surrounded only by women and being taught that even though all

humankind should love each other, men could be beasts who only want sex, as

a means of subjugation, and that men seek to dominate and abuse women to

restrict their potential into "owned" sex toys (A view sadly not too



With that background, when drop-dead-gorgeous Diana, the only Amazon without

memories of being actually mistreated by men, arrived at Man's World, she

had to have a long held curiosity regarding that creature "man" and his

oh-so-often-mentioned sexuality. But the fact that Mommy Hipollyta had

probably warned her again and again about the dangers of sex-crazed men, had

to make her reserved and wary.


Diana however, had none of the sexual mores we have, as she was raised in a

society without bipolar interchange, whose only sexual activity would be

lesbian sex by necessity, and where all modern sexual hang-ups would be

inexistent. She was actually raised believing as truth the facts we take as

myth: the existence of Olympian Gods. She must then be familiar with (in her

world) the promiscuous sexuality of such myth/culture, including actual

transformed-god bestiality, where to be ravished by a god impersonating an

animal was to gain favor in Heaven's eyes!


The fact is then that Diana can quite possible consider as perfectly

acceptable sexual practices we would frown upon, being held back only by her

education's instilled distrust for males and the way that sex symbolizes

their ownership over women.


Thus WW has to reconcile such diametrically opposite views into one of

integration. She must integrate the message of love with that of the fight

against discrimination. She must find the way to teach the world to stop

poisoning the sexual bipolar nature with attitudes of restriction, ownership

and abuse. She must teach to share, not to conquer. Sex must then for her

involve not "possession" as commonly seen, but as sharing, as the practice

of bridging differences and healing spirits.



So, from her background we have two different possibilities regarding WW:


1. Either WW is a sexual free-spirit with no hang-ups about sex, who would

then feel glad to practice any way of bringing people closer, and would

actually be willing to have sex with even possible enemies to attempt to

"mend differences", seeking thus to include sexual liberation as part of her

mission, or


2. She has been well-taught by a men-despising Amazon culture, and is thus

wary of men, and at guard against their lusts. However, her complete

ignorance of men and her natural curiosity, together with the subconscious

desire to do that which is forbidden, must make her feel secretly attracted

to sexuality, further compounded that having been gifted by Aphrodite


must have also included great sexual potential as well as merely

superficially attractive looks.


Both possibilities lead to a very likely sexually active character, although

the second one leads more to what could be called perverted reactive

behavior. Thus I prefer the first option.


That would further counterpoint Wonder Woman's immanent nature against

Superman's transcendental role. Superman protects from above, detached,

disguised when amongst us, while WW works from within, openly and with a

more personal involvement.


There are many contradictions involved in the above, but they do parallel

the contradictions present in WW's stance regarding violence.


Oh, well, too much ranting already, I will continue later with the Hulk,

Prof. Xavier, and others, plus isolating particular instances of interesting

sexual development potential.


Take care,