The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It is a full, spoiler-filled review of “Black Widow.” After multiple delays and a global pandemic, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is back. Was it worth the wait? Does it measure up to previous MCU movies? Does it give Natasha Romanov the appropriate send-off she deserves? These are all questions I try to answer in this review. Enjoy!
Being a self-professed romantic and an aspiring erotica/romance writer, I often scrutinize the nature of romance more than most. Whereas some might watch a movie or TV show and see the basics of a romantic sub-plot, I’ll dig much deeper. I’ll identify which romances are inherently flawed, why some work beautifully, and why love triangles are inherently awful.
That scrutiny goes beyond media, popular culture, and my own efforts to tell a good love story. I often find myself observing how romance unfolds in real life. Whether it’s how people have pursued romance in the past to my own romantic endeavors, there’s a lot to break down and it doesn’t always make sense. Love isn’t known for being rational, after all.
It’s because of this tendency of mine that I notice things that rarely come up in discussions about romance. Recently, I realized something profound while reading several stories about how modern dating has changed in recent years, of which there are many.
Modern romance has become more a job interview than an emotional journey.
I imagine some will roll their eyes at that notion. Some might even agree with it and not need any convincing. A few probably think I’m giving this too much thought, even for a romance fan. That may be a fair point, but I believe the evolution of modern romance is becoming a lot less romantic.
To be fair, finding has undergone many upheavals throughout history. It wasn’t until the past couple centuries that people actually married for love. Those who claim to champion “traditional” marriage probably aren’t aware that marriage and formal relationships were little more than passionless business contracts for most of human history.
Love and romance were always there. We, as human beings, are hardwired to form loving bonds. It just took different forms and people went about it in very different ways. Most people have a general idea of how people go about it today. It tends to go something like this.
- Two people meet, either in person or online
- There’s a spark of attraction
- They both pursue each other
- They go on dates to learn about one another and explore their romantic connection
- If the connection is strong enough, they forge a lasting relationship and build a life together
Granted, this is an exceedingly gross simplification. It still covers most of the basics. That’s the problem, though. It only deals with the basics and people are rarely basic.
It starts shortly after a mutual attraction is established. Once two people start pursuing one another, the dating phase starts. Movies, TV shows, and romance novels tend to be vague about how this unfolds. However, it’s here where the parallels with job interviews start to show.
While a love story may depict candle-lit dinners, coordinated dancing, and intimate gestures, the bulk of that process tends to involve more pragmatic acts. For two people to understand whether they’re romantically compatible, they need to get to know one another. To get to know one another, they need to interact.
That, in and of itself, doesn’t make dating indistinguishable from a job interview. For that, the modern structure of relationships is what fosters that and I’m not just referring to marriage. This affects couples who cohabitate, as well as those who are serial monogamists.
From a logistical standpoint, a modern romance has many moving parts. It’s not enough to just be attracted to one another, enjoy each other’s company, or have great sex. People often have to find a way to fit one another into their lives. There are jobs, career aspirations, and living situations to consider.
These days, people aren’t as likely to stay in the same place they were born in, especially if the opportunities in that town are limited. The same goes for their families. Even if they stay, sometimes their parents or extended family move away. Maybe it’s for retirement, going to college, or pursuing their own romantic interests. Having to accommodate all that into a relationship can be daunting.
In the same way you might be qualified for a job, but not in a position to take it, you might find yourself in a similar relationship with romance. All the emotional, physical, and sexual chemistry is there. However, you’re just not in a position to pursue it. You can’t maintain that relationship when you’re both living in other time zones or pursuing different paths.
That’s not to say long distance relationships can’t work, but it’s like trying to do a job remotely. There’s only so much you can do when you’re not present. If that weren’t the case, everyone would work from home or from a tropical paradise. I that as someone who has been unable to pursue major opportunities and broken up from good relationships due to distance.
