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May 16, 2016 · 5:56 pm

“The Summer Moon Challenge” A Sexy Short Story

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The following is a sexy short story that was inspired by an elaborate dare someone allegedly made back in high school to a couple. I don’t know if they ever carried out the dare. I don’t know if they were even serious. I just know that it inspired a sexy story with a romantic twist. Enjoy!

It started off as a dare. Years ago, a young couple was dared by their peers – who might have been drunk, depending on the version of the story – to put their love to the test. At the time, it was dangerous. If they failed or were caught, then they would’ve been in big trouble. However, if they succeeded, then their love would endure for the rest of their lives.

According to the story, the first young couple succeeded. They then went onto get married, have kids, and stay married for over 50 years. Since then, it became known as the Summer Moon Challenge. Other young couples attempted to match their feat. Carrie Burns and her boyfriend, Derek Dryer, were just the latest.

“It’s almost time,” she said as she anxiously watched the clock. “God, why does time have to move so slow?”

Carrie paced restlessly in her bedroom, hugging her shoulders and glancing out her window every other second. It was ironic. She used to laugh at the couples who attempted this strange, yet adventurous challenge. More than one couple had been caught and a few had failed in hilarious ways. She never thought she’d be the kind of girl to try it.

Then, she met Derek. For the first time in her life, Carrie got a taste of what it felt like to be in love with someone. While she’d been attracted to her share of men, she never knew the kind of love that made people do such crazy things. Having been with Derek for over a year, she understood its power, but she’d never tested it.

That was about to change.

“I hope we’re ready for this,” Carrie said as her thoughts drifted to Derek. “I don’t care if the legend is real. I want this to be it. I want our love to be that special.”

Her gaze drifted to the picture of her and Derek that she kept on her dresser. She finally stopped pacing. She smiled at the memory of when it was taken.

They’d gone to his sister’s wedding together. It was the first major family event he’d attended. Before it ended, people were already asking about when they were getting married. They’d been embarrassed, at first. As the night went on, it didn’t seem that outrageous. The way she and Derek carried themselves felt real.

They were young.

They were in love.

They wanted to be together.

In just a few minutes, Carrie would find out just how strong that desire was.

“I know I’m ready,” she said as she looked at the picture. “I’ve never been more ready for anything in my life.”

Her heart raced as the seconds ticked away. It began at the stroke midnight during the first full moon after the Summer Solstice. It didn’t matter what the weather was like. It could’ve been a cloudless sky or a full-blown hurricane. The lovers who took up the Summer Moon Challenge had to trust each other and forces beyond their control to see it through.

Finally, the moment came. Carrie lost herself in the picture of her and Derek long enough to make it through the final countdown. Her alarm went off, just as she’d prepared. Knowing Derek’s had gone off at that exact moment, the time for doubt had passed.

Fate, love, and a unique tradition had dared them. She and Derek were ready to respond.

“Finally!” Carrie said, excitement taking over her restlessness.

Without a shred of hesitation, she shed her clothes. She hadn’t been wearing much to begin with. As per the story, she wore the same pants, shirt, and underwear she’d worn the previous night. Carrie had never gotten undressed so quickly before in her life. She’d also never had so much incentive.

“You’re already picturing it, Derek,” Carrie mused as she slipped out of her panties. “I know you are. I am too. Trust me. I want it just as much!”

Now fully nude, she followed the next step. She opened her bedroom window and climbed out into the muggy, mid-summer night. It was a good thing her room was on the first floor of the two-bedroom house she shared with two former schoolmates. There had been more than one story about lovers getting injured for sneaking out of a second-story window. Neither she nor Derek had that problem.

Already, it felt jarring. As soon as her feet touched the soft grass below her window, it dawned on her.

“I’m naked! I’m outside…in the dead of night…naked.”

Carrie’s mind raced, but her excitement never waned. This was so unlike her. She was the same girl who didn’t like getting undressed around other girls in a locker room. Now, there she was, fully nude and out in the open.

It was risky, dangerous, and bold. At the same time, it was exhilarating. It filled her with more energy than she had ever felt after midnight. It also aroused her more than she’d expected. Already, she felt a growing heat between her thighs and it wasn’t due to the summer humidity.

“I’m on my way, Derek!” Carrie said intently.

Armed with both energy and motivation, she commenced the next part of the challenge. She ran full speed through the backyard of the house, hopping the fence at the north end of the property, and entered the large wooded that dominated the center of the county.

It was a strange, but thrilling experience, running naked through the night. The wet grass under her feat, the brisk air passing over her naked skin, and the way her breast bounced with every stride felt so liberating.

It was like a return to nature, shedding her clothing and leaving behind the comforts of her home. She didn’t expect it to feel so refreshing. She didn’t expect it to make her feel horny, but that might have had more to do with the next part of the challenge.

“You’re closer, Derek. I can feel it!” said Carrie through labored breaths.

