Every Wednesday, fans of comic books and superheroes are blessed with fresh batch of comics. It’s like Christmas every week and you don’t have to suck up to some jolly fat guy who lives at the North Pole. You just have to have a few extra bucks and a Comixology account.
This week, however, those extra bucks go a lot further than usual for X-men fans. That’s because “Uncanny X-men #10,” the final issue in a story arc that assembled almost every notable character associated with X-men has come out. Some weeks are harder than others when it comes to picking the most worthy comic from the bunch. This was not one of those weeks.
Make no mistake. “Uncanny X-men #10” is both a game-changer and a major upheaval for the X-men. It acts as a culmination of a battle that began with the return of Nate “X-man” Grey, but in a powerful new form. He’s not just another displaced character from a dystopian timeline, of which there are many in comics. His agenda is different and his personal connections to the X-men make him a daunting foe.
He’s not Apocalypse. He’s not Magneto. He’s not even some uneasy ally who was once an enemy and the X-men have had plenty of those. Nate Grey is out the save the world, but not by protesting injustice or signing an online petition. He literally wants to destroy it and remake it. Given the insane breadth of his power, that’s entirely possible.
For the past nine issues, he’s gone about his plan with the subtly of a hurricane. He’s abducted senators, mind-controlled powerful mutants, and waged war on anyone who might stand between him and a better world. The X-men, who have a strict policy against over-powered mutants destroying the world to remake it, oppose him at every turn.
“Uncanny X-men #10” is just the final showdown and it’s a battle for the ages. The writing talents of Matthew Rosenberg, Ed Brisson, and Kelly Thompson team up with the artistic talents of Pere Perez to craft a mutant-powered spectacle that never slows down. It’s the most powerful mutants in the Marvel universe against a threat who wasn’t just a close friend. To characters like Jean Grey, he’s family.
This is where “Uncanny X-men #10” shines in a special way. While a good chunk of the comic is dedicated to epic mutant battles, there’s never a point where the action is mindless and impersonal. In between all the fighting, there are major personal stakes for Nate and his alternate universe mother, Jean Grey.
Their interactions is what really gives dramatic weight to the spectacle. I won’t spoil the details of their exchange. I’ll just say that it’s beautifully done. It’s genuinely heart-wrenching to see Jean having to battle her own son. Even if he’s from an alternate universe, she sees him as family and that makes fighting him all the more difficult.
That kind of heavy drama is what brings out the best in the X-men. It’s what makes for the best moments in superhero comics, as a whole. However, what really makes “Uncanny X-men #10” worth getting is how it sets up the future of the series.
Again, I won’t spoil it. I’ll just say that the aftermath of the battle creates a very different world for mutants, humans, the X-men, and everyone in between. It’s a world where all the hopes and dreams of the X-men are effectively moot. What does that mean for them and those they protect? There are some telling hints, but there’s definitely an impact when all is said and done.
I’m sure there will be plenty of X-men fans who feel both excitement and dread after reading “Uncanny X-men #10.” If you’ve been following X-men comics in any capacity for the past several decades, then you know that’s not unusual. However, this feels like one of those issues that people will be referring to for years to come. Whether they love it or hate it, this comic marks a major turning point for the X-men.
Most X-men fans knew that 2019 was going to be a major year for the Children of the Atom. Between two movies, the pending Disney/Fox merger, and the return of multiple major characters, there’s a lot get hyped about. “Uncanny X-men #10” is just the latest catalyst that can only help the X-men’s prospects in 2019.
In 2008, the International Association of Athletics Federations issued a momentous ruling. From that day forward, double-amputees who used specialized blade prostheses were not permitted in Olympic competition. However, it wasn’t because that double-amputees were at an inherent disadvantage. It was because these high-tech prostheses made runners too fast.
Think about that for a moment. When someone loses their legs, it’s devastating. Their lives will never be the same. Never mind hindering their ability to participate in Olympic-level events. They will be forever handicapped, unable to conduct themselves in an able-bodied society. For most of human history, this was a sad reality.
Suddenly, advances in technology have flipped the script. Existing research on these blade prostheses shows that those using them expend significantly less energy to sustain their top running speed compared to their able-bodied counterparts. Now, a double-amputee actually has an advantage in a race, especially one that relies on stamina.
The implications go beyond helping double amputees live normal lives. This marks a critical turning point for technology and sports, alike. For once, able-bodied athletes are at a disadvantage and that gap is only going to get wider. I’ll go so far as to say that in the next few decades, professional sports will undergo enormous change due to technology.
That’s not an overly bold prediction. Technology and medicine have been enhancing sports for decades. I’m not just talking about the use of performance enhancing drugs, either. There are certain medical procedures, such as Tommy John Surgery, that can give professional athletes a competitive advantage. They’re so common these days that neither athletes nor fans think much of it.
On top of that, advances in medicine have made injuries that once ended careers into extended injuries. Just a few decades ago, an NFL player who tore their ACL was likely finished. Today, such an injury still means an extended stay on the injured list, but players can come back from it. Some even manage to have MVP caliber seasons.
In the future, more advanced treatments involving stem cells or lab-grown body parts will further improve injury treatment. Given the billions in profits generated by professional sports and the massive incentives to keep star athletes healthy, there’s are plenty of reasons to push this technology forward. Before long, star quarterbacks in the NFL playing into their 40s might not be so extraordinary.
However, recovering from injuries is only a small part of a much larger upheaval that’s set to occur in the world of sports. The entire concept of competition may need revising as technology reaches a point where maintaining parity is almost impossible. Unlike performance enhancing drugs, it won’t be possible to test for them or remove them.
