Is He Not a Considerate Lover?
Batman and Sex
So there was a bit of a minor Internet brouhaha this week as it was revealed by the creators (and current show-runners) of the once-DC Universe/now-HBO Max series Harley Quinn that, of all the things they've been allowed to do on the show -- cussing, sexing, violence, gore -- the one thing DC ComicsOne of the two biggest comic publishing companies in the world (and, depending on what big events are going on, the number one company), DC Comics is the home of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and just about every big superhero introduced in the 1930s and 1940s. wouldn't allow them to show was BatmanOne of the longest running, consistently in-print superheroes ever (matched only by Superman and Wonder Woman), Batman has been a force in entertainment for nearly as long as there's been an entertainment industry. It only makes sense, then that he is also the most regularly adapted, and consistently successful, superhero to grace the Silver Screen. giving oral pleasure to his consensual lover (of many, many years), Catwoman. All the other stuff the show has done: fine. Batman eating out (presumably the act itself would have been off screen but implied) the Cat: no go.
This of course was met with any number of funny comments, like questioning if Batman isn't a considerate lover, or how "the world's greatest detective can't find the clitoris?" The reasoning given by the show-runners, which may need to be taken with just a few grains of salt (or maybe not) was that the comic company has to think about it's "Moichandising!" and you can't sell toys of a superhero if he's shown giving oral pleasure. This is silly on so many fronts (which we're going to get to in a moment) I have to wonder if it's the actual reason, but whatever the case, Batman not being allowed to lick his Pussy is dumb considering his past history.
I've seen it pointed out more than once that Batman is a sexual creature -- i.e., the dude can get it, and has gotten it, frequently, in comics. DC doesn't have an issue with him having long-term sexual relationships; he's been sleeping with Catwoman, on and off, for years (and they almost got married recently which would have finally meant they were no longer "living in sin", if you actually care about that kind of thing). They've shown the couple, more than once, post coitus, clothing disheveled and mostly off, with just the right amount of covering so as not to offend "sensitive eyes." Sex itself, between two consenting adults, is fine as far as DC is concerned.
It's also fine when they aren't consenting, at least as far as matters of plot are concerned. Bruce was shown in bed with Talia Al Ghul years ago, and while the night of passion they shared was seemingly consensual on its own, it's also implied in that storyline that Talia roofied Bruce to get him to sleep with her. Plus, she gets pregnant from the encounter despite whatever Bruce wanted, and that spawn eventually grows up to be Damien Wayne, the fourth (or fifth, depending on how you look at it) Robin. So semi-non-consensual sex can also be depicted in some form. Okay, DC.
Rough sex is also fine, even if it makes the characters seem awful. Frank Miller's run on All-Star Batman and Robin is a fever dream of stupidity, a comic that takes you on a roller coaster ride of "how bad can it get," to "oh, I see where this is going," to, "oh, no, it just got even worse instead." It's bad. It also features a scene where Batman and Black Canary beat the shit out of a bunch of goons and then tear each others clothes off and have sex on the docks, right next to the fight, out in public and in a very rough and ready fashion. So public sex (and, presumably, nudity) is fine, as is rough and tumble fucking. Fair enough.
And the sex can even get seemingly incestuous. Bruce Wayne isn't related to Barbara Gordon, but in many storylines (and in the minds of many fans) he has either a fatherly, or at least brotherly, bond with the bubbly crusader. And yet, in the animated film version of The Killing Joke, Babs and Bats have a sexual encounter not that far off from the one depicted in All-Star: they thwart crooks, Babs throws herself on Bats, and the two fuck like, well, bats I guess. It's creepy and weird and no one that saw the film liked it, but it's still there, in some version of continuity now, so thanks for that, DC.
So that gets us back to the recent story that Batman going down on Catwoman is verboten. What specifically about this action is wrong, let alone so much worse than the examples I listed above (let alone many others that I'm sure we could go out and find from across DC's sordid history). Women are often abused and mistreated in DC's works, and that's apparently okay. Hell, famously the girlfriend of the second Green Lantern of Earth is killed, broken, and shoved into a fridge all to motivate a storyline. Doing bad things to women is perfectly acceptable to DC, or at least was at one point in their history (and considering that "fridging" -- abusing women to further the story of a man -- is a thing that still regularly happens in pop-culture, I'm sure DC will end up doing it again at some point).
