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May 16, 2016 · 5:56 pm

The Distressing (But Relevant) Questions Raised In Uncanny X-men #1

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The most relevant stories are often the ones that ask the most difficult questions. The nature of those questions vary among places, people, cultures, and whatever happens to be pissing off a significant chunk of the population. Regardless of the circumstances, those questions are important and sometimes they come from unexpected places.

I wasn’t expecting such questions when I picked up “Uncanny X-men #1,” the latest relaunch in the most iconic X-men brand of all time. I was just glad to see Uncanny X-men return to prominence after an extended absence dating back to 2016. This first issue was over-sized and priced at $7.99, which is a lot for a single comic. I still feel like I got my money’s worth.

In addition to telling a great story that brought many prominent X-men characters to the forefront, “Uncanny X-men #1” did something unique in terms of how it established a conflict. For once, it didn’t involve killer robots, preventing a genocide, mutant terrorist, or alien space gods. Instead, it asked one profound question.

What if there was a way to preventing people from becoming mutants in the first place?

That may sound like a question that has come up in other X-men stories, but that’s only partially correct. This isn’t about curing mutants, a story that Joss Whedon brilliantly told during his run on Astonishing X-men and that “ X-men: The Last Stand” botched horribly. This is about inoculating children the same way we do for polio.

Specifically, a lab develops a vaccine that prevents the X-gene from expressing. Technically, they would still be mutants in that they would still have this gene. It just wouldn’t express itself. It would be akin to turning off the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis or sickle-cell anemia. It essentially treats mutation the same way we would treat any other genetic-based disease.

Naturally, the X-men and many other mutants don’t like this idea and not just because it’s akin to treating homosexuality as a mental illness. It reeks too much of genocide, something they’ve faced on more than one occasion. It would’ve been easy for “Uncanny X-men #1” to present it in that way, but that’s not how it plays out.

The all-star creative team of Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, Matthew Rosenberg, and Mahmud Asrar frame the issue in a very different way. Instead of some anti-mutant racist like Graydon Creed or William Stryker calling for mutant extermination, we get Senator Ashton Allen. He’s as generic a politician as can be in a superhero comic, but what he says and how he says is revealing.

Amidst a crowd of humans, mutants, and X-men, he talks about this mutant vaccine as a tool to alleviate suffering. He doesn’t rant about the dangers of evil mutants like Magneto or Apocalypse. He talks only about mutant children developing powers that could be dangerous to themselves or others. In that context, a vaccine might actually help them.

When you consider the mutant powers of characters like Rogue and Cyclops, who have mutant abilities that do real damage when uncontrolled, it seems entirely reasonable to make this vaccine available. Senator Allen never says anything about forcing it on kids or on mutants that already exist. He only ever emphasizes making it an option for concerned parents.

That’s distressing for the X-men because they don’t need to be omega-level psychics to imagine the implications. They can easily envision a concerned parent who doesn’t want their child to deal with the possibility that they may shoot lasers out of their eye one day. Any parent who cares for their child will want to mitigate the chances of them enduring such hardships.

In a world populated by mutant-hunting robots, parents already have plenty of incentive to use this vaccine. Given the damage that mutant-led conflicts often incur, the government has just as much incentive to make that vaccine available to everyone, free of charge and tax deductible. Governments less concerned with things like human rights could force it on children and that has some real-world parallels.

For mutants and the X-men, though, that means a permanent loss of their identity. Considering how mutants act as a metaphor for other oppressed minorities, this has implications for the real world, as well. I would even argue that the question will become increasingly relevant in the coming decades.

To appreciate just how relevant it could be, you need only look up the heartbreaking stories of parents who have disowned their children because they’re gay or transgender. In tragic some cases, people are driven to suicide. Even for those who aren’t parents, anything that might avert this kind of hardship is worth considering.

Given the complex causes of homosexuality, as well as the many factors behind transsexuality, it’s unlikely that there could ever be a vaccine to prevent it. The same can be said for conditions like Dwarfism. It’s not just genes, hormones, or radioactive spider bites that shape an individual’s persona. It’s a complex confluence of many things.

However, we are getting very close to a point where it’s possible to design children at the genetic level. Thanks to tools like CRISPR, it might even be possible one day to cut out entire traits from the human genome. That could, in theory, eradicate both cystic fibrosis and Dwarfism. More than a few people have expressed concern about that possibility.

Homosexuality and transsexuality are a bit different since there is no one gene or hormone that causes it, but most contemporary research suggests that genetics do play at least some role. Using similar technology, it might be possible for parents in the future to minimize or eliminate the chances of their children being homosexual or transsexual.

