Tag Archives: love stories

Quick Announcement: Sexy Short Stories Plans

I know Saturday is usually when I post a sexy short story. I pride myself on being consistent with updates on this site and believe me, I’ve been working on those stories. I have plenty more to tell and I fully intend to share them.

This past week, however, a few things came up that kept me from finishing a story on time. One of those things actually involves another sexy short story that I’ve been writing for Labor Day. I know I already have a Labor Day themed story, but I wanted to write another. I thought I would finish it and have plenty of time to complete another one that I’ve been working on for over a week. Then, life happened and I couldn’t.

Rest assured, I will finish. I will keep posting these sexy short stories and sharing them. I apologize that I was unable to finish one for today. I hope to make up for it with the upcoming Labor Day story. I also hope the other story I’ve been working on is worth the wait.

Thanks for your understanding and your patience. Good things are worth waiting for. Sexy things are even more worth it. I hope to continually prove that with each story I write.

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Imagining My Perfect Valentine’s Day

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A while back, I imagined what my perfect Christmas would be if I had unlimited resources. Since Christmas is my favorite holiday, it was not too difficult to imagine. When you love a certain occasion, it’s easy to let your imagination run wild. For Valentine’s Day, though, it’s a bit trickier.

At the moment, I’m single. I haven’t been in a serious relationship for quite some time. My reasons for that are many, but I’d rather not focus on that for the moment. Instead, I’d like to push my imagination once more, while also mixing in my fondness for romance, to contemplate the perfect Valentine’s Day.

To do so requires that I be in a relationship, so for this scenario to work, I’m going to use a similar set of rules that I used for Christmas. Once again, that means money is no object. Either I’ve won the lottery or one of my novels became a best seller. Whatever the case, I’m unbound by financial constraints and I have whatever resources I desire, be they tangible assets or logistical know-how.

In addition to those resources, I’ll operate under the assumption that I’m with someone I’m deeply in love with. It doesn’t matter whether we’re married or not. At the very least, we already live together and we’ve a couple long enough to know that our love is serious. It’s not a fling or one of those brief relationships that isn’t supposed to last too long. This is the real deal.

With those parameters in place, here’s how I envision my perfect Valentine’s Day playing out with my lover. Please note that I’ll leave some details ambiguous so that things are flexible between me and my lover. The goal is still the same, though. I want me and my lover to have the greatest Valentine’s Day possible and this is just one way of going about that.

It begins a full month before Valentine’s Day. At some point in mid-January, I ask my love to pick a tropical locale. It doesn’t matter where it is, so long as it has a beach, warm weather, and plenty of places for us to be romantic. Whether it’s the Bahamas, South America, Mexico, or Southeast Asia, I leave it entirely up to her.

Once she makes her choice, I spend the rest of the month making appropriate plans. First, I find the fanciest, most luxurious hotel there is. I then reserve the most expensive suite there is. If necessary, I’ll buy out an entire floor. On top of that, I’ll request that the staff be ready to prepare any of my love’s favorite meals, whether it’s a fancy steak, exotic seafood, or a microwave pizza.

In addition to the food, I’ll make sure to reserve a private portion of the beach, just for us. It doesn’t have to be the entire beach. It just has to be big enough for us to enjoy some privacy, especially if we feel the need to engage in nude sunbathing, nude swimming, or anything other romantic activities that may require nudity.

After those preparations are made, I plan for me and my love to fly out to our tropical destination the day before Valentine’s Day. I make sure the trip itself is romantic. We travel to the airport in a limousine, complete with champagne and snacks. We then fly out on a private jet. There’s no waiting in long lines or being stuck at an airport. We get in and take off as quickly as possible, so as to maximize our time at the beach.

While on route in the air, we share a pre-prepared meal meant to replicate the first meal we shared on our date. As we dine, we also watch the first movie we ever saw together, whatever it might be. Then, depending on how long the trip is, we make love before taking a nice long nap until we arrive at our destination.

Once we’re there, we depart from the private jet, enter another limo, and make our way to the hotel. If we have time, we make love again in the back while enjoying some more champagne, whichever comes first. Upon arriving at the hotel, we settle into our room, get a nice meal if we’re hungry, and go for a nice long walk together on the beach.

From there, things get less structured. We just relax, explore our surroundings, and rest up for an eventful day tomorrow. Before we got to sleep that night, we make love again and we make sure we’re not disturbed. We then settle into a peaceful sleep.

The next morning is Valentine’s Day. As such, we sleep in as long as we please. If we’re in the mood, we make love again. If not, we simply order breakfast in bed and dine naked together. We then share a nice long shower together, followed by a romantic stroll on the beach. Clothing is entirely optional for the most part and discouraged in most instances.

We spend the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon just lounging together on the private areas we reserved. We relax, go swimming, and make love in whatever way we please. Every distraction is minimized. Ever comfort is provided, be it food or suntan lotion.

After a day on the beach, we return to the hotel where we spend the afternoon getting pampered in a spa. We each take turns getting massages. We spend ample time in a hot tub together. Again, clothing is entirely optional or discouraged. Once we’re sufficiently pampered, we retire to our room where a buffet of our favorite food and deserts await us.

As we dine, we have a mini-marathon of our favorite movies and TV shows. We binge as much as we can, recounting the moments they inspired and the passions they evoked. Along the way, we snuggle as much as possible, making love whenever possible. We try to make use of every hour of the day, right up until midnight.

Finally, in the last hour of Valentine’s Day, I carry my lover back to the bedroom, sit her down, and read her a special poem I wrote just for that day. I make sure it’s the most romantic, heart-felt thing I’ve ever written. I say every word with the utmost passion. Then, once I’m finished, I curl up with her in bed, make love to her one last time, and settle into a peaceful sleep just as the clock strikes midnight.

There you have it. That is my vision for the perfect Valentine’s Day. I know it involved a lot of nudity and lovemaking. I’m not going to apologize for that. This is simply my vision for the greatest day of romance I can conjure for my lover. I only hope that one day I meet someone with which I can share such a romance. Until then, I’m content to keep imagining and hope it inspires plenty of sexy stories.