Impassioned and determined, she followed the narrow trails through the woods. The light of the full moon illuminated the path before her. Carrie took it as a promising sign. There were few clouds above. The beaming glow of the full moon, combined with the presence of fireflies, sent a message that there was a higher power at work.

That power, whatever it was, wanted her and Derek to see this through. The only obstacle was the strength of their passions. As she neared her destination, she felt that strength push her beyond her limits.

Carrie had never run so hard for so long. She’d never been so driven to seek someone, fully clothed or otherwise. Her leg muscles burned, her lungs strained, and her feet became dirtied by mud. Whereas other couples might have pulled back, she kept going until she reached a special clearing.

“There it is. I see it!” she said into the darkened night.

It was even more beautiful under the moonlight than she’d imagined. A tall, thick oak tree that towered over many others came into view. Dozens upon dozens of fireflies congregated around it, giving a halo that helped it stand out amidst the dense woods.

As Carrie approached, she marveled at its grandeur. She also kept an eye out for the man with which she’d embraced this challenge. He was nowhere in sight, but she was not dissuaded. Needing to catch her breath, she approached the thick base of the tree and looked over the trunk.

At that moment, a brisk wind blew through the clearing. Even in the middle of summer, it sent chills down her naked body. That exposed feeling was easy to ignore while running. Being under a tree, in the middle of the woods, and completely nude was still jarring, but not enough to give her second thoughts.

“He’ll be here. I know he will,” Carrie kept telling herself.

She hugged her shoulders, covering her breasts briefly as she looked around for her lover. As Carrie caught her breath and waited anxiously, she noticed something on the trunk of the tree. It hadn’t been there when she and Derek selected it, as required by the challenge. At that moment, warm feeling came over her that completely naked any late-night breeze.

“Oh Derek…you wonderfully cunning man,” she said into the night.

“I was hoping you’d see it,” replied a familiar voice.

It was a sweet gesture that affirmed what she’d hoped. She and Derek were going to complete the Full Moon Challenge. It was destiny.

Within the trunk, Derek had carved a message. It was simple, but sincere. It included her initials and his, encompassed in both a heart and the moon. It was the universal symbol of the Summer Moon Challenge. Typically, it was only carved into the tree after it was complete. Derek had chosen to be proactive. It showed just how confident he was in their love.

“I stopped by this afternoon. I didn’t want to wait. I didn’t see the point,” said Derek as he emerged from behind the tree.

“Spoken like a man who has a lot of confidence in his girlfriend,” said Carrie as she touched the carving.

“I just ran half-a-mile through the woods naked, my dick and balls flapping wildly every step of the way,” he told her. “I don’t think confidence begins to cover it.”

Carrie turned away from the tree and towards her approaching lover. Sure enough, he was as naked as her. If his muddy feet were any indication, he’d run just as hard through the dense woods, exposing himself to the elements.

In the soft glow of the moonlight and fireflies, he looked so beautiful. Every masculine sinew and feature lay exposed before her. She’d seen Derek naked before. She’d touched him, tasted him, and made love to him on multiple occasions. However, there was something special about seeing him naked under the light of a full moon on a balmy summer night.

He could tell from the beaming grin on his face that he appreciated the spectacle just as much. Standing before him, she made no effort to cover herself. She wanted him to see her feminine features under the light of the moon and the shade of a tree. It reflected the essence of the Summer Moon Challenge, putting them in a unique setting with which to channel their passions.

“Damn, you’re beautiful,” Derek said to her. “I know I’ve said that many times before, but still…”

His words trailed off. Derek was usually so good at putting into words how much he loved her, but for once, his vocabulary failed him. Carrie took a step closer and offered a loving grin of her own.

“It’s okay. Sometimes, what we say can never fully convey what we feel,” said Carrie. “I think that’s the point of the challenge.”

“You sure? The way I heard it, the first couple who did this were just fooling around behind their parents’ back.”

“Their reasons don’t matter. The feelings that drove them to do it…that’s why it endears. That’s also why I wanted to do this with you. I could never tell you how much I love you, Derek. Through this…a challenge, a test, or whatever you want to call it…I can show you”

Carrie could already feel the passion between them escalating. Like two lost souls drawn together, they approached each other. There happened to be a small patch of thick grass just under the carving. That was where they met.

Without saying a word and with more fireflies buzzing around their naked bodies, she and Derek embraced. As soon as she felt his skin touch hers, the final part of the Summer Moon Challenge commenced.

“Derek?” she said while gazing into his eyes.

“Yes, my darling Carrie?” he said as he caressed her face.

“Make love to me. Make love to me right here…under this tree…under summer moon.”

According to the story, those were the exact words the woman said to her lover. Every couple that had attempted the Summer Moon Challenge repeated that line, as if to channel the passions of that first couple. Within Derek’s loving embrace, she could feel the spirit of those lovers find them.

“Right here…under the summer moon,” he said distantly.

