Tag Archives: romance

On Nihilism And Love (And How Nihilism Enhances Love)

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Whenever I talk about nihilism, it’s usually in the context of how it could effect an emerging generation or as an excuse to talk about one of my favorite cartoons. I try not to incorporate it into too many discussions, mostly because nihilism has some pretty sullen connotations. Whether you believe it or not as a philosophical principle, discussions about it can get pretty depressing.

Considering the underlying premise of nihilism, which is that life and existence has no inherent meaning, that’s somewhat unavoidable. At the same time, though, nihilism can provide a revealing context. Due to its inherently harsh nature, it can cut through the empty rhetoric and needless complications that overly complicate a subject. That can be exceptionally useful for a concept as broad and powerful as love.

Yes, I am going to talk about love and nihilism. I promise it’s not going to get as depressing as you expect. If anything, I believe that love and nihilism are a potent mixture that, when framed properly, can actually enhance both concepts.

Being an aspiring erotica/romance writer, I’m an unapologetic about my fondness of romance. I like to think I’ve made that abundantly clear. However, the more I write about love, the more I notice how often love gets twisted and contorted into something that undercuts its fundamental value.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the occasional fairy tale romance that makes love seem like this unstoppable force that is ordained by angles and guided by unicorn magic. That sort of thing has its place alongside stories of giant robots and superhero movies. In the real world, though, pursing that kind of love is like pursuing actual fairy dust. It’s woefully unrealistic and potentially damaging to someone’s psyche.

That’s where nihilism can provide an important filter, of sorts. At its core, nihilism strips away the magical thinking people ascribe to certain phenomena, be it love, honor, friendship, or happiness. From a purely nihilistic point of view, love is just another manifestation of brain chemistry within a larger manifestation of social dynamics.

On paper, that’s pretty cold. If it were incorporated into a fairy tale or an erotica/romance novel, it wouldn’t come off as very romantic. If you take a step back and go beyond what’s on paper, though, that nihilistic insight actually reveals the larger complexities of love.

To illustrate, think back to some of the most iconic love stories of all time, both classical and contemporary. Look at the epic love of Romeo and Juliet, Jack and Rose from “Titanic,” or Superman and Lois Lane. These are all held up as romantic ideals, the kind that make real world love seem inane by comparison.

However, applying a little nihilism to these narratives and something happens to these ideals. The strength of all these epic love stories is how passionate the characters feel for one another and all the obstacles they overcome to be together, sometimes at the cost of their own lives. That makes for an epic tale, but nihilism exposes a major oversight.

If we’re going to look at love as just a series of chemical reactions in the brain between two people, then we cannot overlook the other reactions surrounding it. To do so would mean ignoring real, tangible manifestations of reality. Since that’s the only manifestation that nihilism acknowledges, it has to accommodate those other feelings alongside love.

This is important, in terms of expanding love, because it establishes that it’s just one of many potential feelings that may manifest within the brains of two individuals. The mechanisms are the same. It’s just brain matter interacting with other brain matter. Sure, that reduces the biology of love to brain chemicals, like any other emotion, but at the same time it incorporates into all the other emotions in play.

In the cold, unfeeling world of nihilism, the mechanisms of love don’t carry any greater weight than the mechanisms of hate, happiness, sadness, and annoyance. While that’s bad news for fairy tales, it’s good news for love in a real world where love spells don’t exist and true romance rarely forms from a single kiss at the gate of an airport.

In that world, the basic brain chemistry of love can’t be enough. It’s necessary for two people to also get along in the sense that they can relate to one another, interact with one another, and deal with one another on a day-to-day basis. Those mundane, unromantic factors are rarely part of an epic love story, but an important part of a healthy romance.

When we conflate the meaning of love to the level of an old Beatles song, we undercut those less fanciful aspects of love. We focus only on those moments of intense passion that find their way into romance movies. Some, like my favorite romance movie, do a better job exploring other moments. Most though, along with music that blurs the line between love and obsession, don’t send that message.

That kind of love gives the impression that it’s the most meaningful experience anyone could have. It becomes the primary goal of every individual, seeking that special love that somehow makes them feel complete and content. To not have it is to be denied your very reason for being. It’s something you should dedicate every ounce of energy to, even at the expense of every other pursuit.

That romantic ideal shatters under the weight of nihilism because in that worldview, nothing matters to that degree. The very notion that anything would matter that much requires self-delusion to an egregious extent. Again, it’s a cold way of looking at the world, but it reveals the true tenants of a healthy, fulfilling love.

By mixing love and nihilism, love can no longer be that one feeling that gives someone a sense of purpose. That’s because, in the world of nihilism, nothing gives anything or anyone inherent purpose. Everything is just there by the random chaos and exists only temporarily, only to eventually perish at the eventual heat death of the universe.

Sure, that means that love can no longer be eternal or everlasting like a typical Disney movie, but that’s actually a good thing if love is to have any value. By rendering love a finite, temporary feeling, it becomes more precious on the basis of its rarity. The fact that it is so temporary is what makes it a powerful feeling to those who experience it.

It also leaves room for all the other feelings that go into a strong, healthy romance. Things like growing together, learning from one another, and complementing each other become part of an ongoing process that two people experience. For some, it can last a lifetime. For some, it can barely last a day.

In the long run, they don’t have inherent meaning in a nihilistic world. Whatever meaning love ultimately has is dependent on those who experience it. That means people can’t just rely on the fact that they’re in love and expect it to solve their problems. It means they actually have to work on preserving that meaning they’ve created in a cold, unfeeling world.

To some extent, that gives love true value and not just the inflated value portrayed in movies. By looking at love through the lens of nihilism, it’s possible to understand it for what it truly is, in relation to other experiences that sentient beings share. It’s no fairy tale, but it’s real in that we feel it and because we feel it, we give it meaning.

As a lover of romance and telling sexy stories, I find that uniquely inspiring. We can’t rely on an unfeeling, uncaring universe to give meaning to our love lives. We, as finite and fragile beings, have to do that ourselves. Those willing to take love as it is and not what we wish it were are better able to craft that meaning. If we can make it sexy along the way, then that’s just a nice bonus.

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Filed under human nature, Marriage and Relationships, philosophy, romance

Sexy Short Story: Maximum Effort (Inspired By Deadpool)

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The following is a sexy short story I wrote entitled, “Maximum Effort.” Like “Avenging Desire” before it, this was inspired by a superhero movie, specifically “Deadpool 2.” As such, expect an appropriately crude, but inherently sexy tale. Enjoy!

“One more, Stan!” said Wendy Maxwell from across the bar.

“Just one more?” the middle-aged man asked with a crooked grin.

“You heard me right. I’m saving my appetite tonight,” she said proudly. “Deadpool 2 is one movie I want to stay hungry for!”

“You sure you want to say that out loud?” he joked.

“I know what I said. I’m not taking it back.”

Wendy spoke with a certainty that left no room for argument, even from her Uncle Stan. He owned one of the best sports bars in town, which happened to be right across the street from the High-Max Cinema movie theater. She could see the oversized complex out the window and couldn’t wait to make her way inside in a few hours. She planned to be among the first in line to see Deadpool 2.

She’d cleared her schedule for the day, taking off work and taking care of any errands that might create a distraction. She’d also made it a point to pre-order her ticket and reserve the best possible seats in the biggest IMAX theater within a 25-mile radius of her house. She could’ve just gone to the one at the mall that was closer, but in the spirit of Deadpool himself, Wendy approached seeing this movie with maximum effort.

“I got to say, Wendy,” her Uncle Stan said from behind the bar, “I didn’t peg you for the superhero fan. A few years ago, I don’t think you knew the difference between Spider-Man and Batman.”

“What can I say?” she said. “A lot can change in the span of a few years.”

“I’ll say!” her uncle said. “One day, you’re agonizing over which generic action flick you can tolerate with your friends. The next, you’re prepared to drop kick someone who tries to buy the last Deadpool-themed bra.”

“You sound so proud,” Wendy teased. “My mom is convinced I’m just overcompensating after my ex-boyfriend ditched me for his roommate’s sister.”

“Eh, what does she know? You’re more self-aware than she ever was.”

“Kind of like Deadpool himself!” she pointed out.

“No argument here.”

Wendy laughed as her uncle poured her one last cup of coffee before. She’d just about finished her dinner, which consisted of a small sandwich and some soup. It was light, but for good reason. She didn’t just want to save room for popcorn. She wanted to make sure she didn’t miss a second of the movie. That meant minimizing the risk of bathroom breaks, drowsiness, and an upset stomach.

She had never taken such elaborate precautions for a movie before. Then again, she’d never been so enthusiastic about a movie, either. That was before she saw the first Deadpool movie two years ago. She actually hadn’t intended to see it. Her now ex-boyfriend had bought them tickets to see it. Then, the day before the premier, he dumped her, but left her the ticket.