I imagine many in the LGBT community feel the same way about those efforts that the X-men felt about Senator Allen’s efforts in “Uncanny X-men #1.” Even if it only extends to giving parents this option for children and provides strict protections for those already born with these traits, it still treats who and what they are as a disease.

It’s dehumanizing and demeaning. More than one X-men in “Uncanny X-men #1” makes that abundantly clear. They don’t see being a mutant as a disease any more than homosexuality, transsexuality, or dwarfism. The fact that there’s now a way to prevent this makes for an existential crisis with some pretty heavy implications for the real and fictional world.

In the world of Marvel comics, a world without mutants has its own set of issues, the least of which would be the loss of a top-selling comic series. In the real world, though, the stakes are even higher. What would we, as a society, do if we suddenly had the tools to prevent homosexuality, transsexuality, and dwarfism in children before they’re even born?

I’ll even ask a more controversial question that’s sure to draw plenty of ire. What if those same tools could be used to modify the skin color, facial features, and overall appearance of our children? We already understand how genetics affects our appearance to some extent. What happens when we’re able to determine that for someone before they’re ever born?

These are objectively distressing questions. I’m glad “Uncanny X-men #1” dared to ask them. I doubt they’ll get debated or resolved completely in the proceeding issues, mostly because such resolutions are impossible in superhero comics. It still presents the X-men with a unique issue to confront and one that we will likely have to confront in the real world.

As is often the case with difficult questions, the answers are likely to anger some and distress many. Most people genuinely and sincerely want what’s best for their children. In the world of Marvel Comics, that could mean preventing them from gaining the kind of superpowers that makes them targets for Sentinels. In the real world, that could mean removing an entire class of people from the gene pool.

In issues like this, there are no heroes or villains. There are just difficult choices that we must make before someone else makes them for us.

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Filed under comic book reviews, futurism, gender issues, human nature, sexuality, superhero comics, Thought Experiment, X-men

The following is a review I wrote for PopMatters on Uncanny X-men #1. Enjoy!

An Uncanny Deconstruction of Superheroes in ‘Uncanny X-men #1’

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November 15, 2018 · 10:09 pm

Daily Sexy Musing: Verbal Foreplay

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I don’t consider myself a flirting expert, nor do I think very highly of the pick-up artist community. The idea of just bullshitting someone into sleeping with you doesn’t really sit well with me. Other than being unromantic, it comes off as the shallowest kind of intimacy. Sure, there’s a place for that sort of thing, but it doesn’t deserve to be glorified.

I’m still a big fan of using words as a catalyst for intimacy. I’m not just talking about the lurid dirty talk that often finds its way into my novels and sexy short stories. I genuinely believe that there’s an art to saying just the right thing in just the right way to turn a tender moment into something extra sexy. It’s not easy knowing how or when to say it, but when it works, it’s downright magical.

There have been only a handful of incidence where I can say with a straight face that I aroused a woman with my words. Those were amazing moments, though. I genuinely hope the women felt the same way. They helped affirm the power of sexy words and saying in just the right way.

The following Daily Sexy Musing is a tribute to how powerful that kind of sexy rhetoric can be. Regardless of gender or circumstances, it can turn a tiny spark into a passionate flame. You don’t need the wit of Shakespeare. You just need a willingness to turn sexy thoughts into sexier words. Enjoy!

I wait for a brief silence. In the chaos that is our lives, they don’t come by often. That makes every opportunity more precious and I intend to embrace every one of them. I need only you, me, and a quiet place where you can hear my voice above a whisper.

We’ve found just the right moment.

We’re in just the right place.

We have a chance to share illicit sentiment and I’m taking it.

I lean in and talk right into your ear. My tone is barely above a whisper, soft and direct so that there is no ambiguity. I leave nothing to chance. I make abundantly clear all the lurid things I want to do with you. Are you bold enough to handle that sentiment?

I say what needs to be said, unfiltered and uncensored. I await your reaction. I see you tense and I hear you gasp. I also notice your legs shifting, as though I struck just the right chord in your intimate anatomy. You try to hide it, but you don’t try very hard. You let me see your reaction. It says so much without a single word.

You turn and look at me. At first, you’re aghast. Moments later, you’re intrigued. Your expression changes. Gone is the look of innocence and restraint. In your eyes, I see the shackles come off. Your heart and your loins are freed. My words didn’t just pick the lock. It shattered every link on the chain.

You dive eagerly into my grasp.

You whisper devious musings into my ear.

You take my luscious verbiage and turn it against me.

Suddenly, the same chords are struck. Body, mind, and heart go in different directions, but make their way to the same destination. Our words provoke actions. Our actions inform passions. Those passions bring out the extremes of love, lust, and everything in between.