Today, it’s easy to appreciate how gifted the best athletes in the world are. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and effort to achieve the mental and physical prowess that allows these individuals to be at the top of their game. To build muscle, you need to spend hours in the gym. To master a skill, you need to spend years practicing and honing your mechanics.
All that work and training, however, has the same goal. The intent is to strain the body to make it stronger and wire the mind to make it more capable. At a fundamental level, it’s just restructuring the body and brain with a mix of brute force and mental effort. Modern medicine and technology can help supplement those efforts, but only to a point.
That point, however, keeps changing and will continue to change. Think back to emerging technology like Neuralink’s brain implants. Instead of spending years learning the mental aspect of a sport, why not just use an implant that mirrors the neural patterns of athletes like Tom Brady or LeBron James? They’ve already done the work. In theory, all you have to do is mimic their neural connections.
That technology is a long way off, but accelerated learning is already an emerging field in the military. It’s only a matter of time before some enterprising sports league attempts to use it. A technology that may be closer and more controversial is biohacking. I’ve mentioned it before, but it has the potential to complicate any competition.
We already know how to use genetic engineering to build bigger muscles without steroids. That same technology could be refined to impart other advantageous traits like better reaction time, quicker reflexes, and enhanced bone strength. Unlike other drugs, it wouldn’t require athletes to take pills. These skills would be written right into their genetics, which means it won’t show up on a typical drug test.
Push this technology even further and the world of professional sports gains even more complications. As time goes on, the forces of medicine, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and machine/human interface will steadily converge. We’ll get to a point where enhancing the human body is akin to upgrading our computers.
Instead of regular natural cells, we’ll rely on entirely synthetic cells that are programmable and capable of achieving more than even the best athletes of today.
Instead of intense mental training, we’ll be able to link our brains to computers to effectively learn the skills we need, whether it involves throwing a baseball or weaving baskets.
Instead of waiting for damaged body parts to heal, we’ll just swap them out for newer, better models that are much more efficient and capable.
Under such conditions, the current system for professional sports just couldn’t work. If every new quarterback could just copy the skills and experience from Tom Brady’s brain, then what’s the point of competing in the first place? If every NBA team has as much talent as the 2018 Golden State Warriors, then how does competition even work at that level?
The questions get even more profound when applied to Olympic competition. If we get to a point where double amputees run faster and those with robotic arms throw harder, then that changes the entire approach. Sure, some may still prefer seeing non-enhanced humans compete, but their feats won’t be as spectacular.
Instead, imagine events where javelin throwers can use robotic arms or swimmers could use bionic lungs. The feats they’ll achieve won’t just be better, in terms of stats. They’ll be a far greater spectacle. Given the declining ratings of the Olympics in recent years, I suspect future events will need those spectacles to maintain interest.
Personally, I would definitely watch the Olympics if it had athletes that utilized cybernetic enhancements, be they artificial limbs or brain implants. It would require a mix of both athletic training and applied science to achieve championship status. It won’t be the same as simply winning the race through sheer grit, but it will still be an achievement worthy of a metal.
What is the future of professional sports?
What is the future of professional athletes?
How will people compete in a world where the human body can be enhanced, programmed, and modified at will?
These are questions that none of the major sports leagues have to answer immediately, but they will start to become more relevant in the coming years. The fact that some of the prosthesis we give double-amputees are better than regular human legs is the first tangible step towards a very different future for professional sports.
What could be sexier and more romantic than sharing a hot bath with your lover? That’s not a rhetorical question. As a self-professed romantic and a writer of both sexy novels and short stories, I honestly don’t know a scenario that checks that many boxes. I try to contemplate them. They always seem to come up short.
It’s one of those moments that takes a little extra effort, but it pays off in a major way. Once you get the candles, the hot water, and the bubbles going, the sexiness is inherent in every possible form. Regardless of whether you and your lover have had a hard day, there’s just something about sharing a hot bath that both relaxes and arouses us in all the right ways.
It’s so sexy that it doesn’t always have to result in actual sex. Sometimes, couples just value the ambiance and the extra intimacy. Being naked in a hot, steamy environment in close proximity to a lover can be satisfying enough in its own right. Just sitting there, holding someone in your arms, can evoke feelings every bit as powerful as those associated with more direct forms of intimacy.
I suppose it was only a matter of time before one of my Daily Sexy Musings focused on this particular scenario. It’ll likely be a setting for a future sexy story, be it a novel or a short story. In whatever way it manifests, this is one sensual situation that the inner romantic in all of us can appreciate. Enjoy!
It’s been a long day. Muscles are strained, nerves have been worn thin, and everything feels sore without hurting. Just coming home feels like a million-mile journey. Every step may as well be through quicksand during a raging storm. We still made it home and it’s so worth it.
I take you in my arms.
You embrace me in yours.
Our bodies are ready to give out, but we don’t let them.
There’s only one remedy that can alleviate the strain. An embrace is a good start, but it’s hardly sufficient. We skip whatever plans we had for the rest of the evening and head straight to the bathroom. You gather the candles. I start the bath and add in our favorite brand of bubbles. The wait is brief. It’s still too long, but still so worth it.
Before we know it, the scene is set. We dim the lights, arrange the candles, and shed our itchy clothes. Then, like two wounded animals seeking shelter, we guide one another into the bath where our naked bodies join.
We submerge ourselves in the suds.
We soak in the steamy heat.
We savor wet flesh touching wet flesh.
We cleanse ourselves of the day’s rigors.