Letting a guy give his common-law wife oral pleasure is wrong though? That seems like a massively puritanical take on sex, DC. It's something a lot of couples perform (and, if we want to be even less puritanical, not just couples), along with all kinds of other sex acts, and none of these would be considered "taboo" anymore. If you're worried about parents somehow seeing Batman go down on Catwoman in the Harley Quinn cartoon and think, "OMG, I must clutch my pearls! Batman just gave Catwoman a right tongue bath!" we have something we need to remember, DC:
Harley Quinn is not meant for children. It's a Hard-R TV show that revels in sex, violence, and carnage.
Let that sink in for a few, there, DC. What parents should be letting their children watch this show? And if they do let their kids watch this show, it's it really on the parents to explain to little Jimmy and Janey that, "Batman doing the old Oral Performance on his long-time-lover is a sweet and sensual act that shows he really cares about her." Hell, if anything, I have to assume the man can go down on a woman (and a man, for that matter) like a pro. He spent seven years in the world becoming skilled at everything, right? Are you really telling me he didn't spend some time getting as good at cunnilingus as he did investigation? There's still a man under the Bat, guys.
And if it really is about toys, then what the hell, guys? It's not like you sell sexual figures. No one is out there asking for the "Batman and Catwoman Tempting Tongue Tango Playset", at least not in all seriousness. Hell, if people want to take their action figures and make Batman go down on Catwoman they can do it without your help, thank you. Nothing about this incident would cause anyone to buy any less of your toys. Heck, if you'd just said, "sure, let him snack on some snatch," that would have been the end of it and no one would have even heard about it. But now, people like me have to write articles about the fact that you won't let Batman give Catwoman an act she's been asking him to perform for years. Girl just wants some oral stimulae on her lady garden. Let the man lick her G-spot, guys.
Also, if it's about toys, where's my "Rough Sex on the Docks Batman". Clearly that's okay, so it's time to put your plastic where your mouth is and give us this canonical act. Until that happens, just let the Bat eat the Cat so we can all stop talking about it. She's got a craving and it's time to let it happen.
Although there's one other consideration we might want to think about: maybe it's not children DC is worried about, but MRA idiots Online. When we say "toys" we have to remember that DC has a long, and expensive, line of collectibles aimed at the dude market, the nerdy, pop-culture-addicted, basement trolls that are the bread-and-butter of the sell-through market. If DC has Batman perform the Mouth Maramba on Catwoman they might be afraid of having all kinds of MRA douche-nozzles come out to complain that, "this is not my Batman!"
But then, really, shouldn't it be? Shouldn't Batman be the kind of guy that wants to scratch Catwoman's seven year itch? (I really hope she's gotten some pussy play in the last seven years.) Don't we want the world's greatest detective to also be number one employee at Lady Garden Center? He should be smash king of the bedroom while also smashing bad guys on the streets. Who cares if a few Online. trolls complain that Batman gave a woman oral gymnastics? They're the same ones that threatened Disney over Star Wars, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, and their complaints didn't make the film any better (if anything, Disney caving to their demands made it objectively worse.
So yeah, let them fuck in all the ways lovers do and stop worrying about what a version of Batman does to Catwoman's nether regions in an adults-only cartoon on HBO Max (especially when said cartoon has already thrown fire on the MRA guys in specific episodes so they're not watching anyway). Children shouldn't be watching it, and the rest of us would like some superheroes that normalize healthy sexual behavior in superhero cinema (looking at you, Marvel Cinematic UniverseWhen it first began in 2008 with a little film called Iron Man no one suspected the empire that would follow. Superhero movies in the past, especially those not featuring either Batman or Superman, were usually terrible. And yet, Iron Man would lead to a long series of successful films, launching the most successful cinema brand in history: the Marvel Cinematic Universe., and your chaste love stories for nearly a decade). Let him perform the Bat-tongue, the Gotham Giggle, the Arkham Ahhhhyeah. Catwoman deserves it, as do we all.