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Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex

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Presumably the tombstone reads "Worth It".

"If I was too hasty...if for one second I wasn't paying enough attention, I could reach out, meaning to touch your face, and crush your skull by mistake. You don't realize how incredibly breakable you are."
Edward Cullen, Twilight

Whenever a character with the Powers of a GodTM hooks up with a mere mortal, there is nearly always a bit of lurking Fridge Logic which may or may not get addressed in the show itself, especially not if the show is aimed at kids. However, you can expect fanfic writers to address it and spare no detail. Namely, that there is a very wide gap between one partner's physical strength and the resilience of the other's flesh, which can be an important factor during intimate relations between the two.

Regardless of the trope title, any gender combo can be involved, though the Steel/Kleenex problem generally comes up in pairings where the 'steel' member is male. "Man of Kleenex, Woman of Steel" is somewhat less common, though it has lately received more consideration, particularly considering the complications that may ensue due to superhumanly powerful pelvic muscles. A human female who does survive the encounter may face the related problem of a superhuman fetus endangering its human mother with its strength.

Expect this trope to be employed for laughs (or possibly drama) even when the superpowered individual is otherwise shown to be perfectly capable of controlling their strength in situations that require it.

The trope also seems to assume sex is mainly or only involves a traditional, heterosexual missionary position, versus the couple being more, well, imaginative about positions, activities, and so on, and thus finding ways around such problems.

Contrast Power Perversion Potential. Compare Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action. If both parties can take it, may result in Destructo-Nookie. A possible reason for Can't Have Sex, Ever.