It’s like a steady rain that ends a long drought, bringing nourishment to a barren landscape. Every day, we push ourselves to live our lives, achieve our goals, and survive another day. Somewhere along the way, we try to make time for each other. There’s never enough, but that makes scenarios like this so precious.
It takes few words and fewer actions. We need not entwine our bodies beyond our arms and legs. We don’t require extensive exertion or elaborate activities. In that moment, we’re just too lovers, sharing a hot bath in a loving embrace.
That’s all we need.
That’s all that’s necessary.
That’s all it takes to heal our bodies and ignite our passions.
I’m not a fan of overpriced food, but I’ve learned from experience that you get what you pay for. Like many, I survived college on cheap food that ruined my pallet for years. I’ve also made the mistake of buying cheap ingredients for meals I thought I could turn into something better. Even though I’m a good cook, trust me when I say you can taste the difference.
A fancy meal may seem like an overpriced luxury, even for frugal couples, but make no mistake. It’s value that goes beyond overpriced appetizers. It’s not just part of a typical date with someone you’re trying to impress. I believe a fancy meal, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, is like an investment into your romance. It shows what you’re willing to put into it and not just in terms of dollar value.
Even if the meal is nothing more than fancy presentations by people with fake accents, it’s the sentiment that really counts. A fancy dinner, complete with undersized appetizers and rose-colored candles, show that you’re willing to put something extra into a relationship. It’s not just that you love someone. You’re willing to make it a spectacle.
I’m a fan of spectacles, sexy or otherwise. A fancy meal is just one way of going about it and it just happens to be the most delicious. Coming from a family of skilled cooks, I can appreciate these meals more than most. That’s why I dedicate this week’s edition of my Sexy Sunday Thoughts to the fancy dinners that fill our stomachs and inspire our passions. Bon appétit!
“Both literal and figurative flexibility can improve anyone’s sex life.”
“Hate sex is the ghost pepper of sex.”
“Romantic vacations are just more elaborate versions of thrill sex.”
“Appetizers are like foreplay for your stomach.”
“Every great kink starts with a dirty mind and an awkward boner.”
“When you think about it, orgasms were the first bonuses.”
“The ultimate thrill seeker is one who is willing to receive oral sex from a cannibal.”
I hope that helps make everyone’s next meal feel a bit fancier, among other things. Like most things sexy, there’s a time and a place for it. I encourage every couple to make the effort. Every now and then, we should make the effort to wine and dine our lovers to make them feel special. Whether you’re rich or poor on paper, a fancy dinner can help you and your lover feel like royalty.
The following is a sexy short story that was inspired by a broken furnace and a handyman that really saved the day. If you are a skilled handyman out there, please know that your sex appeal is grossly under-appreciated. I hope this story will convey that sentiment.
“Damn it! Of all the days for my furnace to break, why does it have to be today?” Delila Preston groaned as she paced restlessly.
She muttered more curses under her breath, hugging her shoulders to protect herself from the harsh winter cold. Looking outside, her windows covered in ice from the latest winter storm that passed through last night, she saw no relief in the dreary overcast. All she could do was put on her thickest pair of sweatpants, her only clean T-shirt, and a hoodie over top of it. She tried to keep moving, but that wasn’t easy in her undersized apartment. She needed real, tangible warmth and she needed it soon.
That need went beyond the weather. It wasn’t unreasonable to say that her life, as a whole, was as broken as her heater. Eight months ago, everything had been perfectly functional. Delila was engaged to her high-school sweetheart, she had a good job at marketing firm, and she lived in a comfortable home not far from her childhood neighborhood.
Then, everything broke. Delila found out her fiancé had been cheating on her. She lost her job when her boss got arrested for an embezzlement scandal, forcing her to take a lower-paying job over 40 miles away from her old home. She couldn’t even move back home because her parents were already caring for her younger brother, who’d just come back from serving in the military and required extra care because of the wounds he suffered. That meant moving into the cheapest, most cramped apartment she could find.
Her heater breaking was just the latest in a long string of things that had gone horribly wrong in her life.
“The coldest day of the year on top of the worst year of my adult life,” Delila muttered as she gazed out the window. “I can get someone to fix my heater, but how the hell do I go about fixing everything else at this point?”
As she wondered that daunting prospect, she checked her watch. Since she couldn’t afford a licensed repairman, she had to rely on help from a co-worker, Mia. She’d told him her brother’s best friend was a real handyman who just happened to owe her favor. She’d been texting him since she woke up and he was supposed to arrive at any minute.
Not knowing if her heater could even be fixed, Delila sighed to herself and planned on drinking plenty of hot tea for the rest of the weekend. For now, at least, curling up under multiple blankets in bed seemed like the only way to keep warm.
After a few more minutes of waiting, she heard a knock at her door.
“Hope this guy knows what he’s doing,” Delila said. “I need at least one thing in my life that isn’t broken.”
Still hugging her shoulders for warmth, she opened the door to greet the hopeful handyman. The figure she saw, however, caught her by surprise.
“Hi! You must be Delila,” a man greeted. “I’m Josh Maven. I’m here to fix your heater.”
“Yes, uh…please, come in,” Delila said.
Her co-worker hadn’t told her much about her brother’s friend. She only said he was good at fixing things. Now, Delila wished she had asked more questions because she never would’ve guessed he would’ve been so cute.
“Damn, it’s cold out!” Josh said as he entered and took off his jacket. “This is a hell of a day for your heater to break.”
“Yeah…hell of a day indeed,” Delila replied.
