All of these terms relate to many in the BDSM community. The community is considered to be “underground”…a group of deviants that stray from society’s norms. Many in the community hide their identities due to society’s tendency to not welcome sexual practices that stray outside of the standard or “vanilla” realms. Exactly how unusual are the members of the community, really? Let’s consider the unspoken roles that we see in everyday media that many seem to overlook…
Superheroes and their Villains…
Superheroes and Villains have their own dynamics that parallel that within the BDSM community. Their trades, powers, and tools are commonly seen amongst kinksters alike. They exhibit Dominant and Submissive behaviors that reflect many of the commonly seen dynamics within a BDSM community. They too hide their identities due to some in society who would not necessarily be so welcoming to them stepping outside of the standard ways of life.
This series of blog posts will reflect a categorical representation of superheroes and villains in their hypothetical BDSM roles according to their representation in comic books and films…
The first string of superheroes and villains will be…
First to the “Hot Seat”… Iron Man
Has the ability to engineer tech that eliminates the need for military.Privatized war. Former weapons engineer and manufacturer.
Extreme narcissist. Unlike other super heroes, he does not hide his identity but lives as Iron Man and Tony Stark as one entity. “The suit and I are one….I am ‘Iron Man’.”
Was not born with super powers but utilizes his genius to make tech that overpowers foes.
Playboy. Only settled down for Pepper Potts.
Has a heart condition from permanently lodged shrapnel that is controlled by a magnetic based device with an adamantine core…
Tony Stark shows a highly Dominate nature and is certainly a person who lives life on the edge. He takes orders from no one and is highly clever. Given his playboy tendencies it is most certain that Stark can charm his way into any sexual relationship. While he may not live life in a Dominant/Submissive relationship, he likes to maintain that he is the one in charge. It is apparent that he does yield to Ms. Potts from time to time which shows a tendency to “switch” and be a bit “submissive-like” only when dealing with Ms. Potts. Only she can order him…to a minimal degree. He will do what he wants as it suits him. In this case, Stark might “top from the bottom” as they say to get what he wants. Ms. Potts will ultimately yield to him. Stark is not a switch. He will never truly submit to anyone.
Stark is a a Kinkster with heavy Dominate tendencies. He is arrogant, egotistical, argumentative, is never wrong, and will always get his way. He would likely get involved in any form of multiple partner sexual encounter just for the opportunity to brag.
In regards to his “toy bag”, his ability to engineer technology gives him the opportunity to make one of a kind toys that could deliver an immeasurable amount of pleasure and pain.His ability to learn about the human body in addition to his already impressive knowledge base of technology and seemingly unlimited resources, Stark could tailor make toys that target specific areas of the body to enhance pleasure. The technology involved in his toy bag are only limited to his imagination and ability…which, quite frankly, seems limitless.
Stark is not a Sadist. He may like a good fight but has not shown any tendency to enjoy causing pain. He likes taking out a foe, but does not revel in causing pain. His weapons quickly dispatch to cause immediate termination. He may, however, be a bit of a Masochist. Being a normal human with no extraordinary powers that cause him to heal, Stark goes in full force to a fight and can take a heavy beating. His ability to overcome the pain feeds his ego of being a human superhero. He takes an epic amount of pain and overcomes it. This categorizes him to a degree as a masochist. He takes the pain only to revel in the victory of overcoming it and defeating his foes.
Next up…Steve Rogers
Was once a sickly, small man who wanted to serve his country in the World Wars of the mid 1900’s. Joined a “Super Soldier” program that gave him super powers involving incredible strength, an ability to heal, and supposed immortality.
Very traditional in the sense of relationships. Shows extreme loyalty to friends, fellow soldiers, and his country.
Is a soldier to the core who takes orders in order to complete his mission. He exhibits signs of personal sacrifice where the welfare of others is at stake.
Works well with others in a group effort leading other soldiers to the final end game. Will only argue when decisions regarding the safety of others is in question or if the mission is potentially compromised.
Steve Rogers is very humble. He has an immense amount of power but always defaults to a humble state of being. This is expected behavior for him given his mild past of being a small, sickly man. He has a strong heart that shows extreme loyalty to those in his life. He is very much a soldier in that he takes orders. He will lead a group of soldiers through the terms of the mission but it will only be through the terms of the mission. His decisions he makes in battle are for the benefit of others and the mission…never for himself.
Given all of these qualities, Steve Rogers is a Submissive. He lives only for the service of others. His very job requires him to submit to the orders of the mission. Steve has no quarrel with the terms of this arrangement. He willingly gave himself to an experimental project that would require him to be in service to the military indefinitely. He longs to serve others and his country. The essence of a submissive is to long to be in service to another. He gains satisfaction from his service in knowing he has pleased his superiors, fellow soldiers, and the people he protects.
