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May 16, 2016 · 5:56 pm

Daily Sexy Musings: Intimate Feats Of Strength

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In the vast spectrum that constitutes one’s sex appeal, strength is one of the most basic manifestations of that appeal. By strength, I don’t just mean an ability to bench press a refrigerator. Strength can take many forms, from lifting heavy boxes to giving birth to new life. At its core, it reflects an ability to forge something new into a chaotic world that doesn’t change easily.

As someone who used to be out of shape and under-motivated, I can attest to the benefits that basic strength can lend to our sex appeal. I noticed it shortly after I began working out. When I pushed myself and achieved a feat of strength, whether it was running five miles on a treadmill or bench pressing 150 pounds, I felt inherently sexier.

I can also attest that seeing women perform feats of strength makes them sexier. That’s not just my love of female superheroes talking, either. When we see someone pull off an amazing act of strength, we can’t help but feel attracted to it. Even if we’re intimidated on some levels, it gets our attention for all the right reasons.

For that reason, feeling strong and feeling sexy often go together. When we exercise or apply our strength, we demonstrate just how much we’re willing to push ourselves to achieve what we desire. It’s as sexual as it is practical. In that spirit, I hope this Daily Sexy Musing functions as both an acknowledgement and a celebration of that strength. Enjoy!

I push and pull.

I left and lug.

I grunt and grit.

Through it all, I endure the strain and you take notice.

By now, the dirt and grime has accumulated on my flesh. Sweat pours down my brow as my muscles ache from extended use. The air around me is thick with hot musk and it only gets thicker with every strenuous act. Through it all, I can feel your eyes upon me. I can also sense your intrigue growing.

My body is just a mechanism. Through it, I exact my will as best I can. To get what I want, I need strength. To get that strength, I exercise and toil. You’ve watched me every step of the way, encouraging and motivating my spirit at every turn. At first, it’s to help me. In time, however, it affects you in the most intimate ways.

The sweat provides spectacle.

The musk provides ambience.

The grit provides inspiration.

The results evoke intrigue.

I can see it in your face, thoughts and fantasies dancing across your mind. You want to see my strength applied in a more sensual context. With it, a simple touch is not so simple. Every kiss, embrace, and caress gains more power and meaning. You don’t just seek it. You crave it.

My strength is your spark.

My strength is your fuel.

My strength is a powerful signal.

I can handle the rigors of your love. You believe your desire is enough to endure my strength. Neither one of us is certain, but we’re both so eager to find out.

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Why Natalie Portman Becoming Thor Is The Biggest Story From San Diego Comic Con 2019

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If you’re a fan of comic books, superhero movies, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this past weekend was like Christmas, Halloween, the 4th of July, and the Super Bowl all rolled into one. The San Diego Comic Con is essentially the epicenter of geek culture. In recent years, it has only gotten bigger, becoming a staging area for major pop culture events. This latest convention was no exception.

While there was plenty of news to follow at this year’s Comic Con, especially for X-Men fans like me, the biggest event was always going to be Marvel Studios. It has already been a historic year for superhero movies, especially on the Marvel side of the genre. Shortly before the convention began, “Avengers Endgame” officially passed “Avatar” to become the highest grossing movie of all time.

It’s a good time to be Kevin Feige.

It’s a good time to be Bob Iger.

It’s a good time to be a Marvel fan, in general.

With the end of “Avengers Endgame,” however, the story that began in 2008 “Iron Man” has concluded. The Avengers assembled in a truly spectacular battle for the ages. Thanos is defeated. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is once again secure, but after making the highest grossing movie of all time, how can Marvel Studios keep raising the bar like this?

In Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center, the next phase of the MCU was finally revealed. Some of the announcements were expected. News of a “Black Widow” movie, as well as an “Eternals” movie, had already been reported months ago. News of a “Blade” movie within the MCU was more surprising, but that wasn’t the biggest story by a long shot.

By far, the biggest Marvel Studios news to come out of San Diego Comic Con 2019 was Natalie Portman returning as Jane Foster to play a female Thor. I’m not going to lie. When I saw this news, I had to blink a few times and slap myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Once certain this was real, it finally sunk in.

Natalie Portman is returning the MCU as Jane Foster to play a female Thor.

To appreciate why this is a huge deal to longtime comic readers like me, I need to provide a little context. Jane Foster being Thor is a concept that only recently gained prominence, thanks to one of Marvel’s top-tier writers, Jason Aaron.

Back in 2014, the Thor comics underwent a major upheaval. After a fateful encounter with Nick Fury, Thor suddenly became unworthy of lifting Mjolnir. It was a dramatic moment that defined the character for years to come. Then, after everyone in Asgard failed to lift the hammer, Jane Foster came along to wield it. In doing so, she became the new Thor.