I offer more amorous rhetoric. You respond in kind. Like gusts of wind fueling a firestorm, it drives us to the highest peaks of desire. We don’t just remove our clothes. We rip them off. We don’t just caress one another. Together, we plunge into a sea of depthless desire.

All it took was a few words.

All it took was a distinct tone.

From our voice, the greatest acts of love and desire manifest before us.

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Improving Your Love Life And Your Sex Life (With Sleep)

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Maintaining a healthy romance is a lot like pursuing good sex. There’s no one right way to do it that works for everyone, but there are any number of wrong ways that can fail spectacularly. I’ve shared a few personal stories about my love life and even offered some insights on how to improve romance in the world of fiction. When it comes to real world advice, though, I try to be careful.

I’m not a relationship expert or a licensed therapist. I’m an aspiring erotica/romance writer who shares weekly sexy thoughts and bemoans how love is portrayed in popular media. Sure, I’ll occasionally give my opinion on serious issues involving gender politics and trends in popular culture, but I try to avoid giving the impression that I’m qualified to give advice.

However, there are a number of things we can all do for our love lives, a sex lives, and everything in between that makes it better. There are personal experiences that demonstrate it and even scientific research that supports it. Some are just common sense, but anyone who is familiar with the Darwin Awards knows that’s not always sufficient.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer the wonderful readers of this site the simplest and easiest advice they’ll ever get. It’ll improve your relationship. It’ll enhance your sex life. It’ll make you feel better, overall. What is the magical method that does so much to help so many aspects of your personal life? It’s simple.

Get better sleep.

That’s it. That is a real, effective method for improving your relationships, be it with a long-time lover or a one-night stand in Las Vegas. There’s no need for expensive therapy. You don’t have to pay a guru or a life coach. For once, it really is that simple. Get better sleep and your love life will improve.

Now, in the interest of not sounding too obvious, there are some details here that are worth highlighting. In recent years, the importance of getting a good night’s sleep has been become more critical. A great deal of research has shown a long list of benefits that come with good sleep and an equally lengthy list of detriments for those who don’t get enough.

Good sleep helps you lose weight, alleviate illness, and recover from serious injuries. None of that is news to anyone, but I get the sense that people don’t appreciate the role sleep plays in a healthy romance and a good sex life. That role goes beyond work and afterglow, as well.

According to research published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, poor sleep can disrupt your emotions and not just in terms of being groggy in the morning. Managing and regulating emotions is core component of any functional relationship. Even those who don’t mind melodrama are going to get burned out from someone who can’t figure out whether they’re stressed, miserable, or pissed off.

It even goes beyond messy emotional exchanges. That same study also showed a link between poor sleep and depression. Considering how depression tends to dull passion of any kind, romantic or otherwise, it’s understandable how it can undermine a relationship.

It’s even more understandable in terms of how it hurts your sex life. In addition to depression limiting your capacity to get in the mood, it also creates situations where people use sex as a band aid instead of a basic emotional expression. I’ve seen this happen before with friends and relatives. They try to use sex as an anti-depressant. It can offer temporary reprieve, but it does little to resolve any actual issues.

Then, there’s the simple logistics that a lack of sleep will create. If your lover is on a different sleep schedule than you, then that makes spending time together a chore because one of you is going to be groggy. Whether it’s due to work schedules or one person being a night owl, love can only do so much when a couple is rarely rested at the same time.

This goes beyond just being restless and buying overpriced lattes. A lack of sleep can actually cause damage to the brain. Sleep is supposed to be the time when your brain heals and refreshes itself after a long, arduous day. If it never gets a chance to heal, then that could impact everything from your memories to your emotions to your genitals.

Yes, a lack of sleep does have sexual side-effects. For men, it lowers testosterone, the magically masculine hormone that drives a significant part of the male libido. It effects men whether they’re gay, straight, bisexual, or trans. When your hormones are off, your sex life will suffer. It can even lead to erectile dysfunction, which is sure to compound that nasty mood I mentioned earlier.

Women experience a similar effect as well. On top of research showing that well-rested women tend to have more sex, a lack of sleep can make it significantly more difficult to achieve orgasm. At a time when women are already already dealing with an orgasm gap, this certainly doesn’t help. Even with adequate sleep, a lack of orgasms can hurt any relationship.

Again, a lot of this is common sense, but for those looking to improve or maintain their love lives, it may seem too common. It goes against the standard romantic narrative that two people in love always have to be doing something. They always have to be off going on adventures, working hard every hour of every day to stay in love, have great sex, and grow together.

While there’s certainly a place for that kind of effort in a relationship, it doesn’t have to come at the cost of a good night’s sleep. If anything, a couple sharing a restful night in bed together should count as an act of genuine romance. It doesn’t even have to come after sex or even involve nudity, although couples who sleep naked do enjoy added benefits.