Even if you can work around issues of distance and time, there’s also the matter of becoming entwined with family affairs. As the “Meet The Parents” trilogy so hilariously demonstrates, being with someone is rarely just about being with them, individually. At some point, if the romance is to be serious, their family will get involved.
That process can be as complicated as matching qualifications for a specialized job on a resume. You’ve got to make sure both families can get along. They can’t just tolerate each other at the wedding or during the holidays. They have to be capable of co-existing in a way that doesn’t undercut the romance.
It’s very similar from having a job that matches your skill set, but for an organization that is just insufferable. A lot of people have had to endure jobs they hated, even if they paid well or matched their various talents. When the organization within the job is awful, then even a dream job can be awful.
You can love someone with all your heart. You might even have someone your family loves. However, if your lover’s family is an absolute pain, then the romance will suffer. Now that relationships aren’t just business arrangements, we have to navigate around one another’s lives and their families. To do that, it’s necessary to treat dating like a job interview.
You have figure out if this person fits into your life.
You have to figure out if their hopes, dreams, and abilities match what you’re looking for.
You have to prove that your hopes, dreams, and abilities match theirs as well.
You have to determine whether you fit into the organization of their life and their family.
Ultimately, you have to build that shared life together around all of that, knowing that breaking up/being fired/quitting comes with a personal/professional cost.
On the surface, it’s hardly romantic. At the same time, there’s an undeniable pragmatism to it. As society has evolved, complete with more egalitarian gender roles and fewer taboos about being single, we’re in a better position to chart our own romantic path. We don’t just have to settle for limited options and few opportunities. We can dare to seek something greater.
As a byproduct, the basic romantic elements of intimate chemistry can never be enough. It’s necessary, if not unavoidable, to assess a prospective lover’s entire life to determine of that romance is even viable. It’s not easy and it’s exceedingly imperfect, as the rate of divorce and abusive relationships indicates.
However, being the romantic I am, I still say it’s worth pursuing. That process is still very likely to change as society, technology, and attitudes change. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are sure to change it even more. Whether it becomes more or less like a job interview remains to be seen.
Every summer brings its share of unique activities that have equally unique sex appeal. It’s easy to single out beaches, bikinis, and heat waves that keep people from wearing much clothing. I certainly appreciate all those things and the inherent sexiness they bring. After last year, I like to think I appreciate them even more.
However, there is another underrated summer activity that can also have a unique sex appeal. It involves the inherent appeal of grilling delicious food. Now, that’s not to imply a particular food fetish. That’s an entirely different kink that I won’t get into. If you want to look into it, then by all means. Just remember to delete your browser history.
The kind of appeal I’m referring to has more to do with the unique flavors and settings that summer grilling offers. Growing up, I often went to family reunions or attended family gatherings that involves a great deal of grilling. The smells alone made those gatherings memorable. Just writing about it makes me hungry.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate the joys of grilling burgers, hot dogs, steaks, bacon, and pretty much anything you can throw on a griddle. It’s not just delicious. In the summer, it’s part of a communal activity.
People are drawn to delicious food for the same reason horny men are drawn to boobs. It’s an appeal not restricted to any gender. Regardless of which body parts you find appealing, you can still appreciate a good burger. You can also appreciate the inherent sexiness of watching someone eat a large hot dog.
This is a great time of year to get outside, fire up a grill, and cook up some classic summer meats. It might not get you laid, but it will get you and everyone around you some delicious food. What could be more fulfilling than that? If that doesn’t get you hungry, here are some Sexy Sunday Thoughts to help stir your appetite. Enjoy!
“To some extent, a sexual fantasy involves lying your way to a better orgasm.”
“Is it wrong to be suspicious of someone who owns a large leash and no dog?”
“Someone saying “Oops!” can precede their demise or someone else’s conception.”
“Power corrupts, but great sex motivates.”
“You should never play poker with someone who is good at faking orgasms.”
“Like it or not, there’s a chance that finding the love of your life involves getting or giving a great blowjob.”
“The fact that the threat of Hell doesn’t prevent religious people from masturbating proves the true power of orgasms.”