If you have your own vision for the perfect Valentine’s Day, I’d love to hear it. For everyone else lucky enough to have a lover in their lives, I wish you a happy and sexy Valentine’s Day.

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How “Groundhog Day” Helped Make Me A Romance Fan

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Many of us remember the movies, TV shows, novels, comic books, or video games that helped make us fans of a particular genre. They’re often profound moments in our lives, sparking a passion that inspires us to explore a world we didn’t know existed.

Movie buffs have that one movie that made them a fan of film.

Hardcore gamers have that one game that helped make them a fan of video games.

Comic book fanboys have that one comic that inspired them to dress up in elaborate costumes at comic conventions.

For romance fans, it’s no different. There’s often something that sparks our interest and inspires us to explore love, lust, and everything in between. Sometimes, it’s a book. Sometimes, it’s a personal moment. For me, it was a movie. Since today is February 2nd, I think most can already guess which movie I’m talking about.

That’s right. One of the catalysts that inspired my love of romance was the classic Bill Murray movie, “Groundhog Day.” While I won’t say it’s the sole reason for me becoming a romantic, seeing this movie marked a turning point for me. It marked the first time I enjoyed a movie because of its romantic sub-plot and not in spite of it. While it wouldn’t be the last, its impact is still special.

To appreciate that impact, I need to get a little personal about when I saw this movie and how it affected me. I didn’t see this movie when it was out in theaters. At the time, I was still somewhat of a kid. I say somewhat because I was at that point of childhood where people stop treating you like a baby and start preparing you for adulthood.

That also happens to be the time when your media consumption starts to diversify. It’s no longer cartoons and Disney movies. You finally start to watch other TV shows and movies with more mature themes. You don’t make the leap to R-rated, but you’re at a point where singing animals and distressed princesses just aren’t cutting it anymore.

It’s here where I need to give credit and thanks to my awesome mother, which I’ve done before. While my father helped me take sports more seriously, my mother let me watch some more serious TV shows and movies with her. Again, it was nothing too extreme. It was mostly prime-time shows like “Seinfeld” and “The Simpsons.”

While those shows had some appeal to me, they didn’t have too great an impact. Then, one fateful day, I sat down to watch “Groundhog Day” with her. My mom loved the movie and I was already a fan of Bill Murray after “Ghostbusters.” It was just a perfect confluence of circumstances that went onto have a profound impact, even by Bill Murray standards.

For the first time in my life, I watched a movie where the love story didn’t follow the typical Disney formula. More importantly, it was a love story that didn’t bore or disinterest me. I found myself genuinely intrigued by Phil Connors’ adventures in his time loop and how Rita ended up being the key to helping him escape.

I watched as this eccentric character that only Bill Murray could play go from an egotistical asshole to someone capable of genuine love. I’d never seen that kind of character evolution before. On top of that, I’d never seen a female character as likable and fun as Rita before.

She wasn’t just some generic love interest.

She wasn’t just there to give Phil an emotional sub-plot.

She was a well-developed, complex character who I could root for as much as Phil in the end.

For a kid my age, this was an incredible concept that I found myself appreciating more than most. I had friends and relatives my age who liked the movie too, but not in the same way I did. They appreciated the comedy and the always-endearing charisma that is Bill Murray, but the romance was usually secondary. For me, it helped make the movie special on a very personal level.

Charisma like this appeals to any age.

After seeing “Groundhog Day” and its unique approach to romance, I started to appreciate romantic sub-plots in other mediums. I paid more attention to it in the comics I read. I followed it more closely in the cartoons and TV shows I watched. In time, my interest in romance evolved into a full-blown passion. For that, I’ll always be thankful to this movie, my mother, and Bill Murray.

Even today, I can appreciate the unique way “Groundhog Day” went about telling a love story. Even by modern standards, its brand of romance holds up very well. It avoids many of the standard tropes that often plague modern romance in media.

In the beginning, Phil isn’t romantically interested in Rita. She isn’t interested in him, either. There’s no elaborate plot involving love-at-first-sight or friends-becoming-lovers. Instead, “Groundhog Day” takes a more refined approach. It starts with Phil becoming more interested in Rita, but not entirely in a romantic sense. That comes later and the love is more genuine because of it.

It doesn’t happen all at once. In fact, there’s a brief montage of all the ways Phil fails to win Rita’s love. Given the constraints of the time loop, that’s understandable. However, it’s still heartbreaking for Phil because you get the sense that he wants to love someone. He’s all alone in this temporal purgatory. His ego is no longer enough.

Over the course of the movie, Phil evolves into the kind of person that Rita falls in love with. Towards the end, she begins pursuing him and much as he pursues her. It’s not just about the man proving his worth to a woman, as is often the case in every movie featuring a princess. Their love only becomes real when they both pursue each other.

Even by modern standards, which have become a lot less forgiving, the romance in “Groundhog Day” is remarkably balanced. By the end, you get the sense that Phil and Rita genuinely want to be together for all the right reasons. Being trapped in that time loop made Phil a better person. That person is someone Rita fell in love with. Even as a kid, I thought that was incredibly sweet.

I still remember how much I smiled when I saw that last scene in the movie with Phil and Rita venturing out into the snow together. Only a handful of movies have ever made me smile like that since and “Groundhog Day” was the first to do it through romance. On top of the many other accolades this movie has received over the years, it succeeded on a very personal level with me.

I’ll never know for sure if I would’ve become a romance fan I am today if I hadn’t seen “Groundhog Day.” I tend to believe that I’m the kind of person who would gravitate towards it eventually. However, I don’t doubt for a second that this movie helped shape me into the romantic I am today. For that reason, Groundhog Day, both the holiday and the movie, will hold a special place in my heart.

Thank you, Bill Murray.

Thank you, Andie MacDowell.

Thank you, Harold Ramis.

Thank you, Mom.

Finally, to everyone out there, regardless of whether you’re a romance fan or haven’t seen the movie, Happy Groundhog Day!

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Five Overused Romantic Sub-Plots (And How To Fix Them)

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Being a self-professed romance fan, I know more about the intricacies of romantic sub-plots than most men would ever dare admit. I’ve consumed an absurd amount of romantic media over the years and I’ve noticed more than a few common themes, some more endearing than others.