Ideally, good sleep shouldn’t just be a byproduct of a quality romance. It should be part of the process. It could be as easy as communicating with your lover how much sleep you need, when to do it, and what helps you feel most rested. It may sound mundane, but these are little things that real loving couples often overlook.

One of my old college roommates actually got sleep down to a science. He and his girlfriend made a genuine effort to line up their sleep cycles so perfectly that I could pretty much set my watch to when they would turn in. It wasn’t always romantic, but I can’t argue with the results. They were together that entire semester and I rarely saw them in a bad mood.

Most people, whether they’re in a relationship or not, are willing to put in the work to make romance work. They’re just as willing to listen to gurus, pop pills, and read sexy stories to improve their sex lives as well. While I try to do my part with the sexy stories I tell, I think it’s ironic that just getting better sleep rarely comes to mind.

Even if it makes too much sense, it’s probably the easiest way for anyone to improve their relationship. We already know how to sleep. Most of us relish the opportunity to get more. If more sleep means better sex and quality romance, then it more than warrants a higher priority in our intimate efforts.

After all, a good lover is a well-rested lover.

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Daily Sexy Musing: Make-Up Sex

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I don’t care how good a relationship a couple has. At some point, they’re going to have a fight. Sometimes, it’s over something petty, like who didn’t do the laundry or who didn’t take out the trash. Other times, it can be pretty serious. I’m talking on the level of sleeping with the neighbor or running over the dog.

The strength of a relationship isn’t in how well they avoid these situations. It’s how well they endure them. Couples who really love each other and work on their relationship figure out how to get through those rough times. It can be hard, but they come out stronger in the long run. In many cases, the greatest manifestation of that strength is make-up sex.

Now, I feel as though make-up sex gets a bad rap. Every time it shows up in the erotica/romance genre, it’s portrayed as a crutch. It’s something couples use to mask the breadth of their problems. I don’t agree with this portrayal. I think it’s only a small part of a much larger story.

I intend to tell some of those stories, both in my novels and in my sexy short stories. In the meantime, this Daily Sexy Musing is my first attempt to re-establish the inherent sex appeal of make-up sex. Enjoy!

You’re upset.

I’m upset.

We’re both upset and we’re both to blame.

I don’t remember how it started. First, I did something. Then, I didn’t do something in response. You got angry and I got angry too. The things we said came from an unclear, irrational place. For a moment, all the good we had done and the trust we had established was forgotten.

It tears at my heart. I hate being mad at you. I know you hate it too. I see it in your eyes. The tears give away your anguish. It hurts you to direct such hatred towards me. It leaves wounds that cut deep, forging memories not easily forgotten. It’s a special kind of pain, one only possible when it comes from a person you love.

It doesn’t have to break us. It can’t. Our love is too strong. The work, passion, and energy we put in is too durable. I let you say what needs to be said. I say my part as well, but not a word more. We lay everything out for one another, our outrage and flaws laid bare.

I see you at your worst.

You see me at my lowest.

Together, it is our lowest point.

Then, in this moment of frustration and rage, something magical happens. We fall silent. On a whim, we decide to place our faith in the love and trust we have for each other. We gamble that our love is stronger than the source of our anger.

In the end, it pays off.

What is said and unsaid sends the right message. As quickly as we forgot our love, we remember it with sobering relief. I throw my arms around you and we embrace. You kiss me as though my life depends on it. I can literally feel your love entering me, washing over all the negative feelings that once drove us apart.

Now, we are together again. We are still wounded and in pain, but in a perfect position to heal. We tear our clothes off, find the nearest piece of furniture that can support our weight, and channel every feeling into something beautiful.

Pain becomes pleasure.

Hate becomes love.

Despair becomes ecstasy.

We can argue, disagree, and clash. We can never avoid the flaws of a world that seeks to undermine our love. However, we can make up for it and make our love stronger.

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RIP Stan Lee (1922-2018)

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No words. For once, I have no words.

Deadline: Marvel Comics Legend Dies At 95

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“Veteran Vixens” A Sexy Short Story For Veteran’s Day

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The following is a sexy short story I wrote in honor of Veteran’s Day. I have veterans in my family and I’ve come to know plenty throughout my life. They are special souls and this story is dedicated to them. Enjoy!

“Veterans Day,” said former army grunt Matthew Antos, “a day I guess I’m supposed to look forward to. I guess that also means I should be happy for all the parades, salutes, and PSAs. And yet…”

He let his words trail off as he gazed out the window of his Washington DC hotel, watching as parade streets were cordoned off in anticipation of the big parade that afternoon. In a few hours, he was scheduled to don his army uniform and march with his old unit down the street, waving to cheering crowds praising them for their service. That was the public spectacle of Veterans Day. In private, however, things weren’t always so honorable.