“Under the summer moon,” Carrie repeated.

In a final echo of this story that had echoed through the years, she and Derek kissed. Even in the windy, midnight summer humidity, it tasted so sweet. Finally, passions could flow freely, unburdened by uncertainty and reservation.

The kiss naturally evolved into foreplay. With their lips softly entwined, they touched and caressed each other’s naked bodies. Carrie pawed his chest while he fondled her butt, tracing a path up her feminine curves, taking full advantage of their nude state. The brief gusts of wind gave them even more incentive to immerse themselves in one another’s intimate heat. It quickly built an arousal that had been sparked before they’d arrived.

That heat between her legs turned into something more tangible. Her thighs rubbed together in anticipation, her womanhood becoming wet and engorged despite the brisk winds. Derek achieved a similar arousal. In his embrace, she felt his manhood stiffen rapidly. The touch of naked skin, combined with her affectionate pawing, got both his passions and his blood flowing in the right direction.

Dazed by passion, the challenge became secondary. Their focus was each other and their intentions were clear. She and Derek were going to take their love and turn it into a physical act under the light of the moon. Between the buzzing fireflies and the chorus of crickets echoing through the trees, it felt like as though nature was urging them to make love.

Neither she nor Derek needed that much urging. She felt him slip his hand between her thighs where he cupped the outer folds of her pussy, as if to confirm that she was as aroused as him. She let out a sharp gasp, shuddering within his embrace to leave no doubt.

“Derek…take me,” Carrie told him.

Breathing heavily, his gaze locked with hers, the man who dared to share this fateful challenge obliged her. He eagerly grasped her hips, lifted her up into his powerful arms, and laid her down upon the soft grass just in front of the trunk of the tree.

Carrie clung to his shoulders, never diverting her gaze from him. More fireflies swirled around their naked bodies as he got on top of her, positioning himself between her legs and aligning their bodies in preparation for their intimate union.

“Carrie…my love,” he said.

Again, his words failed him. That didn’t matter, though. For once, Derek let his actions do the talking. It was the only way to adequately convey their love.

His grip in her hips tightened, as did her grip on his shoulders. She hitched her legs around his waist in anticipation, feeling his hardened manhood rub up against her wet entrance. With their eyes still locked, he thrust his hips forward and entered her.

Hard masculine flesh entered hot feminine depths.

Powerful feelings that could not be put into words became real actions.

Under the light of the moon, the challenge was officially complete.

“Oohhh Derek!” Carrie cried out, her blissful cries shattering the silence of the night.

It was a scene right out of myth and legend. Two lovers had come together under the light of the moon. Guided by passion and desire, they expressed their love in an intimate act for nature to see. It proclaimed to the universe that their love was special and worth celebrating. The Summer Moon Challenge was just their way of proving it.

Derek was extra-motivated. Imbued with primal passion, he rocked her body with his, working his hips and caressing her body with the utmost care. He’d made love to her before, but never with such focus and fervor. With every motion, he let out a grunt that echoed with a very masculine strength. It drove Carrie wild in ways she’d never experienced. Beyond just stimulating the intimate depths of her core, it gave her a rush that compounded the intimacy.

In the mid-summer heat, sweat formed on their flesh, allowing their flesh to seamlessly glide together. From the ruffle of the grass to the gusts of wind to the swirling fireflies, it felt like nature was cheering them on. She and Derek responded in kind.

“We’re really doing it,” Carrie gasped as her body rocked. “Here…under the moon…we’re making love. Ooh I love it!”

“Mmm…me too!” said Derek, just before he kissed again.

Inspired and impassioned, they mixed up the pace and form of their lovemaking. Carrie shared in the exertion, rolling her lover over, getting on top of him, and riding his cock with the same vigor as he’d done before. He used that as an opportunity to fondle her breasts and squeeze her butt. He was always playful during sex, but he never lost focus.

Under the tree and the beaming moonlight, they rolled around and made love in various positions, not minding the dirt and grime that clung to their naked bodies. Not one ounce of passion could go to waste. She and Derek were determined to make the Summer Moon Challenge the ultimate manifestation of their love.

Under the weight of those vented passions, the culmination of that love drew near. Carrie felt it coming strong. It was an orgasm like no other, a byproduct of shared passion with an incredible lover. She sensed Derek holding back for her, wanting to enjoy the feeling for as long as their bodies allowed. As she neared that special edge, she caressed her lover’s face firmly and locked her eyes with him once more.

“Derek…I’m close! I’m so…so close!” she told him.

“So…so am I, Carrie,” he said through labored grunts.

“Please…let’s do it together. Let’s…share this…together!”

The pace of their sex intensified.

Derek got on top of her again and found his second wind, unleashing one last round of powerful thrusts to carry them into that world of ecstasy. Carrie let her blissful moans guide him through the final steps.

Then, it happened. In what felt like the most fitting triumph to the Summer Moon Challenge, she and her lover achieved orgasm together.