However, by consuming so much romantic content, I’ve also seen certain themes get overused and badly mishandled. I could list countless instances promising romantic sub-plots collapsing because it fell into a narrative trap. Sometimes, it’s because of poor writing. Sometimes, it’s because the story has too many constraints. I’ve even cited a few famous cases that exhibit both.

Whatever the case, it’s not hard to screw up a romantic sub-plot. I’ve done that more than a few times with the stories I’ve written. Lately, though, there are certain types of sub-plots that have lost their luster. They’ve either been done too many times or haven’t innovated in way too long.

Overused or not, I believe there are elements of these sub-plots that are worth saving. They just need some refinement and polish. What follows is a list of five overdone romantic sub-plots, why they’ve become so bland, and how to fix them. I’ve covered some of these elements before. This is just the romance lover in me offering some tips for future romance stories.


Romantic Sub-Plot #1: Best Friends Turned Lovers

Why It’s Overdone

I think you can thank sitcoms like “Friends” and movies like “Clueless” for this sub-plot to fall out of favor. Personally, I blame Ross and Rachel for giving this theme a bad name. They took the whole friends-falling-in-love plot way too far. Towards the end, it was more annoying than compelling.

These days, this sub-plot isn’t as common as it used to be. I think a lot of romance fans were burned out on it in the 1990s and early 2000s. There’s only so many times a character can say in so many words “I didn’t realize that what I was looking for was right here in front of me” and sound genuine.

How To Fix It

Simply put, this sub-plot needs to shake up the setting. Too many times, a story about friends becoming lovers is built around one friend having had feelings for the other over many years. That can be sweet when done right, but it’s way too easy to be done wrong. These days, it almost comes off as a long con or stalking.

To fix it, the emphasis needs to shift towards two characters undergoing major upheavals. Perhaps they go through a tragedy or trauma that changes the way they feel about other people. It can’t just be restricted to their friend/lover, either. This upheaval should affect their entire world and from there, they come together in a new way.

It has the potential to show two characters go through major growth as individuals, which eventually turns into growth as a couple. That kind of growth can work wonders for any romance and could offer something more meaningful than old friends hiding their feelings.


Romantic Sub-Plot #2: Love Triangles

Why It’s Overdone

I’ve already made my hatred of love triangles very clear. I’ve gone so far as to cite one from the X-men as the worst of all time. Beyond the comics, though, it’s not hard to see cases of this sub-plot done horribly wrong. Even contemporary romance like “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” have made this troubled trope more insufferable.

Simply put, love triangles reduce everyone involved to prizes or plot devices. It’s next to impossible to make every character in a love triangle feel like a real character. It turns romantic development into a competition and in the long run, nobody wins and certain characters lose badly.

How To Fix It

I’m tempted to say that love triangles should be abandoned and killed with a 12-gauge shotgun, but I’m not a fan of throwing away romantic themes, no matter how much I despise them. For this particular theme, I think it needs more than just a fix. It needs a complete overhaul.

By that, it can’t just involve two people competing for someone else’s affection. That gets old fast. If there is going to be a love triangle, then it should actually take the time to show why someone is torn in the first place. It needs to be clear that someone genuinely loves more than one person and there’s a reason for that love.

This is also a sub-plot that may benefit from shifting taboos. Non-monogamy is becoming more mainstream and there aren’t many real romance stories about that idea that aren’t bad pornos. A love triangle has to stop being an either/or plot and become a why/how plot. There needs to be a concerted effort to ensure everyone involved gets some sort of emotional resolution that doesn’t involve someone getting screwed over.


Romantic Sub-Plot #3: Destined Lovers

Why It’s Overdone

If you’ve gone through any high school English class or are just familiar with certain literary traditions, you’ve probably seen this in all kinds of media. “Romeo and Juliet” is probably the most famous, but it still shows up frequently throughout romantic media. It’s prevalent in movies like “Titanic” and comics like “Superman.”

Don’t get me wrong. I have a soft spot for star-crossed lovers who are destined to fall in love, but it’s a very bland sub-plot. There’s no real sense of conflict. You know two characters are going to end up together and where’s the intrigue there?

How To Fix It

For this sub-plot, I think a simple shift in context would help. Most romance featuring destined lovers emphasis how they come together, despite the obstacles in front of them. I think it might be more compelling to explore why these characters are star-crossed to begin with. Is it just destiny or are there other forces at work?

There are a lot of factors that go into romance, even those of the non-destined variety. Why not explore the concept of destiny, as it relates to love? Why not dig a little deeper into the intricacies of how it unites people so completely? That wouldn’t just offer a meta-perspective of love, as a plot device. It would give us all an opportunity to reconsider what it means to be in love.


Romantic Sub-Plot #4: Love At First Sight

Why It’s Overdone

This sub-plot is very similar to the destined lovers trope. It’s often a pre-cursor to two people finding out they’re destined to be together. For many of the same reasons, it’s pretty bland and basic. One character sees another, some sappy music starts playing, and the love story is effectively laid out.

We see it happen very overtly in “Romeo and Juliet” and “Titanic.” We see it manifest in some form in most romantic comedies. A character just sees someone they find attractive and that becomes the catalyst for their love. It’s sweet, but not very deep and it has just become too predictable at this point. When two people fall in love at first sight, what other story is there to tell?

How To Fix It

This one can’t be fixed with the same methods as the destined lovers sub-plot. This is one of those plots that doesn’t have to be radically altered, but definitely needs fresh nuance. Finding that nuance means injecting more than just love into the mix when two characters first meet.

The first encounter between two characters is always pivotal. It helps set the tone for their relationship, romantic and otherwise. To make this sub-plot work in new ways, characters need to intrigue each other in new ways. It can’t be enough that they’re attractive. There has to be something else about them.

Maybe the character has a skill that someone has never seen before. Maybe the character causes someone to re-think a past assumption. Maybe it sends them on a new journey that their love interest can join. There are many opportunities here. There doesn’t have to just be one.


Romantic Sub-Plot #5: Sex Complicating Love

Why It’s Overdone

This one is probably the most overtly sexual romantic sub-plot that also happens to be the most predictable. Ironically, it’s “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” that summed it up best. Things go from “Don’t worry, it won’t get weird” to “It got weird, didn’t it?” That’s every sex-complicating-love story in a nutshell.

