19

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 Jan 26 '12 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 Jan 26 '12 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. – dmckee Jan 26 '12 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? – dmckee Jan 26 '12 at 23:26
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    just not recorded openly is the point. In the story Superman and Lois are pure, unsullied blossoms. – dmckee Jan 26 '12 at 23:36
19

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 Nov 7 '12 at 14:36
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    @MichaelEdenfield Because just having the 'Talk' is just not enough for superman. – Suman Roy Jul 30 '14 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 Sep 25 '15 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 Sep 25 '15 at 15:06
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    @MikeEdenfield Wow. How...coincidental. – Rogue Jedi Sep 25 '15 at 15:08
11

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.

5

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.

-2

Superman has full control of his powers so he can choose to not being too strong to have sex. Superman's powers are based on his will, which means that he can be strong enough to punch a planet to dust in one moment and be soft enough to pet a dog without taking away its head the next. The only power of him who is always active is his invulnerability is based on the kinetic force field that surrounds his body. But since this forcefield is imperceptible to the others, people can touch it without noticing it. So no sex problems.

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    Can you offer any evidence to back up this series of bold statements? – Valorum Mar 1 at 19:52

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