If you haven’t read the first few volumes of that story, I cannot recommend them highly enough. Even if you’ve only seen the movies, you’ll still find plenty to love about these comics. They made me a fan of both Thor and Jane Foster. If Marvel Studios and Natalie Portman can even capture a fraction of this story’s greatness, then it’ll be a bold new era for superhero movies.

Now, make no mistake. Jane Foster becoming Thor was not without controversy. In fact, the timing of this story couldn’t have been worse. It came out right around the same time that efforts to promote diversity within superhero comics had become mired in regressive politics. It was a time when iconic characters were being replaced and new characters were being created, albeit with mixed results.

This is how mixed it got and NOT in a good way.

I’d rather not go into all the issues, controversies, and absurdities from that era, but I will say that Jane Foster becoming Thor was one of the success stories from that tenuous period. Her journey as the new Thor didn’t supplant that of her predecessor. If anything, it complemented his story. The title of Thor was greatly improved because Jane Foster wielded that hammer.

Now, Marvel Studios is in an even better position to do the same. The success of both “Wonder Woman” and “Captain Marvel” has established that there is a market for female superheroes. The events of “Avengers Endgame” also opened the door for someone else to step in without diminishing Chris Hemsworth’s character, who may still have a part to play in “Guardians of the Galaxy 3.”

It also helps that Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster has been MIA since the events of “Thor: The Dark World.” While her reasons for leaving were somewhat obscure, the announcement at San Diego left no room for ambiguity. She’s coming back and she’s going to play a major role in the next phase of the MCU.

In my opinion, this will go down as one of the most pivotal announcements in the history of the MCU. Why do I believe this is bigger than the Eternals, Blade, Black Widow, or any of the upcoming shows on the Disney+ streaming service? To answer that, it’s necessary to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

The Jane Foster that Natalie Portman played in the first two Thor movies is not the same Jane Foster who has established herself as a prominent force in the comics. Throughout her history, she has maintained a strong connection to Thor and not just as a romantic interest. In many respects, she has been the character through which ordinary, non-Asgardian people explore Thor’s world of gods, demigods, and monsters.

A big part of what made Jason Aaron’s story surrounding Jane Foster becoming Thor so powerful was how she proved her worthiness of that title. As a mortal woman with many mortal limitations, she embraced that role and proved herself against gods, monsters, and even other superheroes. It was easy to cheer her on every step of the way.

In any era, it’s a powerful story, having an ordinary human embrace god-like power to bear god-like burdens. In this current era of superhero movies, Jane Foster becoming Thor isn’t just a fitting, comics-accurate way to build her story in the MCU. It’s a story that almost feels necessary.

The MCU is a world that has become densely populated by super soldiers, aliens, gods, monsters, and demigods. With the conclusion of “Avengers Endgame,” the world is in a tenuous state. Friendships, families, and teams have been decimated due to the conflict surrounding Thanos and the Infinity Stones. There are voids to be filled, including a few once populated by gods.

Ordinary people becoming heroes is a story that the MCU has told many times before, the latest being “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Stories about ordinary people becoming gods haven’t been nearly as common and with the Eternals already poised to join the MCU, I think that story should play out in some manner, if only to keep humanity connected to this world.

Jane becoming the Goddess of Thunder is the perfect story to maintain that connection. Unlike Carol Danvers, Jane is not a soldier or a warrior. She’s a scientist who got caught up in the world of gods and superheroes, but she didn’t run from it in the comic. Now, armed with Natalie Portman’s Oscar-winning talent, she’s poised to make a similar journey in a world that needs new heroes to step up.

It’s an exciting, but uncertain time for the MCU. However, when you’ve got a story like that of Jane Foster becoming Thor and an actress as talented as Natalie Portman leading the way, the future has never been brighter.

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Jack Fisher’s Sexy Sunday Thoughts: San Diego Comic Con 2019 Edition

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For most people, the middle of July is just the epicenter of summer. School is out, the pools are open, and heat waves are the norm rather than the exception. It’s not a bad time of year by any stretch. However, if you’re a fan of comic books, superhero movies, and all things geek culture, this time of year is basically the Super Bowl and Christmas.

That’s because the San Diego Comic Con is going on and for those who love superhero comics as much as me, it’s one of the most wonderful times of the year. It’s not just about teasers, movie trailers, or news about upcoming comics. It’s an event like no other. Whether you’re a fan of the X-Men, Superman, or the Walking Dead, Comic Con has something awesome to offer.

One of the best parts this most uncanny event is the cos-players. As someone who has dressed up more than once for the New York Comic Con, I can attest the joy of this colorful side of fandom. It’s not just about geeks wearing costumes on a day that isn’t Halloween. It’s passionate fans showing how much they love something. That passion is worthy of respect.