Never one to turn down a free movie, she just went and saw it. From the very beginning, with that hilariously vulgar opening credits scene, Wendy was hooked. She had no idea who Deadpool was or why the movie was such a big deal. By the time it ended, though. She was hooked. She needed to laugh. She needed to see something crude, funny, and vulgar after her breakup. Deadpool was the perfect medicine.

After that day, she became a full-fledged Deadpool fan. She started buying Deadpool comics, following Deadpool-related forms, and even found herself getting into the larger world of superhero comics. It helped that her brother loved comics. He helped catch her up and even got her into cos-playing at a comic book convention last year. It had been so much fun and it all started with Deadpool.

For Wendy, seeing Deadpool 2 was like completing a process. She’d been such a workaholic after graduating college, pulling long hours at the software company she worked at. Her former boyfriend got her to lighten up somewhat, but it was Deadpool who helped her achieve a greater epiphany.

“Maximum effort…for the right reasons,” Wendy said to herself with a smile before finishing the last of her sandwich.

It had been one of the many memorable lines from the first movie. She was good at giving lots of effort, but never with much passion. Deadpool, both the character in the comics and the one Ryan Reynolds brought to life in the movie, channeled his passion and wit into everything he did. Whether it was shooting up Ajax’s crew or trying to hook up with Death herself in the comics, he did everything with personality.

That helped Wendy so much, both in her professional life and her personal life. She’d made more friends, done better at work, and even embraced a more distinct dress style. For the Deadpool 2 premier, she’d dyed parts of her hair red, wore a Deadpool-themed halter top, and even wore Deadpool-themed underwear.

It might have been quirky for most, but it helped that she was far from the only one in her Uncle’s bar. Looking around, she saw a lot of fellow Deadpool fans showing off their attire. Some were dressed in costumes. Some were showing off their Deadpool-themed tattoos. Everyone seemed to share in the excitement, but Wendy doubted that excitement was as intimate or personal.

As she wiped her hands on her napkin, her Uncle Stan arrived with the coffee. Once served, she took a quick sip and held it up proudly.

“To Deadpool,” she said to her Uncle, “the man who got me through some tough times and helped me put maximum effort into being awesome.”

“Cheers to that, Wendy,” her Uncle Stan said, rolling her eyes. “You talk about the guy like he’s your crush instead of a comic book character.”

“What can I say? He made me laugh at a time when I was crying over my ex. He inspired me to laugh at the overall absurdities of life. He even got me to dye my hair for the first time since high school. And nobody needed to dare me!”

“I’m glad he’s been such a positive influence. Just don’t start measuring all the men in your life to the same standards as comic book characters or Ryan Reynolds.”

“Relax, Uncle Stan!” Wendy said as she took another sip of her coffee. “I intend to maintain the positivity. I mean, it’s not like I’ll just up and fuck the first guy who dresses like Deadpool and talks like Ryan Reynolds or something.”

The older man laughed and shook his head before going back to serving other customers. Wendy went back to finishing her coffee, occasionally checking her phone to see how much longer she would have to wait. She still had a solid two hours before the movie. It promised to be an agonizing wait, but with each passing second she grew more excited.

“It’s almost here!” she said to herself. “Deadpool 2 is almost here! God, I wish there was a way to make the wait go faster.”

Moments after saying those words, I figure walked up to the bar next to her. He seemed to come out of nowhere. He was tall, well-built, and wearing a full-bodied Deadpool costume the likes of which she hadn’t seen since that comic book convention she went to with her brother. It looked like a perfect duplicate of the costume Ryan Reynolds wore in the first Deadpool movie.

“Hey bartender!” the man in the costume called out. “Whose balls do you have to fondle to pay the check? And for the record…yes, I moisturize!”

Wendy’s heart skipped a beat and her panties got a little warmer. She swore that voice sounded just like Ryan Reynolds, but it couldn’t be him. For one, the man in the costume looked taller than Ryan and there was no way big Hollywood star would be at her Uncle’s small-time bar, especially one married to Blake Lively.

At the same time, however, she found herself staring at him intently. Someone who put that much effort into a costume must have at least half her appreciation of all things Deadpool. Even after one of her uncle’s other bartenders came buy and processed his check, he still carried himself like the Merc with a Mouth himself.

“Hey,” Wendy called out. “How many times have you asked about ball-fondling today?”

The man in the suit turned towards her and seemed immediately intrigued. Even through that mask, Wendy sensed him smiling.

“That depends,” he replied jokingly. “Do you consider yourself for or against? How important is it to you that balls be fondled?”

“Well, it wasn’t that important to me until a few years ago,” Wendy said, mirroring his tone.

“A few years ago? You mean the same time that saint of a man, Ryan Reynolds, cracked a joke about it in the first Deadpool movie?”

“Oh, it was no joke to me. If making that move required fondling Wolverine’s balls, be they Hugh Jackman’s or anyone who looks like him, then I say ball fondling has proved its worth!”

They both laughed. The man barely even noticed when the bartender gave him his check back. Now leaning on the side of the bar, he leaned in a little closer. Again, she sensed a unique look through his mask. He was still smiling at her and in a very flirtatious way. The fact he smelled like fresh chimichangas – which had become her favorite snack food, by default – certainly helped.

“I take it from the dyed hair, the Hot Topic shirt, and the appreciation of ball-fondling jokes that you’re as excited about Deadpool 2 as me,” the man said.

“Well, I’d certainly say I’m excited, but you being as excited?” Wendy questioned. “I find that hard to believe.”

“What makes you say that?”

“For one, I don’t’ see a boner in your pants. Trust me, if I was a man. I’d be so hard right now I’d have to wear a dress.”

“You don’t say?” he said with a laugh. “So you’ve been glancing at my man parts?”

“Are you going to tell me that you’re not looking down my shirt right now, hoping your mask will hide it?”

Wendy, showing more playfulness that would’ve made Deadpool proud, leaned in closer so that her breasts were plainly visible through her halter top. She didn’t even need to gaze through his mask. She knew he liked what he saw. He didn’t even try to avoid it.

“I’ll plead the fifth on that,” he said. “I’ll also plead that you’re not here with someone…like, for instance, a jealous boyfriend who has the muscle mass of Colossus.”

“I’m alone,” she told him with a flirty look. “In fact, I’ve been single since I saw the first Deadpool movie.”

“Really? A pretty girl like you, one who’s willing to wear Deadpool-themed clothes that blatantly show off your breasts, is single? I find that hard to believe. And I know someone who paid to see the Green Lantern movie.”

“Believe it!” Wendy said confidently. “In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Deadpool has been the most important man in my life since my last breakup. You could say he’s become a passion of mine.”

“A passion?” he said with more intrigue. “Are we talking stamp collecting here or the kind that requires a spare pair of panties?”

“I own a vibrator that I’ve covered in no fewer than 16 Deadpool stickers. What do you think?”

Wendy hadn’t intended to sound that dirty, but she couldn’t help herself. Between her excitement surrounding Deadpool 2 and the man looking and sounding so much like Deadpool, her passion for the character was mixing with other passions. It also wasn’t lost on her that she hadn’t had sex since she broke up with her ex-boyfriend. On the night of a new Deadpool movie, it seemed more relevant.

She felt the gaze of the man in the costume narrow. She even swore she saw a slight bulge in his pants. She wasn’t exactly being subtle, but neither was he. Maybe that was just a byproduct of dressing like Deadpool, but it still did the trick. It still got her hotter than Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively in a sauna.

“I think,” the man said in a deeper tone, “that we might be able to help each other.”

“Are you saying you have more stickers?” she quipped in a flirty tone.

“I’m saying I’m here by myself as well. I had a girlfriend, but she didn’t care for Deadpool movies. She even tried to make me throw this costume away.”

“Sounds like a total bitch. You were right to dump her.”

“I haven’t regretted it for a second,” he said, “although I can’t say the same for my penis. It’s been lonely, to say the least, and there’s only so much I can do with hand lotion and re-watching Van Wilder on cable.”

“That’s so sad.”

“It is,” he said, “but if you know a place nearby that’s private and good at screening awkward noises, I think we can help each other.”

The man leaned in even closer, so much so that she could smell his breath and the manly scent emanating within the costume. It smelled like a mix of tacos, hot sauce, and pure manliness. It proved plenty potent, sending Wendy’s heart and hormones into overdrive.

She’d yet to see the man’s face. She’d yet to even get his name. However, he was dressed as Deadpool, had a clear appreciation of all things Deadpool, and appreciated his mannerisms. On a night when Wendy was determined to celebrate all things Deadpool, the idea of fucking a guy dressed like him just seemed too fitting.

It was reckless, crude, and something Deadpool would totally do. Wendy, feeling adventurous in a way that only Deapdool could inspire, decided to take a chance. After all, she still had plenty of time between now and the movie premier. Why not try to pass the time with a little Deadpool-themed kink?

“As it just so happens,” Wendy said with a seductive glance, “there’s an isolated little nook out back…one only I know about because my uncle trusts me way too damn much.”

“Hmm…that could work,” the man said with growing excitement.

“I’ll take you there under one condition.”

“Name it! And I promise that’s not just my penis talking.”

