Joe Shuster, the co-creator of Superman, was a fetishist whose kinks of choice were bondage and sado-masochism. In a 1961 issue of Superman, one town’s “official” Superman fanclub wrote the comic to let him know that they had noticed what a bother Lois Lane had become to Superman. They reasoned that her pleadings for attention and affection were taking him away from his more important crime fighting and world saving activities. Further, they informed Mr. Shuster that a plurality of both boys and girls in the club had voted that Superman needed to give Lois a spanking to teach her a lesson. They expounded that he should take her over his knee and give her a “super spanking.” The comic promptly answered that, being a gentleman, Superman would never strike a lady.
The world became divided into two camps, proposing two theories:
Theory one: Those kids tapped into something. They recognized the kink lurking just beneath the surface, and intrigued, wanted to explore it. The editor, cringing that what must have been known around the office had slipped out, quietly covered with the response about the gentlemanly superman never striking a lady, it passed, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. All praise to the restraint of everyone involved. No kids were led into deviant lifestyles and all would eventually discover the decent joys of vanilla sex. Everything continued as normal.
Theory two: No kids ever wrote that. Shuster himself sneaked the letter into the comic to normalize his own behavior and to perhaps even plant the seed among children for what would become a more prevalent fetish in years to come. He was recruiting, but used the gentlemanly Superman gambit to cover his tracks, knowing that it would meet his surface-level obligation to decency while still serving to pique the interest of close readers. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, and girl-on-top continued to be just about the craziest thing in the nation’s bedrooms, except among the observant, whose eyes had been opened to a secret, new world.
Of these two theories I find the second more plausible and tend to blame Joe Shuster for the ever-vaulting ambitions.
What do you gentle readers think? From what well did kink spring? Was it always inside you, waiting to be tapped? Did someone or something else inspire you? Or is there a third possibility of origin?