Named after the essay by Larry Niven.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Crimson Spell has Vald, a Cute Monster Guy with Super-Strength and fangs and claws he's not afraid to use, coupled with Havi, a human wizard. It's downplayed during most of their sex scenes because Havi is relatively non-squishy, but when Havi is injured and out of commission for several days, he wakes up to a Vald gone crazy with sexual frustration. He tries to tell Vald that his superior strength and ferocity could be lethal, but goes ahead with it anyway and he's so covered in bites and bruises the next morning that Vald thinks they got in a fight.
  • Dance in the Vampire Bund has a mental illness example. The only way for a lycanthrope father to guarantee his son will also be a lycanthrope is to have sex with his wife while transformed. Sannin's mother was driven insane by the experience coupled with the sight of the newborn "hairy, inhuman thing". Akira's mother didn't get off much better. Though she wasn't driven insane, she did end up wheelchair-bound after delivering a second werewolf son.
  • Don't Meddle with My Daughter!:
    • Clara is a demigoddess, which grants her Herculean strength, stamina, and durability... along with a nigh insatiable libido.
    • Her girlfriend, Mei, is a teenage human with power over soul latex. They've had sex several times; including one instance where Clara banged Meinote  several times in succession, without letting her rest, 'til Mei finally passed out from the pleasure and sheer exhaustion. So it's a wonder how Clara's managed to do it without ripping her apart.
    • Immediately following the aforementioned incident, Clara flew to N.U.D.E's HQ and proceeded to ravish the entire staff; including her three best friends: Risa, Kisara, and Jun. By the time Athena arrived to answer their distress call, Risa was bordering on delirium from Clara having done the same thing to her:
      Risa: (dazed) "Please... no more. If you thrust it inside me anymore... I'll go crazy. Please, forgive... Clara." (faints)
  • Dragon Ball: People have wondered how three ultra-powerful Saiyans (Goku, Vegeta, and eventually Gohan) manage to have kids with three human women (Chi-Chi, Bulma, and eventually Videl). However, the fact that they can suppress their power levels, probably means they can choose to be weaker than they normally are. Another factor is that most of the love interests are unusually strong as well. Even Bulma is tougher than average and Chi-Chi and Videl have martial arts training. While their powers may not compare to the godlike levels of a Super Saiyan, it can at least allow them to survive occasional lapses in control.
  • Ghost Sweeper Mikami: An chapter/episode has Yokoshima accidentally splashing an aphrodisiac on Maria, causing her (somehow) to fall in love with him. Naturally, Yokoshima runs away terrified from her because she's got Super-Strength enough to snap him in half with a hug, and at one point, he dodges a kiss from her that smashes a concrete wall.
  • Inuyasha: Kagome is a normal human teenage girl, while Inuyasha is a half-demon who can lift boulders with one finger and take a sword through the chest without receiving any permanent injuries. He also has razor-sharp claws on his fingers that cannot be retracted. While they never do get significantly intimate in the anime or manga, it's not hard to imagine how this could cause some problems farther down the line as their relationship progresses. Then again, Inuyasha does become fully human one night a month. In any case, the show's sequel series Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon reveals they went on to have a daughter together, so apparently they found some way to make things work.
    • The same issue applies to Sesshomaru and Rin in Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon. The former is a powerful aristocratic demon and the latter is a normal peasant girl, but they managed to make their relationship work as their children, Towa and Setsuna, can attest to.
  • In Kamisama Kiss Nanami, an Ordinary High-School Student, ends up falling for Tomoe, a Little Bit Beastly Kitsune. In addition to Super-Toughness, Tomoe also sports quite a few magical powers such as shapeshifting and control over fire. He becomes more and more concerned about Nanami's safety as the story goes on, saying things like "I've got to be careful not to get her broken."
  • One of the blooper reels for the English dub of Kill la Kill has Mako wanting to "sex up" Gamagoori, but him pointing out that if they did have sex, Mako would very likely explode.
  • Project A-Ko: The long-dead fansite Anime Marriage Prospects discussed this in regards to title character Eiko Magami, saying this (paraphrased): "Six words: Vaginal muscles that can crush steel. Have fun."
  • Ranma ½: when Ryōga believes Akane is finally reciprocating his one-sided love for her, he basically demolishes a water park trying to hug her, while a terrified Akane (who thinks he's under mind-control) runs away to avoid being squished like so much toothpaste. When things finally settle down, Akane opines that, "Whoever ends up being Ryōga's girlfriend will have to be made of sterner stuff than me."
  • Urusei Yatsura: Shutaro is happy to go out on a date with Azusa until he comes to the realization that Asuka is incredibly strong, being able to easily bend steel with her bare hands, and she can barely control her super strength. He then decides their date will must consist in sitting -not too closely- together and have a conversation, lest he gets killed by hugging.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman:
    • Superman and Lois Lane, as discussed in the Trope Namer essay. Superman routinely lifts/pushes things that would logically just crumble with the pressures required (e.g. thousands of Tonnes of ship supported on two hand-sized areas of hull). So it makes sense that somehow his strength only damages what he wants it to damage, somehow. The essay is still funny though.
    • Lois and Clark have been shown to have sex, even on panel (though non-explicit, of course). It's generally just assumed that Superman has enough muscular control that he can basically turn his powers off, save invulnerability, even during orgasm. Since his bedroom presumably isn't riddled with bullet holes from when he masturbates, this theory has at least a little Fridge Brilliance behind it.
    • John Byrne's Superman & Batman: Generations offers a logical solution: Superman crafted a pendant that mimics red sun radiation, which Lois wore during her pregnancy to keep the super-powered fetus from kicking a hole in Lois' belly while she's pregnant. After their daughter Kara started developing powers, she was given the pendant to keep them in check until she was old enough for Dad to teach her how to use them. Presumably, Supes wore the pendant when he was intimate with Lois.
      • Byrne's own post-Crisis Superman established the fact that Clark is normal, and doesn't get enough energy absorption from the Sun until later to manifest powers.
    • Inverted with Kara and her boyfriend/fiancé Bruce Wayne Jr. (Batman III), but while it's shown that they do have an active love-life there's no mention of it causing any problems or of any necessary countermeasures like the red sun pendant.
    • Some imaginary stories showed the couple getting a place in Kandor, with its highly advanced medical science, and Lois staying there while pregnant and having the kid (or kids).
    • In an alternate timeline in Armageddon 2001, Lois Lane does carry Superman's child, but one kick from the child causes internal bleeding in the mother, ultimately resulting in Lois' death.
    • Also inverted with one of Superman's enemies, Maxima. Her primary motivation in most continuities is to get with Superman or some similarly powerful man because most other men are too weak to survive a few rounds. (In the animated series, she was overjoyed when Lobo turned up a few moments after Superman made his farewells to her.)
    • Invoked almost word for word in Superman: Earth One Volume Two, when Pa Kent has "The Talk" with Clark and tells him that since he's different from normal people... "well, man of steel, woman of tissue, that's all I'm saying"
    • Note that in continuities where Superman's powers are explicitly derived from prolonged exposure to yellow sunlight, the "kicking fetus" dilemma should be moot, as the offspring wouldn't actually encounter such sunlight until after birth.
    • Nonetheless, in several continuities, including mainstream canon, Lois and Clark have children with no issues whatsoever. For instance, their son Jon Kent is presented as a metahuman—DC's answer to Marvel's mutants—and his powers didn't develop until puberty, thus sparing Lois from carrying a Superbaby.
    • This was implied in a parody that featured Superman helping with a police investigation regarding a group of women (and one man in the bathroom of a gay bar) who had all died by what appeared to be a shotgun blast to the back of the head.
    • Superman's cousins Supergirl and Power Girl are the female version. Super-strong Kryptonian women whose muscles can crush steel. Have fun.