I’ve met many amazing cos-players. Some really raise the bar their costumes. The people behind these costumes are incredible people. They love what they do and they look awesome while enjoying it. There’s so much fun to be had at events like this. One day, I hope to go to San Diego Comic Con. For now, I’m content to celebrate it and the cos-players who make it awesome with my Sexy Sunday Thoughts. Enjoy!


“Laughter might be the best medicine, but making love is far more effective at healing.”


“For many people, an orgasm is their first overtly religious proclamation.”


“To some extent, divorce is the romantic equivalent of a cancellation fee.”


“A wedding may be the best day of your life, but your honeymoon will always be the more fun.”


“Being in love means wanting to be part of someone’s life, but obsession means wanting to dominate their life.”


“Orgasms are one of the few things where quality and quantity are equally desirable.”


“Love potions in fairy tales are just kid-friendly version of a drunken hook-up.”


To all those lucky enough to attend the San Diego Comic Con and those who made it more awesome by dressing up for cos-play, I sincerely thank you. This has been an amazing year for superhero comics and superhero media. It’s hard to know what to expect, but after taking in the festivities of Comic Con, the future looks bright, colorful, and sexy. Nuff said!

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“Hot Dream” A Sexy Short Story

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The following is a sexy short story about sexy dreams, sexy bedtime activities, and what happens when you blur the line between the two. It’s compound sexiness at its finest. Enjoy!

“Another late night,” sighed a restless Victoria Rhodes. “Why do I keep doing this to myself?”

She didn’t bother answering that question as she dragged herself through the front door of the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Jason Leeroy. She tried not to make much noise. It was past midnight and she was the only one on their floor who worked such erratic hours. Even though she was used to the demands of her job at the law firm, she always seemed out of synch with those around her.

The day still shouldn’t have been that long. Several clients insisted on dragging out basic legal proceedings and, ever the opportunist, she volunteered to cover the overtime. It should’ve been over in time for dinner. Instead, it went past sundown and beyond.

“Hell, I know why I do it,” she muttered as she closed the door behind her. “The real question is why I drag the people I love through the muck?”

Setting aside her keys and purse, Victoria gazed into the darkened apartment to see that her work life and personal life were woefully unbalanced. There was a half-eaten bowl of popcorn on the sofa and a bunch of disheveled blankets strewn over the sides. It reminded her that she’d promised that she’d be home in time to catch up on some shows they’d been binge-watching. Once again, she broke that promise.

She hated breaking her promises, especially to someone who’d been so patient with her. Many of Victoria’s past relationships failed because her lovers couldn’t keep up with her ambition. Jason was the first to last more than a year as she pursued her goal of leading a major law firm. He just kept supporting her and she kept giving him reasons to regret it.

“I’ll make it up to you, Jason,” Victoria said under her breath. “I know I say that a lot, but I mean it. I really do.”

Sighing to herself and shaking her head, she made her way to the bathroom, stripped out of her overpriced business attire, grabbed a towel, and prepared herself for bed. She was tired, but still very restless. She wasn’t sure she could sleep, but she had to try. At the very least, she had to be rested so she could properly apologize to Jason in the morning.

“Quit making excuses,” Victoria told her reflection after washing her face. “You’ve found someone who loves and supports you. Don’t take it for granted.”

Still leaning over the sink, her face still wet and her mind still racing from a long day, she cast herself one last critical scold. Assuming she’d have plenty of time to resent herself tomorrow, she set aside the towel and retrieved a nighty from the laundry hamper. That was something else she should’ve done after work, taking care of the laundry that had piled up. It was yet another thing Victoria kept putting off.

Again, she set that issue aside and focused on getting some much needed rest. Now earing her black nighty and the same white panties she’d put on that morning, she turned off the light and retreated to the master bedroom she shared with Jason.

Not surprisingly, he was already fast asleep, the comforter barely covering his legs and waist. He looked peaceful, more relaxed and content than she’d ever been. It came so easy to him. It probably helped that he worked in the music industry, often with jazz artists and soft rock groups. She envied that ability to just lay back, unwind, and let a stressful day just melt away.

“Oh Jason,” Victoria said under her breath. “Finding peace comes so easy to you. If only we all had that talent.”

With a yawn and a light stretch, she carefully pulled back the covers and slipped into bed with her lover. His warm presence, alone, was enough to ease her anxious mind to some extent. As she snuggled up to him, though, she noticed something else.

He was naked. That was somewhat surprising. While it wasn’t that unusual for Jason to sleep naked, it rarely did so without the influence of a major summer heat wave. Even if it was the middle of spring, she still expected him to wear boxers. Having seen him naked many times before, as well as slept with him, Victoria shrugged it off.

Then, as she curled up closer, she noticed something else that further explained why he’d ditched the boxer shorts. Jason had a full-blown erection.