“You keep that costume on. That includes the mask,” she told him. “Also, I don’t want you to give me your real name or anything. Just let me call you Wade.”

“Keep the costume on, keep my name secret, and let you call me Wade,” he said, pretending to think about it, “all in exchange for some kinky sex. Normally, I would take a moment to pray to the gods of Stan Lee and Rob Liefield for guidance, but I think I’ve got their blessing with this!”

“Good!” she said intently. “Because on a night like this, I intend and expect maximum effort!”

Casting aside all restraint and reservation, Wendy just left a couple twenty-dollar bills under her half-finished coffee before grabbing the man by the arm. Then, with an energy and intent that surprised her more than him, led him out of the bar through the rear entrance. Most customers weren’t allowed back there, but since her Uncle owned the place, she gave her a pass.

The man she now called Wade eagerly followed, staying close by and slipping his gloved hand into her back pocket, giving her butt a firm squeeze. It got her to move a little faster, making her inner thighs feel hotter in the process. Between excitement for a movie and a lengthy sexual drought, her body seemed extra receptive to a little stimulation.

“You’ve got a nice ass,” Wade whispered into her ear as he followed her, “not quite as nice as Ryan Reynolds, but still close.”

“Stay close,” Wendy replied in a lurid tone. “I can use my ass as well as Deadpool uses his guns!”

“A bold claim,” he said. “I’d like to see you prove it!”

“Oh I will!”

Still completely confident, she led Wade down a narrow hall, passing one of the cooks along the way. She ignored the strange look she gave him. She didn’t care if the whole bar saw her slip out. She was going to have sex this man. Then, she was going to see Deadpool 2. By every objective measure, it looked to be a damn good night.

Upon reaching the door, they burst out into the hot mid-May evening. They emerged in a back alley where nobody who wasn’t driving a delivery truck ventured, especially this late in the evening. As soon as the door closed, Wendy turned around and jumped Wade with the same fervor as Vanessa did in the first Deadpool movie.

Wade responded just as favorably, catching her in his arms and leading her back to the wall next to the door. Along the way, she kissed his mask, playfully licking around the mouth area while grinding her body up against his. She could already feel the bulge in his pants growing. She also felt him feel up her curves, squeezing her ass and tracing up along her waist. It got her so hot that her clothes became unbearably itchy.

“Wade…help me get this off,” she said, already breathless as she unzipped her pants.

“Gladly,” he replied.

Kicking off her sandals, not minding the dirty pavement on her feet, Wendy slid her pants down her legs with Wade’s help. In the process, she revealed the Deadpool-themed panties she’d been wearing, complete with an image of Deadpool’s face right over her pussy. She swore she heard Wade giggle.

“Ooh! Those are so cute,” he said to her, his hands already on the side.

“Help me get them off and I’ll let you smell them,” Wendy told him.

“Deal!”

She laughed again, but never lost focus. She slipped out of her panties quickly, leaving her naked from the waist down. As soon as they were off, she let Wade take them, who eagerly put them up to his mask. She watched as he took in a deep whiff, not unlike the one Deadpool did when he smelled his guns.

“Ooh yeah!” he said. “I’m touching myself later.”

“Better make it much later!” said Wendy. “Remember what we discussed about ball-fondling? I’m for it.”

As if to prove her point, she dropped to her knees and grabbed the side of Wade’s pants. By now, the bulge in his pants was pretty big. Getting it off was a bit of a challenge, but after doing the Deadpool-themed belt-buckle, she managed to pull the tight-fitting red pants down to his ankles, along with his boxers.

Much to Wendy’s surprise, the man wearing the suit was very well-endowed. He had the kind of manhood that Deadpool would’ve joked about to no end. At the moment, though, it was no laughing matter. Wendy was horny, excited, and daring. True to her word from earlier, she went to work fondling Wade’s balls and playfully stroking his cock.

“I fully approve…of your position on ball-fondling,” Wade teased.

“That’s not all I’m in favor of,” Wendy said in a lurid tone.

With one hand still cradling his balls, she shot the masked man a kinky glance before taking his dick into her mouth. From there, she began giving him oral sex, channeling her inner Vanessa from the first Deadpool movie. Wendy had given her ex-boyfriend oral sex on multiple occasions, but never with such effort and fervor.

“Holy fuck-knuckles, that’s good!” Wade moaned, still holding her panties to his masked face.

Encouraged, Wendy kept up her oral teasing, using her lips and tongue to full effect. It didn’t take long before Wade was leaning back on the wall for support, running his fingers through her hair with one hand while holding onto her panties with the other.

As she sucked him, Wendy felt her own arousal escalate. At one point, she slipped a free hand between her legs and fingered her vagina to get all the right juices flowing. Before long, she was ready for a new effort.

“Mmm…ready to fuck me, Wade?” she asked seductively after giving his cock one last lick.

“With maximum effort!” Wade replied.

With instinct and reflexes as powerful as Deadpool himself, Wendy shot up from the ground. Wade, seizing the initiative, took her in his arms briefly and turned her around so that she was up against the brick wall, facing away with her heart-shaped ass pointing at him.

His pants still around his ankles and his mask still on, the man she instead on calling Wade grabbed her by the waist and guided his dick into her with a single thrust. He was so hard and she was so wet. Like Deadpool and a young Bea Arthur, their flesh embraced one another.

“Ohhh fuck!” Wendy exclaimed into the humid evening air.

“Fuck…yeah!” Wade grunted.

Wendy’s world began rocking. Wade put in the same effort into fucking her as she had when she gave him oral sex. He was so energetic and thorough, pumping his manly flesh inside her and stimulating her womanly depths with every motion. Wendy bucked her hips with every thrust, leaning harder against the brick wall. It didn’t matter that it was dirty and reckless. They were just that excited about Deadpool 2.

He fucked her nice and hard in that position, his pelvis rhythmically smacking against her putt with each thrust. At one point, he grasped her but with one hand and reached up her shirt with the other, pulling down her bra and feeling one of her breasts. That added an extra bit of sensation to their sex. Wendy loved it and craved more.

“Harder, Wade! Fuck me harder!” she cried out.

“Nice boobs…hot pussy…super penis…I fucking love it!” Wade said.

They kept going at it, moaning and grunting in the dirty nook behind her Uncle’s bar. Somewhere along the way, he pulled out and turned her around so that she could jump him again, throwing her legs around her waist so he could fuck her just like Wade fucked Venassa in the first movie. Wendy eagerly embraced the opportunity.

Her back now against the wall, her breasts hanging out of her top, Wade held her legs up as he guided his dick back into her and resumed their sex. She held onto his shoulders as their bodies rocked to the rhythm. Wendy found herself gazing intensely into the masked face before her. Whether by fluke or kink, looking at it just made her hotter and pushed her faster towards her peak.

The sex was so intense and driven. In that moment, she wasn’t just fucking some random guy in a Deadpool costume. She was actually fucking Deadpool. He was Ryan Reyonld and she was Morena Baccarin. He was Wade Wilson and she was Vanessa. That thought, along with the steady onslaught of sexual sensations, brought her to the brink of orgasm.

“Ohhh I’m coming, Wade! I’m coming!” she cried out.

“Ooh yeah! Me too,” he grunted. “Fuck, I’m going to pop my fucking load in you!”

“Do it, Wade! I want to feel your Deadpool-loving cum inside me!”

That was probably the most vulgar thing she’d ever said during sex, even while drunk. Wendy didn’t care. She was loving it too damn much. It was just too damn fun.

After a few more powerful thrusts that tested her flexibility, and other various aspects of female anatomy, Wendy came hard. She came so hard that she scratched her nails down over the seams of the mask, tearing through parts of the fabric in the process. Her toes curled, her lower back arched, and her core was set ablaze with a fiery surge of pleasure.

As that feeling engulfed her, Wade let out a labored grunt of his own, tightening his hold on her butt as he steadied his hips in anticipation of his release. She then felt his dick throb inside her pussy, his manly juices mixing with hers.

In that moment of shared, Deadpool-driven ecstasy, she kissed the masked men with passion, knowing that she’d achieved something once deemed impossible. She found a way to make Deadpool even more awesome.

“Fuck yeah,” Wendy said in her orgasmic daze. “Now that’s what I call maximum effort!”

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When Your Lover Uncovers Your Porn Collection (And What Their Reaction Reveals)

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I talk a lot about taboos, double standards, and various gender quirks. I don’t just do that because it highlights significant disparities among people trying desperately to get along and/or make love to each other. I do it because it offers some fascinating insight into the conflicting mentalities that drive such conflicts.

A lot of those conflicts, however, are on a larger, more impersonal scale. A typical couple, be they heterosexual, homosexual, or something else entirely, can only do so much to impact larger cultural forces that they had no role in choosing, propagating, or subverting.

These forces, from our approach to marriage to the assumptions that guide our understanding of romance, usually only effect individuals and couples indirectly. We’re all somewhat at the mercy of what our culture has built for us and we can only do so much to guide it forward.