“Ohhh Derek!”

“Carrie!”

It was beautiful. She couldn’t tell if their peak was perfectly simultaneous, but that didn’t matter. It still felt incredible.

She curled her toes, dug her nails into her lover’s back, and threw her head back in an orgasmic outburst that echoed throughout the woods. Outside, she didn’t have to concern herself with disturbing the neighbors or making a scene. Out in nature, she could articulate her ecstasy to the greatest extent possible.

Derek clung to her as hard as she clung to him, caressing her face with one hand while clinging to her thigh with the other. She watched his expression become awash in ecstasy as he got his release. She could feel his manhood and her womanhood throbbing together, sharing in the flow of ecstasy.

They soaked in every sensation together, their bodies shuddering together under the weight of the feeling. They lingered in their intimate union, their gasps and moans eventually fading into the echoes of the night. Even after their flesh parted, they remained in an intimate embrace. Derek lay beside her, his powerful arms wrapped around her while she lay curled up next to him. Like a powerful bond, locked with pleasure and passion, their love was secure.

“I love you,” Derek told her in his blissful daze.

“I love you too,” Carrie said with a beaming grin.

“We did it! We completed the Summer Moon Challenge,” he said with a proud grin.

“You know how the story goes. You know what that means for us, right?”

“Of course! But there’s one part of that story I think most overlook.”

“Oh yeah? What’s that?” Carrie asked curiously.

“The first couple who did this didn’t endure because they completed the challenge. They endured because they were willing to run naked through the woods together for quality lovemaking! Honestly, can you think of a better way to affirm your love?”

 

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Daily Sexy Musings: Vacation Loving

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There’s a reason why summer often goes hand-in-hand with vacation and it’s a damn good reason. The kids are out of school. There aren’t many holidays to plan around. Pools, beaches, and resorts are open. The weather is warm so the need for excess clothing is limited. In terms of having the right conditions, summer has it all.

As I write this, I’m enjoying an overdue vacation. For me, that usually means spending a few days at the beach, soaking in some sun, and hitting up beach bars. In terms of relaxation, it’s the most enjoyable activity I can do with my clothes on. I don’t get to go on vacations very often, but when I do, I try to make them count.

The same holds true for couples. If you’re with someone, be they a spouse or a lover, a vacation is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the full breadth of your love. There’s no work to be done or jobs to worry about. It’s just the two of you, enjoying your time together and all the sexy opportunities that come with it.

I understand that some people are in a better position to enjoy a summer vacation than others. Whatever your situation, I hope everyone gets a chance to get away from it all this summer. We all need to step back and enjoy the sweeter side of life. This Daily Sexy Musing is my way of motivating people and their lovers to do just that. Enjoy!

We’ve done it.

We’ve escaped our daily grind.

We’ve ventured beyond our familiar settings.

At last, we’re on vacation.

This is no longer a time for toil or tedium. Together, we seek both relaxation and reprieve. The world is bigger than our typical works and tasks. There are places to be, lands to explore, and time to enjoy. There are so many places we can go and people we can see. What’s most important is that we’re somewhere that allows our love to roam free.

Maybe it’s a sandy beach on a tropical island.

Maybe it’s the deck of a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.

Maybe it’s a remote cabin in the woods.

Maybe it’s a snow-covered lodge in the mountains.

Wherever we go, we leave behind our burdens and bring our greatest passions. Getting there is always a struggle, but being there makes it so worthwhile. Whether it’s a long flight, an extended drive, or an exhausting hike, the journey to this special place puts our vacation in just the right context.

To build a life for ourselves takes time, work, and energy. Building one with you takes that and so much more. The rewards are many, but opportunities to appreciate them can be rare and elusive. A good vacation is a great opportunity. We have no excuses or hindrances. For a brief period, we can just exhale and savor the fruits of our efforts.

On a sunny beach, every kiss is deeper.

In a secluded cabin, every touch is softer.

Within a cozy lodge, every gesture is hotter.

Every setting becomes romantic and every act of love becomes passionate.

This is what we wanted, needed, and craved. At last, we get away from it all. Every moment becomes precious and every feeling becomes a treasured memory. Together, we indulge and celebrate. Others may envy us. It doesn’t matter. We’re on vacation.

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Mia Kalifa, The Porn Industry, And Why Her (Lack Of) Earnings Matter

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Imagine that you’re young, low on money, and in need of a quick buck. You do a few side-gigs, like drive a taxi or do some yard work. You make some money up front. You’re grateful for it. You wish you didn’t have to do it, but you still did and you’re ready to move forward with your life.

Now, imagine that same work you did ended up making someone else a boatload of money that continues to flow in, even though you’ve long since finished your part. Maybe while mowing the lawn, you discovered a priceless artifact under a tree stump. Maybe while driving a taxi, your car became the site of an infamous crime. Anyone with a white 1993 Ford Bronco SUV can attest to that.