“Whoa,” Victoria said. “Someone is having a nice dream.”

As she laid next to her lover’s sleeping form, she sensed her observation had been more accurate than expected. That erection matter of male reflexes or morning wood. Jason really was dreaming. She could tell by his quickened breathing and rapid heartbeat. Even in the darkness, she saw how his expression shifted erratically. Those were not the signs of someone in a deep sleep.

“I stand corrected,” she said with a humored grin. “Someone is having a very hot dream.”

Jason stirred slightly in her presence, but didn’t wake up. Being such a heavy sleeper – a natural adaptation, as he called it, from having a father who played guitar and a mother who sang showtunes – it took a lot to wake him up. She didn’t think it allowed for such vivid dreaming, but the proof was rock-hard flesh pressing against the sheets.

“A hot sexy dream,” Victoria mused, “maybe that’s what I need…if only to remind myself why I push myself so damn hard.”

Snuggling closer to her lover, she found herself lightly embracing his sleeping form. In doing so, her thigh grazed over his rigid member. That got a reaction from Jason. She swore he cracked a smile in his sleeping form. Something about that made Victoria smile as well.

Still restless, she rubbed her thigh against it a little more, feeling the manly flesh along her smooth skin. It wasn’t just sexy. It was oddly refreshing, reminding her that she was still young, healthy, and in love with a handsome man. That was something that shouldn’t have required a reminder in the first place, but it still felt so right.

“Mmm…guess it’s not as hard for some people…figuratively speaking,” Victoria said under her breath.

Again, she rubbed her thigh against his hardened cock. She swore it got more erect under her touch. She saw his smile widen. She also felt parts of her body react as well. Even in her restless state – or because of it, even – she felt a twinge of arousal between her thighs.

That feeling, and all the implications that came with it, inspired a new recourse. If Victoria was going to overwork herself while overwhelming those she loved, then she might as well get creative with how she managed everything. Having a naked, fully-aroused man in her bed presented a unique opportunity.

“Maybe I need more than a dream,” she said in a deep, sensual tone. “Maybe I need something more real.”

Opting to take advantage of the opportunity, Victoria channeled her sexy side – a side that she hadn’t been able to exercise in quite some time. Looking up at her lover and recounting how her work habits had hindered their love life, she suddenly felt motivated to rectify that.

With a mischievous grin, she lightly pulled the covers back to reveal Jason’s rock-hard boner. For a brief moment, she marveled at how a man could get so aroused in his sleep. It helped that her lover was very well-endowed. Jason’s older brother once joked that the men in their family had their most extraordinary traits hidden by their ordinary stature. Seeing his manhood at full arousal made clear that it was no joke.

Victoria, already licking her lips intently, carefully grasped the hardened shaft with both hands. Jason reacted again, shifting a bit in the bed, but remaining asleep. Once he settled, the restless woman dared to take the intimate moment even further. Using a careful mix of tact and affection, she leaned in and began giving him oral sex.

“Mmm…yeah,” Jason gasped in his sleep.

It was a good sign. He must have thought he was having an especially vivid dream. Something about that encouraged Victoria even more. Glancing up at her lover through the darkness, she grew bolder and began sucking him off.

She was more careful than usual, going nice and slow, trailing her lips and tongue along the length of his cock. He was so hard. She could feel the veins bulging around her lips, throbbing with the kind of masculine arousal that evoked the most primal of desires. Tasting, licking, and savoring his manly flesh, the experience didn’t just intensify her own arousal. It helped purge from her the anxiety that had followed her home from work.

“You like it. I know you do,” she whispered, adding more vivid details to her lover’s dream. “I like it too. It’s getting me so wet.”

That wasn’t just dirty talk. As she continued sucking her lover’s cock, she felt her own horniness escalate from a twinge of heat to a firestorm of arousal. At one point, she released one hand from the base of Jason’s cock and slipped it into her panties, fingering and stimulating her outer folds to maximize her arousal.

Soon, they were both fully aroused. His dick was so hard and her pussy was so wet. Looking back up at her lover’s sleeping form, it might have been easy to just keep sucking until he got off. That way, she could convince Jason that he’d just had an especially graphic wet dream. However, that would’ve left her unsatisfied. It also wouldn’t have come close to making up for her broken promise.

“I can tell you want more, my love,” Victoria whispered to her sleeping lover. “Don’t worry. You’ll get exactly what you need. We both will.”

Like a sexy spirit of the night, she rose up and took off her clothes, sliding her nighty off over her head and slipping out of her panties. Once she was every bit as naked as her lover, she tactfully crawled atop his sleeping form. From there, she straddled his waist and aligned his cock with her pussy. Then, with the utmost care, she lowered herself onto him, his rigid flesh penetrating her moist folds in an intimate melding of their bodies.