However, there are a few lesser-known aspects of that culture that we can influence on a day-to-day basis. One such aspects involves porn and whatever porn collection that you or your significant other might have, be it hidden or not. I’m sure just mentioning it has made certain individual’s tense for various reasons that I won’t state outright.

Regardless of how you or your lover feels about porn, it exists and it exists in a big way. It’s also a huge multi-billion dollar industry. The fact it’s so huge is a telling sign that both you and your lover have probably consumed it at some point. It’s also very likely that anyone claiming that porn is immoral has probably consumed it as well.

Despite this prevalence, porn is still immersed in taboos and quirks. I don’t want to focus too much on those, since I’ve already touched on a few. The ones I want to focus on have to do with how those in a romantic relationship react to it. That reaction, in many ways, goes beyond double standards and reflects something deeper about our concept of relationships as a whole.

Most people probably don’t need much imagination to surmise how their lover would react to their porn collection. Whether or not it’s a secret, there’s this underlying sentiment about someone in a relationship who consumes porn. That sentiment usually manifests in two scenarios. This is the first and probably most basic.

A woman casually walks by her lover’s desk. Their computer screen is open and so are a wide number of files. Curious, she takes a closer look, only to find out that there’s a sizable collection of pornographic videos on the computer. She’s utterly shocked at just how much content there is.

There are videos featuring extreme, hardcore scenes. There are videos featuring bondage, S&M, and various fetishes. When her lover returns, she is outraged. She sees this level of porn consumption as an affront to their relationship and demand that the files be deleted.

This isn’t just a basic thought experiment. This sort of thing does happen in real life. A part of what inspired this article were stories like this one where a woman kicked her husband out of the house after finding some porn on his phone. Granted, her reaction was extreme, but it reflects a similar sentiment.

There are those who, when they find their lover’s porn stash or just part of it, see it as an insult and an affront to their relationship. They see their lover’s desire to seek another sexual outlet as proof that they aren’t enough and their lover isn’t attracted to them anymore. For some, it can be fairly traumatic and for understandable reasons.

Now, I didn’t specify the gender of the person who voiced that outrage like I did in the scenario. I did so because I don’t want to generalize too much. From a purely anecdotal perspective, which is admittedly flawed, women are more angered by their lover’s porn consumption than men.

Again, that’s a generalization. It also says nothing about how homosexual or transgender relationships couples react to porn. I honestly had a hard time finding research to that effect. However, I found plenty that indicated how common porn consumption is among couples and how reserved many are to admit it.

That leads me to the next scenario, which isn’t as common, but is a bit more colorful. It involves a different kind of reaction for a couple that probably has a very different dynamic from the first, but that dynamic is key in understanding the implications.

A man casually walks by his lover’s desk. Their computer screen is open and so are a wide number of files. Curious, he takes a close look and discovers a sizable collection of pornographic videos. For a moment he’s shocked, but then he’s impressed at the sheer breadth of the collection.

There are videos featuring lesbian couples. There are videos featuring bondage, S&M, and various fetishes. When he confronts his lover, it’s awkward and a little funny. However, he’s also genuinely intrigued by this side to his lover and says they should talk about it so as to re-evaluate their outlook on their sex life.

It’s not nearly as dramatic, which is probably why it doesn’t make the news as often. Again, I was vague with the gender dynamics here and I’ll probably get in trouble for saying the person in the scenario was a man. I get it. That’s a general assumption fueled largely by existing cultural expectations.

Men are okay with porn. Women are a bit more sensitive about it. Not everyone is like that. Some women don’t have a problem with porn and even enjoy watching porn themselves. Some men don’t care for porn and are genuinely averse to it. Everybody has their own attitudes towards it.

That said, there is this prevailing sentiment that men are anxious about revealing their porn habits to their significant others and women don’t like the idea that their lover has a sexual outlet other than them. In both cases, there’s an anxiety over what this means for them and the relationship.

To some extent, porn consumption and learning that your lover consumes it undercuts the romantic script that we think we have to follow. Within that script, two people are in love. They only desire one another. They’re only attracted to one another. Anything that might diver that attraction must be a bad thing. Porn does all of that and then some.

In that context, it’s understandable why some would react harshly to their lover’s porn collection. It shatters the romantic ideal they once assumed. Suddenly, their love is not on part with Romeo and Juliet. Their relationship is not some epic romance. The idea that they’re still sexually aroused by other people makes it seem less special and less meaningful.

At the same time, such a reaction has more distressing implications. If someone is  disgusted by the notion that their lover is sexually aroused by something other than them, then that implies they somehow own their lover’s desires. They own their ability to have sex and be intimate. The idea of owning another person to that extent goes beyond love and into the realm of obsession.

In that circumstance, even a stray thought anyone has towards someone other than their lover is an affront. Given the many indications that humans aren’t entirely built for monogamy and the high divorce rate, this is wholly unrealistic and a little scary and it sets unreasonable expectations among couples that are bound to disappoint.

There are, indeed, certain cases where someone’s porn consumption is detrimental to a relationship. However, from a pure numbers perspective, those instances are the exception and not the norm. From a pure betting perspective, there’s a good chance that your current lover or future over consumes porn. How you deal with it will likely reveal the strength and/or weakness of your relationship.

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The (Possible) Timeline For Human/Robot Marriage

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It wasn’t that long ago when the idea that same-sex marriage would be legal in all 50 states and over two dozen countries around the world seemed outrageous. In fact, you’d only have to go back 25 years to be in a world where no state or country recognized same-sex marriage as a legitimate marriage.

That kind of societal shift is pretty remarkable. Considering how long it took for women to get the right to vote and for racial segregation to dissolve, the legalization of same-sex marriage felt downright sudden. It didn’t just reflect changing attitudes towards homosexuality and sexual minorities, in general. It showed that society was capable of expanding its idea of love, romance, sex, and family.

Granted, that did plenty to upset the regressive, ultra-conservative crowd. Some are making a concerted effort to re-institute bans same-sex marriage and there are still plenty of anti-LGBT organizations out there who work to undermine marriage equality, even at this late stage.

As it stands, though, their fighting a losing battle, both in terms of ideology and in terms of shifting demographics. At this point, it’s fair to say that they’ve lost and same-sex marriage is here to say. However, there may be another marriage-related issue brewing and it might be even more of a game-changer than same-sex marriage. That’s because this issue involves sex robots.

I’ve already done plenty of speculation about how robots may affect our sex lives, our emotional health, and even our concept of family. However, I’ve yet to take a step back and assess the implications of sex robots on a larger societal level. That impact is difficult to predict, if only because human society is so unpredictable.

Few could’ve predicted the rapid adoption of same-sex marriage. I imagine it’ll be even harder to predict the impact of sex robots, if only because there’s no precedent. Humans have never lived in a world where functional, intelligent sex robots are part of society. Sure, some eccentric person will try to marry a sex doll every now and then, but that’s a novelty and not a legal, recognized trend.

Difficult or not, I am willing to make one prediction that I’m fairly confident will happen. Save this page, mark this date, and carve it in bedrock because I strongly believe that this will be a real controversy that plays out at some point in my lifetime.

Marriage between humans and robots WILL happen and it WILL be legalized at some point in the future.

To be fair, I am not the first person to make this prediction. People much smarter and more informed than I am have made similar predictions. The general consensus is that by the year 2050, human/robot marriage will be a legally recognized union. It won’t just be some eccentric oddity reserved for the socially awkward. It’ll carry the same legal, social, and emotional weight as any marriage today.

I’m willing to be a bit bolder with my prediction, though. I’ll go so far as to say that human/robot marriage will occur far sooner than 2050. I’m not ready to put a date on it, but I do see it happening sooner than most expect. I also expect there to be plenty of controversy. It’ll likely be more heated than the one surrounding same-sex marriage.

Like same-sex marriage, though, it’ll happen. Humans will marry robots. Men will marry female sex robots. Women will marry male sex robots. Some men will marry male sex robots and some women will marry female sex robots. I’m sure there will even be plenty who marry sex robots who blur the gender line in ways that’s hard to imagine without getting too kinky. It’ll still happen and it will be legally recognized as marriage.

I’ll give a moment for social conservatives and extreme reactionaries to stop shuddering in horror. Take all the time you need. To that crowd and anyone else concerned/scared of this possibility, I can offer at least some solace in the sense that this isn’t going to happen overnight. However, the factors for it to eventually happen are already manifesting.

For human/robot marriage to happen, a number of things need to occur first. There will need to be progression of events, some of them social and some of them technological. As those events occur, though, the path to human/robot marriage will become clearer. In simplest terms, this is the timeline for how we’ll navigate that path.

Step 1: Robot intelligence must advance to a point where they have a sense of self and identity.

Step 2: Robots must gain some level of citizenship status within a society, which must also happen in conjunction with a change in what constitutes identity in a non-human context.

Step 3: Robots and humans must start forming intimate personal relationships, romantic and platonic, that closely mirror those between other humans.

Step 4: The relationships between humans and robots must gain some level of acceptance as a legitimate, non-taboo kind of relationship.