Other Examples:

  • In Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, all the super-strong lycanthropes have to be careful of their strength while having sex. One of the things that Richard likes best about Anita is that due to being a human servant of a vampire she's much less fragile than a regular human and he doesn't have to hold back so much.
  • Steeljack in Astro City is a literal man of steel, which presents very obvious problems. Not only is he super-strong, but he also weighs 800 pounds and is explicitly noted to lack control with his powers to the point that he often breaks objects just by holding them. Thankfully, he does live in a setting where women tough enough to survive having sex with him aren't unheard of; at one point, he reminisces about having had a fling with an absolute Brawn Hilda of a supervillainess with a mindset of "don't look a gift horse in the mouth." He ultimately rekindles his romance with his old partner, Cutlass, at least in part for these reasons.
  • While not an example of super-strength, there have been some fans of Black Canary who hope for her partners' sakes she isn't a screamer in bed.
  • The Boys:
    • While the woman survived the experience (raped by evil Superman Substitute Homelander well, his clone), she didn't survive the pregnancy: the superpowered baby cut its way out of her womb with heat vision.
    • Even without that example, it's clearly stated early on that having sex with a supe is no laughing matter, to the point where prostitutes hired by them have to take a powdered form of Compound V (the chemical that grants superpowers) to deal with it. On one occasion it's shown Homelander ejaculated with enough force to make his partner explode.
    • In another issue, some superheroes hired by the Russian mafia leader, Little Nina, request some more prostitutes to alleviate their boredom, but she refuses because the first ones apparently died from the sex and she's afraid the police will take notice if more turn up mysteriously dead.
  • This isn't normally shown to be a problem in Empowered, where characters with Super-Strength routinely have sex with human-level partners (Emp has had sex in-costume on many an occasion, and Major Havoc is noted to sleep around a lot), but one character where this is a hazard is Willy Pete... an extraordinarily powerful fire elemental whose body burns at 3000 degrees Celsius when he isn't even trying. Needless to say, no human can survive physical contact with him without burning to death; in a particularly gruesome detail, it's noted that his preferred method is to go through the eyesocket, since the skull is the only part of the body durable enough to last for more than an instant, and even that quickly results in the brain being flash-fried into rapidly expanding vapor. Superhumans are the only people who can survive sex long enough for him to get any satisfaction.
  • Fantastic Four: Many fans shudder at the logistics involved in Alicia Masters (a woman of average build and height) and Ben Grimm (either a rock golem or at least covered with rocks; either way he's huge and about as wide as he is tall) consummating their love. Many fans claim that their love, while romantic, is non-sexual. It's suggested several times in the comics (including jokes from Johnny) that The Thing completely lacks genitalia. However, there are continuities where the two have children that were presumably conceived the old-fashioned way, meaning they somehow make it work. This was hilariously given a lampshade by Johnny in the second film:
    Johnny: So how do you and Alicia... (clicks his tongue)
    Ben: That's none of your business.
    Johnny: I'm just saying, I'd hate to wake up one morning and find out she was killed in a rockslide!
    Ben: I'll show you a rockslide!
  • The Flash: Issues have been raised regarding the Flash and the potential for creating friction burns in some very sensitive places. However, generally the most common 'concern' is how unrewarding the sex would be for their partner, due to Speed Sex. Wally West once lampshaded this by jokingly questioning how he managed to get his wife, Linda Park, pregnant.
  • During a time in The Incredible Hulk when Hulk was "Professor Hulk" (the Hulk's body with Bruce's mind in control; when he became 'the Hulk', it was Bruce's body with the Hulk's mind), whenever Bruce lost control and reverted to Human-Hulk, his wife Betty would "calm him down" with sex, restoring him to his big, green, and smart form. She even lampshaded it on one occasion.
    Betty: Bruce...on the one hand it's great that you need me, but on the other, this is ridiculous.
  • The Inferior Five has a less common inverted example, with the super-strong heroine Dumb Bunny ("Strong as an ox, and almost as smart!") in love with ordinary human Merryman ("He was a 90-pound weakling... until he lost weight"), but afraid of crushing him. Solved (or averted) by Phil Foglio in his 1991 mini-series when DB finds that, once she's "been conquered by" (i.e., has fallen in love with) her love interest, her super-strength no longer works on him. Cue hearts and flowers all around... though things would have been easier for them if her Amazon mother hadn't couched everything in terms of fighting.
