Boobs, Bullets and Lasers.
Or, an inexpert view on why we like the Velorian orgasm
By Tarot Barnes
I love the genre, really love it. And not just for the obvious reasons. I love it because for once, feminists would have a hard time decrying it as mere male exploitation of the feminine form.
Because this genre is loved by women as well.
Okay, it is a male fantasy and, yes, there are male writers. But that doesnít matter when there are also female authors and fans. Itís a multi-sex genre and no one can deny that.
Thatís why I like this place.
You have to respect women in order to enjoy it.
I think thatís an important part of why we like the Velorian orgasm.
Weíre odd, you know that, truly bizarre. Weíre odd because I donít know what to call us and we just donít fit in.
Thereís a spectrum and it doesnít apply to usÖ or rather parts if it do and other parts donít. On one end you have female domination in which men are chained up and physically/emotionally dominated. On the other you have male domination where women are chained up and physically/emotionally dominated*. You could even go to the truly oblique ends of the spectrum where the individuals are killed or destroyed, but I donít like to go there, it only briefly touches on our community.
I guess if you had to, you could squeeze us into the middle, but even then itís not right because the middle ground belongs to the average Joe who doesnít like to hurt women, yet enjoys maintaining control.
You could say we belong in the female domination half because above everything else we seem to enjoy being physically overwhelmedÖ only we donít fit there because weíre not averse to seeing these woman severely hurt, so long as theyíll win in the end.
Now thatís all well and good, but why do we need to involve sex? The most obvious answer is that a Velorian, or whatever form of Supergirl (or guy) you want, represents the epitome of genetic potential in a mate or companion. That in itself would be enough to create a sexual fantasy. Why else do we lust after supermodels? But when considering Naomi Campbell, the only people who want to throw her in front of a hail of bullets are her critics.
We go full circle, we would not only want to throw her before a hail of bullets, we want her to derive sexual pleasure from the experience. A kind of weird sadism? No, not really Iím afraid. Sadomasochists operate under the theory that all sensations can be turned into sexual pleasure. They donít have an orgasm after being pricked with a needle because they think itís a pleasant experience, they do so because it hurts and they choose to interpret the sensation as pleasure (itís a fine line but itís still a line).
A Velorian doesnít; for some reason we seem content to reverse the process and actually allow her to physically and emotionally enjoy the experience.
In our stories and in our minds we put our supergirls through frankly ludicrous amounts of punishment. Punching her hand through a brick wall might be easy for a Vel, but if a human were to try it, he or she would be lucky if they didnít break every bone in their hand.
And thatís just the everyday stuff, what about shooting them, bathing them in lava or cutting them with saw blades? Obviously a human would be dead in seconds, but a Velorian? At worst itíd be an irritation, at bestÖ well thatís what this essay is about.
First of all I think we should separate the two events. In the former we have someone punching their hand or foot through a wall. This is not, contrary to rational belief, the stuff of superheroes. People do it all the time, we call them film stars.
Although it would be hard to imagine someone deriving a sexual thrill from punching a wall, it could Ė and has Ė been done before. However this appears to be a purely psychological event where the woman in question achieves climax through mental stimulation/reinforcement of her power, rather than contact with any of her erogenous zones. For the most part these scenes are not sexual, I believe, because we see them so often in action films that theyíve become mundane and accepted.
Bouncing bullets off your chest however, thatís unusual. No matter how far Hollywood stretches the truth, weíre never going to accept that a bare-chested human can be shot at point blank range without being killed. That we imagine someone who can, thatís part of the thrill because it engages the imagination.
Other things engage the imagination as well; that we as readers are effectively bringing a woman to orgasm is one of them.
Velorians, it might have been mentioned, are invulnerable. Most of the time theyíre physically inaccessible to us mere mortals, as such we need something extra. For lack of a better term, and I apologise for the unavoidable sexist terminology, we need an artificial phallus.
In the stories the phallus takes multiple forms, either a machinegun, saw blade, or whatever else the authorís mind take a fancy too. What I find my self asking is why we need it. I mean practical considerations aside and getting out of the realm of fantasy, what kink in the male psyche makes us create this woman whom we feel obliged to visit such violence upon? Or from the female POV, why do they put themselves in a position/create a member of their gender who has to be put through this horrendous ordeal?
Possibly it is some variant of the sadomasochist impulse and we have this deeply repressed urge to hit women, yet our ideal-selves (that tiny perfect image you have of yourself inside your head) finds the very concept abhorrent and so the natural reaction is to create a woman who canít be hurt. Someone whom we can vent every depraved fantasy upon and whoíll not only endure what we do to her, but enjoy it and come back for more. This even holds up for women because theyíre imagining someone who can fulfil the feminist ideal and doesnít need to rely on a man, yet who isnít trying to take over the world.
Other schools of thought suggest that we like it because the Velorian is showing her feminine superiority, and even contempt, by deriving pleasure from destroying an object with inherently masculine connotations. This would place us squarely in the dominating female side of the spectrumÖ if you couldnít also argue the reverse and say that the woman in question might actually be submitting to male authority and power by being forced to enjoy an inherently male object.
If youíre like me however, you might like to get your head out of the inner recesses of Freudian psychology. An alternative approach might be that weíve developed our particular fetish as some kind of extreme reaction to the fact that women are finally beginning to realise they can now admit that they donít need to be handled with padded gloves and neednít accept the male notion that theyíre made of glass. If this is so males and females are, at least subconsciously, dramatizing this realisation. As I said above, women are taking the concept of being strong and independent further, envisioning themselves as powerful, invulnerable beings able to survive anything the world throws at them. Men on the other hand are finally realising that women never needed to be eternally sheltered, are taking the concept of a protector and turning it around, in some ways finally admitting that there are some circumstances in which they simply donít have the strength to deal with the situation.
It might not be related to her invulnerability, or the damage they sustain because of it at all. As Brantley once put it, Ďthe "heart of the fantasy" is the idea of a woman who is so strong and invulnerable that she doesn't need a man for anything, but wants a man just the same. It's a far more powerful fantasy to imagine having sex with one of them than with some bimbo.í Which effectively ties up all of the above, and we happen to like the idea of being around, or even being, a goddess who can save, protect, nurture and love those around her.
Or it might even be something totally different and the invulnerability is simply a means to an end. Like the ability to punch through a wall, fly through a star, or melt steel beams with their eyes, itís simply an adornment that makes these women appear exotic and unusual, creatures of imagination that allow us, males and females, to escape the mundane aspects of our lives. At least for a few hours.
Thatís my theory at least, your mileage may differ.
While considering this essay, I would also ask you to consider some maxims also brought to my attention by Brantley.
"If a woman does not own herself, how can she give herself?"
"If a woman doesn't have the right to say no, she doesn't have the right to say yes."
Thank you for your time.
*At this point I feel the need to suggest that individuals who enjoy and write in this particular aspect of the spectrum are not necessarily the socially misadjusted malcontents everyone seems to think they are. People who like that sort thing are as normal as anyone else, they just happen to enjoy beating up women in their minds! No doubt there are indeed individuals who take this too far, but these are by far the exception. The rest simply enjoy it in the privacy of their own heads so they donít have to deal with it in their everyday lives. Given the choice of tolerating a literary genre of non-consensual rape, or millions more real rapists, Iíd rather have the genre; at least you can look away from that.
Update, March 8, 2017: a few examples from online...
Supergirl XXX-Alanah Rae
DCM, Tetsuko (anime)
Atomic Scorpion (a living laser)