“If this place is anything like my brother’s old apartment, I should be able to fix it. I can’t tell you how many times he blew that thing out so he could lounge around in his underwear.”
“I hope it’s not that bad.”
“Well, there’s only one way to find out.”
Josh sounded way too energetic for a man doing someone else a favor. It was the complete antithesis of her morbid mood. Then, as he removed his jacket, she saw him wearing a tight-fitting short-sleeved shirt that showed off bulging muscles that perfectly complemented his burly complexion. Maybe it was just a result of her being so lonely after her fiancé broke up with her, but such a sight made parts of her body warmer by default.
As he set his jacket aside, he took the tool box he’d brought with him and carried it over to the utility closet that stood right next to her bathroom. She’d told her co-worker how her apartment was set up. Josh seemed familiar with it and wasted no time in getting to work. That kind of initiative already set him apart from most of the men she’d known.
“So Mia says you’re quite the handyman,” she said, trying not to get too smitten with a guy she’d just met.
“She only said that because I fixed her car for $100 after some other mechanic said it would cost $1500,” Josh replied.
“Well, knowing what we make in a week, I can see why she’d feel that way.”
“To be fair, the mechanic was an asshole who isn’t in business anymore,” Josh said, “and it was just a filthy spark plug. I’m just a contractor by trade, but even I know how basic machines work. Nobody should get gouged like that just to fix something that simple.”
“If only the world were that fair,” Delila said with a smile.
“If only,” Josh said, smiling back.
Now, she was blushing. Her efforts to distract herself from how cute Josh was did the opposite. Her face was almost as warm as her inner thighs. That might have been a nice way to cope with the cold weather, but it made for an awkward situation. Then again, that was a step up from a broken situation.
Rather than risk heating up other parts of her body, she fell silent and let Josh get to work. She started pacing again as he propped the door open and turned on the light inside the utility room. In just a T-shirt and dirty jeans, he retrieved some tools and went to work. Delila didn’t pay too much attention, if only because seeing him on his back gave her too many lurid thoughts. She also sought to stay out of his way so that he could work without some broken woman like her bothering him.
“I’ve seen these models before,” he said as he took off the panels and started tinkering. “They’re old, but they’re usually reliable. When did it stop working?”
“About three days ago,” Delila answered, trying to sound casual. “I don’t know what happened. One day, I just came home from the office and it wasn’t on.”
“Did it ever make any noises? Did it ever start smelling funny?”
“Nope. I tried adjusting the thermostat. I tried calling the building manager, as well.”
“And what did he say?” Josh asked.
“That he’ll get back to me in a few hours. That was two days ago. I’ve been getting his voicemail ever since.”
“That’s never a good sign.”
“Yeah, I figured that when the neighbor told me he tends to take his time with repair,” Delila said, rolling her eyes. “It’s his way of telling us to call a goddamn repair man and pay for it ourselves.”
“In other words he’s inept, lazy, cheap, or all three,” Josh said with a chuckle.
“Trust me. It’s all three,” Delila said, laughing as well.
It felt good to laugh. In fact, it felt better than it should have and not just because she hadn’t had much to laugh about in months. Just being around someone who wasn’t as broken as her felt refreshing. Him being an attractive man on top of that was just a bonus…a very appealing bonus.
Delila stopped pacing for a moment and turned back towards Josh. He was peering into an open panel of electronics and shining a flashlight into it. She could smell the dust and grime from across the room. It didn’t seem to bother him, though. That just made him more attractive in her eyes. The idea that a man could get his hands dirty and not care had a lot of appeal.
“It doesn’t look like anything is burnt out or damaged,” he said. “If it wasn’t making noise, then I doubt any of the moving parts are the problem. That’s a good thing because it means it must be something minor.”
“I hope so,” Delila said, “but you should know that lately, the line between minor and catastrophic hasn’t been very clear for things in my world.”
“You have my sympathy,” Josh said. “I’m tempted to ask questions, but I’ll resist for the sake of your heater.”
“I don’t mind if you give into a little temptation,” she said under her breath.
“What was that?” he asked, looking up from his work briefly.
“Nothing!” she said quickly. “I just said…I appreciate your help.”
He cast her a bemused grin. He clearly didn’t believe her. Delila had always been a terrible liar, especially in the presence of attractive men. Her ex-fiance didn’t like that for some reason. Josh didn’t seem to mind at all. That just made her blush even more.
“I have a theory,” Josh said as he went back to work. “If I’m right, then the only thing you need to fix your heater is a part that cost less than $15.”
“I hope it’s right,” said Delila, “but I’m not sure the universe will allow it at this point.”
“The wires seem to be working. It’s just the thermocouple that’s busted. As it just so happens, I have a few spares from a job I did a couple weeks ago. I’ll replace it and see if that does the trick.”
“Do what you have to do, Josh. If you can fix this, then that’ll be the first broken thing in my life to get fixed in months.”
“Then, I better be right.”
He sounded oddly determined, as though he’d made it his mission to make her less miserable. For a handyman she wasn’t even paying, it just made him even more attractive.
Delila silent again and let him work, breaking out more tools and getting his hands even dirtier. She found herself pacing once more, but not to keep warm. She kept glancing back towards Josh and then at the window. While her body had reacted strongly to the presence of an attractive man, her mind still struggled to catch up. By letting herself think beyond the activity in certain parts of her body, she came to a few realizations.
Everything in her life felt broken, but she hadn’t done a lot to fix it. She hadn’t gotten her hands dirty like Josh was with her heater. She just lamented and fumed about it. She knew how bad things had gotten, but didn’t make an effort to make things better. It put the past eight months in a new light.