Rogers is not likely to have a toy bag given that he is a submissive type and does not require much thought in generating scenes. He would likely be monogamous given his traditional sensibilities. It would be very unlikely of him to engage in a multiple partner sexual situation. No Dominant tendencies are expected from Rogers. He is expected to do as he is told and will default to that position. His very images are always showing signs of a submissive…head down…much like the pic shown above.
Rogers is not a Sadist. He would more likely be a Masochist. He is capable of handling an intense amount of pain. The process of becoming a “Super Soldier” nearly killed him. The pain is intense. Pain is a part of his mission and he gains satisfaction from completing his orders. He overcomes the pain and continues on…If receiving pain is a part of his mission/arrangement, he will willingly submit to the terms…and be all the happier for it.
Our next Avenger…Bruce Banner and The Hulk
Dr. Bruce Banner is a genius in radiation technology. He studied gamma rays and inadvertently caused himself to become the green monster known as “The Hulk”.
The Hulk is nearly all encompassing when he presents himself. Hulk is a destructive force that tears into anything and anyone. Banner has little control over him but learns to handle the rage over time.
Dr. Banner is quite mild mannered and eager to help others. He maintains his calm in order to keep the green monster at bay. He shows conviction in the use of his talents to ensure that the safety of others is preserved.
He is likely immortal and feels no pain when he is in Hulk mode. He has incredible strength and is capable to tremendous amounts of destruction.
This analysis requires a look at both aspects of this Avenger…the Hulk and Dr. Bruce Banner. Each personality is an extreme. Dr. Bruce Banner is an intellectual that is very mild mannered. He works to please others. He lives in 3rd world countries helping the sick with what knowledge that he has. The Hulk is a rage monster that only lives to SMASH and destroy things and people. Bruce finds satisfaction in helping others while Hulk finds satisfaction in feeding his need to SMASH. The Hulk exhibits a very Dominant personality that does not take orders from anyone and does as he pleases. Dr. Bruce Banner is more humble and happily submits to the needs of others giving a more Submissive personality.
The Hulk coupled with Dr. Bruce Banner gives the true embodiment of a Switch. When he is in service to others, he gives all of himself in said service. When he is in full Hulk mode, he is a true Dominant doing as he pleases and expects others to submit to him. Banner is likely to be a Masochist due to his inherent guilt of hurting others. He would very much take any kind of pain to pay for the sins of The Hulk. This feeds his submissive nature in yielding to the needs of others. The Hulk is a full Sadist that revels in pain and destruction of others. He smashes buildings, vehicles and people. He takes great pride in tearing into Loki by bashing him on the ground. Together they make a perfect Switch.
Banner in his human form is somewhat traditional in regards to sexual encounters. There is no evidence that I have found that he would be anything other than monogamous. However, Banner can be impressionable. If he were to surround himself more with people such as Stark he might delve into more deviant desires but it would not likely last very long. Banner does not take much time to himself in regards to pleasure due to his guilt related to the destruction of the Hulk. He continues to endeavor to make amends for what he feels are crimes. He often denies himself worldly pleasures.
The Hulk would likely not involve himself in sexual encounters. I would bring up She Hulk here , but given that they are cousins, sexual encounter with her would be unlikely. The Hulk is a massive entity. It would take a stronger force to get him to submit to any kind of sexual encounter. Perhaps if Thor was homosexual or bisexual, he would likely have a shot at sex with The Hulk given his god like strength. Another point that would have to be considered is the issue of “consent”. Since Banner is not fully in control of the Hulk, he may not normally consent to a sexual encounter while he is a green monster. The ethics behind sex and the Hulk would need to be researched to determine the level of active consciousness that Banner has in regards to sexual matters and the Hulk.
The Norse god Thor…
Thor is the god of thunder according to Norse legends. He controls the power with his hammer. The hammer only yields to his commands. No one else can wield it (except for Steve Rogers because he is ‘true of heart’)
He is athletic, fit, capable of tremendous feats of strength. He has won many battles in protecting Asgard and Earth.
Thor is very arrogant. While he does have respect for Earth and humans, he sees them as small and puny. He has placed earth under his protection and the protection of Asgard.
Thor is a leader and does not follow orders. He will always do what he feels is right in the moment. He lends respect to the others in his party, but sees any orders as suggestions.
Thor is likely to be a playboy but ultimately has some affection for a human scientist, Jane Foster. He admires her intellect and pursuit for truth through science. To him magic and science are all one in the same.