There are probably more detailed steps in between, but I would identify these steps as the most critical. So far, none of them have been achieved. While I’m aware that Saudi Arabia recognized its first robot citizen in 2017, I see that as more of a symbolic gesture cloaked as a PR stunt.

The robot they recognized, Sophia, is not the kind of robot people will marry in the future. This robot, which is pretty advanced by most standards, doesn’t quite meet the criteria necessary for sentience. It’s unlikely that she would be able to pass the Turing Test consistently or carry out the personal, physical, and emotional attributes of a spouse.

At the moment, human-level intelligence in a robot has not been achieved, let alone the kind of intelligence necessary to have a sense of self and will. We’re still quite a way from a robot that will one day ask whether or not it has a soul, which may end up being the moment we find out whether artificial intelligence becomes an existential crisis.

In the human/robot marriage timeline, though, we work under the assumption that the robots we create for uses beyond sex or labor will share a desire to form intimate connections. Granted, that’s a pretty lofty assumption, but one I think is already manifesting with the rise of the sex robot industry.

The fact sex robots are a growing industry and a growing controversy already reveals a desire, at least from the human part, to form an intimate connection with machines. If that desire finds its way into robots and artificial intelligent systems, then it’s likely those machines will seek connections too.

I believe that, as soon as there’s a robot or an intelligence that has such desires, the first and most critical step in the human/robot marriage timeline will be fulfilled. After that, it may only be a decade before humans start marrying robots. It may happen even sooner than that simply because digital evolution is so much faster than biological evolution.

It’s hard to say how close we are to creating that kind of intelligence. Even the most advanced sex robots today and the most advanced AIs aren’t quite at a level where they gain a sense of identity, but I believe we’re closer to that point than most realize. There are some who say robots will never advance beyond a certain point, but there are others who say it might reach that point by 2029 at the earliest.

If history is any guide, those who tend to claim a technological feat is impossible are usually proven wrong and look downright stupid through the lens of history. Those who are insanely optimistic about also get proven wrong too. For the most part, the achievement happens somewhere in the middle.

I won’t predict when robots are capable of human-level intelligence, but I believe it will happen before 2050 and it probably won’t happen all at once. Technology never does. At some point, though, we will find ourselves living in a world where non-human intelligence is part of our lives and it won’t seem like a novelty. It’ll be our new normal.

As happened with other minority struggles, it’ll take a while for robots to gain the kind of legal status necessary for a legitimate marriage. It’ll be controversial and probably end up being a major political issue. However, given the economics of robotics along with the intimate connections we’ve already forged, I believe robot citizenship will eventually happen and must faster than we expect.

Once that intelligence finds its way into a body or form with which humans can share intimate relationships, then human/robot marriage doesn’t just become possible. It becomes inevitable. We’ve already had people marry their phones. Is it really such a stretch to imagine that they’ll marry an intelligent robot capable of forming intimate, loving connections? I think it’s not just possible. It’s inevitable.

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The (Fragile) State Of Modern Chivalry

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These days, you can’t go more than a few days without hearing someone complaining that chivalry is dead, dying, or some elaborate patriarchal conspiracy to keep women in their place. A few are even arguing it’s part of some matriarchal conspiracy to control men. The very concept of chivalry is in a precarious state is what I’m saying.

Now, I’m somewhat hesitant to write about this because in my experience, both in real life and online, it brings out a lot of mixed sentiments. I’ve met men who resent it. I’ve met women who are outright offended by it. No matter how I approach it, there’s no way to avoid rubbing certain people the wrong way.

Hesitation aside, I do feel compelled to talk about it because the idea of modern chivalry, the kind that involves common courtesy and not the medieval kind that made high school English class so frustrating, is kind of personal to me. That’s because I had awesome, loving parents who went out of their way to teach me and my siblings the manners, attitude, and mentality that go into modern chivalry.

They may not have built their entire parenting strategy around it, but I like to think that them emphasizing it was part of a larger life lesson. It’s one that effects me to this day. I still make it a point to hold doors, pull out chairs, and address people as sir/ma’am. If I don’t, then I feel like I’m not showing the respect I want.

It may not sound like much, but I find myself wondering and worrying about the state of this gender-driven quirk. Some of that worry stems from how relevant those vital lessons my parents taught me are today and whether they’re losing relevance with each passing year. That might just be a byproduct of me getting older, but it does concern me, if only because I feel there’s a lot of gender-driven conflict these days.

To understand why, I need to give a little background as to just how my parents instilled an appreciation of modern chivalry in me and, as a bonus, demonstrate why they’re so awesome. While both my parents were big on teaching me and my siblings manners, my father was more focused in emphasizing courteous behavior.

As a kid, I remember more than one occasion where we would go out somewhere and my father told me to hold the door for women and/or total strangers coming up behind you. It wasn’t just for women either. He made it clear that if you have a chance to hold the door for someone, you do it and you be a gentleman about it.

I only remembered why it was so important on the occasions I forgot. There was this one time when I was around 10-years-old that my parents took me and my siblings to the mall. I, being an overly excited kid, ran out ahead to get inside. In doing so, I forgot to hold the door for a woman and her daughter. My dad did not approve of that.

I vividly recall him catching up with me, grabbing me by the arm, and telling me that if I’m going to run out ahead like that, I damn well better hold the door like a goddamn gentleman. Remember, I was only 10 at the time and my father was holding me to higher standards than that. At the time, I was kind of annoyed, but as I got older, I came to appreciate that lesson.

There were probably other similar incidents. My dad, who I know occasionally reads this site, can probably remember plenty of others like that. I hope they’re still relatively few because as I got older, things like holding doors, pulling out chairs, and saying sir/ma’am became second nature to me. It got to a point where I really didn’t think about it.

Then, in a more recent incident, I had an encounter that kind of worried me. I was walking around my neighborhood. I then make my way into a fast food restaurant for a quick lunch. Since an older woman was behind me, I held the door for them. She smiled and thanked me. I replied with a simple, “You’re welcome, ma’am.”

It was that last part, though, that got a stronger reaction. She was genuinely surprised when I said “ma’am.” It was a pleasant surprised, though. She even went out of her way to thank me for being so courtesy, claiming she doesn’t hear that sort of rhetoric much anymore.

Now, this was not some old woman longing for the good old days, mind you. This woman didn’t look that much older than me. It really caught me off-guard, mostly because I was just doing what my parents had taught me to do all my life. It also kind of worried me, too.

That’s not the first time something like that happened. I’ve said “sir/ma’am” to strangers before and gotten strange looks, both from older and younger crowds. I’ve noticed the older women, though, are the ones that react most often to it. They tend to react most positively as well. Women who are around my age or younger just smile and shrug it off, as though it’s no big deal.

I’m honestly not sure what to make of it. I understand my experiences are purely anecdotal and it’s unreasonable to make broad generalizations about society, as a whole. However, the more reactions of this sort that I encounter, the more I worry that the value of modern chivalry is declining.

That worry, though, is not akin to some old man longing for the good old days. I understand that the good old days are never as good as we remember. I feel a more pressing concern is how this attitude reflects the growing tension between genders that seems to fuel so many conflicts, these days.

I’ve talked about a few of those conflicts, including the absurd ones. A part of me can’t help but wonder whether the lack of a reaction I get from younger women on my chivalrous acts reflects a distressing trend in attitudes towards men, in general.

I worry that recent scandals, trends in feminism, and even a few trends in men’s rights activism are conditioning people to just assume the worst in men, even when they demonstrate good conduct. Assuming the worst in any situation is usually the first step towards falling into a nasty cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies.

In that context, there’s no behavior, chivalrous or otherwise, that can convince anyone that they’re just trying to be polite. I hold a door for a woman with those assumptions and she won’t see it as good manners. She’ll just see it as some elaborate effort to get into her pants or somehow draw her into a system of patriarchal oppression.

The assumptions are just as bad for the men. I hold a door for a man, or just get seen holding the door for a woman, and the assumption is I’m trapped in some radical feminist agenda that seeks to turn all men into weak, submissive, beta-males. Again, it overlooks the mere possibility that it’s just the kind, courteous, polite thing to do.

I sincerely hope this is just empty concern on my part and the observations I’ve made are just a byproduct of growing cynicism. I also hope that the current state of gender politics doesn’t reduce the concept of modern chivalry to an agenda. Just acting like a decent human being to other people, regardless of their gender, should never be an agenda.

It’ll be interesting to see how the current social landscape evolves over the next several years. How it sees and interprets modern chivalry will reveal a lot about the direction we’re heading with respect to how men and women relate to one another. If every little action suddenly becomes part of an agenda, then I imagine it’ll get a lot harder to just show common courtesy to someone.

I hope it doesn’t get that bad. I sincerely hope that the lessons my parents taught me about showing good manners and common courtesy are just as relevant in the future as they are now. If I ever get around to having kids, I intend to teach them those same lessons.

Some things just don’t need to be part of a gender-driven conflict. They can just be an overly-formal way of showing respect to one another. Call it what you want, be it modern chivalry or just not being an asshole to someone. There’s still a place for it in any society and I believe there always will be.