“Ooh Jason!” she gasped in a muted tone.

She tired her best to not be too loud. That wasn’t easy under the weight of the intense sensations that followed. Somehow, whether by miracle or her ability to silence herself in the heat of the moment, Jason remained asleep. They were having sex, their intimate flesh fully entwined, and her lover was asleep. If it didn’t feel so good, it would’ve been hilarious.

However, Victoria’s first instinct wasn’t to laugh. With her throbbing pussy now squeezing Jason’s cock, she remained focused on turning his sexy dream into a blissful reality. She began moving her body, digging her knees into the bed and lightly holding onto his waist. Back and forth, she maneuvered her hips, working her folds along the length of his manhood. Along the way, she rubbed her swollen clit, supplementing every movement with more hot sensations. Even under such a steady, careful rhythm, the feeling quickly intensified.

“Jason…Jason, my love,” Victoria gasped.

“Victoria,” he gasped in a sleepy dazed.

Hearing him say her name, even in his current state, warmed her heart and gave greater meaning to their sex. For all she knew, his sexy dreams involved ex-girlfriends and celebrity bimbos he saw on TV. That wasn’t the case, though. In his sexiest dreams, she was there. She was part of those fantasies. If she hadn’t already been madly in love with him, she would’ve fallen for him on the spot.

“Yes, my darling. I’m here…with you…in your dreams,” she whispered in between blissful gasps.

Whether by instinct or reflex, Jason’s hands found their way to her hips. Victoria quickly took them and guided them to her breasts, allowing him to squeeze them as she rode his cock closer to the brink. She could tell by the way his expression contorted that he was close. She quickly made her way to that special plateau, as well.

She didn’t know if a man had ever brought his lover to orgasm in his sleep, but it couldn’t have been too common. It felt like one of those rare confluence of events that wasn’t impossible, but still improbable. Whatever the odds, it was happening with her and Jason. Victoria was about to climax and so was her lover.

She applied more pressure to her clit, digging her knees and feet into the bed even harder as she jerked her hips through a few more successive motions. She could already feel her lover’s cock throbbing inside her. He was about to pop his load. Then, just as his face contorted to the sweet sensations of his release, she felt it.

“Ohhh Jason!” Victoria moaned, no longer trying to mute herself.

It was like a blanket of bliss covering her from every angle, all those pent-up feelings from excessive work and broken promises washing away in that one moment. Like a woman possessed, she writhed atop her lover, closing her eyes and arching her back as the ripples of ecstasy coursed through her body.

The hard, rapid contractions of her inner muscles helped Jason get his share of ecstasy too. His moans complimented hers as he released a thick stream of manly fluid into her depths, their sexual juices converging in a perfect blend of ecstasy. It embodied the perfect feeling for such an unique set of events.

Coming home late, she’d expected to find her lover fast asleep. Finding him aroused, caught up in a very sexy dream, defied more than her expectations. It felt like a sign, of sorts. Even at a time when she was overworked and overwhelmed, there were opportunities to embrace those intimate passions that made all the work worthwhile.

After soaking in the feeling, committing every blissful sensation and the lessons they carried to memory, Victoria let out a content sighed and rolled off her lover. Their flesh now parted, she curled up next to Jason’s naked body, the post-coital afterglow doing plenty to ease her restlessness. Finally, she felt like she could get some much-needed sleep.

“That was great,” said Jason in an unexpected voiced.

Jarred from her dazed state, Victoria opened her eyes to see a beaming grin on her lover’s face.

“Jason…how long have you been awake?” she asked with an embarrassed, but amused look.

“Since I felt a beautiful woman crawl into bed with me,” he replied.

“And the raging boner you had before that?”

“What can I say?” Jason said with an innocent shrug. “I was having a hot dream. You just helped make it hotter.”

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Daily Sexy Musing: Leaving A Mark

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Love leaves a mark. Anyone who has ever been in love knows that. Sometimes, it’s an invisible mark. It’s something that’s etched in your memories, your emotions, and your entire sense of being. You don’t always seek it, but when you find it, you know it’s there.

The same can be said for less romantic forms of passion. By that, I don’t just mean the kinkier side of passion. That’s certainly there and that can definitely leave a unique set of marks. There are times when we just lose ourselves in the moment and wake up with scratch marks we don’t remember getting. They don’t always sting at first, but they too can leave a mark.

They’re among the few tangible manifestations of passion. They can occur in a meaningless one night stand just as often as wedding anniversary. As a romance fan, these moments are among my favorite. They make for some of the most powerful moments in my novels and sexy short stories. When it comes to my personal life, I hope I can leave a mark like that on someone and vice versa.