This one also has the burden of being weighed down by long-standing sexual taboos. While it may seem like those taboos have faded in the 21st century, it’s still the slutty women and stud men who die first in slasher movies. Sex, even in a romance story, still comes off as something dirty that somehow undermines a romance.

Even though sexual attitudes have evolved a great deal, the idea that sex complicates/ruins a relationship hasn’t moved very far. It’s why sex tends to be an afterthought in modern romances. Sometimes, it’s ignored or assumed and that’s just a waste of quality sexual chemistry.

How To Fix It

As an aspiring erotica/romance writer, I’ve been working on that for years. While I can’t claim to have a definitive answer, I have surmised a few ideas turn sex from a complication to a catalyst. It doesn’t have to be overly titillating or pornographic, although that can work. It just has to supplement the romance rather than subvert it.

Sex in romance is often treated like an endgame. It’s marks the culmination rather than the progression of a relationship. I believe that’s a missed opportunity. In any romance, sex should function as a progression, of sorts. It takes the relationship to a new stage, one where new opportunities for emotional and personal growth emerge.

When two characters have sex, it can be more than just a chance to depict genitals and female breasts. It can be an exercise of intimacy where two characters strengthen their bond, rather than sully it. That gives greater meaning to the sexiness and nothing makes romance hotter than genuinely meaningful sex.

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Publishing Update: Another (Expected) Rejection

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I just wanted to post a quick update on my publishing efforts, which I know I haven’t talked much about lately. There’s a reason for that, though. For the past couple months, I’ve been working with a former publisher to re-acquire the rights to a manuscript that was edited and prepared for publication a couple years ago.

That process took longer than I’d hoped, but it went through and I tried to re-submit the manuscript to the same publisher that published “Passion Relapse” and “Rescued Hearts.” I did this knowing it was somewhat of a long shot because my last three manuscripts to this publisher had been rejected. I felt if I could get this through, we would be back on track.

Sadly, that didn’t happen. Earlier today, I got a rejection letter. It wasn’t the rude kind, though. The editor offered me a sincere apology that they would not be able to publish my work. She claimed that things have been rough for small to mid-tier publishers. Unless your J. K. Rowling or Stephen King, it’s just hard to get any major project off the ground. I can understand that, but a rejection is a rejection.

I believe that after this, I’m done with that particular publisher. I’m not entirely sure of my next step. I’m still sitting on several finished manuscripts and one that is already professionally edited and ready to go. I’m not sure where to turn to next. I’m thinking of giving Writers Market a chance, but this is the part of the business I still don’t know much about.

When it comes to writing a novel or a sexy short story, I know how to do that. When it comes to the business and marketing side of things, though, I’m pretty ignorant. I’ll keep feeling my way around in the dark, hoping I’ll stumble across something. For now, though, my publishing efforts are a bit on hold. I hope it doesn’t stay that way. If anything changes, I’ll announced it in between sexy short stories.

To everyone who has supported and encouraged my efforts, I sincerely thank you.

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Why We Should Embrace Married Superheroes

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What is more emotionally satisfying than seeing someone you care about find happiness? Whether it’s a friend, a sibling, or even a celebrity you admire, don’t you feel a twinge of joy when you see them achieve something special? Unless you’re a cynic or a sociopath, you’ve probably had those feelings at least once in your life.

With those warm and fuzzy feelings inside, why shouldn’t that also extend to the iconic superheroes we know and love? When our favorite heroes finally get around to marrying the love of their life, it’s natural to want to cheer them on the same way we would cheer for our best friend as he and his bride do karaoke at the reception.

However, those tasked with building the canon seem to have an aversion to married superheroes. Just this past summer, that aversion was on full display. Two major superhero weddings were set up, one involving Kitty Pryde and Colossus in X-men Gold #30 and the other involving Batman and Catwoman in Batman #50.

Sadly, both events ended without tearful vows and a drunken toast, although one salvaged a matrimonial quickie at the last second. I’ve already broken down how one wedding just prolonged an already drawn out romance while the other denigrated the entire concept of romance, as a whole. Rather than bemoan those romantic misfirings, I’d like to step back and look at the bigger picture of married superheroes.

This is actually a controversial issue among fans of superhero comics and those who create them. I’ve been browsing comic book message boards for years. I can attest to just how much fans care when their favorite characters get married. They continue caring long after the wedding reception.

On the other side of the controversy, though, there are the creators that work for Marvel, DC, and their corporate overlords. They have a slightly different view of married superheroes and one that’s not nearly as sentimental. To say their views are complex is like saying a plumber has mixed opinions on food poisoning.

While many of those writing, editing, and producing superhero media are fans themselves, they often have to leave their fandom at the door. Companies like Marvel and DC Comics don’t pay them to write fan fiction. They pay them to tell stories that will sell, increase the value of their brand, and improve market share.

A writer or editor’s ability to do this is prone to many challenges. Fans, especially comic book fans, are notoriously fickle with their passions. If they see something they don’t like happening to a character they love, they’re pretty vocal about it. Just ask fans of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, or Cyclops of the X-men.

In that respect, I have some sympathy for the people responsible for handling beloved characters. They’re basically playing with someone else’s toys and getting paid for it. However, if they break those toys or damage them in any way, there can be hell to pay. Just look at the current situation with Star Wars.

That sympathy, though, only goes so far and I can’t extended to how some at Marvel and DC have approached marriage. DC Comics editor, Dan Dido, once went on record as saying that superheroes should not get married. Long-time Marvel editor and COO, Joe Quesda, even had to justify breaking up Spider-Man’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson by claiming that it “stabilized” Spider-Man too much.

Now in general, I try to be understanding and respectful when people hold positions that I disagree with. I’ve even tried to do that with hot-button issues like abortion, feminism, and organized religion. In this case though, I just have to call bullshit.

Claiming marriage does too much to stabilize a superhero is like saying ketchup makes food too red. It gives the impression that stability is somehow a liability with superheroes, as though they can only be interesting when their world is falling apart and they’re one stubbed toe away from a nervous breakdown.

