Today I picked up Eisner-nominated Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, and promptly laughed my ass off for an hour.
It’s smartly written and wonderfully illustrated; Fraction and Zdarsky took an original idea—what if time really did stop when you orgasm?—and made it compelling, funny, sexy, and touching (no, not that kind) all at the same time.
One of the many great things about Sex Criminals is how it deals with aloneness (it’s different from loneliness, I promise). The idea that they are truly alone after they masturbate adds an extra dimension to this solitary action that is supposedly meant to be experienced with another person.
Both Suzie and Jon grow up knowing absolutely nothing about sex, and therefore don’t recognize that their strange ability is not shared by everyone. It’s a perfect analogy, even for those of us who don’t freeze time after we orgasm, because it’s the not knowing what’s normal that brings us so much anxiety when we’re first faced with sex.
The fact that they share something they thought separated them from everyone else brings an interesting dynamic to their relationship as well. Because let’s face it—isn’t that what attracts us to certain people anyway? How many times have you met someone and told yourself “I thought I was the only one”? How many times have we used things like that as the crutch for a relationship?
Rachel said it best in 500 Days of Summer: “Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn’t mean she’s your soul mate.”
When they discover they actually aren’t alone, it looks like both Jon and Suzie are starting to realize this, but I’m holdin’ out for them.
Let’s talk for a sec about how awesomely sexuality and sexual identity are portrayed in this book, then I promise we’ll get to the sexy bits.
Both Suzie and Jon have hooked up with someone of the same gender. This isn’t really surprising in Suzie’s case, since the one-time bicurious college girl trope is used in every piece of media that discusses any kind of sex ever. Honestly, I was a bit bothered to see it (it tends to perpetuate the “every girl is a little bi” crap). But lo and behold! Jon has been with a dude. And they didn’t just kiss either—they fucked. He’s not gay, it’s not portrayed as something weird or gross, it’s just a guy fuckin’ another guy.
This is great because it illustrates the fact that sexuality is fluid, and that sexual identity is not necessarily defined by who you fuck but by who you wish you were fucking. Guys, this is really important shit.
But, now for what I promised you guys in the title. If you’re feeling strung along, I get it and thanks for sticking around this long. Brace yourselves for the sexiest sexy bits.
- And by sexiest sexy bits I am definitely talking about that dildo/nightstick used by the sex police.
- And those dildo nun-chucks.
- Suzie’s text names for Jon, from “Mr. Cumworld” (ugh) and “Poopin’ Jonny.”
- Jon’s obsession with the spelling of names: “Cara-with-a-C-pronounced-like-‘car’-not-like-‘air'” and “Suzie-with-an-I-&-an-E.”
- FAT. BOTTOMED. GIRLS.
- Gun vibrator.
- The stall wall of knowledge.
- Butt stuff.
- That t-shirt in the porn store that reads: PUSSY MAGNET. Wait, where are you going? …Hello?…
- Hard-On Fink
- “Cum Upstairs. Get it? Jizz.”
- All of the excellent porn titles.
- “Security Notice: Activities on premises are recorded by video cameras and you will be jacked off to.”
- The November releases at Mrs. Chockbluster
- “WANTED: The Most Disgusting Human Being Ever” and everything else on that poster (but especially “contact Jon”)
If you’ve come this far and haven’t read Sex Criminals yet, well, I’m sorry all those jokes went over your head. If you’ve come this far, haven’t read Sex Criminals, and aren’t planning to, allow me to politely point out that you are wrong. To everyone else: I love you, let’s be friends.