  • The Plutonian of Irredeemable. Even touching his hair could cut the hand of a normal person. He was eventually able to get around this problem with a magical candle that rendered him mortal as long as it burned near him. The first time he uses it is to consummate his secret relationship with one of his teammates. In a dark deconstruction of this trope, it's implied that this taste of freedom may or may not have had something to do with him ultimately pulling a Face–Heel Turn later on.
  • Khaal: The Chronicles of a Galactic Emperor: Khaal is a super-strong Half-Human Hybrid who is mentioned to have killed several female Psycogs in bed, despite them being capable of enduring and recovering from such relations. With that said, he is shown having sex with other normal women without a problem, despite being a very rough partner.
  • The Mighty Thor: Thor and Jane Foster probably.
  • In the superhero parody comic The Pro, the titular "working girl" heroine is giving The Saint (a Superman parody) a "job" when he tells her to move quickly. The resulting shot takes down a plane.
  • Downplayed in PS238, which is mostly about super-powered children. A Running Gag has Julie, a Flying Brick, injuring her Implied Love Interest Tyler with super strong hugs. It's worth noting that in this series we do see the children of superheroes and Muggles, including the Captain Ersatz versions of Superman and the Hulk, so clearly there's some way around this trope.
  • Savage Dragon is a large green-skinned humanoid with superhuman strength that was shown having casual sex with a number of human females. This trope comes into play when his secret backstory reveals that he is from an alien race and even stronger than his kind as a result of being their "chosen one". When a female of his species offers herself to him, the next panel shows he tore her apart with his super strength. And she was just one of the many women to which this happened! It's probably the reason why he uses more restraint now with his sexual partners.
  • She-Hulk:
    • The reverse is lampshaded, at a point where Jennifer had limited control over her transformation and preferred to stay in She-Hulk form. Her boyfriend doesn't appreciate it, especially the risks involved in having sex with a super-strength individual.
      Jen: And if things get too... you know, just use the safe word.
      John: No kidding. I've got a few more "safe words," like "Ow!" and "Dear God!" and "Crushed pelvis."
    • Speaking of She-Hulk, this trope is lampshaded in Old Man Logan, when Bruce Banner explains that the only woman who could "take the pace" with him was "little Jenny She-Hulk." Yes, this would be about as controversial and Squicky as you are imagining.
      • One of the Hulk's sons in this continuity leaves a brothel full of unconscious prostitutes in his wake.
    • This is despite the fact that the Hulk has been shown to not suffer from this problem; while it's generally accepted that Banner can't have sex without risking a transformation, the Hulk has had sex with normal human women on occasion, though most of the Green Giant's love interests have had considerable super strength and durability, themselves.
  • While Spider-Man's super-strength is downplayed enough that he is able to safely have sex with a normal human, it's sometimes implied that his body produces radiation in trace amounts, and there are at least two Bad Futures where Mary Jane died of cancer from repeated exposure to his "little spiders."
  • Inverted and referenced in an issue of Stormwatch with a "woman of steel, man of kleenex" who get around the problem by being very careful about it.
  • Über: This problem is brought up when the Super-Soldier Sieglinde is about to go on a probable Suicide Mission and wants to have sex for the last time, but her new physiology means that any normal man would easily be ripped apart by her strength. So she has sex with her fellow Super-Soldier Markus, whom she actually hates because of his Psychopathic Manchild personality. Plus, while he might look older, he's actually fourteen.
  • The Wanted Dossier says that Solomon Seltzer forbids Reality Warper Imp's affair with Deadly Nightshade because he might accidentally unmake reality whilst in the throes of passion. Being a case of Man of Steel, Universe of Kleenex.
  • Inverted with Guy Smith, codename Mr. Sensitive, of X-Force/X-Statix: his powers make him extraordinarily sensitive, so normally he wears a special suit to dampen his powers enough where he isn't constantly in agony. When the possibility of intimacy is brought up, he reveals that he also has a special ointment that can numb his senses to normal human levels for several hours.
  • Not related to super-strength, but the X-Men's Rogue. As she found out when her powers manifested themselves during her First Kiss, if she remains in physical contact with anyone for very long, not only will she absorb any powers they may have but will absorb their Life Energy to the point of ultimately killing them. While she also has super-strength, the only way she can reliably have sex is through power-dampening technology, rendering the issue moot.