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Filed under gender issues, Jack Fisher's Insights, Marriage and Relationships, romance

“Avenging Desire” A Sexy Short Story

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The following is a sexy short story entitled “Avenging Desire.” It’s not based on any real events, but it was inspired by the recent hype surrounding the debut of “Avengers: Infinity War.” Enjoy!

The wait was almost over. The day that fans of Marvel and superhero movies had been waiting for had finally arrived. “Avengers: Infinity War” was set to release and fans of all kinds had lined up outside the MaxCinema IMAX theater for the midnight showing.

Michelle Meyers considered herself one of those fans. In fact, she considered herself a bigger fan than 90 percent of those waiting in line, thinking they could get away with not pre-ordering tickets two weeks ahead of time. A few days ago, she would’ve laughed at them for their lack of foresight. Now, if they knew her current predicament, they’d probably be laughing at her.

“The biggest movie premier of my life,” Michelle mused as she sat on the hood of her car, “and fate finds a way to make it harder for me… and break my heart, in the process.”

Muttering a string of curses to herself, she looked away from the crowd and checked her phone. She had a little more than an hour before the midnight premier of the movie. She should’ve been more excited than any sane woman should for a movie premier. It was the cinematic event of a lifetime and Michelle thought she’d prepared for it, even going so far as to get a Black Widow costume.

Then, it happened. More specifically, her boyfriend happened. Eric Landon, the man she’d dated for two years and seen more than her share of superhero movies with, broke up with her. On top of that, she found out he’d been cheating on her with some girl he met on a comic book message board, of all places. If that weren’t bad enough, he’d been the one to pre-order their tickets.

“Fuck you, Eric,” Michelle said, still staring at her phone, which had an old picture of them in the background. “Fuck you for being worse than Thanos when it comes to loving your girlfriend. The least you could’ve done was break my heart after we saw the movie.”

She kept cursing her ex under her breath and in her mind, hoping that new girl he left her for would bust his balls like the Hulk every chance she got. Michelle had gone through bad break-ups before, but she’d never hated someone so much for ending a relationship at the worst possible time.

It wasn’t just that the tickets he bought had been in his name. She’d also found out just a few hours ago that Eric intended to use what should’ve been her ticket to take his new girlfriend to see the movie. For all she knew, they were already in line and Eric was wearing the same old Captain America T-shirt he wore on their first date.

It was tempting to just hunt him down, kick his ass in public, and take the ticket that was rightfully hers. However, Michelle had another plan, one that would help her see the movie and get back at her ex. It required a little cunning and sacrifice on her part, but for a chance to see “Avengers: Infinity War” tonight, she was willing to take that chance.

As time ticked by at an agonizingly slow pace, Michelle kept checking her phone, watching as the premier drew closer by the second. Finally, she heard the voice she’d been waiting.

“Michelle Meyers…is that you?” said Samuel Hartman, the man who held the keys to making her night a success.

“That’s me,” Michelle said, putting on her best smile and using her most seductive tone. “You’re right on time, Sam.”

“I know you couldn’t give too many specifics with your text, but how do you want to…”

Michelle held up her hand to silence him. He sounded so nervous, if not a little anxious. She couldn’t have that. She had to maintain a certain mood. It was the only way they could both get what they wanted.

“Don’t overthink this, Sam. I was vague for a reason,” she said as she got off the hood of her car. “First, let me see the tickets. I need to be sure…more so than I was with Eric.”

“Of course,” he replied, already sounding somewhat calmer.

She watched as Sam reached into his back pocket, took out his wallet, and showed her two movie tickets to the “Avengers: Infinity War” premier, which was set to begin in under an hour. Michelle then approached him, scrutinizing the tickets to make sure they were real. Having worked in a movie theater during high school, she knew how to spot fakes. Near as she could tell, they were real.

“Wow! You got great seats,” Michelle said with a smile.

“My older brother is a real movie junky,” Sam said. “He has picking the best seats down to a science.”

“And you thought to use it on the biggest movie premier of the past decade…smart.”

“Well, in my defense, I do consider myself an Avengers fan. Plus, I failed miserably to get tickets to the Black Panther movie and I wasn’t going to make that mistake again.”

“Except, you already had someone to share those tickets with, didn’t you?” Michelle said.

“I did,” he admitted, “but that’s where my sister’s terrible luck is your gain. She and I were going to see this movie tonight, just like we have with every MCU movie. Then, her car breaks down on her way back from Florida and she’s not going to be in until tomorrow night.”

“My older brother is a mechanic. I’ll get him to fix that car for free if this is as worth it as I hope.”

Michelle took a step closer and, in a move that would’ve made the Black Widow proud, pulled the young man into an intimate embrace. It was a lot more intimate than she usually offered for someone she’d just met, but for Sam and the promise of seeing “Avengers: Infinity War,” she made an exception.

Sam wasn’t just a guy who happened to have a spare ticket to the movie. The only reason Michelle knew him was because he worked for the same law firm as Eric. Sam even outranked him technically, having been close to one of the partners at the firm. She’d met him at the office Christmas party and remembered that he’d recently endured a nasty break-up as well. That aligned their goals in ways beyond the movie.

Michelle had overheard Eric talking to Sam about “Avengers: Infinity War” earlier in the week, just before she found out about his lying, cheating antics. She also remembered Sam being less an asshole when debating who could lift Thor’s hammer. That made the revelation that he had a spare ticket even more enticing. It also made her method of payment much clearer.

“Um…Michelle?” said Sam, still holding the tickets and his wallet.

“Yes, Sam?” said Michelle, smiling playfully as she let her body press against his.

“I know you said you wanted to earn this ticket,” he told her.

“I still do,” she replied seductively.

“For the record, though…I still would’ve accepted cash. I would’ve even offered a discount after what Eric did to you. I mean…cheating on you and using his ticket on the girl he cheated with? That’s just wrong!”

“It’s for that exact reason I didn’t accept the discount. You see, unlike Eric, I prefer to put in the work. I like doing things the hard way. It makes the end results so much more rewarding.”

With each word she spoke, Michelle channeled every ounce her flirting skills. She hadn’t used those skills much since college and even back then, she needed a little alcohol to really maximize the effect. True to her word, she decided to push herself with Sam and for all the right reasons.

As he stood dumbfounded in her embrace, she casually grasped his arms and lowered them so that he put the tickets and his wallet away. She then guided his arms around her waist so they could share a more complete embrace. She could still sense Sam overthinking things to some extent, but if the sudden hardness in his pants were any indication, his thoughts were giving way to action. Tony Stark would’ve been proud.

“That’s also why I parked my car all the way out here,” Michelle told him, gesturing towards her car. “It’s a long walk to the theater, it’s in a corner lot, and it’s right across from that pile of broken concrete that the construction crews haven’t cleaned up yet.”

“Yeah, I figured there was a reason for that,” said Sam with an awkward grin.

“The reason is simple,” she said more intently. “It’s remote and private. On top of that, all the cops are in the theater, making sure nobody sneaks in a bottle of bourbon inside a toy hammer.”

“Would you think less of me if I tried something like that when I saw Thor: Ragnarok last year?”

“Actually…I’d find that incredibly hot.”

She must have sounded like Scarlett Johannsen because she swore she felt a bulge form in Sam’s pants instantly. Embracing him under the poor illumination of a street light, the crowded theater in the distance taking up everyone else’s attention, she and Sam might as well have been in the same underground cave as Thor was in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Michelle didn’t know Sam that well, but he loved superhero movies like her and he hadn’t given away her ticket to “Avengers: Infinity War” to some undeserving bitch. That was more than enough to evoke the desires she needed to make their little transaction work.

The first part of it involved a simple kiss, which Michelle gave Sam without hesitation. She even threw in a little tongue with some extra body contact. That actually surprised him, but in the best possible way.

“Whoa,” Sam said after their lips parted, “you’re very direct.”

“I am when I have to be,” she quipped.

“Eric once mentioned how determined you could be when in the right mindset. I think he undersold that trait.”

“Please don’t mention that name from here on out. As far as I’m concerned, there are only three things that matter right now…you, me, and seeing this goddamn movie.”

Michelle kissed him again, being even more direct than before. She practically shoved her tongue into his mouth, grabbed his wrist and guiding his hands down onto her butt. That time, Sam didn’t hesitate. Instead, he kissed back. Apparently, his brain had caught up with the rest of his body. Much like the Avengers, they were ready to assemble for the ultimate mission.

Having set the tone and made her intentions clear, Michelle sensed they were ready for the next part of their transaction. That meant a different kind of assembling.

“Now then,” Michelle said, after their lips parted, “why don’t we take this to the back seat of my car and finalize our little deal?”

“Between this movie and your kissing skills…I’m just going to shut up now.”

“Works for me!”

Tapping the same giddy spirit she felt years ago when she came out of the first “Iron Man” movie, she latched onto Sam’s arm and led him to her car. As soon as she opened the rear passenger doors, she couldn’t get into the back seat with him fast enough.