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. This is actually a video I’ve been planning to make for quite some time now. I always wanted to release it alongside the release of the “Black Widow” movie, but if you followed the news last year, you understand why that was such a challenge.
As frustrating as the wait has been, it’s finally happening. This movie is coming out and that means it’s a great time to get back into Black Widow comics. As it just so happens, last year brought us one of the best gems featuring Black Widow in years, courtesy of Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande. I rarely make such a statement for a comic that’s not even two years old, but this one definitely warranted an exception. Watch this video to find out why. Enjoy!
For nearly two decades, X-Men fans like myself have known only one Wolverine on the big screen in Hugh Jackman. In that time, we’ve had three don the mantle of Spider-Man, two as Superman, two as Batman, and even two as the original X-Men cast. The world of superhero actors is dynamic, to say the least. Long-term stability is the exception, not the norm.
However, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is one of the greatest exceptions of all time. Multiple generations of fans know no other Wolverine and the idea of casting someone else to don those adamantium claws just feels wrong. Despite plenty of casting rumors, no one can forget the high bar of snarling, swearing berserker rage that Mr. Jackman set for 17 years.
Now, he’s toying with our collective hearts once more. In a somewhat cryptic post to his Instagram, Jackman showed an image of him and Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, along with some iconic Wolverine artwork by BossLogic.
Needless to say, it garnered a hell of a reaction. I’m not gonna lie. My heart definitely skipped a beat when I saw this. As much as I love the send-off Jackman’s Wolverine got in “Logan,” a part of me still wants to see Jackman play Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since Disney didn’t complete its purchase of Fox until after “Logan” came out, it seemed like an impossible dream.
Now, this cryptic post does not confirm anything. Kevin Feige, Disney, and Marvel Studios are notorious for their secrecy. You’d probably have better luck getting information out of the CIA at this point. That said, I’m inclined to believe Feige and Jackman knew what kind of reaction they’d get by posting this. This was not an accident. It may just be a stunt, but a part of me believes it might be something more.
That’s not to say it means Hugh Jackman is signing onto do another six Marvel movies as Wolverine. That’s just not gonna happen, given Jackman’s age and the training it takes just to be Wolverine. If he thinks he can do it, then more power to him. I’ll be the first to cheer him on. I just think it’s more likely that Marvel Studios wants a fresh start with Wolverine and all things X-Men.
However, that doesn’t mean they won’t acknowledge the past cinematic successes of X-Men. Since Jackman was part of those successes, I think it’s likely he will make a few Stan Lee style cameos at some point. That leads me to believe that this post teased a possible appearance in the upcoming “Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” Since multiverse is literally in the title, it may be the case that the world of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is just one of the universes that story will reference.
If that means seeing Hugh Jackman as Wolverine again, even if it’s brief, then that alone will be worth the ticket price.
If it means something more, then that’ll be a hell of a bonus.
I’m not getting my hopes up for the latter, but I’ll be plenty satisfied with the former. There’s also a chance that this is nothing more than Jackman capturing a nice moment with someone he’s known for over 20 years. If that’s the case, then I’ll be disappointed, but not enough to stop loving Hugh Jackman and all the wonderful years he gave us as Wolverine.
Getting into comics can be daunting. That’s unavoidable when some of these comics have hundreds of issues and half-a-century of continuity to deal with. I remember how overwhelming it was for me. Then again, I was a kid at the time. Everything that didn’t involve Nintendo games seemed overwhelming to me. I still managed. It didn’t take me too long to get a firm understanding of the elaborate lore surrounding Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse.
Keep in mind, I did this all before the internet. I’m also not that smart. I just followed my passion, found some basic reference materials, and asked questions to veteran comic fans whenever I needed more insight. Now, I’m one of those guys who can talk about comics for hours and sees every New Comic Book Day as Christmas morning. I can safely say my life is better because of that.