It’s true that we superhero fans love seeing our favorite heroes fight back invading aliens, punch Nazis, and even take on renegade alien gods. However, it’s also true that we don’t expect or want that to be the only story that superheroes tell. We’re also interested in the lives they live outside their flashy costumes. It doesn’t just humanize them. It gives us more reasons to root for them.

Both Mr. Quesada and Mr. Dido try to make the case that part of being a hero involves sacrificing parts of their personal life in order to serve the greater good. There’s little doubt that being a hero comes at a price, as many of Batman’s former lovers can attest, but that doesn’t have to involve outright isolation.

It also doesn’t mean being a superhero makes a functioning marriage impossible, either. Yes, it’s a lot harder to be a loving spouse and a superhero, but I wouldn’t say it’s as daunting as battling planet-eating space gods or surviving a team-up with Deadpool. In fact, it can enhance their heroics in ways that go beyond romance.

I’m not the only one to make that point either. In wake of the recent wedding debacles by Marvel and DC, Comic Books Resources asked why publishers are so afraid of married superheroes. They cited the same excuses I did about heroes needing to sacrifice, but they also pointed out how these kinds of real-life, mundane events help people connect with these characters.

What the article didn’t get into is why this matters. Superman is a hero with god-like power who can move planets and create diamonds with his bare hands. He’s also married to Lois Lane and still has to put in the effort to make that marrage work, even when it becomes prone to complications.

Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four is among the smartest beings in the entire Marvel Universe. He creates thought projectors, flying cars, and personal robots without breaking a sweat. He too has to work hard to keep his marriage and family functioning, especially when a handsome Atlantean king keeps trying to sleep with his wife.

Then, there’s Spider-Man. I know I’ve brought him up a number of times and not always in a positive light, but what happened to him and his marriage is still one of the most controversial things that have ever happened in comics. In many ways, he embodies the ultimate flaw in the excuses to undercut married superheroes.

In the infamous story, One More Day, Spider-Man’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson wasn’t just undone. He actually made a deal with Mephisto, Marvel’s stand-in for the devil, to sacrifice his marriage in exchange for saving his Aunt May’s life. Considering his Aunt had told him just a few issues ago that she didn’t want to be saved, Spider-Man still went through with it.

To say fans were upset by that decision would be like saying the Hulk has a slight anger management problem. This act didn’t just undercut an iconic superhero romance. It essentially reverted Spider-Man back to the state of an immature loser who had barely grown up since high school.

Again, Marvel made plenty of excuses. Long-time Spider-Man writer, Dan Slott, claimed that Spider-Man has to remain within a particular status quo. He has to keep being this lovable loser who is always struggling to hold down a job, keep a girlfriend, and still be a hero. In order to keep that unique appeal he has, and all the merchendising money it makes, he can’t be married.

I understand that logic, but I still call bullshit. You know what happens to characters who never change, grow up, or evolve over time? It’s the same thing that happens to real people. They become boring and unlikable. In Spider-Man’s case, he becomes something worse. He becomes the guy who sold his marriage to the devil to save someone who didn’t even want to be saved. That’s not heroic. That’s just plain selfish.

That’s the price a superhero pays for remaining in a prepetually regressed state. I contend that price is far higher than any associated with the inherent difficulty of writing married characters. With Spider-Man, One More Day established that no matter what he did in his personal or heroic life, he would never change. He’d always end up sleeping on his Aunt May’s couch.

It doesn’t matter if he pursues a new romance. It doesn’t matter if he becomes a billionaire and runs his own company. A reader can just assume he’ll screw it all up somehow and end up right back where he started. It’s just hard to root for any character that keeps regressing like that.

It’s like rooting for a sports team that never wins. Even terrible teams can turn it around at some point. Yes, that includes the Cleveland Browns. If that team never wins, though, why even root in the first place?

This is why marriage is so vital to the growth and evolution of superheroes. When a hero gets married, it’s not just an excuse to have a big event full of superhero-themed cakes. It’s a culmination of a much larger story about love, growth, and strength. It takes a lot to make a marriage work and not all of it can be done with superpowers.

Therein lies the ultimate appeal, though. When a superhero gets married, they go from simply pursuing a relationship to actually making it work. They have to learn how to build a life with another person and become part of a larger family, something that cannot and should not be exclusive to the Fantastic Four.

It fundementally changes how superheroes approach their lives, in and out of costume. It adds new layers of complexity and intrigue. Yes, it’s considerably harder than telling stories about Superman rescuing Lois Lane from Lex Luthor’s evil clutches. That’s exactly what makes it more compelling.

I don’t doubt that Marvel and DC will continue making excuses about married superheroes. Whether or not their approach to the issue evolves remains to be seen. However, since they’re in the business of keeping their characters relevant, they will have an incentive to adapt these characters for changing times and maturing audiences.

Being the romantic I am, I believe love will eventually win out in the end because love is part of why we root for superheroes in the first place. Love isn’t just about being unselfish. It’s also about achieving something special after so much sacrifice. Fans of superheroes want to see them achieve the things they struggle for. It affirms that all those heroics have meaning and purpose.

Marriage doesn’t have to be the ultimate achievement for a superhero. It can be part of it, though. It doesn’t have to be an end. It can be a beginning, as well. Until Marvel and DC lets its heroes get to that point, though, those stories won’t get told and hearts will keep getting broken for all the wrong reasons.

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Filed under Comic Books, Jack Fisher, Superheroes, Love Or Obsession, Marriage and Relationships, romance, superhero movies, X-men

“Coming Home” A Sexy Short Story

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The following is a sexy short story I wrote that was inspired by a few recent Memorial Day stories I read. Enjoy!

“Damn, it’s good to be home,” said a restless, but relieved Brian Porter.

The decorated marine, having achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant and served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, stood in the driveway of the modest suburban townhome he shared with his wife, Wanda. At just a few minutes past midnight, it was more than just a return home after another long tour overseas. It was the end of a journey that began ten years ago.

“Ten years,” Brian mused, “has it really been that long?”