Her car wasn’t the most spacious vehicle in the world, but she’d cleaned it out that afternoon, knowing she’d need every bit of space for tonight. As soon as she closed the door behind her, doing one quick check to make sure nobody was in sight, Michelle smothered Sam with healthy dose of kissing and fondling.

Before long, he was lying on the back seat with her on top of him, his hands back on her butt as their still-clothed bodies pressed together in the confined space. She more she kissed him, the more she kissed back. The more she pawed his chest, the more he squeezed his butt. It wasn’t quite the kind of teamwork the Avengers embodied, but it still seemed fitting.

All the kissing and touching helped things heat up very quickly. Already, Michelle felt the air inside her car get hotter and stickier. It made staying fully clothed unbearable for a second longer.

“Sam,” she said, already breathless as she lay on top of him, “it’s getting hotter than Surtur’s balls in here. What do you we ditch these itchy clothes?”

Sam just grinned, keeping his promise to shut up while she carried out their little transaction. That fact alone – him actually keeping a promise – already put him above her ex. That might very well make the next part even more enjoyable.

Rising up in the seat, still straddling his waist, Michelle took off her Black Widow themed T-shirt to reveal a matching black bra. Then, with the same seductive glance that made Scarlett Johannsen the best part of “Iron Man 2,” she unhooked the clasp and removed it, allowing her breasts to tumble free.

“Michelle,” Sam said, his eyes widening with delight at the sight of her breasts.

“You can call me Natasha Romanov if you want,” Michelle said playfully, doing her best Russian accent.

“I’ll…stick to Michelle,” he said jokingly.

They both laughed and kissed again. Sam didn’t need help guiding his hands to her breasts. He quickly found his way and began fondling them with both hands. He wasn’t too hard. He was actually careful. Clearly, he had fondled breasts before and was pretty good at it. That got Michelle even more eager to get out of her clothes.

First, she helped Sam keep up. As he fondled and admired her breasts, she undid his button-up shirt with an Avengers logo on the chest. Once that was off, she undid his belt buckle and pants. That proved more challenging because that bulge she felt earlier had grown quite a bit. Still determined, both to finish the job and see the movie, she managed to pull them off, boxers and all.

“That’s better,” Sam said as he eagerly kicked off his pants.

“Yes…much better,” said Michelle.

She felt like a drunken prom date, getting her first glimpse of Sam’s dick. In addition to being in better shape than Eric, Sam was more endowed as well. In the spirit of Thor, she looked to test if he was worthy of it. That also meant testing just how determined she was to see “Avengers: Infinity War.”

“I’m going to suck your dick, now,” she told him. “Then, I’m going to fuck you. I’m going to fuck you so well that you’ll deem me worthy of that ticket…so worthy that Thor, himself, would be proud.”

“You just keep sweetening this deal, Michelle,” Sam said with the widest grin she’d ever seen on a man.

He must have felt like Tony Stark at that moment and Michelle intended to affirm that feeling. Still hovering over him, letting him admire and touch her breasts, she reached down and began fondling his cock. That got a favorable reaction, one that she followed to the utmost.

With his rigid member in hand, she adjusted herself so that she could get a more up-close look at his manhood. Sam did the same, rising up from the seat so she had room to work. Now comfortably resting with his back against the door, Michelle leaned in and took his length into her mouth.

“Oh yeah!” he moaned upon feeling her lips around his shaft.

Encouraged, she began sucking him off, treating it like a mission ordered by Captain America himself. Michelle usually wasn’t that eager to give a blowjob. When she’d been with Eric, he often had to sweet-talk her into it. She didn’t need that with Sam. He’d already given her plenty of incentive to both go the extra distance and even enjoy it a little.

On paper, it seemed like a chore. She would give a man sex. He’d give her a ticket to see “Avengers: Infinity War.” It was a simple, albeit lurid transaction. It might have even been illicit, according to her uncle, who happened to be a cop. Michelle refused to approach it like that, though. Like Scott Lang in “Ant Man,” she saw it as an opportunity worth pursuing.

Whether she was just that excited about the movie or just extra horny for some reason, Michelle’s efforts paid off. Eric’s blissful moans were proof enough of that, as well as the way his dick throbbed in her mouth. After sucking and slithering her way along his length, he was as hard as the Hulk’s bicep. That was her queue for the next part.

“Mmm…so strong and hard,” Michelle said playfully. “Ready to smash my pussy like the Hulk, Sam?”

“Hell yeah!” Sam said, now every bit as into it as her.

She grinned up at him, giving the tip of his dick one last lick in anticipation. She then rose up, undid her tight-fitting black pants, and pulled them down, along with her panties. Upon kicking them off with her sandals, Michelle eagerly straddled him so that his member was perfectly aligned with her wet opening.

“For the record,” she said, now gazing intently into his eyes, “I’m not just doing this for a movie ticket. I’m doing this to avenge the pain my ex caused me.”

“Avenge huh?” said Sam in a humored tone. “I can totally respect that!”

He smiled playfully and she smiled back before capturing his lips again. Then, as their tongues became entwined, Michelle thrust her hips downward and drove his cock up into her.

A surge of sharp sensations followed. The penetration was surprisingly smooth. She’d gotten herself much wetter than she’d thought. Either Sam was having an effect on her or the prospect of seeing “Avengers: Infinity War” made her just that horny. She preferred to think it was a little of both.

“Ohhh Michelle!” Sam moaned.

“Yeah…you like that?” Michelle said curtly. “You like how I avenge my ex?”

“Ohhh fuck yeah! Avenge him…just like that!”

She laughed playfully and kept kissing him, all while thoroughly gyrating her hips and building up towards a sexual rhythm. She clung to his shoulders while he held onto her waist, their naked bodies gliding and moving together in a sexual heat. Michelle even noticed the windows fogging up from all the heat and sweat. It was her kind of avenging, indeed.

As if possessed by the devious spirit of Loki, Michelle rode Sam’s cock with a passion, making it a point to fuck him better than she’d fucked Eric in the last few months of their relationship. She was hard and thorough with every movement, really working his length into her depths. Together, they made a potent heat within her car, even rocking it at times.

Soon, it didn’t feel like an obstacle between her and seeing “Avengers: Infinity War.” It was almost like a bonus, getting some hot sex before the movie. It almost didn’t seem fair, but then again, it wasn’t fair how her ex treated her so she figured they were officially even.

Within the back seat, despite the inherent confinement, she and Sam managed to go at it longer than she’d expected. He even managed to work up a good sweat, his chest glistening under the limited lighting from outside. She felt some sweat beading up on her naked skin as well as they worked their way towards a thunderous peak.

It even got a little chaotic, naked bodies shifting around while hands eagerly roamed. At one point, Sam was squeezing her butt as she rode him and she was pinching his nipples. At another, she was leaning back as she rode him so he could keep fondling her breasts. Whatever form their sex took, it had the same goals. One involved seeing the movie. The other involved something more basic.

“Michelle, I…I’m close!” Sam grunted, his every breath becoming more labored. “I’m getting real…real close!”

“Ooh me too, Sam!” Michelle moaned. “Please…come first. I want you…to come first!”

That seemed so counterintuitive, a woman wanting a man to climax first during sex. Then again, it was part of the transaction. She promised to give him a satisfying fuck in exchange for that ticket. That meant his peak had priority, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t also enjoy it.

Still leaning back, allowing Sam to keep admiring her breasts, Michelle worked her hips in a final surge of energy. Like that last desperate push the Avengers made against the Chitari in the first movie, she was determined to finish. Much like her favorite superhero team, she eventually triumphed.

“Ohhh Michelle!” Sam cried out as he finally climaxed.

It was so abrupt, but intense. Michelle felt Sam’s body tense within her grasp, his hands really squeezing her butt as the feeling took over. She finally slowed her motions, watching as Sam’s face contorted to the pleasure that came along with his release. She made sure he enjoyed it, remaining on top of him while his dick throbbed inside her.

Since she was so close to her own climax, though, she kept the rhythm going for a bit longer. From that final push, along with a little extra self-stimulation, she managed to achieve orgasm as well. She hadn’t expected it, as part of her deal with Sam. The fact she could just made the avenging that much more satisfying.

“Mmm…Sam!” Michelle moaned. “Avenge…with me!”

That sounded so cheesy out loud, but in a state of orgasmic bliss, she was beyond caring. With Sam still reeling from his own peak, Michelle grabbed onto his shoulders, closed her eyes, and threw her head back as she let out a cry that felt like it came straight from Asgard.

She was much louder and more energetic than she’d intended. However, she’d always enjoyed being vocal during sex. Adding that on top of her excitement on seeing “Avengers: Infinity War” just made her deal with Sam that much sweeter.

“I think…we’re done avenging,” said Sam breathlessly.

“That’s for sure!” said Michelle, still dazed by her orgasm.

Their naked bodies remained entwined as she soaked in the feeling, taking in every last ripple of pleasure that coursed up through her body. She even threw in a sultry kiss and an extra embrace. It helped let Sam know that what they had just done was more than just a transaction for movie tickets.