“I need to start fixing my own shit,” she said under her breath. “I can’t just assume things will fix themselves anymore.”
Delila sighed again and shook her head. It was a harsh, but overdue realization. It meant she would have to make some major changes that included bold decisions.
As she contemplated what that might entail, she heard a welcome sound. The heater had turned on. It was working again.
“Success!” Josh proclaimed. “It was the thermocouple. Your heater is officially fixed, Delila.”
Those words almost sounded alien, the idea of something in her life getting fixed. They still had a profound effect.
“It’s working again,” she said with a beaming smile. “I can already feel it.”
“See? It was something minor,” Josh said as he closed the panel and got up from the floor. “Things can be fixed if you know what to tweak.”
“Yes,” she said distantly, “I suppose they can.”
She began stopped pacing and stood under one of the heating vents. She could already feel the warm air blowing into the room, providing some badly-needed warmth after several cold nights. Already, the heavy sweatshirt she’d been wearing felt unnecessary. As if to celebrate having something fixed, she took it off and even kicked off her slippers.
“It’s actually getting warm in here again,” Delila said. “I’ll be able to sleep without hiding under three blankets tonight.”
“It’s a good thing too. It’s supposed to get below zero tonight,” said Josh as he packed up some of his tools.
“And it’s all thanks to you,” she added. “You…a handyman who managed to fix something in my life.”
Delila didn’t intend for those words to come off so dramatically, but it was too late. Josh didn’t seem to mind, either. He just smiled back at her, still in those dirty clothes that showed off his manly physique. He was already attractive. Now, after fixing her heater, he was the sexiest human being in the world in her eyes.
As if to acknowledge that feeling, Delila dared to be a little bolder. She shed her sweatpants like she had her slippers and sweatshirt. It wasn’t lost on her that doing so left her in only a T-shirt and a pair of panties. It definitely got Josh’s attention, though.
“Um…what are you doing, Delila?” he asked with a wry grin.
“What does it look like?” she said playfully. “I’m enjoying the benefits of a functioning heater.”
“So when it’s working, you always lounge around in your underwear?” Josh questioned.
“Not always,” she replied, “but when I’m in a certain mood or have a good reason…”
Her words trailed off. Josh, his hands still dirty and his shirt stained with dust, just stood before her in a surprised daze. However, a grin never left his face. He clearly liked seeing her with minimal clothing. That assured her he would love seeing her in no clothing at all.
“Delila,” he said, sounding awkward, yet curious, “if this is your way of thanking me, you should know that’s not necessary.”
“I know it’s not,” she said as she casually approached, sensually swaying her hips with every step.
“Not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment, but I’d rather not owe Mia more favors.”
“Mia doesn’t have to know. No one else has to know. I doubt they’d believe you if you told them because what I’m about to do is a complete break in character.”
She sounded like an entirely different woman, one who wasn’t just relieved that her heater was working again. The same woman who’d been so broken when the day began had stepped aside. A newer, bolder Delila Preston took her place.
Josh seemed fond of that new Delila already. He offered no resistance as she walked up to him, slipped her arms around his neck, and embraced him in a way that let their clothed bodies touch. She even made it a point to rub her thigh up against his groin, if only to get his blood flowing in the right direction. He reacted favorably, those dirty hands of his slipping around her waist.
“Josh, you don’t know me very well,” she said to him, “and trust me. Your timing couldn’t be better.”
“I already believe that,” he said, his hands trembling as he felt up her womanly curves.
“Eight months ago, I was a very different woman. I was surrounded by good circumstances – good family, good friends, and even an ex-fiancé.”
“Yes, the ex indicating that something broke…something big. Everything had always been so good. I never had to fix anything. It all just worked itself out. I never thought much of it, but then when just one thing broke…”
She stopped herself as the memories came rushing back. It happened over the course of many months, but it felt like one long breakdown. Her fiancé cheated on her. She lost her job. Her brother has to live at home with their parents while he recovered from his military service. Her heater breaking was just part of that breakdown. Josh fixing it had an impact that went beyond the temperature in her apartment.
“When you come from that world, it doesn’t take much,” Delila went on. “Everything starts snowballing. Nothing works anymore. You don’t know how to fix anything because you’ve never had to. Things just fixed themselves.”
“So…what are you looking to fix now?” Josh said in a curious tone. “Is something other than your heater broken? Because you might need a different handyman for that.”
“Believe me. I’m looking at the best handyman in the world right now. He fixed my heater. If he can do that, then he can definitely help me fix another part of my life that won’t fix itself.”
With focused energy, coupled with the rising temperature in her apartment, Delila leaned in and kissed the burly man who’d gotten a small part of her life working again. He eagerly kissed back, her touch and her gestures drawing him into her impassioned state. She didn’t care that his face was unshaven and his hair was messy. If anything, that turned her on even more.
“Delila,” Josh gasped. “You kiss…like someone who needs more than a working heater.”
“You want to help me fix that too?” she said seductively. “If so, you’re going to need another tool.”
She rubbed her thigh up against his crotch a little harder. Already, she felt a hardness forming in his pants. The grin on his face widened. The man must have had a fetish for broken things and broken people.
“Well, I wouldn’t be much of a handyman if I didn’t come equipped for any job now, would I?” Josh said.
“No. You wouldn’t,” Delila said curtly.
“And just so you know, I didn’t shower this morning and I worked all day yesterday. My last two girlfriends did not like being this intimate with a guy who enjoys working in dirty places.”
“With all due respect to your ex-girlfriends, they’re assholes. A man who enjoys working in dirty places deserves a special kind of intimacy!”