That was a trick question, the kind that would’ve pissed off his old drill sergeant back in boot camp. It really had been that long. He vividly recalled the day he graduated high school and enlisted in the marines less than an hour after receiving his diploma. With his father, grandfather, older brother, and uncle having served, Brian knew back in middle school that he was going to serve as well.

He just had no idea how far it would take him. It started as a three-year commitment. Then, it became five years after he got deployed. Two more years followed, complete with tours, injuries, and multiple missed holidays. Somehow, within that span, he managed to meet his future wife at a Marine Corp Ball of all places. They’d married three years ago, but had to cut their honeymoon short due to another deployment.

That was all going to change, now. There would be far fewer lonely nights where he and Wanda had to text each other their love from across the world. After a decade of loyal service, Brian had received an honorable discharge and already had a job lined up at the same aerospace company his uncle worked at. At long last, he and his wife could settle into a new life together.

“I hope you’re not working another shift at the hospital tomorrow, baby,” Brian said into the brisk night air, “because we’ve got a lot of loving to make up for.”

His heart raced as he ascended the steps to the front door. He was as quiet as possible, employing some of the stealth techniques he learned from some Special Ops friends of his. Brian had every intention of surprising his wife. He wanted to see the look on her face when she wasn’t expecting him until the end of the month at the earliest. He’d seen plenty of those videos online of families being surprised by the return of a loved one. He wanted one of those moments as well.

Upon unlocking the door, he entered a darkened house. It was almost exactly like he’d left it during his last home leave five months ago. Everything from the arrangement of the furniture to the location of the coffee maker was still in place. His wife knew how meticulous he was about his living space. Seeing everything so clean and organized made him all the more excited.

“I’m really home,” Brian said under his breath.

He smiled to himself, letting the stern demeanor of a marine falter for once. He still remained skillfully quiet, setting his oversized bag down in the foyer and closing the door behind him with the utmost care. Near as he could tell, his wife was fast asleep.

Already contemplating her reaction, the battle-hardened marine made his way through the living room, taking extra care to avoid the squeaky floor-board near the living room couch. He then ascended the stairs, making sure his heavy black boots didn’t make a sound with each step. As far as he was concerned, every step he took was as critical as one of his missions.

“She says she hates surprises,” he said under his breath. “I think she’ll make an exception tonight.”

Grinning in anticipation, Brian made it to the top of the steps. The door to the master bedroom he shared with Wanda was within his sights. Then, he encountered an unexpected sight.

“What the hell?” said the marine, stopping dead in his tracks.

Within the darkened hall, illuminated only by the light of a full moon beaming in from a window, he saw a large greeting card pinned on the wall over a picture. It happened to be his wedding photo with Wanda, which should’ve been a sign. Curious, and a little shocked, Brain took the card from the wall and opened it.

Much to his surprise and chagrin, there was no card in the envelope. There was only a large piece of paper that said, in familiar handwriting, “In The Bedroom, Soldier.”

“Well, I’ll be damned,” Brain said, standing in the middle of the hall in a befuddled state.

He must have said that a little too loud because the door to the master bedroom opened slightly. The marine’s combat-honed reflexes took over and he glanced just in time to see a light turn on. Someone was awake and someone knew he was here.

At that same moment, he noticed a distinct aroma emanating from the room. He quickly recognized it as incense with a distinct hint of Jasmine. From that, Brian pieced together what was happening.

“I’ll be damned twice,” he said, shaking his head in amazement.

No longer caring about stealth or tact, Brian set the card aside and made a beeline for the master bedroom. Upon opening the door, he was greeted with a sight that would’ve made even the most harden soldier melt with joy.

“Hey there, Soldier,” said the sweetest, sexiest voice he’d ever heard. “Welcome home.”

It was a scene right out of his sexiest fantasies. Brian swore she had read his mind, noted every detail, and reacted it in their bedroom. Only a woman as wonderful as his wife could’ve achieved such a feat.

She’d put effort and resources into it that would’ve impressed his old Colonel. The lights had been draped with red cloths, bathing the room in an intensely erotic hue. At least two dozen candles lined the dresser and nightstands, providing the source of that intoxicating aroma he’d smelled earlier. The sheets of the king-sized bed had also been replaced with fancy blue linens and a comforter bearing the emblem of the United States Marine Corp.

In the center of it all was a beautiful, angelic woman who’d gone the extra mile to make a restless soldier feel welcome. Wanda hadn’t just made herself extra alluring to her husband, putting on extra makeup to look as beautiful as she had on their wedding day. She also wore the most revealing, transparent nighty he’d ever seen, complete with a matching black thong that got his heart racing in an entirely new way.

The way she was sitting on the bed, casually leaning back on her arms and showing off those incredible legs of hers, hinted that she’d been waiting all night for him. Brain was so utterly astonished that he couldn’t move his legs. For a trained marine, that said a lot.

“Wow!” gasped Brian. “Wanda, I’m uh…”

“Feeling welcome, yet?”

“Yeah…among other things,” he said.

“Good,” she said with a proud smile, “then the hardest part of my plan is a success. You once told me that surprising a marine was the hardest challenge, by design. Glad to see I was up to the task.”

Brian laughed at her remarks. He remembered telling her that on their first date. She claimed she would one day surprise him. He thought she’d been joking, but here she was, three years after their wedding and she delivered. Just when he thought he couldn’t love this woman more, Wanda found a way.

“Before you ask, I kind of had help,” she said. “Your older brother is a great guy, but he sucks at keeping secrets.”

“Of course it was him,” Brain said, rolling his eyes at that revelation. “Remind me to never share classified military secrets with him.”

“In his defense, he accidentally texted me instead of your mom that you’d caught an early flight home.”

“I’m still going to kick his ass the first chance I get.”

“And I don’t intend to stop you,” Wanda said. “First things first, though, my dutiful husband.”

With an intensity in her eyes that would’ve frozen a squad of Navy SEALS, his beautiful wife slipped off the bed and casually walked across the room. In every step she took, she swayed those toned hips of hers, sending the trained marine into a trance. Between the ridiculously transparent night-gown she wore and the thong that supplemented it so perfectly, Brian quickly forgot about his older brother’s terrible texting skills.