Once the feeling passed, their bodies parted and Michelle caught her breath. Still sweaty and sticky, she and Sam were sure to look pretty disheveled in the theater. She didn’t care, though. She was too excited about the movie, among other things.

“Come on,” she told him. “Let’s get dressed and get in line. We’ve got a movie to see!”

“I haven’t forgotten,” said Sam as he gathered his clothes.

As soon as he found his pants, he took his wallet out again and handed her the ticket. Michelle, still fully nude, eagerly took it. Having done her part and completed the deal, it was hers now. Just holding it in her hand helped it feel real.

“I’m also glad you didn’t take the discount price I offered,” Sam told her.

“Of course you didn’t,” Michelle teased as she put the ticket in her purse. “This way, you got to have sex.”

“That, and I helped avenge something that needed avenging,” he said, “On the night of an Avengers movie premier, I can’t think of anything more fitting.”

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How To Do Romantic Sub-Plots Right (And Why Some Fail)

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This will probably surprise no one who regularly visits this site, but I love romantic sub-plots. In many cases, they’re my favorite part of a movie, TV show, or comic book. I’ve made my love for romance in general fairly well-known, but romantic sub-plots offer a special kind of appeal.

Now, when I say romantic sub-plots, I’m not referring to the stories built solely around romance, like many of my novels. I’m referring to stories that are primarily presented as another genre, be it sci-fi, fantasy, or a blatant “Die Hard” rip-off, but include a secondary romantic story that runs parallel to the main story.

Sometimes, that story is subtle. Sometimes, it becomes a major catalyst for other parts of the main story. Sometimes, it just adds a little melodrama in between all the bigger, flashier conflicts. Watch pretty much any prime time show on the CW these days and you’ll see examples of every kind to some extent.

As much as I love these sub-plots, though, they can also be frustrating. For every romantic sub-plot I felt was handled well, I can think of five others that were horribly botched. On one end, you have the rich, balanced love story of Han Solo and Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy. On the other, you’ve got the inherently toxic love story between Penny and Leonard in “The Big Bang Theory.”

There’s so much variety and diversity to romantic sub-plots that I could spend an entire weekend going through all of them. However, for the sake of making a more concise point, I want to focus on what makes a romantic sub-plot truly compelling. Regardless of genre, medium, or scope, a good romantic sub-plot can really enhance the overall plot.

Like every other sub-plot or storytelling tactic, though, romantic sub-plots are prone to all sorts of tropes, cliches, and traditions. Some are more useful than others. However, some can create obstacles and pitfalls that derail an otherwise promising romantic sub-plot.

While I don’t consider myself an expert on all the mechanisms that go into a good romantic sub-plot, I do know plenty of others out there who are far smarter than me and far more capable of explaining the subject in a more comprehensive way. They may not be experts either, but they know how to get the point across.

That’s where wonderful YouTube channels like Overly Sarcastic Productions come in. I’ve referenced it before in previous discussions about strong female characters, but it also provides other extensive breakdowns of various tropes and does it in a colorful, entertaining way, sometimes literally.

One such video in their Trope Talk series covers romantic sub-plots and the breakdown here is the best I’ve seen to date on what makes a good and not-so-good sub-plot. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend you watch it. If nothing else, it should put some of your favorite and least favorite romantic sub-plots into a larger context.

There’s a lot of fast-talking, broad-based breakdowns of this trope, which the narrator freely admits she doesn’t fully understand. However, she demonstrates that she understands enough to point out what not to do when pursuing a romantic sub-plot on a fairly basic level. I want to go beyond basics.

The video singles out a few TV shows and cartoons where the romantic sub-plot falls flat, such as “The Legend of Korra” and “Castle.” In both cases, the sub-plot is very shallow in that it’s built entirely on the fact that a straight male and a straight female character work closely together. As such, they become romantically entangled.

Therein likes the most glaring problem, though. Just being two characters who work together is seen as sufficient to justify the sub-plot. As a result, there’s no effort to build meaningful chemistry between the characters. In some cases, there isn’t even an effort to establish whether they’re romantically compatible with one another.

This is probably the most common, not to mention the most annoying, problem that arises when romantic sub-plots enter a story. The sub-plot is given the bare minimum in terms of depth, relying on the audience to fill in the blanks as to why these two should be together.

This happens a lot in the superhero genre. Romantic sub-plots and soap operas are the cornerstone of some of the most iconic superhero comics, TV shows, and movies. One of the most epic examples, the Dark Phoenix Saga, is set to become a movie next year. However, I would argue that the superhero genre is most guilty of this common shortcoming.

Take, for instance, the first “Iron Man” movie and the romantic sub-plot between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. Never mind the fact that these two characters don’t have much of a romance in the comics. The first movie and the two successful sequels that follow do plenty to establish Tony and Pepper as the primary romance of the story. However, it does little to show why these two belong together.

The same thing happens with Thor and Jane Foster in the first two “Thor” movies. Unlike Iron Man, the comics establish a more robust romantic history between these two. The movies, however, do little to drawn from this history. They rely solely on the fact that Thor spends a little time around Jane, she’s attracted to him, and that’s all that’s necessary for the romance to unfold.

Again, it’s shallow in that it relies too heavily on the audience to fill in the gaps of chemistry and compatibility. For any functional romance, those gaps are pretty big. Just getting together is only a small part of that process and the story around it. Movies like “Thor” and “Iron Man” give the impression that just being around each other long enough is sufficient. These characters don’t have to actually work on their romance.

Compare that to the much more developed romances in the superhero genre, such as Barry and Iris in “The Flash” TV show. In that romance, just getting together isn’t the end of the story. It’s just part of it. Barry and Iris actually work, struggle, sacrifice, and even argue at times, but that’s exactly what makes their relationship so meaningful.

Outside the superhero genre, there are other ways the romantic sub-plot gets derailed in a way that’s more annoying than entertaining. I think “Friends” was one of the worst offenders with Ross and Rachel because almost the entirety of the sub-plot was built around them struggling to get together. Sure, the process of two people coming together can be compelling, but that can’t be the whole story.

Movies tend to struggle with it even more, but mostly due to logistical reasons. There’s only so much romantic development you can squeeze into a two or three hour movie. However, it can be done. Despite being brief and tragic, the sub-plot of Sarah Conners and Kyle Reese in the original “Terminator” movie showed that it is possible for a romantic sub-plot to be meaningful within those limitations.

Far more often, though, movies try to rush a sub-plot or outright force it. That’s part of what makes any romance hard to take seriously. In a movie like “Jurassic World,” where you have two very different characters in Claire and Owen, it really has to be forced because outside the plot of the movie, it’s hard to imagine these two having a meaningful relationship.

In some respects, that’s a good litmus test for any romantic sub-plot. If you can’t see the characters involved functioning outside the plot of the movie, then chances are the romantic sub-plot is fundamentally flawed. It’s easy to imagine iconic couples like Superman and Lois Lane, Cyclops and Jean Grey, or even Allie and Noah in “The Notebook” enjoying a functional relationship past the final credits.

Even for couples where it’s harder to picture them outside a conflict, it helps when a romantic sub-plot still puts in extra effort to make the romance believable. While this is a challenge in movies, TV, and comics, I’ve actually seen this handled a lot better in modern video games.

Romantic sub-plots are important elements of popular games like the “Uncharted” series. What makes that sub-plot effective, though, is how much time and energy is put into establishing why a man like Nathan Drake would be with a woman like Elena Fisher. It even goes out of its way to show how these two characters create a genuinely functional relationship towards the end.

While it might be a bit of a stretch, I would also cite the “Mass Effect” series that I’ve praised before in how well it handles romantic sub-plots. Now, it’s a stretch because the game is structured in a way where the player can choose a particular romantic sub-plot or choose to not have one at all. That makes the story a lot more fluid than a movie or TV show, but it still manages to create depth for a sub-plot.

That depth shows, regardless of which romantic sub-plot the player chooses. Whether it’s Shepard and Liara, Shepard and Ashley, or Shepard and Garrus, the game provides opportunities for depth and development. If you follow the sub-plot through to the end, the romance has genuine dramatic weight.

In the end, that’s the most important impact of any romantic sub-plot. When done right, it adds greater weight to the overall narrative. It creates an emotional dimension that goes beyond just achieving a goal or surviving a conflict. It fleshes out the emotions, passions, and desires of the characters involved.

Conversely, it can really disrupt the plot when done wrong. I’ve already covered how the worst love triangle in history derailed the X-men movies. Talk to any “Star Wars” fan and they’ll probably say the poor romance between Anakin Skywalker and Padme was the most disappointing part of the prequels not named Jar Jar Binks.

To some extent, a romantic sub-plot is a gamble. It stretches the odds, but it also increases the payout. When it fails, it can fail pretty spectacularly. When it works, though, it can make for some of the most dramatic, passionate moments in a story. As an unapologetic romance lover, I say it’s a gamble worth taking.

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