Matthew had debated whether he should even show up. He’d been discharged from the army three months ago after serving for three years. He’d spent time overseas, making his way through a number of war zones and living the rigid life of a military man. That meant playing by the rules, serving his country, and being a hardened soldier. He did all of that in hopes of achieving more, but he didn’t expect to lose so much along the way.

“What’s wrong with me?” Matthew asked himself. “I put in the time. I did my part. I came back in one piece, despite getting yelled at, shot at, and beaten up a few times. Why do I still feel so…numb to it all?”

He’d been asking himself that question since he got home. It had kept him up at night, so much so that he suffered frequent insomnia. It was almost easier when he’d been recovering from a shrapnel wound he endured a couple years ago. At least with that, he knew the cause of the discomfort. He knew how to tough it out. That was what soldiers did.

After coming home, nothing was that simple and it bugged the hell out of him. Ironically, he’d left his home initially because it was too simple. His parents didn’t have the money to send him to college, his grades hadn’t been that great, and he wasn’t able to get a scholarship. His uncle, a former marine, sold him on joining the military. Given all the benefits that came with dutiful service, it seemed like the best decision he could’ve made.

What his uncle didn’t tell him, however, was how hard it was to get back to civilian life once the guns stopped firing and the drill instructors stopped yelling. He also didn’t mention the price soldiers paid when serving. By being away, doing their duty, they couldn’t be there for friends, family, and loved ones. It was a tough price, but Matthew learned the hard way how hard it could be.

“Dale…Jenny…Reggie…Sybil,” he said.

Those were just some of the names of old friends who had died since he joined. They had been among those who waved goodbye and smiled when he left. Now, they were gone and he wasn’t even there for their funeral.

“Darren…Joey…Mac…Alvin,” Matt continued.

Those names were even harder to say. They were some of the fellow soldiers he’d met during his time in the service. He’d grown close to them. However, they weren’t going to be joining him on the parade. That was because they paid the ultimate price for their service. Some had wives, kids, and families. He didn’t and that just wasn’t fair on any level.

Recalling those names and the faces behind them were painful enough. However, in particular stung the most.

“Mom,” he said, his voice finally cracking.

Swallowing a hard lump of sorrow, Matthew turned away from the window and sat down at the foot of his bed. Swearing only a pair of dirty jeans, he buried his face in his hands as he tried to shut out the pain that hurt more than any shrapnel wound.

It was an unflattering act for a battle-hardened soldier, fighting off tears. Being a soldier meant holding them back, no matter how much it pained him. He’d been lying in a hospital bed, getting an IV drip when his commanding officer dropped by to give him the news. His mother had passed away after getting injured in a traffic accident.

There was nothing he could’ve done. There was no way to change it. Had he been there, he probably would’ve been in the car with her and died by her side. Instead, he’d been serving overseas, protecting his country while the life he’d built within it just fell apart without him. Everything just became so detached.

On one hand, he was held up as a good soldier so served his country honorable. On the other, he was a stranger in his own home town again. The people he loved were gone. The life he left behind was no more. He had no other skills beyond what the army had taught him. He’d never felt so alone before.

Even so, Matthew was expected to put on a strong face that afternoon and lead the parade. Even the trained soldier in him wasn’t sure he could pull it off.

“I’m supposed to be stronger than this,” Matt told himself. “Hell, this whole day is for vets like me! The whole country wants to thank me, but I still feel so goddamn alone.”

The former army grunt looked at his uniform, which he’d neatly folded on a chair. At some point, he was going to have to put it on. He was going to have to pretend that he felt so welcome and honored by the country he loved. He just wished he didn’t have to pretend.

As Matthew lamented over the conflict raging within, he heard a knock at his hotel door. The soldier in him reacted quickly. He didn’t remember calling one of his old squad mates or ordering room service. Curious, he got up and answered.

“Who’s there?” he called out.

“A proud volunteer for Veteran Vixens!” a female voice said from the other side.

“Veteran Vixens? What the hell is that?”

Curious, and a little annoyed, Matthew opened the door to see an unexpected sight. Standing right there in front of him was a beautiful young woman wearing camouflage pants, a tight-fitting green T-shirt, and black boots. At first, he thought she was one of the female soldiers set to attend the parade, but quickly ruled that out because she wore way too much makeup and did not stand like a trained soldier.

However, she definitely carried herself like someone on a mission.

“Hello former Private Matthew Antos,” the woman greeted. “My name is Angela Maxwell. I’m the proud daughter of a marine and a major supporter of Veteran Vixens.”