  • One XXXenophile story featured a lesbian version of this trope — human female discovering that sex with a troll female is very painful for the human, mainly because the troll has no idea how to control herself while intimate. They find a way to turn the human into a troll, and problem solved.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bridge evidently averts a female example of the trope with Wysteria. While her Gaea Everfree form comes with a variety of superpowers, including enhanced durability and strength, she had no problem getting intimate with her husband without powering-down. It's heavily implied her daughter, Gloriosa, was conceived while she was transformed.
  • Defied in Superman fanfic Call Me a Sinner, Call Me a Saint when Lana Lang wants to have sex with Clark Kent and brushes his concerns off: she knows he's able to control his strength and "it'd be an amazing way to go" anyway. She's proven right.
  • A minor plot point in Call Me Kara, where Kara and Barry's inability to have sex without her possibly killing him is the main reason that she has Cisco create a red sun radiation bracelet, which multiple characters refer to as her red solar radiation sex bracelet. Luckily, they learn to get around this by using Barry's powers to make him durable enough to not die.
  • Discussed in Child of the Storm. Warren, who has wings that are beyond razor-sharp, dumped his former girlfriend because he's (somewhat justifiably) worried that one twitch from him could lead to a potential girlfriend getting cut in half. Harry points out that his dad is Thor, a Physical God whose Super-Strength can level mountains, and his almost-stepmom is a woman who's petite even by human standards, and yet they have regular sex—it's all about the Power of Trust (though it doesn't hurt that Thor is roughly 1,500 and therefore has had a long time to master his powers). However, Warren seems to take this onboard, because, by the second book, he's dating Betsy Braddock.
  • In Dark Titans, Ryoga and Raven can't ever get intimate because it would result in him unwillingly crushing her body while she fries his brain.
  • Days of Futures Past What Does That Mean It Kinda Sounds Sexy, a crossover fic of Naruto and Young Justice, has Naruto saying that Superman might have let Project Cadmus acquire his DNA and make Superboy due to Superman not being able to have a son naturally without tearing a woman in half
    His jizz is probably like an AK 47.
  • In Supergirl (2015) fanfic A Favor Among Friends Kara considers to have sex with Mon-El because being invulnerable he's the only unrelated male she can have sex with.
    But the real problem about being a girl from Krypton on a planet orbiting a yellow sun, is the invulnerability. The imperviousness to outside forces trying to penetrate… yeah… Kara cringes at the thought, because she’s not just invulnerable to speeding bullets and randomly tossed street signs. She’s invulnerable to all of it.
    All of it.
  • From Bajor to the Black: Eleya, a Bajoran, briefly mentions a Noodle Incident where she had Three-Way Sex with two Klingons and woke up "with a hangover and several bruises in embarrassing places".
  • In Geek of Steel, a Jake 2.0 fanfic, Jake namedrops Larry Niven to express his concerns about his Super-Strength. Diane's not familiar with the essay, or apparently even with Niven's work in general.
  • Also defied in Supergirl story Girl of Steel. Kara admits she could seriously injure Barbara, but contrary to laughable rumors she can control her own powers.
    Super speed could put her in a wheelchair and Kara would like to avoid putting her there. She had good control over her powers and strength, not to rip people in half. Unlike what some geeks on the Internet would have to say, she had perfect control. She wouldn't break people just by fucking them.
  • Implied in Hellsister Trilogy when Kara states she never had sex before meeting fellow Kryptonian Dev-Em. Given that all of her previous boyfriends were baseline humans...
  • Discussed in If They Haven't Learned Your Name by Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff when they debate on whether Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes were screwing back in the day. Clint's certain those two are the only ones who would survive each other now, because he's seen Steve accidentally leave fingerprints in a lead pipe, and he cracks a joke about Steve getting into the heat of the moment and putting a non-enhanced partner in the ER with a dislocated buttcheek or broken pelvis.
  • In In Flight Shirou performs a tantric ritual with Akitsu to wing her. She accidentally cracks some of his ribs at the height of the ritual, despite Shirou's Reinforcement. Afterwards he speculates the adjustments which weaken Sekirei may have been an attempt to ensure they didn't kill their Ashikabi.
  • Subverted in Kara of Rokyn. Clark Kent and Lois Lane are able to have sex safely, but when Lois gets pregnant Superman still has to come up with a way to prevent Lois from getting killed by her baby.
  • Subverted in Last Child of Krypton with Shinji -who is Superman in this crossover- and Asuka. At the beginning, it looks like they're going to have this trouble... until it's revealed Asuka is an Amazon, and nearly as strong as Shinji. In the final story version, she becomes a Kryptonian via bio-engineering.
  • Lies, Damn Lies, And Statistics: Described as a problem, in the chapter "Alicorn of steel, little pony of tissue". It's stated, perhaps not entirely seriously, that attempting to woo an alicorn is considered evidence of a mental disorder.
  • Losing Control:
    Harry: Hagrid. He thinks things like giant spiders and those skrewt things are cute and cuddly. He might have the skin of a giant but none of the rest of us does.
    Fleur: No wonder Maxine likes him so much. She won't be able to kill him during sex like she did her four husbands. He'd probably find her cute and cuddly as well.
  • New Tamaran: Robin's first attempt at making love was with Supergirl, who accidentally broke most of his bones (and his bed and bedroom) with a single hip thrust. Likewise, his deflowering of Starfire ended with the complete destruction of the top floor of Titans Tower, and him having to be restored by the Purple Ray.
  • Second-generation Combat Cyborgs in In the Service A Numbered Existence and In the Service present an inverted case, as they must consciously control their strength to interact with normal objects or normal people without breaking them; they also weigh twice what someone of their height and build would normally. Several of them lament the fact that there's only one male they know who wouldn't have their jaw broken by a passionate kiss; being a ten-thousand-year-old combat construct he's on their level of strength and resilience. Their dating prospects improve considerably when the Time-Space Administrative Bureau copies the Combat Cyborg design for their own troops.
  • The Price of Justice plays with this in the course of Black Canary investigating a series of strange deaths that resemble close-range shotgun blasts to the head.
  • Downplayed in A Prize for Three Empires when Carol Danvers and Gladiator link hands. She is super-strong but he is still strong enough to shatter her bones accidentally. At the same time, he is careful enough to control his own strength.
    Carol: In this context, it would often be significant, indeed. Just keep it as gentle as that, Glad. I know you could break my fingers.
    Gladiator: But I would not.
  • Reflections Lost on a Dark Road: Ryoga is afraid of becoming intimate with Nabiki because of his immensely greater strength and toughness.
  • Invoked by Romance and the Fate of Equestria. Big Macintosh is the pony equivalent of One Head Taller to average mares, and Fluttershy isn't particularly small but is definitely meek and delicate. Before the two of them sleep together, Big Mac expresses a fear that he might break Fluttershy's pelvis when they do.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack:
    • When Charlie O'Neill manually stimulates Hanna to orgasm, she injures his hand when her legs clench up.
    • This prompts Alex to wonder how Azure Crush manages to have sex without killing her boyfriend Sergi. A later side story reveals that Crush has indeed broken some ribs.
  • In the Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton crossover, Asuka and Shinji have this trouble since he's human and she's Supergirl.
  • Discussed in Son of the Sannin when Naruto witnesses Fu stop the First Hokage's most powerful jutsu with her Super-Strength, and comments that her boyfriend Shino will be his hero if he survives their honeymoon. The epilogue mentions that he did manage to survive without any broken bones, though he was walking with a limp for the next few weeks.
  • Supergirl's problems haven't entirely escaped various fanfiction writers' notice any more than Superman's have. In 1997, one such writer named "tooshoes" wrote the highly NSFW story What Are Supergirls Made Of in which Supergirl explains that her steel-crushing vaginal muscles would indeed make a eunuch out of any ordinary man who tried to have sex with her. In this story, despite what Niven says against this in his essay, Supergirl finally persuades Superman that she and he are indeed a good match for each other.
    • There are a couple NSFW fics which mention she sometimes uses dildoes of solid titanium.
  • In Superman fanfic Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation, the issue is brought up when former Superman's wife Lyra states Kryptonians can control themselves; otherwise, she'd have no children.
  • Common enough in Teen Titans fanfiction. Normally averted with Cyborg - when he is capable of having sex (either due to modifications or the necessary parts being saved during the accident), it would make sense for his robotic parts to have enough precision. However, Starfire has Super-Strength (and, in a couple of fics, has to finish on top due to her Eye Beams being released during orgasm), while Raven has telekinetic powers connected to strong emotion, with the results ranging from "levels the tower and half a city from a few kisses" to "can have sex after a few days of meditation" to "just needs a bit of practice to limit damage to a few broken lamps".
  • In Smallville fanfic Under the Influence, when Kara introduces herself to Clark and reveals she's a Kryptonian she adds: "So I'll not break."
  • In With Strings Attached, Paul gains Super-Strength and realizes to his horror that he can never have sex again. This hits home when he's given the option of schtupping a whole village full of Nubile Savages.
    Paul was quite intrigued by the prospect of banging his way through a bunch of women straight out of a teenage fanboy's imagination... until he thought about what he would do to a woman beneath him.
  • With This Ring contains several examples where this is played straight and averted.