With those ideas in mind, let’s talk about Mia Kalifa. If you don’t know who that is, just ask any straight man with an internet connection and a suspiciously large supply of tissue boxes. You might not get an honest answer, but rest assured, she’s a known public figure and not just because she has over 15 million followers on Instagram.

One of the reasons why she has so many.

She’s worth talking about, but not because she’s a former porn star who still garners a great deal of popularity, despite having not worked in the industry for years. Recently, she made the news after revealing that, even though she was one of the most popular porn stars in the world for a time, she made a total of $12,000 for her entire career.

For someone who was that successful in an industry that’s already exceedingly crowded by an abundance of content, that just doesn’t seem to add up. Most working people make more than $12,000 in a year, even if they’re paid minimum wage. They even get to keep their clothes on. What’s going on here?

There is a context to that story. By her own admission, she was in the industry for about three months. She only got paid a flat rate of about $1,000 for each scene she did and, given how few she ended up doing, it’s still more than minimum wage. She basically made $12,000 for approximately two weeks of work. Ignoring, for the moment, that the work involved making porn, it’s not a terrible rate.

However, what stands out most about her story is that she continues to generate money for the companies that initially paid her. To this day, those scenes she shot still generate traffic for popular sites like PornHub and that traffic still makes its parent company, MindGeek, some additional profit.

Most people don’t know, or want to know for that matter, that the most popular porn sites and studios are owned by MindGeek. Think of any site your significant other won’t admit to visiting. Chances are, they own it. They’re basically the Amazon of porn. They’re so big that there really isn’t a close second.

It’s because they’re so big that Ms. Kalifa’s story isn’t unique. Most people who enter the porn industry, be they male or female, have to go through MindGeek in some form or another. They’re basically a monopoly and because of that, they can get away with shady practices, such as underpaying workers or short-changing them with fine print.

Listed above are sites few will admit to knowing.

Most porn performers, including Ms. Kalifa, only get paid a flat rate per scene. They basically function as independent contractors, which means they’re not salaried employees who get benefits. They’re basically Uber drivers, but with sex. Unlike Uber drivers, though, the top performers can actually make a lot more, but they’re the exception and not the norm. Most performers are in Ms. Kalifa’s situation.

It’s not a situation unique to porn. Other elements of the entertainment industry have used similar practices for years. The music industry has plenty of examples of successful artists who sell millions of albums, but still go bankrupt because most of that money went to the companies they worked for rather than the artists themselves.

It even happens in the comic book industry. Few individuals have created and drawn more iconic character than Jack Kirby, but because he was a work-for-hire, he didn’t technically own his creations. The companies he worked for, both Marvel and DC Comics, owned them. As a result of this, there were some lengthy legal battles with Kirby’s estate. Not surprisingly, the companies won.

Think of any industry that involves performing or creating some kind of art. There’s a good chance that there are cases where someone creates something that becomes successful, but the creators themselves don’t profit from it. Only the companies profit.

Again, there’s a context to that. In industries like music, the top one percent of performers earn over three-quarters of the revenue. Most creative endeavors fail to turn a profit. As someone trying hard to break into the publishing industry, I can attest to how common failure and rejection are. These industries, as shady as their practices might be, need to make a profit and that often requires enduring many losses.

That’s exactly why Mia Kalifa’s story matters. It doesn’t just shed light on the less glamorous aspects of the porn industry. It highlights how the actual people behind popular media don’t reap as much of the benefits as we think. For porn stars, current and former, that’s made even harder by the stigma and taboos surrounding the industry. Ms. Kalifa endured those unpleasant elements more than most.

It’s a system that’s only getting worse. There was a time when porn stars could make considerably more money and even earn some residual income from the booming DVD market. Thanks to the advent of streaming media and excessive piracy, that’s no longer the case. It’s why many porn stars are turning to escorting or licensing products.

Given the dirty nature of the business, few politicians or advocates will loudly proclaim they want to help the people in the porn industry. The last few years have been very difficult for anyone in the sex industry. Laws are making sex work more restrictive and more dangerous to everyone involved. Performers will end up with the stigma, but the companies will get most of the profits.

To some extent, what happened to Mia Kalifa’s career is a microcosm of what’s happening to entertainment in general. We’re currently in an era where big companies are acquiring as much intellectual property as possible. Companies, be they major movie studios or porn producers, have a vested interest in controlling the content at the cost of the performers.

Since so few entertainment products turn a profit, these companies have too much incentive to short-change performers and creators. There’s no law that requires companies to give performers a small percentage of future earnings. There’s no law that stops them from exploiting the content created by performers, even if those same performers don’t want to be associated with the work anymore.

Given the money and influence of these companies, that’s not likely to change anytime soon. However, Mia Kalifa did us all a service by making people aware of this very flawed system. The fact that she did this while fully clothed and being brutally honest in a world that lives in alternative facts might be her best performance to date.