Making clear that his disheveled state was a turn-on, she kissed him again and pressed her body up against his. Her breasts pressed against his chest. Her hands snuck under his shirt, not at all dissuaded by the dust and grime from the floor. If he were bolder with his hands, he would’ve felt how wet she was between her legs. He was too professional for that, but she intended to communicate that desire in other more obvious ways.
The kissing quickly intensified, morphing into full-fledged foreplay. She pawed his chest while he felt up her womanly curves. As their lips and tongues twirled, she led him over to the living room in which she’d been pacing moments ago. Along the way, they shed their ruffled clothes. She pulled his shirt off over his head and undid his pants. While he stumbled to get them off, she removed her t-shirt, revealing that she hadn’t been wearing a bra.
“Wow,” Josh said as he got an eyeful of her breasts. “You have beautiful tits.”
“Tits that need those skilled hands of yours,” she teased.
Delila helped him out of his pants, allowing him to kick off his shoes and socks in the process. She also got his boxers off too, freeing his semi-hard manhood that she had done so much to stimulate. In his full glory, she saw very unkempt, but very manly figure. The fact that he’d used that figure to fix her heater just made her wetter between the legs.
After he kicked aside his pants, they arrived at her couch. Before pulling him into another embrace, she slipped out of her panties. Now fully nude, she guided him onto her couch where they turned their basic foreplay into a heated make-out session.
Showing more initiative than she’d ever shown with her ex-fiancé, she pinned him down and got on top of him, allowing their naked flesh to get acquainted. Hands roamed freely and lips twirled passionately. It led to a state of heated arousal, which felt extra special on such a cold winter day.
By then, her fixed heater had done plenty to warm up her apartment. However, it couldn’t hurt to make some heat of their own.
“Mmm…Josh,” Delila purred as she ran her fingers over his bearded complexion. “It’s still a little cold in here.”
“It is,” Josh said with his hands on her butt as he lay under her. “Want me to take another look at the heater?”
“You could,” she said playfully, “or you could just make hot, sweaty love to me right here on this couch.”
“Well, the handyman in me is tempted to look at the machine.”
“Need me to tempt you any more to convince you?”
“Nope! I already know what needs fixing here.”
With the same energy and spirit he’d shown while fixing her heater, Josh rolled her over on the couch so that she was on her back with her head against the arm. He then hitched one leg around his waist and let the other drape over the edge as he guided his manhood towards her wet entrance. Once in position, he entered her with ease and her womanly flesh embraced him.
“Ooh Josh!” Delila moaned. “My…my sexy handyman!”
“Your handyman…I like that!” Josh said gleefully.
With a real workman’s attitude, he went to work making love to her as only a skilled handyman could. He was a careful and thorough as he’d been with her heater, delivering every thrust as though it were a specific tweak. It set every pleasure-based nerve in her lower body ablaze. She let out loud moans that reverberated throughout her cramped apartment, eagerly supplanting his efforts with passionate gestures of her own.
Her world rocked and so did the couch. His manly sinews grazed perfectly against her feminine curves. It was so hot that they actually worked up a sweat, which was no easy feat in an apartment that had been without a functioning heater for three days. She and Josh still did it, though. Something about that made it even more satisfying.
“Josh! Oh Josh!” she moaned. “So hot! So hard! Oohhh I’m going to come!”
Such fervent, pleasurable lovemaking sent Delila to the brink or orgasm faster than she’d thought possible. Either her sex drive had been broken too or Josh was just more thorough than her ex-fiancé had ever dared to be. She chose to believe it was a nice bonus for a skilled handyman.
When her climax hit, Delila dug her nails into her sexy handyman’s shoulders and threw her head back in a spectacle of ecstasy. She didn’t care that she moaned so loud that she probably startled her neighbor’s dog. She had a working heater and a skilled lover. That was worth celebrating.
“Delila,” Josh gasped. “You…are amazing.”
“I can also…be handy…too,” she said breathlessly.
Making sure she wasn’t the only one putting in the effort, she kissed Josh again and pulled him into another make-out session. She didn’t dare stop their sex at just one orgasm. She barely took time to soak it all in, opting instead to channel her handyman’s dedicated spirit.
With that spirit, their flesh remained united. Their bodies shifted wildly around the couch as his manhood slithered sensually in the depths of her womanhood. Eventually, he ended up in a sitting position with her straddling his hips in an upright position, riding him extra hard. It quickly led to another orgasm for her, but she made a conscious effort to ensure he got his too. When it finally came, expression tensed and his grip on her butt tightened for the final push.
“Oohhh Delila! I…I’m close!” he grunted.
“Yes, my handyman,” she moaned. “Come with me!”
In a final push, she rode him harder, gyrating her hips with a vigor she’d never attempted in her most intimate moments. It helped send Josh over the edge. His grip on her hips tightened, his face contorted, and his manhood throbbed inside her in accord with his release. Seeing him writhe in ecstasy helped her achieve another peak as well, allowing their juices to mix in an intimate heat.
“I think…we’re fixed,” she panted.
“Fixed…yeah,” Josh said breathlessly.
It made for a hot, passionate moment on a cold dreary, day. With her heater going strong, they worked up quite a sweat. The movement ceased and Delila just clung to her handyman, letting him savor his peak. When it passed, she rose up off his member and collapsed with him on the couch.
For a moment, they just laid there in silence, still naked and dazed. The only noise came from the heater, which felt fitting. When it broke, it felt like the last straw for Delila. Now that it had been fixed, thanks to her handsome handyman, it felt like she just took the first step towards fixing her life.
