When I was a teen and Superman II came out, when Superman realized he and Lois were in love, he de-supered himself in the Fortress of Solitude so he could be with Lois. Right after he emerged from the crystal cage that drained his powers, the first thing he does is take Lois' hand and escort her to a conveniently placed bed that we had never seen there before. This implies it was necessary for him to lose his powers so he could have sex with Lois.

The problems involved in this situation are well covered in the wonderful essay by Larry Niven, Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex.

But I also know that Superman has been in the comics for decades. A friend of mine once said, "Oh, he tells her who he is a lot, but he always makes her forget it again later."

So how have the comic books (since this is Superman's primary medium) handled this? Were there different ways it was handled, or was it always handled the same way? Have they literally kept Superman and Lois from having sex for decades? Or have there been times when they've ended up in bed together? How do they deal with the issues of the Man of Steel having sex with, and not killing, a woman of Kleenex?

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    "Have they literally kept Superman and Lois from having sex for decades?" I don't think anyone but supe's himself, is stopping him....
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 13:53
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    By "they," I mean the writers. I think they have a certain amount of control over Blue Boy (and I do use that term intentionally in this case).
    – Tango
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 18:50
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    Er...consider the public code of conduct from the time of the story's origin. Whatever may have been happening behind closed doors, I think the readers (children, originally) were meant to believe exactly that they were not physically involved. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 22:26
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    @Tango, I'm talking about the nominal rules expounded by "polite society" at the time. Certainly real life didn't actually work that way, but it is clean that Lois is a Nice Girl (tm) and Clark Kent is a Gentleman (tm), so how else could it be? Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 23:26
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    just not recorded openly is the point. In the story Superman and Lois are pure, unsullied blossoms. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 23:36

4 Answers 4


In The Dark Knight Strikes Again Superman has the following exchange with his daughter Lara:

Lara: So what about sex?
Superman: Never with Terrans. They're too fragile.

Peter Sanderson speculates that "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" influenced that.

Apparently having read Larry Niven's "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex," Superman replies, "Never with Terrans. They're fragile." This may be the explanation of why Superman turned from Lois to Wonder Woman.

On the question of Superman having been in the comics for decades, like all comic heroes Superman get retconned occasionally to bring him to the the present time.

Outside the comics:

In Superman: Doomsday Superman and Lois having been in a romantic relationship for awhile. Since Superman clearly retains his powers, it is unclear how this is accomplished because of Lois' fragile human body.

In Smallville Season Seven Lana and Clark are struck by lightning and Lana gains some of Clark's powers for a short time. They take this opportunity to engage in some physical activity that normally wouldn't be afforded them.

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    In Smallville, I think in Season 8, Clark actually tells Chloe that his "training" with virtual dad included teaching him how to be intimate, safely, with a human, which is how he's able to hook up with Lois after that.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Nov 7, 2012 at 14:36
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    @MichaelEdenfield Because just having the 'Talk' is just not enough for superman.
    – Suman Roy
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 7:15
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    @MikeEdenfield How does his virtual dad know what it's like to be intimate with humans?
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 13:53
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    @RogueJedi because, as we find out somewhere in the series, his real dad was intimate with a human in the distant past. A human from Smallville, in fact.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 15:06
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    @MikeEdenfield Wow. How...coincidental.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 15:08

Generally, the more intimate affairs of Clark and Lois aren't taken into consideration. They are glossed over and not given even a 'wink and nod' treatment.

That said, there have been various techniques villains have used to strip Superman of his powers. Some were magical, some were technical, and some were silly.

It's certainly possible that Superman can use a captured widget to suppress his powers when needed.

I often wondered, in fact, why Rogue didn't hang on to one of the collars from Genosha, for the same reason.


I don't know of specific instances where they've discussed the logistics of Kryptonian on Terran coitus, but I do know that it has occurred between Lois and Kal-el.

In the For Tomorrow arc (Superman vol. 2 #204 - #215, also available as collections), there is a scene that makes it quite clear that Lois and Superman have sex.

Superman and Lois Lane, post-coitus

Lois's words:

Just as mind-numbingly incredible as it was the first time

Let us know that it's happened at least once before.

Now, to clarify, this scene takes place in an alternate reality stored in the Phantom Zone, so there may have been some special conditions that allowed the event to take place. Similarly, we're not given details on the first time, or any previous time, so they may have also occurred under special circumstances, such as those @Jeff has suggested.


The comics tend not to broach this issue, as it's obviously a rather adult topic, and Superman comics are mostly intended to be suitable for young readers as well as older ones.

The closest I've seen them come to addressing it was in Adventures of Superman Annual Vol 1 #3. This story was set in an alternate future branching off from the then-current Post-Crisis continuity. In it, Lois became pregnant with Superman's child, but died as a result of internal injuries sustained from the fetus kicking within her womb.

enter image description here

Ridden with grief and guilt, Superman exiled himself from Earth, flying off into deep space. There, he encountered Maxima, a superhuman alien woman from the planet Almerac, whom he'd previously met and fought in Action Comics Vol 1 #651.

Possessing the power of telepathy in addition to super-strength and psychokinesis, Maxima quickly picked up on Superman's reasons for leaving Earth, and after building a rapport with him, she pointed out that if they were to marry, he'd never have to hold back, in war or in love.

Superman's thoughts revealed that he'd "had to be so careful" in his dealings with earthlings, both in war and in love, implying that, when making love to Lois, he just held back sufficiently so as not to harm her.

enter image description here

Whether that's a convincing explanation or not is another matter, but so far as I'm aware, that's the only one we've been given in respect to how Superman and Lois can engage in coitus while he's fully powered.

As it happens their wedding and honeymoon in the Post-Crisis canon took place during a period when his powers weren't functioning (a lingering consequence of The Final Night storyline), so it wasn't an issue during that brief spell at least.

enter image description here

Adventures of Superman Vol 1 #541

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