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Filed under Celebrities and Celebrity Culture, human nature, media issues, outrage culture, political correctness, prostitution, sex in media, sex in society, women's issues

Jack Fisher’s Weekly Quick Pick Comic: Magnificent Ms. Marvel #6

Teenage superheroes have always had a unique appeal, as well as a unique set of challenges. It’s not just their youth, inexperience, and idealism that sets them apart. They deal with complications and obstacles that adult heroes rarely have to worry about. Say what you will about Hawkeye’s abilities. At least he doesn’t have to worry about turning in homework on time, dealing with parents, and enduring puberty.

When it comes to teenage superheroes who embody that unique appeal, Ms. Marvel checks every box. She’s young, idealistic, lovable, tough, determined, awkward, and overwhelmed with balancing her superhero life with her personal life. Since her debut in 2014, some of her best moments have come from struggling to maintain that balance.

Now, that balance is completely thrown off in “Ms. Marvel #6” and for once, it has nothing to do with aliens, Hydra, or high school. What unfolds in this comic is more personal. It puts Kamala Khan in a position where no superpower or superpowered allies can make a difference.

It’s a difficult position, even for adult superheroes. Superman faces it almost every time he clashes with Lex Luthor. However, Kamala Khan isn’t Superman. She’s a teenage girl still growing into her superhero identity. What happens to her in “Ms. Marvel #6” is an impossible challenge as much as it is a turning point.

Since he took over, writer Saladin Ahmed has taken Ms. Marvel’s journey far beyond the limits of Jersey City. She’s teamed up with the Avengers, led a team of aspiring young heroes in the Champions, and fought in an alien war in which she saved an entire planet. She has had her share of triumphs lately, even when compared to adult superheroes.

Then, just after she acquires a flashy new costume powered by alien technology, her parents drop a bombshell. Her father is dying. He’s not just sick. He’s not just facing some new condition that requires treatment and management. He is dying and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

For a superhero who just saved an alien planet and is on a first-name basis with the Avengers, this is akin to the ultimate gut punch, followed by the worst hangover, and topped off with the most agonizing heartbreak. This is the kind of news that even adult struggle with, long after they’ve built lives apart from their parents. Kamala Khan is just a teenager. Superhero or not, this shatters her world.

It’s a heartbreaking turn of events for a character who has been on a solid winning streak lately. Almost every teenage superhero faces setbacks. Kamala has had more than her share, from love interests who ran away to idols who abused her trust. This is more than a setback.

Since her debut, Ms. Marvel has stood out in a great many ways. One particular way that sets her apart from the Peter Parkers and Bruce Waynes of the superhero world is that she didn’t need a parent or loved one to die to become a hero. Kamala comes from a loving, tight-knit family who instill in her the values that would make anyone a hero in their own right.

Her family has always been a big part of her story. Like many teenage superheroes, she struggles to navigate family life alongside her superhero life. At the same time, her family has largely been a source of strength, even when they hound her about being late for school. Now, her family is facing one of the worst situations that any family can face.

Ahmed doesn’t rush Kamala through the various stages of acceptance. The plot of “Ms. Marvel #6” starts with a heart-breaking revelation, but follows Kamala as she tries to make sense of it all. Being young and idealistic, her first instinct is to try and fix this. She’s a superhero. She’s supposed to do the impossible and succeed where others fail.

This is different. She can fight to save her father’s life, just as she fights a typical supervillain. However, even when saving the day, the effects of her father’s news is apparent. The art by Minkyu Jung even captures that mood at every turn.

Ms. Marvel #6” is one of those comics in which elaborate heroics and flashy costumes are secondary, at best. The events in this story signal a major upheaval in Kamala Khan’s superhero journey and it’s not one she can embiggen her way out of. Right now, her personal journey is more important than that of any hero. Tony Stark even shows up to remind her of that. He even brings gyros to belabor the point.

More often than not, when teenage superheroes are faced with loss and heartbreak, their first instinct is to lash out. You can usually set your watch to them doing something reckless or self-destructive out of anguish. That’s not just a trait common of superheroes. That’s something teenagers struggle with in the real world.

It once again strikes to the heart of why Kamala Khan is such an endearing character. It’s not just that she succeeds where other female superheroes falter. Her struggles, even though they involve Avengers and aliens, feel real and genuine. The idea that she’s poised to endure one of the hardest things any family can endure is both powerful and relateable.

After the events of “Ms. Marvel #6,” it’s not unreasonable to say that Kamala Khan’s life will never be the same. Even though that seems to happen with teenage superheroes every other week, this feels different. This isn’t part of some elaborate plot by a cunning supervillain. This is a terminally ill loved one.

Whether you’re a hero or a nobody, this is a challenge nobody is equipped to handle. Kamala Khan now faces the prospect of losing her father. It’s heartbreaking, but it also helps reaffirm just how much heart she has. That heart helped make her a hero. It also makes the prospect of watching it break feel that much more difficult.