“Nice to meet you,” Matthew said, “but I’m still waiting to hear what that is and why you’re at my hotel room.”

“I’m here alongside other proud volunteers. You see, we at Veteran Vixens believe in honoring our nation’s veterans, especially in Veteran’s Day. However, we don’t believe that just throwing them a parade is sufficient. We feel our brave men in uniform deserve a more direct form of appreciation.”

The young woman’s voice took on a distinctly seductive tone. She then took a step closer, cast him a playful smile, and lightly pawed his exposed upper body. It caught Matt by surprise, but he didn’t object. If anything, her warm touch gave him some much-needed soothing. He might not have been a good student in high school, but he could already see where she was going.

“Well, soldier…mind if I come in?” Angela asked.

“Um…sure,” Matt said on instinct, his mind already racing.

He led her into his room. She then closed the door behind her, but not before putting the “do not disturb” tag on the knob. It left even less ambiguity behind her intentions, but that only raised more questions.

“Please tell me you’re not some elaborate prank from my squad,” Matt said. “I don’t think I can handle that crap on a day like this.”

“Relax,” Angela assured him, “they didn’t send me. However, one of your old officers told our organization that you were a veteran in need.”

“It can’t have been Sergeant Mixon. He’s the only officer who knows me well enough, but there’s no way the same hard-ass who made me do 100 push-ups at a time sent a beautiful woman to my hotel room on Veteran’s Day.”

“It was him,” she said curtly, “and when he told me what you’d been through the past few years, I jumped at the chance to thank you.”

“I’m still having a hard time believing that…or that this Veteran Vixens is even a thing.”

“I assure you it’s very real. It’s also exactly what you think it is…and then some.”

Her voice got even more seductive. Then, before they even left the foyer, she affectionately pulled him into a light embrace. It left Matt stunned and frozen in place, but in a good way. It had been a while since he’d experienced that kind of intimate touch. Having been living in barracks full of men for years, it was a nice change of pace, among other things.

As she embraced him, he saw a sexy, yet genuine intent in her eyes. It was like she could see the wounds and scars that were so unique to veterans. It helped convince him that she wasn’t just some pretty girl his squad mates had paid to mess with him. She was serious about helping a veteran in need and not just with a simple salute.

“We at Veteran Vixens have a simple philosophy,” Angela said while trailing her hand over the sinews of his chest. “An honorable soldier deserves more than basic platitudes on a day like this.”

“I’ve heard that before,” Matt pointed out.

“Except, we seek to provide something more intimate to show gratitude,” she went on. “Many of us are the daughters, sisters, cousins, and friends of such soldiers. As such, we have more incentive than most to offer that kind of gratitude.”

“And just what kind are we talking about here?” he asked, as though it weren’t obvious enough.

Angela grinned playfully. Then, just as her soft fingers had finished tracing over his chest, she broke the embrace and stepped back towards the bed. Once in the center of the room, the beautiful young woman stripped out of her clothes. She wasn’t casual about it, either. She took them off as though she were a stripper giving him a private show.

Matt, still frozen, remained in the foyer as he gazed in awe at the spectacle before him. That generic military garb she’d been wearing hid a very feminine, very sexy body. She hadn’t even been wearing a bra when she took off her shirt, her well-developed breasts tumbling out with ease. He couldn’t even tell if she’d been wearing panties, either. As soon as she slipped out of her camouflage pants, she stood completely naked.

He must have looked very undisciplined, especially for a soldier, gawking at a beautiful naked woman. Angela didn’t seem to mind, though. She even seemed to pose a little, making it so he had a perfect view of her breasts, legs, and hips. She made no effort to hide her beauty as she casually sat down on the bed and lightly spread her legs, revealing her unobstructed womanhood.

“Damn, you’re beautiful,” Matt said in a daze, “and I’m not just saying that as a man who lived in an all-male barracks for over three years.”

“I’m sure you’re not,” Angela said with a snicker. “I’m also sure you and your fellow vets didn’t get many changes for friendly female company while serving.”

“That’s both accurate and necessary, to some extent.”

“Well, you’re not in a war zone anymore. You’re not on duty or in basic training. You’re a veteran on Veteran’s Day…one who happens to be alone and struggling.”

“Something else I’m sure Sergeant Mixon told you,” Matt said. “How much else did he tell you?”

“Enough to know you’ve had it rough since coming home. There’s only so much anyone can do to make it easier for a veteran, but pretty girls like me…girls who happen to have a thing for strapping young vets in need of comfort…we can do more than most.”

She then scooted back on the bed, leaning on one arm and while gesturing towards him with the other. It was not an act of temptation at that point. It was an invitation.

“Come,” Angela offered, “as a participant in Veteran Vixens, I offer myself too you completely. Consider me some well-earned, much-needed, all-American pussy on behalf of those who appreciate your service!”