Thor has an intense Dominant personality. He carries the arrogance, confidence, and strength that are exhibited in a dominant role. He does not take orders from anyone and will do as he sees fit. He broke a truce (against the will of his father Odin) with another world out of anger from them breaching the halls of his home. He will not fall into line if he feels strongly against the strategy in play. He expects others to follow his lead and follow him
Thor is a god and has worshipers. He is actively living the lifestyle of a dominant. Submission is not an option in his case. He would ONLY submit if it meant sparing a world…Earth. He is likely to be a playboy as he discusses “good drink and women” from time to time. He is definitely a Kinkster in this regard. He would likely be involved in multiple partner sexual encounters if it were with many women seeing as having the companionship of many women is a form of conquest. He does not actively display bisexual or homosexual tendencies. He seems capable of monogamy given that he does show affection for Dr. Foster. However, at heart, he is a god and would likely remain a playboy while in his youth…how ever many years that is.
As far as Sadism, Thor seems to enjoy a good fight. He can give epic blows to his foes and welcomes a solid challenge. He displays some pleasure in pounding into a foe whether with his hammer or fists. This would classify him as a Sadist. Although, he does show Masochistic tendencies with his appreciation of a good scar or return jab in a hand to hand combat situation. Since it is difficult to hurt Thor, when he is hurt, he appreciates the strength and is humbled by the blow. For this reason, he is being categorized as a Dominant with sadomasochistic tendencies…
Loki is the Norse god of mischief. He is the adopted son of Odin.
He holds powers forged in magic from the Ice Giants. He concentrates those powers in his staff. His powers involve altering the mind state of others forcing them into submission to him. He also uses his powers to fool or trick others.
Loki despises and is incredibly jealous of his brother, Thor. Since he feels he will never hold power over Asgard, he seeks to rule elsewhere.
Loki is a brilliant strategist and is very intelligent. His cravings for power and control over others are an intense part of his personality. He is arrogant taking almost no commands, but will submit to others in order to ultimately reach his goals. He has a price, it is only a matter of negotiation for him.
Loki has intense Dominant personality traits. He is arrogant, craves power, wants to rule over others telling them to kneel. However, he also shows submissive characteristics as yielding to others who are much stronger than him. He takes orders from other stronger alien life forms. Here is the catch in all of this. Loki will negotiate terms of submission but only if he receives something in return. He negotiates the terms involved with the partial destruction of Earth where he submits to orders but in the end gets to rule what is left of the planet. He is willing to submit to others in order to get what he wants. It is not a true submission, so like Stark he would “top from the bottom”.
Loki is defeated and submits to his brother Thor. Thor does care for his brother but understands that he is dangerous. Loki will only submit temporarily as it means preservation of his life. He will find a moment to once again attempt to rule either Asgard or Earth. He is a Dominant personality that requires others to submit to him…but will bottom to others as it suits him.
Loki is a Sadist. He enjoys causing pain to others. He does not himself enjoy pain. He shows intense pleasure in inflicting pain and death on others to force people into submission to him. He revels in their fear.
Sexual encounters with Loki could run the gambit. His particular sexual preference is not clearly known so assumptions of exclusive heterosexuality should not be made. It would not be inappropriate to assume that he would indulge in multiple sexual encounters if it fed his cravings for control and power. He clearly longs to have people worship him. There is reason to assume he would want the same in a sexual sense. He is a Sadistic Dominant.
Hawkeye is a soldier for Nick Fury’s SHIELD organization. He takes orders from Fury but is given a little bit of leeway due to his experience in battle.
Is an excellent archer that has specialized arrows that perform various tasks from administering poison, to shards, to the ability to manipulate data.
Is a team player that will follow direction. He is not actively a leader type and tends to be a lone warrior over a front line soldier. His archery skills require him to be at a bit of a distance for optimum effect.
He has no actual superpowers other than his incredibly aim and ability to hit impossible targets with his arrows.
Hawkeye shows no heavy Dominant personality. He follows orders. Since he is a soldier he tends to have more of a submissive mentality. He does not question authority. He follows and completes his missions. He has a good heart which is easily manipulated by Loki. Loki forces him into submission using his magic which can only work on people of pure and good hearts. Such magic did not work on Stark. This leads to the possibility that in order for Loki to force someone into submission, that tendency needs to already be present. Hawkeye when he is relinquished of Loki’s control shows disgust for being forced into submission. t should not be assumed that this is because he has Dominant tendencies. Any person, even submissives, never want to be forced into submission. They freely submit. However, it is very likely that Hawkeye could be a Switch…a Dominant to some and a submissive…possibly to Black Widow given they have a past in battle and her strong Dominant personality.