These days, it has never been easier to get into comics. The internet has made it much easier to learn about continuity, lore, reboots, and retcons. The rise of tablet computers and Comixology has made it so you don’t even have to put on pants to enjoy comics. While going to my local comic shop was always a great memory, I still envy new fans today for all the tools they have.
Between better tools and the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, comics have come a long way. They’re not just for nerds and geeks anymore. They’re for everyone. The volume of content has never been more diverse and appealing. This week, more than most, is a great chance to dive in. New eras are set to begin and big summer events are starting to heat up. To assist in embracing the world of comics, here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
My Pull List
My Pick Of The Week
People are diverse, complicated, and erratic at times. If you’ve spent any amount of time on this planet, you’ve probably figured that out already. As a result, people are often turned on or aroused by weird things. The very existence of BDSM is proof of that. Some of the sexy stories I’ve written only add to that proof.
I know anything sexual tends to make people uncomfortable. That’s understandable. Sex has a lot of taboos and we, as a society, are still learning to deal with them. At the same time, no amount of stigma can stop people from getting turned on. The human body, the human mind, and the human sex drive is just that strong.
As a result, people will often uncover what turns them on or gets them aroused in unexpected ways. Sometimes, it’s by accident. Sometimes, it’s awkward as hell. It can also be both hilarious and hot. That’s just the extent of how complicated people can get.
To that end, I’d like to share some real stories of how people “accidentally” discovered what turns them on. It comes courtesy of the r/AskReddit subreddit and the YouTube channel, Reddit Legends. Please note that some of these stories are NSFW and some are less titillating’s than others, but they’re still fun and insightful. Enjoy!
Please bear with me, people. I’m still digesting all the burgers, beer, and hot dogs I ate yesterday while celebrating the 4th of July and the country I love. My energy is lacking today and I don’t expect that to change for a while. However, even though today is the 5th of July, most places are still treating it as part of the 4th of July holiday.
Now, I’m never one to turn down an extra day off. So, I intend to continue enjoying it. I encourage everyone to do so. Celebrating America shouldn’t be confined to just one day. In that spirit, I’ll try contribute to that effort in the best way I can.
Since I’m still drained and tired, please accept these clips of Ron Swanson, on of the greatest fictional Americans of all time, to nourish your patriotic spirit. Enjoy!
Happy Birthday, America!
It’s that time of year again, but this time it’s more meaningful than usual. I know this year hasn’t been kind to the country I love. Between a global pandemic and an attempted insurrection, this has been a rough year for America. As an American, I’ve felt it. I’ve groaned, cringed, and lamented more than once this year.
At the same time, I remain hopeful.
As bad as the first part of this year has been, we can objectively say that things are better now than they were at this time last year. Thanks to a change in leadership, as well as the development of effective vaccines, America has been on a road to recovery. There’s still plenty of room for improvement, but we’re still progressing and that’s a good thing.
That’s very much in line with the story of America, itself. This country was founded on high ideals, but operated by flawed, misguided individuals. There’s no denying that we’ve made mistakes, as both a country and a society. Some were so bad that we had to fight a war over them. We should acknowledge that.
At the same time, we shouldn’t let those flaws and mistakes stop us from celebrating America’s highest ideals. Those ideals still matter. They’ve always mattered. They’ve been a driving force for generations of Americans, going all the way back to the founding. Let today be both a reminder and motivator.
We’ve come a long way, America. We still have so much further to go. For today, though, let’s celebrate the 4th of July as only Americans can. To get you into the patriotic spirit, here are some Sexy Sunday Thoughts. Enjoy!
“Sometimes, sexual taboos end up being potent lubricants for elaborate kinks.”
“An impotent man with a skilled tongue can still satisfying many women.”
“A couple achieving simultaneous orgasm during sex was probably classified as the first miracle.”
“When you think about it, dildos and toy guns have a lot in common.”
“An arranged marriage a family’s way of telling someone they don’t trust them to use their genitals wisely.”
“There’s a good chance you know someone who put something weird up their butt at some point.”
“Premature ejaculation is nature’s way of telling a man he’s not ready for a threesome.”