“That sounds so crazy, but makes so much fucking sense,” Matt said.

“Then, what are you waiting for, soldier boy? Get those pants off so we can start appreciating!”

Soldiers trying to re-enter civilian life often faced an existential crisis whenever their time with the military ended. It often left them in a conflicted state and there weren’t many forces in the world that could jar them from it. A beautiful naked woman, offering unfretted sex, was one of the few.

At that moment, Matthew Antos remembered that he wasn’t just a former soldier trying to make sense of his post-military life. He was also a healthy young heterosexual man who had not been laid since his ex-girlfriend broke up with him during a video chat two years ago. His mind and spirit might be damaged, but his dick still worked.

“Fuck, that’s the best order I’ve gotten in years!” he said, finally cracking a smile for the first time in weeks.

With energy that would’ve crushed any basic training course, Matthew shed his pants and underwear. He didn’t bother hiding the scars from the shrapnel wound on his abdomen. He didn’t care that he hadn’t shaved in over a week, either. As far as he was concerned, the universe just threw him a life preserver. He had been close to just losing it and here was a beautiful woman who wanted to help him. Who was he to refuse?

“Looks like someone aced his training regime,” Angela commented, her eyes narrowing on his athletic frame.

“Being fit is just part of being capable,” Matt said as he eagerly climbed onto the bed with her.

“Is that something you guys say in the army?”

“No. It’s just basic logistics.”

As if to demonstrate those capabilities, Matthew got on top of the woman and wrapped her in his powerful arms. He then smothered her face, neck, and cleavage with his lips, tasting her womanly flesh as though it were his favorite desert. He wasn’t gentle or careful. He was a soldier. Neither a battlefield nor a beautiful woman intimidated him. He wasn’t just willing to embrace her. He was willing to take her fully, as only a veteran could.

“Oohhh! What a good soldier!” Angela cooed.

“That turn you on?” he said in an assertive, soldier-like tone. “Does a horny, restless vet make you wet?”

“Hell yeah!”

She could’ve just been saying that, but body language didn’t lie. The way she dug her nails into his shoulder and grinded her hips against his revealed the truth. She really was getting horny. Matt could already feel the heat radiating from her inner thighs.

Seeking to build his own arousal, the eager veteran continued making out with her. He kissed and caressed her naked body while she pawed his manly sinews. As their bodies became more acquainted, years of pent up sexual energy quickly caught up with him. His dick got fully erect faster than he thought possible. Either he was really that horny or he’d been that deprived of intimate contact.

Whatever the reason, he didn’t intend to linger. As much as he loved making out with a naked woman, he had a more pressing mission at hand. After thoroughly tasting her lips one last time, he rose up, grabbed hold her thighs, and hitched her legs over her shoulder.

“This is just the soldier in me,” he said, “but permission to enter.”

“Permission granted!” Angela said.

It was official. Veterans really did turn her on. Not one to deny a beautiful woman the soldier dick she loved, Matt aligned his member with her wet entrance and thrust into her. As soon as he felt that hot, tight flesh around his manhood, it was ecstasy in its rawest form.

“Ohhh yeah!” the hardened soldier moaned, “that feels…so good.”

“That’s it, soldier. Enjoy that hot pussy!” Angela purred.

Treating that as an order from his old drill sergeant, Matt proceed to vent years of pent up desire and frustration. He tightened his hold on her thighs, dug his feet and knees into the bed, and moved his hips in a steady procession of rhythmic thrusting. Through every motion, his rigid cock slithered in her tight folds. Hard masculine muscles meshed with smooth womanly curves. As their naked bodies rocked, more intimate ecstasy followed.

It was like diving into a pool after running a marathon through a desert.

It was like reconnecting with a feeling that had been blocked off by impenetrable barriers.

Suddenly, he didn’t feel so detached from the world. He was connecting with it again, literally and figuratively. His gaze never diverted from the woman under him, watching as she moaned and beamed with delight as he humped her. She already had the look of a soldier who’d just fulfilled a mission. For her, giving a distressed veteran sex was uniquely fulfilling. Something about that just felt right.

“Oh yes! Oohhh yes!” Angela moaned. “Like that! Fuck me like that!”

“You mean…like…this?” he grunted, thrusting extra hard while pushing her legs further apart.

“Yes! Fuck me like a true veteran! Make me come!”

She already sounded close to orgasm. Matthew stepped up the sexual rhythm, rocking her body and the bed even harder. She ended up being closer than he’d thought. She climaxed on the spot, curling her toes and throwing her head back as her inner muscles throbbed in accord with her release.