Like a moth drawn to a flame, he met her halfway between the bed and the door. When she slipped her arms around his neck, pulling her into his warm embrace, Brain felt his heart skip a beat. In an instant, her soft touch erased memories of countless cold nights inside cramped barracks. Just feeling her skin on his again, and all the loving warmth that came with it, was enough to sooth the soul of any hardened soldier.

“Wanda,” Brian said, already dazed by her warmth.

“You’ve been away for so long, fighting the good fight and doing your part for your country,” Wanda told him, sounding so sexy yet so intense. “Now, you’re finally home.”

“And I don’t intend to leave again,” he told her, clinging to her as though she were the only source of warmth in the world. “I’m here to stay this time.”

“And I’m here to love you as much as a wife can love her Marine Corp husband. I knew the day I accepted your proposal that it was going to be a challenge. Lucky for you, I’m the kind of girl who likes a challenge!”

“Yeah,” he said with a wide grin, “lucky indeed.”

“Even my mother warned me that marrying a marine meant a lot of lonely nights and long distances. She also gave me that corny line about absence making the heart grow fonder. I brushed it off at the time, but it’s true, damn it!”

“I know…so true.”

Her loving tone took on a sense of desperation. Now cupping his rugged face, which he hadn’t shaved in nearly a week, Wanda leaned in closer so that her forehead rested against his. The way she held him and the way he held her only proved that corny saying even more. Distance and longing had only strengthened their love.

Brian had heard more than his share of sad stories from his fellow soldiers. That same distance had ruined relationships and marriages for some. It had even led to bitter breakups. Some of his own squad-mates even warned him about getting married while still in the marines. They said outright that the odds were against him. At that moment though, holding Wanda in his arms again, he knew without a sliver of doubt that they had beaten those odds.

“I’ve missed you so much, Brian,” she said to him, her every word laced with emotion.

“I’ve missed you too, Wanda,” he replied, trying in vain to match her passion.

“Now that you’re back, I’m ready for the next challenge, whatever it may be.”

“So am I,” he said without hesitation.

“I don’t doubt that for a second, but before we even get to those challenges…I say we do a little celebrating.”

The way she said that last part sent his hard, as well as a few other body parts, into overdrive. With her arms still securely around his neck, she leaned in and kissed down the side of his bearded face, giving his ear lobe a little nibble along the way.

She knew how much he loved that. She’d done it the first time they made love and since then, it had been that unambiguous sign that they were going to get extra intimate. Tonight was no exception.

Upon sending that signal, Wanda guided lightly grasped his arms and guided him towards the bed. Already entranced by her sexy, loving aura, Brian followed like the obedient soldier he was. Upon reaching the foot of the bed, she sat him down. She even made sure he had a perfect view of her breasts, which were so clearly visible through her nighty.

“Sit down,” she said seductively. “Relax…and let me welcome you home.”

“I’m already feeling pretty welcome,” Brian said as he admired her breasts.

“That remains to be seen, my love.”

Wanda sounded determined again, like one of his old squad mates who’d been dared into a race. That brought out the best in soldiers, but it also brought out the best in sexy wives.

Armed with that drive, Wanda reached for his pants and undid them with the skill of a trained bomb technician. Once loose, she dropped to her knees and pulled them down his legs along with his underwear, even untying his boots along the way. As soon as his manhood popped free, it began hardening. The second his pants came off, got between his legs and went to work.

“I see some parts of you missed me more than others,” Wanda teased upon taking his member in both hands.

“You have no idea,” Brain said, already breathless with anticipation.

“More so than you think,” she quipped.

With the eagerness of a woman who’d endured as many lonely nights as him, she smothered his cock with her lips. There was no hesitation, whatsoever. She took in his entire length, showing that her gag reflex was every bit as good as it had been during their honeymoon. That hot, warm feeling sent shivers of bliss up through his body. Now leaning back on both arms, Brian soaked in the feeling.

“Whoa!” he gasped. “Wanda…you really missed me.”

His affectionate wife didn’t miss a beat. Like a medic performing triage, she gave him the kind of oral sex that got his blood flowing in all the right directions. She was so skilled and thorough, her soft lips slithering along his length as her firm grip squeezed the base. He must have missed his wife more than he thought because he swore he’d never gotten so hard so fast.

It must have surprised her too, his dick getting so hard. That, or his wife was just that good at giving her husband oral sex. He preferred to think it was a little of both. Wanda still kept teasing him, flashing him that same erotic glance that made him want her so much. All that time apart hadn’t dampened her libido. If anything, it intensified it.

“Mmm…Brian,” Wanda said after giving his shaft an extra thorough lick. “I want you…so much!”

She must have stepped up the timetables for her mission because she shot back to her feet with an urgency that would’ve impressed any drill sergeant. Then, drink on passion and desire, she took off her nighty, leaving her in just that skimpy black thong. Brian literally couldn’t kick his boots and socks off quickly enough because she practically tore his shirt off, rendering him naked and at the mercy of his wife’s lust.

“I want you too, my dutiful wife,” he said to her, using that extra deep voice he knew drove her wild.

“Then, take me!” Wanda said intently. “Make love to me…fuck me…do everything you couldn’t do through email and phone calls.”

“After all this time? You think you can handle it?” Brian asked, goading her with his seductive glance.

“As I already said…I like a challenge!”

As if to prove her point, she practically pounced on him after throwing his shirt to the floor. Brian caught her in his powerful arms, lifting her up with ease and laying her down atop the soft sheets. The fact the sheets bore the emblems of the Marine Corp on them somehow made that it all the more erotic.

Now on her back and urging him on with her eyes, Brian grasped the sides of her panties and slid them off down her legs. Upon tossing it across the room, her legs eagerly parted and welcomed him into her loving grasp. He could already feel the moist heat radiating from her inner thighs, exuding the utmost desire. Her flesh craved his…the line between physical and emotional desire blurred to the utmost.

Following that powerful desire, Brain got on top of her, his combat-trained body on full display for his wife. Her legs now hitched up over his shoulders, he guided his throbbing manhood towards her waiting womanhood. With a strong thrust of his hips, he entered her and officially ended months of limited intimacy.

“Ohhh Brian!” Wanda exclaimed.