To date, one of the most memorable marks I ever got from a former girlfriend was a hickey on my neck. I had to hide it under my shirt for a while, but I was genuinely proud of it. Even though she apologized for it, I still didn’t mind. It was actually kind of sweet in its own special way.

Even if you’re not a romance fan, love and lust will find a way to make an impact. That’s what makes it so powerful. Whether it’s etched on your body or within a memory, you’re going to feel it throughout your life. It can be beautiful, bittersweet, and overwhelming. With this Daily Sexy Musing, I hope to capture all of that. Enjoy!

It starts with your lips.

It flows from your hands.

It echoes in your words.

It erupts through your nails.

I sense it in our most intimate moments. When your passion turns to actions, I am at its mercy. I readily subject myself to it. You’re so wild and free. Every gesture becomes a manifestation of our love. When it hits me, it hits hard. Every time I feel it, I want to feel more.

I feel it on my flesh.

I feel it in my mind.

I feel it in my soul.

From the echoes of your gasp, I forge immutable memories. It plays out like a scene from a movie, so graphic and unfiltered. You hold nothing back and neither do you. When you rake your fingers over my body, every nerve ignites with sensation. Some burn more than most, leaving marks that won’t readily heal.

That’s okay. I don’t want them to heal. To love someone is to be vulnerable and being vulnerable means enduring strain. It demonstrates what we’re willing to do for one another. I’ll put myself in your line of fire. You can unleash the full extent of your passion. I can take it. I welcome it.

You accept my invitation.

You unleash the full force of your passion.

You leave your mark.

Now, I intend to leave mine.

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The Flaw In Happy Endings According To “Bojack Horseman”

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The world can be a harsh, unforgiving place. The extent of that harshness often depends on circumstances, attitude, and even blind luck. Most people, no matter how rich or successful they are, learn that lesson at some point in their lives. It’s rarely pleasant and often leaves scars that don’t heal.

Even with those scars, many cling to a hopeful, wide-eyed idealism about how much better the world could be. Moreover, that world is worth pursuing at every turn. TV shows, movies, music, and literature convinces us that it can be done and still have plenty of room for commercials, ads, and movie trailers. Nearly every great narrative tries to sell us on some unique kind of world-healing happy ending.

Then, there’s the strange and exceedingly depressing world of “Bojack Horseman.” If ever there was a show that went out of its way to kill happy endings with the force of a billion gut punches, it’s this one. Think of all our most cherished ideals from popular media, social movements, and ideology, in general. “Bojack Horseman” finds a way to crush it all while still being funny, albeit in its own dark way.

I promise it’s funnier than you think.

I say that as someone who has watched “Bojack Horseman” since the first season, but I find myself appreciating its dark themes more and more lately. However, it’s not just because the harshness of the real world is a lot harder to hide in the era of the internet and social media.

Recently, I had a chance to re-watch the past couple seasons. In doing so, I noticed just how much our collective worldview is built around our hope for a happy ending. Almost every character on the show, from Bojack Horseman to Diane Nguyen to Princess Caroline to Mr. Peanutbutter, is driven to achieve some idealized ending for themselves.

For Diane, she seeks to become a successful writer who exacts meaningful change through her work.

For Princess Caroline, she seeks to be an accomplished, independent woman who has it all, both in terms of career and family.

For Mr. Peanutbutter, he seeks to make everyone around him happy and pursue every new project with wide-eyed passion.

For the titular character, Bojack Horseman, pursuing that ending is more complicated. Through him, the harshness of reality seems to hit everyone and everything he comes across. It’s not always through his actions, which are often selfish, reckless, and downright deplorable. His story, which helps drive the show from the beginning, reveals how pursuing idealism can leave us vulnerable at best and destroyed at worst.

To understand how the show does this, it’s necessary to understand what makes this show both unique and appealing. If you only watch the first few episodes, then “Bojack Horseman” doesn’t come off as all that deep. It just seems like a story about a narcissistic washed-up actor who happens to be an anthropomorphic horse in a world full of various human/animal hybrids.

After a while, though, you start to appreciate how Bojack reflects the ugly reality of self-centered celebrities. Whether they’re at the height of their popularity or have been out of work for years, they live in a world that basically requires them to be utterly self-absorbed and completely detached from reality. Living in that world tends to obscure what reality is and provides one too many mechanisms for escaping it.

In the show that made him famous, “Horsin’ Around,” everything was skewed. Every problem was solved within a half-hour. Everyone was happy by the end of the episode. Bojack seems at his happiest and most fulfilled when the cameras are rolling and the show is on. Behind the scenes, which is where most of the show takes place, the ugliness of his reality takes hold.

Without the show, that ugliness consumes him. Over time, it wears on him, causing him to seek that idealized ending that his show often espoused. Throughout multiple seasons, it leads him down many paths. At the same time, others like Diane, Princess Carolyn, and Todd Chavez attempt paths of their own.