It was a beautiful sight, an all-American girl having an orgasm at the hands of him, an American veteran. Everything he fought and sacrificed for took a tangible form. It was also pretty audible as well. Angela was quite vocal in an orgasmic state.

“OHHH YES!”

Matthew grinned at the spectacle before him, slowing his motions for a moment to take it all in. However, he didn’t linger for long. He remembered he wanted a release as well. While Angela bathed in her euphoric state, he dug his feet and knees into the bed even harder as he pushed towards his own release.

“Angela…I’m close too!” he grunted. “I’m going to…come!”

“Go on, soldier,” she purred. “Fill me with that veteran cum.”

Not needing an order for once, Matt delivered the last round of humps to send him over the edge. When the feeling hit, it wasn’t just an overdue sexual release. It was like an old burden crumbling to dust around him, replaced with unhindered ecstasy and bliss.

Battle hardened muscles tensed.

Skin that had been dirtied by battle burned hot with desire.

Body parts that had not been used much lately went into overdrive.

Under the refreshing wave of his release, the hardened soldier let out a moan of contentment as he achieved orgasm. Throbbing flesh met with throbbing flesh as his manly juices mixed with hers. Pleasure, relief, and intimate connection became real and tangible. That lonely, distant feeling that plagued him early suddenly didn’t seem so pressing.

“You’re a damn good soldier,” said Angela, still beaming with post-orgasmic delight, “a damn good soldier, indeed.”

As Matthrew soaked in the feeling, she caressed his unshaven face and kissed him. Like a reflex, he kissed back. In the process, he withdrew his manhood from her and laid down next to her. He kept her naked body in his arms, the intimate contact still providing relief beyond that of a sexual release. She clung to him as well, pawing his chest as if to wipe away his distress.

As he laid with such a beautiful woman, Matt found himself recall the names of the people he’d lost and the world he’d lost since joining. The pain was still there, but there was now something else to counter it. Instead of agonizing over the past he’d missed, he looked towards a more promising future.

“I needed this…so bad,” Matt said, still breathless.

“I can tell.”

“I don’t think you understand the full story, Angela,” he said in a more serious tone. “Before you showed up, I was on the brink. I…wasn’t sure of my place in this world anymore. I’m a soldier. I served my country. I came home. And now…”

His words trailed off, still unable to fully process everything he’d agonized over since he returned home. Angela curled up closer to him, cupping his face with both hands and gazing into his eyes with the compassion of an angel.

“You feel lost,” she told him. “You’re a soldier. You worked, trained, and fought so hard that it’s part of who you are. Not being a soldier at this point…and everything else that comes with it…that’s a lot to deal with.”

“Sounds like you’re intimately familiar with men like me,” he pointed out.

“If you’re wondering whether I’ve had sex with other vets, then stop wondering. Every girl at Veteran Vixens has plenty of experience with veteran-brand pillow talk.”

“Sorry if mine sounds routine,” he said, “especially since I’m one of the lucky ones. I came back. Some of my squad mates didn’t.”

“That’s a big part of what makes being a veteran so overwhelming. You survived. You fought your battles and made it through. A part of you is still fighting, though. Sometimes, you need something to let you know it’s okay to stop…that it’s okay to reconnect.”

It made so much sense. Then again, a lot of crazy things made sense after having sex with a beautiful woman. Could it really that simple? Could the key to confronting the emptiness and uncertainty that had plagued him since he returned home be a simple matter of reconnecting? In that sense, random sex with a beautiful woman counted as a productive first step.

“Reconnect…yeah, I think I can do that,” Matt said with greater confidence. “Thanks for the memorable reminder, Angela.”

“That’s what we at Veteran Vixens do,” she said proudly. “It’s hard enough adapting to civilian life again. Nothing seems nearly as hard after getting laid.”

“Which is why it’s my new favorite veterans charity!”

“Good to hear,” she laughed.

Angela kissed him again, still keeping her naked body close to his. Matt eagerly returned the kiss. Embracing her felt like embracing the world again. It gave him renewed confidence and strength, which he planned to use for the parade later that afternoon.

He still had some time to prepare. Luckily for him, the kiss between him and Angela quickly turned into another make-out session. At some point, she rolled over on top of him while he rolled onto his back. The next thing Matt knew, he was looking up at a naked woman straddling his waist with a lustful, yet affectionate glint in her eyes.

“In keeping with the spirit of Veteran Vixens, I can stick around a bit longer if you want,” she said curtly.

“I’d like that,” Matt said while smiling back.

“I can also suck your dick, get you hard again, and then ride it hard until we come again.”

“I’d like that even more.”

“Great!” she said, already sounding excited. “Because when it comes to honoring our troops on Veterans Day, we at Veteran Vixens like to go the extra mile!”

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