    • The Paragon protagonist offers Lois Lane the Danner formula, which grants Super-Strength and Super-Toughness among other benefits — and notices later that Superman seems especially hospitable and helpful toward him.
    • Averted in the Renegade timeline when celebrating the liberation of Tamaran; Starfire and Blackfire would be too strong and tough for regular men, so they have a fling with the protagonist (who has used a mixture of Venom Buster serum and magic to become Nigh-Invulnerable).
    • On the other hand, earlier in his career, when he had only used Venom Buster (not magic) and was thus far larger than a normal human, the Renegade had an encounter which the woman tried to take too far, leaving her hospitalized.
    • Thomas Beresford ("Tommy Terror") is afraid to date anyone, after merely kissing a girl in high school left her with badly bruised lips. He's Distracted by the Sexy when he sees Donna Troy sparring, but is pretty sure he's not her type.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic Woman of Steel, Man of Kleenex explores the problems which would result from a relationship between Buffy and Xander, with Xander hiding his injuries from Buffy out of shame. When asked about his previous sexual encounter with Faith, he opines that she was a lot more experienced than Buffy, and that she might have had some previous partners in Boston whom she hadn't been as careful with.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Averted in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice where Lois and Clark are in a relationship that is clearly sexual, as shown getting intimate in the bathtub.
  • When Deadpool breaks his hand trying to Groin Attack Colossus, he exclaims "Your poor wife!".
  • In the So Bad, It's Good film Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, a demon took the form of a man and had sex with a woman, which resulted in the woman being left in a state of half death. The demon cried Tears of Blood on the bed that he had conjured for them to have sex on, bringing it to life as the titular killer bed.
  • Discussed by Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, who mentions that Ego's human-esque avatar has to be... ahem, "fully-equipped" in order to be reproducing with other species, because Ego the Planet is not suited to such a task.
    Drax: If he's a planet, how could he make a baby with your mother? He would smush her!
  • Hancock plays with the trope for laughs in a Deleted Scene. The titular antihero has a handicap in womanizing because of the projectile lethality of his "projectile liquids".
  • The Incredible Hulk addresses this (as his heart rate goes up, he has to stop or risk changing). In the comics, this isn't as much of a problem, as it is explicitly his anger, not his heart rate, that causes the change. Because it's his heart rate and not directly anger that unleashes the Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, by The Avengers, Dr. Banner's mostly able to control it by being "always angry" so that it takes a lot more anger to get his heart rate up (which, unfortunately, would not help him in situations where he can't get "excited"...).
  • Discussed many, many, many times by Brody in Mallrats, to the point that Stan Lee is a little disturbed by his "obsess[ion] with heroic genitalia".
  • My Super Ex-Girlfriend has an inversion of this, when Flying Brick Jenny has sex with her normal boyfriend Matt. Matt's apartment is already starting to crumble due to their Destructo-Nookie, and his genitals aren't doing much better either. Still, he finds it Worth It.
    Matt: She broke my bed.
    Vaughn: Wow.
    Matt: Busted it to pieces. I'm gonna see her again today.
    Vaughn: What are you talking about? No! You have sex with her once and then you move on.
    Matt: Not if you get on the greatest ever roller coaster, you don't. You get back in that line.
  • Superman: The Movie:
    • Superman II. The title character gave up his powers in order to romance Lois Lane, which caused problems when the three Kryptonian supervillains showed up. In the Richard Donner cut of the film, Superman and Lois Lane hook up and go to bed together before Superman gives up his powers. Perhaps they attempted coitus and Supes had to back off before the Steel/Kleenex problem killed her, and that's what motivated him to become mortal.
    • A Brainwashed and Crazy but otherwise fully powered Superman also has sex with Lorelei Ambrosia in Superman III (admittedly it isn't confirmed but it is very heavily implied). She obviously survived and, judging by her affection for Superman for the rest of the movie, clearly enjoyed the experience.
  • In The Time Traveler's Wife, we have an interesting variant. The husband and wife can have sex normally, but the fetus tries to time travel them when frightened — causing several miscarriages. Averted when the wife has a peaceful pregnancy late in the film.
  • Wolves: Cayden first turns when in a delicate situation with his high school girlfriend. She gets hurt (though thankfully not bitten), runs away screaming that he's a monster and calls the cops. That's why he rejects a random girl who makes a move when he's a fugitive as well as the Village Bicycle who approaches him in Lupine Ridge, and why he's hesitant over Angel's advance. At least until she points out - and then demonstrates - that when the girl is a werewolf too, this trope really isn't a problem.