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Finding True Love And Living Happily Ever After According To Isaac Arthur

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I’ve talked quite a bit about the future of love on this site. I’ve explored the impact of artificial intelligence, radical life extension, and human enhancement on the dynamics of pursuing love and fostering romance. I don’t claim to be the best when it comes to contemplating these topics. I’m humble enough to admit I’m not even in the top 10.

As such, I freely admit there are people who discuss this issue in far greater detail with far greater production values than I’ll ever manage. Just recently, I stumbled across a YouTube channel by someone who makes contemplating the future a relaxing, engaging, and downright pleasant experience.

The name of that channel is Isaac Arthur. If you, or anyone you know, has even a passing interest on future technology, sci-fi concepts, or space exploration, I highly recommend you check out this channel. It covers a wide range of topics from colonizing space to future sources of energy to what kind of pets we may have in the future.

Naturally, a video he made about finding love using future technology is one of my favorite. It only came out earlier this year, but it perfectly breaks down how love, romance, marriage, and family may unfold in a future dominated by artificial intelligence and radical life extension. Mr. Arthur does in one video what I probably couldn’t do in a hundred articles. For that, I thank him.

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Filed under Artificial Intelligence, futurism, romance, sex in society, sexuality, Sexy Future, technology

When Is It Okay To Tell Someone To Grow Thicker Skin?

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When I was a kid, I played little league baseball. My father also volunteered, being a lover of baseball and an all-around awesome guy. It was fun. I enjoyed it, even though I wasn’t that good. However, I still thought I was better than the majority of the kids on my team. I’d been playing baseball with my dad in the backyard for years. I had developed those skills more than most.

Then, one year, my skills started to slip. In my defense, that was also around the time I developed asthma. I still thought I was good, but there’s only so much you can do with those skills when you’re coughing and wheezing half the time. As a result, my coach had me bat next to last and made me play outfield, which I took as a personal affront.

I know he wasn’t trying to insult me, but I took it very personally. Being a kid, I gave him and everyone around me a bad attitude. When I told my father about this, I thought he would be on my side. Instead, he wasn’t having it. My dad was not the kind of guy who rewarded bad attitudes. No matter how much I told him the coach’s decision upset me, he had the same response.

“Can’t hack it? Get your jacket.”

That became a mantra of his. At the time, I hated it. As I got older, I came to appreciate it. On the surface, it may seem harsh, especially when it’s directed a kid in the context of a little league game. However, it conveys and important lesson while indirectly raising an important question.

When is it okay to tell someone they need to grow thicker skin?

I believe this question is more important now than it ever was when I was a kid playing little league baseball. With the rise of outrage culture and numerous controversies on issues that rarely warrant controversy, I feel as though my father’s wise advice is more relevant than ever.

That said, answering this question isn’t simple. I know it’s tempting for anyone annoyed by political correctness to just brush off outrage as coming from thin-skinned, over-coddled snowflakes. That is, after all, a popular perception among the most vocal critics of outrage culture. However, that recourse ignores some important caveats.

It’s one thing to tell an over-privileged college student majoring in underwater basket weaving that they need to grow thicker skin. It’s quite another to say the same thing to a wounded veteran or a rape survivor. Make no mistake. Those over-privileged professional whiners exist and they deserve both criticism and scorn. They’re still the extreme cases. Most people operate in that vast area between extremes.

To illustrate, consider the following example. You’re on a stage telling a story in front of a large group of people. The story isn’t political, nor is it an attempt to convince someone of a particular worldview. The story contains some difficult themes, including references to graphic violence, sexual abuse, and racism. It doesn’t have to be based on real events. Those themes just have to be sufficiently graphic.

After you’re done telling the story, a small segment of the audience comes up to you and tells you they found your story to be deeply offensive. They claim that the simple act of you telling a story caused them real psychological harm. How do you respond to them?

For some people, their first inclination will be to apologize to them and everyone else who felt offended. This is often the first recourse for any celebrity who tends to make a public gaff, of sorts. It’s an easy option and, at the very least, will mitigate some of the outrage, but it has the added effect of derailing serious discussions.

For others, the first inclination will be to brush off those who are offended and tell them to grow thicker skin. There are certain individuals who make this their primary response. They tend to be less concerned about hurting peoples’ feelings and often criticize those who are easily offended. While that may be warranted in some instances, it can often come off as callous. In some cases, it devolves into outright trolling.

Whatever the recourse, both responses have the same flaw. They ignore the actual substance behind those who took offense to the story. It generalizes the nature of the harm they claim to have endured. It essentially lumps the offense that some thin-skinned college kid feels with that of someone who has legitimate issues.

Without those insights, any apology or lack of apology will make light of any genuine offense someone endures. Those details are necessary in determining who needs to grow thicker skin and who deserves a sincere apology. In essence, the right response is determined on a case-by-case basis and that can get both tricky and cumbersome.