Hawkeye doesn’t really seem to be completely a Sadist unless it involves some kind of retribution or payback for something ill that has happened to him or others he cares for. He doesn’t seem to enjoy pain. He is not a hand to hand combat guy and never gets too heavily involved in direct battle. He is meant to distance himself from the action so pain for him is minimal. He is neither a Sadist nor a Masochist.
Hawkeye could very likely have a toy bag. If he did it would most likely contain stick/pointed related instruments. This would be due to his talent involving arrows. He would likely only implement pain if it pleased his partner. In regards to sexual preference it is not completely clear. There is some relationship dynamic and potential shared between him and Black Widow. It is difficult to determine the level of sexual play that he would be involved. Since he is a bit of a loner, it would not be completely accurate to assume he has the ability to settle down with one person. He seems to trust only a few so many relationships are unlikely.
Trained to be a spy from childhood. Is highly acrobatic, a master of the martial arts, and proficient in many weapons including guns and knives. Is a master interrogator.
Has no superpowers other than her own human abilities.
Does not take orders from anyone unless she is receiving compensation in some form.
Realizes that she is attractive and uses it to gain information from others by drawing them in to her. Has a high level of confidence yet does not show arrogance.
Is capable of separating her feelings from her job in order to get what she wants. She will always get what she wants.
Is ethical to an extent. If she owes someone a debt, whether it be saving her life or monetary, she will make good.
Is capable of working in a group but ultimately works best alone…
Black Widow is a strong Dominant personality. She will never truly submit to anyone. She will present the guise of a weaker person only to draw in her targets and acquire the information, items, or technology that she needs. She seems to enjoy a good fight but would much rather use her intellect to avoid confrontation. She is capable of intense mental play in regards the people she draws in for her purposes. She can fool and trick those around her to believing what she wants them to believe in order to get what she wants.
As far as Sadism, she is highly capable of torture and sadistic measures to achieve her goals. Whether she enjoys such play is not certain. If such play were to suit her she would likely enjoy it. She does not show Masochistic tendencies. She avoids intense hand to hand combat situations. She is a spy and is trained in stealth to dispatch foes quickly and quietly. If she had a toy bag it would be filled with intense forms of instruments of torture due to her previous training. Only extremely masochistic bottoms or submissives would fit her personality.
As far as sexual preference, she is not clear. She is capable of drawing males and females to get what she wants from them. It would be safe to assume that she is likely bisexual due to experience alone…However, given she is so heavily involved in her job, he sexual identity may have been lost. Her true sexual preference may not be able to be determined due to her heavy conditioning in the art of deception. She is likely to have many sexual partners and have indulged in multiple person scenarios given the demands of her job and her capabilities. It is unlikely that she would ever be monogamous or settle down to one person. She has a true loner, spy mentality.
Is the head of the SHIELD organization. It is meant to protect the planet from outside forces. It also holds the peace between nations.
Gives orders to everyone in the organization. Only answers to the council which he tends to ignore their decisions.
Is trained in had to hand combat and many forms of weaponry. Highly clever in the forms of strategy and espionage.
Is arrogant and highly confident. He takes orders from no one. He is loyal to the people close to him and expresses this loyalty regularly.
Has no inherent superpowers except for his own abilities.
Is capable of doing whatever it takes to meet his goals and protect the planet.
Nick Fury is an extreme Dominant personality. He gives orders to everyone in his operation. He will not yield or submit to anyone at any time. He maintains control of the organization regardless of the fact that he technically answers to “the council”. He looks out for the people that work for him whether they be soldiers or members of The Avengers. He in many ways takes care of them. He works to make scenarios where it encourages them to do what he wants whether they realize it or not. He is in every sense a Dominant that is in control.
Nick Fury does not seem to enjoy giving or receiving pain. He does enjoy defeating a foe through any means necessary. He is not above torture if it calls for that situation. It would not be like him to revel in torturing another person. He does have an affinity for the preservation of life. If he had a toy bag it would likely be with mild toys, possibly some bondage gear. He holds hostages and interrogates them. There would likely be some play involving spy scenarios.
Nick Fury is likely capable of many partners. He has been referenced has having children by different women and exhausted many women in a multiple person sexual situations. His time is limited, but in various series of comics, he does find time to play.
*As an aside…all of these hypothetical roles were determined according to the behaviors of these characters in comic books, film, and television. I consulted with others who are avid fans of these characters to double check the validity of their personalities. I welcome any other ideas that might influence these hypothetical roles one way or another…