He loved that sound. He’d missed that sound so much, the sweet echoes of his wife crying out his name. It motivated Brian to make love to her with all the love and passion a dedicated marine could muster.

His gaze now entirely focused on her, the same man who endured multiple rounds of basic training at boot camp channeled his physical prowess on the intimate act before him. Keeping a firm grip on her thighs, Brian began moving his body, working his hips in a steady, yet fervent progression of motions. From each movement, ecstasy and intimacy followed.

Hard manly flesh merged perfectly with warm womanly depths. It was incredible, the tight heat of her pussy surrounding his cock. It moved and slithered within her so effortlessly, his lover’s entire being embracing him as much as he embraced her. Love, sex, and passion all converged into a singular act between him and his wife.

“Wanda…so much,” Brian gasped. “I love you…so much.”

Immersed in the daze that naturally came with pleasure and affection, he eagerly smothered his lover with affection of every kind. He leaned in and kissed her, tasting those sweet lips that he’d only dreamed about during his deployments. He threw in plenty of tongue, as well. Wanda loved tongue.

Recalling his love’s various many kinks, he trailed his lips down her neck and nibbled along her shoulder. He also slipped his hands down to her butt and squeezed it, something he knew she loved as well. Much to his surprise – and a very pleasant surprise, at that – Wanda climaxed almost immediately.

“Oohhh God, I’m coming! I’m coming!” she cried out.

“Already?” he said with a grin. “You’re handling this well…very well!”

Upon making that comment, Brian steadied their sexual rhythm, allowing his wife the time and space she needed to bask in orgasmic bliss. Wanda prided herself on being theatrical when she climaxed. For that special moment, she was extra animated.

“Ohhh Brian!” she exclaimed.

The proud marine watched in a mix of awe and accomplishment as his beautiful wife arched her body, curled her toes, and grabbed hold of the bed sheets under her like they were the edge of a cliff. She did not hold back, either. She was extra loud with her euphoric cry. It might have already woke the neighbors. Even if that made for an awkward conversation tomorrow, it was so worth it.

He held his wife in his powerful arms for every second of loving bliss. Eventually, his hands found hers, their fingers interlocking as her body shuddered from her peak. Brian could still feel the extra throbbing around his manhood, the lingering echoes of her pleasure. It brought him a special kind of bliss seeing it. Knowing Wanda, though, there was no way it would end at that.

“That…may be the fastest a man has made his wife come…ever,” Wanda said, still panting heavily from her peak.

“The wives of the best soldiers deserve the best sex,” he teased. “It’s only fair.”

“Fair?” she laughed in a mischievous tone. “Brian, my love…we’re a long way from fair.”

With an energy that shouldn’t have been possible for a woman who’d just had an orgasm, Wanda shot up and captured his lips in a hard kiss. Then, with a strength that caught the marine off-guard, she turned him over so that she was flat on his back.

Their flesh remained united, her pussy still embracing his rigid cock. Now on top, looking like both an angel and a sex goddess in the erotic light, Wanda guided his hands back to her butt and she began riding him.

“You’ve done your part…and so much more,” she told him. “Now, let me…do mine!”

“Wanda…” was all Brian could get out before she silenced him with another kiss.

Marines were trained from day one not to submit or surrender. It went against everything they stood for. Under the loving touch and raw sex appeal of his beautiful wife, though, Brian gladly made an exception. Hell, every marine in history would’ve understood if they found themselves in the intimate embrace of a woman like Wanda.

True to her word, she did her part. With unbridled energy and passion, she gyrated her hips in a heated rhythm, working her pussy along the length of his cock. The ecstasy resumed, now more intense than before. Brian squeezed her heart-shaped butt, soaking in every hot sensation that followed.

She was so determined and thorough, holding onto his shoulders for maximum leverage. The sight of her loving gaze – as well as her bouncing breasts, which were always a special sight – sent him to the brink of orgasm in record time. He didn’t bother holding back. He could tell she didn’t want him to. She wanted him to share in the ecstasy as well. It was only fair, after all.

“So…so close,” he panted. “Wanda…I’m close.”

“Come, my love,” Wanda urged him. “I want this for you…for us.”

After a few thorough gyrations from his wife, Brian felt himself cross that special barrier between desire and fulfillment. White hot surges of intense pleasure shot through his core, spreading throughout his body in a sweet, satisfying release.

It was like swimming in a pool of pure pleasure and his wife was the one who dove in with him. It perfectly contrasted the strain and toil that came with being a soldier. Discomfort and grit became contentment and bliss. He felt his member tense inside her, his hot manly fluids mixing with her feminine depths. It was a perfect melding of flesh and intimacy, the kind that once seemed so distant for a soldier. It made him feel like he was truly home.

“Wanda…my beautiful Wanda,” he said in his blissful days.

“I’m here, Brian,” she told him. “We’re here now…together.”

Those were the only coherent words either of them got out. After that, the two of them now drunk on passion and pleasure, Brian embraced his wife in his arms once more and continued their overdue lovemaking. After so much time a part and so much pent up desire, there was no way the night would conclude with just one orgasm.

After that first peak, though, everything became a bit of a blur. Brian captured Wanda’s lips again in another passionate kiss, led her into a fresh round of heated foreplay, and followed their intense desires into more sex. Together, they really rocked the bed, going at it from every position they could pull off. It was like making up for all the lost time. The soldier in him would not leave any ounce of love for his wife untapped.

At some point, they ended up under the covers. Brian couldn’t tell how many times his wife climaxed, but if the ringing in his ears was any indication, it was more than enough to establish how much she missed him. He had more than his share too, pushing the endurance he’d honed as a marine to the limit.

By the time he and Wanda had fully vented their passions, they collapsed in each other’s arms, lying together in a heap of sweaty flesh and loving affection. His arms still draped around his lover, he laid with her in a state of pure contentment. The battles they endured to be together was over. Finally, Brian was ready to find peace with his wife.

“I love you,” Wanda told him.

“I love you too,” he said softly.

“I’m so happy you’re home. I’m glad I could surprise my wonderful, battle-hardened husband.”

“Me too,” Brian said with a grin, “but I’m still kicking my brother’s ass for telling you.”

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