“Hey Josh,” she said, still curled up in his arms.
“Yes, Delila?” he replied, now resting his chin on her shoulder.
“Thanks for fixing my heater.”
“You’re welcome,” he laughed, “and by heater, you mean your actual heater, right?”
“You know what I mean,” she said, laughing as well.
“Just checking,” he said.
“I also meant in general,” she said, giving his hand an affectionate squeeze. “This morning, everything in my life was broken. I only ever dealt with it by lamenting how broken it was. Now, after you helped fix just one thing, I feel like I’m ready to fix even more.”
“Glad I could help,” he said with another beaming grin. “After all, that’s what good handymen do!”
What would you say about a man who constantly yells, curses like a sailor on crack, and constantly threatens to put his kids through a wall? On the surface, it sounds like this guy has some serious anger issues. You would probably suspect there’s something wrong with him and that he needs help from a competent therapist.
Then, after you find out that man’s name is Frank Murphy from the animated show, “F is for Family,” you quickly realize that even the best therapist in the world couldn’t do squat for this man. His anger, cursing, and threats of intentional property damage are entirely understandable. In fact, he would need a therapist if he didn’t exhibit some level of anger.
That’s because Frank Murphy, along with every other major theme in “F is for Family,” is the personification of the disillusion of the American Dream. Take everything you think you know about what it means to work hard, get ahead, and achieve your goals in life. Then, kick it in the gut, spit on it, and throw it through a brick wall. That’s Frank Murphy’s life. That’s what “F is for Family” is all about.
I only recently discovered this show while browsing Netflix and I’m glad I did. “F is for Family” is one of those shows that takes an overdone concept, like a dysfunctional cartoon family, and injects it with some overdue nuance. This isn’t a show about a bumbling dad, a nagging mom, or mischievous kids. The issues and themes in “F is for Family” feel genuinely relevant to the current state of the world.
For a show that takes place in the 1970s, that’s quite an accomplishment. At the same time, it makes sense for this show to take place during that particular time period in America because that’s when the hopes, dreams, and optimism of the post-World War II economic boom began to falter. They just faltered a lot faster for Frank Murphy and his family.
In many respects, Frank’s short-tempered persona is a byproduct of that decline. Throughout the show, it’s clear that Frank underwent a significant transformation. He wasn’t always this rage-filled working stiff who jumps at any chance to cuss out anyone in close proximity. He was once an upbeat, optimistic man who reflected the spirit of his time and his country. This is even reflected in the show’s opening theme.
He starts off as an idealistic youth. Born in 1931, he enters adulthood just as his country returns victorious from World War II. Like others before him, he serves his country after getting drafted in the Korean War. He returns home somewhat scarred, but still optimistic about his future. In 1958, he has dreams of flying airplanes and marrying Sue, a young woman in college at the time.
By all accounts, Frank plays by the rules. He works hard and carries out his duty as well as anyone can expect. He’s not some thick-headed dope like Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin. He’s also not some misanthropic underachiever like Al Bundy. He can speak in complete sentences, form coherent thoughts, and demonstrate an average level of competence.
He is, for the most part, an appropriate representation of a working class man trying to provide for his family. The problem, and the frequent source of his anger, is that his efforts often go unrewarded and unappreciated. In some cases, he gets completely screwed over, both by forces beyond his control and by unexpected consequences from his behavior.
In the first season, he works hard and sucks up to his asshole boss, Lance Dunbarton, to get a promotion at the airport he works at as a baggage handler. He even manages to avert a strike on Christmas Eve. Rather than get rewarded for this effort, he gets fired.
In the second season, he gets a chance to return to work, but the way he confronts his former supervisor, Bob Pogo, ends up making his situation worse.
Along the way, Frank also attempts to deal with the constant dysfunction of his family, which includes a rebellious teenage son, a wimpy pre-teen son who gets bullied at every turn, and a young daughter who refuses to conform to traditional gender norms. On top of all that, his wife is dissatisfied with just being a housewife and her efforts to achieve her own dreams cause plenty of marital strife.
At every level, Frank Murphy’s life is not the at all consistent with what the American dream had promised. Instead of the white picket fence with a content wife and well-behaved kids, his life is a constantly-devolving mess. No matter how hard he works or how much he plays by the rules, nothing seems to improve. Things only ever get more frustrating. After only a few episodes, it’s easy to understand why Frank is so angry.
To some extent, Frank Murphy is a fitting personification of Murphy’s Law. That’s not to say that everything goes wrong for him all the time, but through three eventful seasons, his attempts to improve his lot in life never works out. For every step forward he takes, he suffers a major setback.
He finally gets his job back at the airport where he hopes to pursue his dream as a pilot. Then, he gets his wife pregnant and they have to put their dreams on hold again.
He tries to improve things with Sue by taking his wife out for a romantic evening on their anniversary, but ends up getting into a major fight that makes everything worse.
Even his family isn’t immune to this regressive trap. While Frank struggles to find a stable job, Sue attempts to enter the working world, only to have her dreams crushed when the company she works for steals her invention. On top of that, she works in an office where she’s constantly belittled, harassed, and demeaned by co-workers whose conduct makes Don Draper look like a hippie.
His rebellious son also has dreams of becoming a rock star, but ends up getting kicked out of his band after a breakdown involving his drug-loving neighbor’s busty girlfriend. In season 3, he tries to reinvent himself and he tries to find a sense of belonging with a new group of friends. The end result is him getting arrested and spending a night in jail.
