Both sex and violence are very common in today’s popular culture, and especially in today’s Comic Books. Either someone is interested for the fact that they enjoy sex and violence, or they are simply curious about sex and violence but regardless of the reasoning, it sells! Sex and violence are one of the top sellers, period. Sex is a primitive instinct, from a marketing point of view sexual content can have many different effects on viewers such as emotional, physical, and mental which in turn intrigues their minds and builds almost a bond. But do some comics take it to far?
When discussing sex and violence as a focus within Comic books, I went further into research on sexual violence such as rape, sadism, and comparing genders with violence. From the online dictionary (at www.dictionary.com) I found that sadomasochism is the combination of sadism and masochism, in particular the deriving of pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting or submitting to physical or emotional abuse. Its a condition of disturbed and destructive personality marked by the presence of both sadistic and masochistic traits. Psychologically it’s the combination of sadistic and masochistic elements in one person, characterized by both aggressive and submissive periods in relationships with others.
Here are some examples of rape, sadism, and sexual violence in comic books. One example is from Watchmen, where Sally is being raped, and beaten. She, although a superhero herself is placed as submissive and weaker than her equal, Eddie. It was sadly very easy to find multiple examples of sex and or violence within the comic book history. I am not here to tell what is right or wrong, whats appropriate and whats “taking it to far”. Im simply sharing the idea that it is very common, almost overused the amount of sex and violence today. Yet, this stops nothing because as long as people buy it, they will continue to sell it. I believe that in an appropriate amount it should be accepted. Even when it comes to difficult topics such as rape, I think people should know what its like to have to go through that as long as they mention precautions you should take to keep it from happening to you. There should be some sort of guidelines there helping its readers be safe.
Here is another rape scene found far to easily online. There is so much emotion behind these few panels, you connect with the person this is happening to, wether they are portrayed as a good or bad person within the comic.
We also have the scene from Watchmen. This is to show sex within comics. The act is welcomed, until Jon uses his powers and scares her. Love is important in this panel as well, because he comments and says he could never love her as she loved him. This is due to many reasons, but I think this is appropriate. Her body is real, not unnaturally busty or muscular; her emotions behind the act itself are real and her reaction to a change is believable. This makes for a good read.
All in all, I feel that sex and violence are used in almost every popular comic in some way shape or form. It may be hidden symbols, or blunt and obvious but it is always there. There are some hispanic comics I came across that are full of sex, most commonly the Brazilian ones I looked at. I ask the questions, do some comics take it to far? And is the reason sex and violence are so common due to enjoyment for the readers or simply because it sells well? I believe in an appropriate level (unless of course it’s an erotic comic of some sort) that it should be acceptable because it does connect to a reader on more levels than just sexually or physically.