From this foundation, any number of ideals can take hold. In Hollywood, or “Hollywoo” as it comes to be called in the show for hilarious reasons, an entire industry is built around telling stories or crafting media that either champion those ideals or distract people from reality. For someone like Bojack, who gets crushed by reality harder than most, it’s the worst place for him to be.

Bojack, and his colorful cast of supporting characters, either embrace or get sucked into this fanciful world. Throughout the show, they get put into positions where they can pursue their dreams, achieve what they think will make them happy, and even are allowed to succeed in some instance. If this were any other show, then that would be the happy ending that both the characters and the audience expect.

Bojack Horseman” is different in that it goes out of its way to expose the flaws in those idealized endings. The creator of the show, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, has even gone on record as saying that he doesn’t believe in “endings,” at least in the way that TV, movies, and popular media present it. In a 2015 interview, he said this about endings.

Well, I don’t believe in endings. I think you can fall in love and get married and you can have a wonderful wedding, but then you still have to wake up the next morning and you’re still you. Like, you can have the worst day of your life, but then the next day won’t be the worst day of your life. And I think it works in a positive and a negative, that all these things that happen are moments in time. And that because of the narrative we’ve experienced, we’ve kind of internalized this idea that we’re working toward some great ending, and that if we put all our ducks in a row we’ll be rewarded, and everything will finally make sense. But the answer is that everything doesn’t make sense, at least as far as I’ve found. Maybe you’ll interview someone else today who’s like “I’ve figured it out, here’s the answer!” But I don’t know the answer, and so I think it would be disingenuous to tell our audience “Here’s the answer!” It’s a struggle, and we’re all trying to figure it out, and these characters are trying to figure it out for themselves.

This sentiment plays out time and again over the course of the show. On more than one occasion, Bojack seems like he’s on the verge of achieving that happy ending and turning those ideals into reality.

He thinks getting cast in his dream role as Secretariat will give him that ending, but it doesn’t.

He thinks being nominated for an Oscar will give him that ending, but it doesn’t.

He thinks being cast in a new TV show will give him that ending, but that only makes things much worse.

At every turn, reality catches up to him. Whether it’s his many vices, his habitual selfishness, or his terrible choices, it always comes back to haunt him. Even when that happy ending seems achievable, it always becomes mired in complications that Bojack can’t always control. The same complications often impact other characters seeking their own happy endings, as well. For some, it ends up being downright tragic.

At times, the show paints a grim picture about even attempting to pursue a happy ending. Even when Bojack has insights into the process, it’s never as easy as his old TV show makes it out to be. However, the fact he and others around him keep pursuing that ending says a lot about everyone’s need to achieve something greater.

Even in a world without talking horsemen, that’s something a lot of people can relate to. Most of us build our lives around hopes and aspirations that we’ll forge our own happy ending. There may even be moments when we feel like we achieve it, whether it’s graduating high school, getting married, having children, or finally beating level 147 in Candy Crush.

However, even after those moments, the credits don’t roll. Things don’t end. The things that led you to that moment only work to the extent that they led you to that one singular moment. Life still continues and the happiness fades. Bojack experiences this at greater extremes, some of which are downright absurd, but people in the real world experience it too throughout their lives.

I can personally attest to this. When I finally finished high school, I thought that was like slaying the final boss in an impossibly hard video game. I felt the same way after graduating college, getting my first girlfriend, or publishing my first book. If the credits started rolling at that moment, it would’ve made for a great ending.

Unfortunately, life just doesn’t work like that. “Bojack Horseman” belabors that every chance it gets while still managing to inject some meaningful comedy along the way. It’s a lesson worth learning, especially for Bojack. It’s one he’ll probably keep learning in future seasons. Chances are, we’ll all learn with him along the way.

In many respects, the one who best summed up this sentiment isn’t Bojack himself. In Season 3, it’s Diane who lays out the harsh reality that everyone in the real and fictional world struggles to accept.

“It’s not about being happy, that is the thing. I’m just trying to get through each day. I can’t keep asking myself ‘Am I happy?’ It just makes me more miserable. I don’t know If I believe in it, real lasting happiness. All those perky, well-adjusted people you see in movies and TV shows? I don’t think they exist.”

It sounds depressing, but that’s par for the course with “Bojack Horseman.” Reality is often depressing, but it’s not utterly untenable because happy endings are impossible. There are many points in the show that try to make that case. Even Bojack himself tries to make that case, albeit in his own twisted way.

I would even argue that the show’s brutal attack on the very concept of idealized happy endings is uplifting, in and of itself. By making the case that all the happy endings we see in the idealized versions of fiction are flawed, it shows how futile and counterproductive it is to pursue them. The real world is harsh and brutal, but you can find moments of happiness along the way. They’re not endings. They’re just part of life.