His youngest son, Bill Murphy, learns these harsh lessons even earlier than his father. He also tries to work hard and play by the rules. He tries to stand up for himself and confront the bully who torments him. Like his father, though, he ends up making things worse. I won’t get too deep into spoilers, but I will note that there’s some heavy arson and awkward boners involved.
Even his brainy daughter, Maureen, isn’t immune from it. Being a young girl in the early 1970s, her dreams are limited. Even when she aims low, like winning a ring toss contest on kids show, it still fails and through no fault of her own. Like her parents and brothers, the world seems determined to deny her any semblance of success.
If the essence of satire is to offer scathing criticism of a particular social construct, as those who edit Wikipedia imply, then “F is for Family” is a direct attack on the ideals and assumptions we associate with the American Dream. It never gets overly-nihilistic like “Rick and Morty” or “Bojack Horseman.” With every episode and sub-plot, it chips away at the foundation on which that dream is built.
It’s established throughout the show Frank and Sue were both in a position to achieve that dream. They were on a promising path with Sue being in college and Frank wanting to become a pilot. Even when they faced a major obstacle, namely Sue getting pregnant, they tried to do the right thing. They sacrificed for each other and their family.
In any other narrative, their responsible behavior would be rewarded. By the standards of the American Dream, they did the right thing. They got married and tried to provide for their family. However, despite those sacrifices, they’re repeatedly denied their dreams. At the end of the day, doing the right thing and playing by the rules just doesn’t cut it.
Frank watches as his obese, slob of a boss screws him over on Christmas Eve. Sue watches as the company that made her so miserable steals her idea and profits from it. Their kids watch as the world around them rewards and punishes those who don’t deserve it. The only ones who ever seem to benefit are those strong enough to skirt the rules or well-connected enough to bend them.
In that context, it’s fitting that “F is for Family” takes place in the 1970s. That marked the end of the post-World War II economic boom and the beginning of major economic decline from which working class people never recovered. The well-paying, blue-collar jobs that once allowed a man like Frank Murphy to support his family are long gone thanks to the rise of automation and globalization.
While the show never dives too deep into the complexities of this decline, it provides a great deal of crude tongue-in-cheek humor that reveals just how flawed the American Dream had become at that point. There are not-too-subtle jokes about women, minorities, family life, politics, and the media that highlight just how flawed the system is. Frank Murphy is just the guy who gets screwed more than most.
In the end, though, that’s what makes “F is for Family” the ultimate satire for the idealized narrative we associate with the American Dream. It shows that this notion that a hard-working, self-sacrificing working man who plays by the rules will achieve his dream is nothing more than a bad fairy tale. Frank does everything society expects a working class man to do and rewards him with jack squat.
Given everything he endures, from abandoning his dreams of becoming a pilot so he could provide for a family that rarely shows him any gratitude, I’ll rephrase the question I asked earlier. What would you say about a man like Frank Murphy, who played by the rules and bought into the American Dream, only to see it screw him over at every turn? Can you really blame him for being so angry?
Making love is inherently fun. Most people already understand that and I’ve done plenty to celebrate that in my novels and my sexy short stories. It’s one of those activities that, if done right, needs little nuance to be enjoyable. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no room for extra fun and games.
By that, I don’t mean role playing or BDSM. Those can be fun too, but they tend to be more elaborate. Not everyone can fully embrace a role or master the art of BDSM on a whim. When it comes to mixing things up a bit, there’s definitely a place for that. It doesn’t even have to be overly kinky. It just has to add a little extra incentive.
When I was in college, I knew a guy whose girlfriend played this game where he had to use his facial hair to stimulate certain parts of her body. Trust me. It’s sexier than it sounds. It gave my friend an excuse to get extra intimate with his girlfriend’s body and it gave his girlfriend a unique way to enjoy herself. They had a very health relationship, to say the least.
Maybe the games can be a bit more elaborate. Maybe there can be competition involved, one in which wins are measured by orgasms. In those games, nobody truly loses. That’s why I’m dedicating this Daily Sexy Musing to the spirit of the games that lovers play to add extra fun to their sex lives. Enjoy!
It’s a quiet night. We’re both in the mood. I have too much energy to sleep and too little desire to venture outside our bedroom. It would be easy to just channel it all into making love to you, rocking the bed and denting the walls with our passion. Then again, our love is special and no love becomes special by doing things the easy way.
You look at me with that playful glint.
You touch me like an unwrapped gift on Christmas morning.
You whisper into my ear what you want.
I get the message, loud and clear. Acting on our desires just isn’t enough. We may be adults, but we still enjoy having fun. Why not blend the playful with the sensual? Who knows what kind of feelings we’ll conjure?
There are no official rules, but plenty of unofficial guidelines. We clear our space of distractions and obstacles. We gather random assortments of toys that most don’t see as toys. From there, we let our imagination run wild. Before long, it gets dirty and sexy.
We play a game where we can only use one finger to touch.
We have a contest to see who can evoke the strongest desire with only words.
We dare each other to do strange and wonderful things.
We embrace the challenge and reap the rewards.
Laughter echoes alongside gasps of bliss. Maturity and propriety step aside while we let our inner child inspire our adult passions. We let it get messy and chaotic. We don’t keep score, but we know how to win. It’s a game within a game, but one that’s ours and ours alone.
The rules change, but the desired outcome doesn’t. Whether by playful fun or serious passion, the end result is the same. Our love takes a real, tangible form. It’s a sensation, a feeling, and a rush all its own. It’s so powerful, linking our hearts and minds as only lovers can.
It can be profound, but it can still be a lot of fun!