Say one of the audience members took offense because they felt the story glorified the current and historical oppression of women by way of patriarchal traditions. Someone harmed by anything that vague definitely needs to grow thicker skin.

Say one of the audience members took offense because they’re struggling with a legitimate mental illness and parts of the story caused them significant distress that required medical intervention. In that case, telling them to grow thicker skin isn’t just insensitive. It’s downright malicious. People with legitimate medical issues can only do so much to manage their reactions.

It can get a lot more complicated. One of the audience members may have endured a real trauma in their lives and while they’re not on medications, they’re still struggling and hearing the story opened some unhealed wounds. In this instance, an apology is warranted, but only in the context of acknowledging someone’s real-world issues. You can’t tell them to grow thicker skin, but you can encourage them to heal.

Maybe there’s another audience member who just says the story was patently offensive and is too heavy on outdated stereotypes. They’ll angrily rant at how certain elements denigrated their heritage, their culture, and their race. It’s not just that the story was offensive. They believe anyone who tells it is as bad as those who made it. This person may be sincere, but they could also benefit from growing thicker skin.

There are any number of ways someone can claim offense. Some are legitimate, but most are contrived. As a general rule, any offense that requires someone to be offended on behalf of other people is questionable at best and insincere at worst. It tends to happen whenever people try to make broad claims about cultural appropriation or stereotypes.

Even if certain generalizations about cultures are legitimate and certain stereotypes have a basis in fact, the offense is still taken personally. The very fact that it exists is an affront. That’s usually another sign that thicker skin is at least part of the solution. It’s one thing to abhor racist acts. It’s quite another to abhor that it exists at all.

Everyone is wired differently. Some are just more easily-offended than others. That’s an inescapable fact of life in world that’s diverse and has the technology to over-react to anything that anyone may say. Even with those caveats, it certainly helps to discern those who suffer real harm from certain rhetoric and those who really need to grow thicker skin.

There are some criteria that can help us make that determination. It may not help in every case, but here are just a few.

If someone is offended by the fact that something exists, then they need to grow thicker skin.

If someone is offended by mere opinions of other people, then they need to grow thicker skin.

If someone is offended on behalf of an entire group, then they need to grow thicker skin.

If someone is offended because other people can’t know the specifics of what offends them without reading their mind, then they need to grow thicker skin.

If someone is offended by something that was not intended to offend or harm, then they need to grow thicker skin.

Again, these are just general guidelines and there are certainly exceptions to many. However, if we apply these standards to my story as an upset little leaguer who took offense to his coach’s decisions, then my father’s reaction would be appropriate. In that situation, someone is right to tell me that I should grow thicker skin. Moreover, I became stronger and more mature as a result.

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Jack Fisher’s Sexy Sunday Thoughts: Sexy Legs Edition

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There are many parts of the human body that have sexual connotations. Some are more obvious than others. Most people don’t need detailed psychological insight to understand why straight men are attracted to female breasts or why straight women are attracted to men with a toned ass. These desires are hardwired into us. What varies is the intensity of that desire, as well as the focus.

When it comes to legs, both men and women have a good biological incentive to find them sexy. Sexy legs in a woman denote good health and prospective child-rearing. Sexy legs in a man denote good health and an ability to do some heavy lifting around the house. These are sexy qualities that go beyond the act of lovemaking and they have a place in the sexual road map.

On top of that, it’s the middle of summer. This is the time of year where everyone gets to show off their legs. You don’t have to be wearing a swimsuit at the beach. It’s hot outside and wearing long pants just isn’t practical. For those who want to show off their legs, this is the time of year to do it.

It’s why I dedicate a little extra time in my workout to legs over the summer. It’s also why we put a little extra care into your legs this time of year. This edition of my Sexy Sunday Thoughts is my way of encouraging everyone with sexy legs to celebrate their sex appeal while the weather permits it. We all have legs. Why not make them sexy? Enjoy!


“Statistically, it’s a near certainty that someone you know is into something kinky.”


“Good location is as important to real estate as romantic ambiance is to making love.”


“Gold diggers are just prostitutes who play the long game and have good divorce lawyers.”


“The odds of winning the lottery are comparable to the odds that sending a woman a dick pic will result in sex.”


“In this day and age, a couple sharing wi-fi passwords counts as a form of intimacy.”


“Closing the orgasm gap between men and women won’t achieve world peace, but it’ll make peace seem less daunting.”


“To some extent, a family reunion is a celebration of a specific lineage of orgasms.”


I hope that gave everyone, regardless of gender, yet another reason to not skip leg day in the gym. There’s only so much we can do to make certain parts of our body sexy. With legs, there are plenty of options. Strong, sexy legs are one of those traits that have plenty of use beyond the sexy stuff. When you’ve got strength and tone to go with them, it’s just a nice bonus.

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