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Jack Fisher’s Weekly Quick Pick Comic: Age Of X-Man Omega #1

Comics are a unique form of media in that its structure allows a certain kind of story to be told. It’s not like a movie in that it comes out once every few years and costs over $150 million to produce. It’s not like a TV show either that requires broadcast rights, streaming services, and dealing with cable companies.

The simplicity of comics, unfolding on paper and needing only ink and text to convey the story, gives it near unlimited capacity for telling big stories with bold concepts with vibrant imagery. There’s no need to pay Michael Bay or a special effects team to bring it all to life. It just requires a bold idea and someone with incredible art skills to make it real.

A comic like “Age Of X-Man Omega #1” is one of those books that fully utilizes the greatest strengths of the medium. It builds entire worlds while exploring bold concepts on a level that, if it were a movie, would take the gross national product of a small country to make real.

Writers Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler, alongside artist Simone Buonfantino, created an incredible world. Mutants, the X-Men, and their struggle took on an entirely new context within a new realty, courtesy of Nate Grey, one of the X-Men’s most overpowered characters. Age of X-Man has been a story about the strengths and flaws in this reality. “Age Of X-Man Omega #1” brings that story to a close.

From its inception in “Age Of X-Man Alpha #1,” this world that Thompson and Nadler created has been an elaborate thought experiment. What does a perfect, Utopian world look like for mutants and the X-Men? Given the many dytopian timelines the X-Men have explored, it’s not an unreasonable question.

Over the course of multiple books that cover multiple characters and concepts, we get to explore that world and all its complexities. Thompson and Nadler go heavy on the world-building, revealing the best parts of this Utopian vision, as well as price it incurs. With “Age Of X-Man Omega #1,” the full story of this world is complete. Now, it’s up to the X-Men to decide what to do with it.

Like all Utopias, the Age Of X-man comes at a cost. On the surface, everyone is safe and happy. However, there are some dark, disturbing reasons for this. The X-Men of this world, which include the likes of Jean Grey, Storm, Magneto, Nightcrwaler, Mirage, Colossus, Beast, and Bishop, have been uncovering those reasons over the course of the series. Now, they know the full truth.

However, this isn’t just a matter of fighting the source of these harsh truths. Nate Grey is not a mustache-twirling villain. “Age Of X-Man Omega #1” goes out of its way to justify his actions and the logic behind them. In the grand scheme of things, his logic isn’t that twisted.

The greatest strength of “Age Of X-Man Omega #1,” as well as the overall event, is that none of the conflicts were born out of total malice. Nate Grey didn’t create this world to toy with the X-Men or get revenge. He did it because he had the power to end the never-ending struggle that only ever brings them pain and suffering.

It’s at the heart of every Utopian vision, attempting to eliminate suffering so that everyone can be happy. It always comes at a price and Nate Grey understood that price. He even goes out of his way to justify it to the X-Men as they’re opposing him. To some extent, he has a point.

He highlights how the relationships the X-Men forge have been a liability in their efforts. He points out, ironically, how some of their most human traits are the very reason why they suffer so much. His world worked to subvert that and, even though it meant manipulation and subjugation for some, it succeeded in its own perverse way.

That’s exactly what makes the ultimate conclusion in “Age Of X-Man Omega #1” feel dramatic. It’s not entirely framed as the X-Men escaping from a prison or uncovering Nate Grey’s secrets. There is a final clash and it definitely maximizes Buonfantino’s talents. However, that clash doesn’t end because the X-Men defeated Nate Grey.

Without spoiling too many details of a story that has such an immense scope, I’ll note there are some powerful moments in which the X-Men and the mutants they’ve sworn to protect make some difficult choices. They’ve lived in this Utopia. They now know the price of such a Utopia. What they do with this knowledge is less about the battles they fight and more about the choices they make.

For once, there’s no army of killer robots to fight. There’s no deranged, mutant-hating villain to thwart. “Age Of X-Man Omega #1” puts the burden on the X-Men and the entire mutant population of the Marvel Universe to decide the course of their fate. Being heroes, their decisions aren’t that surprising. Even so, those decisions carry a great deal of weight.

As a final chapter, “Age Of X-Man Omega #1” caps off a bold story within an exotic world that dares to explore some weighty concepts. The idea of a Utopia is not new, but it’s a concept that still resonates in both real and fictional worlds. As long as people live in imperfect worlds, fictional or otherwise, it’ll continue to resonate.

The Age of X-Man built a story around an ideal life for mutants, free of conflict and killer robots. That story didn’t bring an end to the X-Men and their mission, but it did put it in a very different context. That, in my opinion, is an uncanny accomplishment.

 

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