Trope Namer:

  • The trope name comes from a 1969 essay by Larry Niven by the same title. It explores several interesting avenues, including the possibility of every fertile female in Smallville getting super-pregnant once Clark discovers super-self-stimulation.
    • The essay is actually is more about how Superman can perpetuate the Kryptonian race than whether he can have a sex life. The safest way is probably for Superman to obtain his sample in a safe location, expose it to gold kryptonite to remove the sperm's super powers, and use it for in-vitro fertilization with a willing surrogate. Although, for safety's sake, Superman may have to carry the baby himself.

By Author:

  • Vladimir Nabokov wrote a poem from Superman's perspective:
    ...I must throttle my dynamic heart
    For marriage would be murder on my part
    An earthquake, wrecking on the night of nights
    A woman's life, some palm trees, all the lights
    The big hotel, a smaller one next door
    And half a dozen army trucks - or more...

By Title:

  • Alexander, the protagonist of The Age Of Ice has ice/cold-based powers. When he gets sexually aroused his body becomes icily cold. Being a decent dude he lets his first fiancee Marie know before they tie the knot and she is stuck with him for good, this being when divorce was social suicide. When he falls in love with Anna, who is his fraternal twin's widow he insists on only having sex in a bathtub full of steaming hot water to avoid doing harm to her. This causes friction in their relationship even though Anna finds their encounters enjoyable.
  • In By Honor Betray'd, Ari Rosselin-Metadi, a giant of a man that can casually kill most humans with his bare hands, expresses concern about this trope on his wedding night. His bride Llannat Hyfid (rather athletic, but on the small side) tells him to extinguish the candle, then makes her hands glow with power as she reassures him that nothing they do that night will hurt her.
  • The Cassandra Kresnov novels are about a female semi-organic android (originally designed as a Super-Soldier) who, yes, very much enjoys a good roll in the hay. In the third book, Killswitch, Cassandra's acquired a human long-term boyfriend, and in an early sex scene, she explains to him why she always insists on finishing up doggy-style: orgasm is about the only time where she can't control her body well enough to be sure she won't accidentally hurt him.
  • In the The Laundry Files books, the nature of vampires in the setting means that any human who exchanges fluids with a vampire is already dead. The Friendly Neighborhood Vampires employed by The Laundry compare this to being HIV positive. Other supernatural creatures, however, are immune to the effect.
  • A Woman of Steel example: the Rickshaw Girls in M. John Harrison's Light have modified their bodies to Amazonian levels, being very tall and muscled and with much-increased stamina as their jobs involve an awful lot of running around towing heavy loads. One points out to her standard human male partner that he needn't worry about being gentle.
  • This causes the downfall of the protagonists in The Man Who Would be King. Daniel Dravot becomes ruler of Kafiristan thanks to a God Guise, but the power goes to his head and he decides to take a wife and establish a dynasty instead of making off with the loot. Unfortunately, his chosen wife thinks this trope will happen and lashes out at him in fear during the wedding ceremony, cutting Dravot's face and causing him to bleed.
  • Santa Olivia: Mack and Loup don't work out in part because he finds having sex with her painful, complaining it's like his dick is in a vise. Pilar has no complaints though, so this presumably is fine without penetration.
  • Surprisingly, this comes up in Shakugan no Shana. Luckily, there's an unrestricted spell that temporarily grants its target strength equal to a flame haze.
  • In C. S. Lewis's novel Till We Have Faces, the character Psyche briefly mentions this, saying, "Sister, do you think young gods have to be taught how to handle us? A hasty touch from hands like theirs and we'd fall to pieces."
  • There's a particularly unfortunate psionic example in Anne McCaffrey's Damia, in which the powerfully telepathic Damia accidentally destroys the mind of her first sexual partner through Power Incontinence while having sex with him. Her father-figure tried to warn her of the dangers of sex with less powerful telepaths, but due to his embarrassment at dealing with the subject she thought he was talking about normal contraception.
  • This comes up as a Can't Have Sex, Ever plot point in The Twilight Saga. Alternate methods have been proposed (NSFW). It turns out to not be a problem as long as the vampire is married to the human. Perhaps Edward was just looking for an excuse to avoid confronting his intimacy issues?
  • The titular relationship in The Weakness of Beatrice the Level Cap Holy Swordswoman is between the human Beatrice and the orc Boo Boo. While Beatrice also has some degree of enhanced strength and toughness, Boo Boo is vastly stronger than her. Though they've yet to actually do anything intimate since Boo Boo is a Chaste Hero.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Almighty Johnsons episode "Hunting Reindeer On Slippery Rocks", Ty Johnson, avatar of the Norse god Höðr with Power Incontinence, is pursuing a relationship with Dawn, a mortal woman, without telling her about his powers. His grandfather Olaf grills him about the extensive precautions he's taking to avoid accidentally killing her. Later on, Ty's precautions prove inadequate, and Dawn nearly dies.
  • The Boys (2019):
    • As Popclaw's landlord finds out, it can be very difficult to control super strength during sex. It also doesn't help that Popclaw was high on Compound V at the time, enhancing her strength but also reducing her control.
    • It also happened to a Vought employee who had sex with An Ice Person. She turned to ice in the throes of passion... and his penis snapped off.
    • Averted with Becca who was raped by Homelander, basically an evil Superman Substitute. Homelander is told that Becca had a superpowered baby that killed her during childbirth, but that turns out to be a lie and both of them are alive and well.
    • Termite, a sizeshifter supe, shrinks himself and goes through another man's urethra to pleasure him. However, he sneezes and loses control of his powers, resulting in him growing back into normal size while still in a man's penis and turning his partner into Ludicrous Gibs. He freaks out after seeing whatever remains of his partner.
  • Discussed in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Harsh Light of Day": during a fight, Spike taunts Buffy about a recent sexual encounter of hers (which ended badly) by saying "Were you too strong? Did you bruise the boy?" Later, in the episode "Into the Woods", Spike may be hinting at this when he tells Riley (Buffy's longest-lasting lover, a human who had Captain America treatment) that Buffy "needs some monster in her man, and it's not in your nature." And later, given that Buffy and Spike take down a whole house the first time they have sex in "Smashed", one has to wonder if Spike wasn't right all along that Slayers might need a partner who are a bit less breakable.
  • Somehow got around in the Doctor Who story "Dragonfire". The villain Kane is an ultra-low-temperature humanoid whose ungloved touch can freeze a human to death in seconds, and even touching an object he's just handled can cause horrific freeze burns. Nevertheless, he is strongly implied to have had a past sexual relationship with his Dragon Belazs, who is apparently an ordinary human (or Human Alien). Since Doctor Who at the time was fairly prudish, precisely how this worked is not even hinted at.
  • I Am Not Okay With This: In the comics, it's explicitly stated that Syd can't have sex or masturbate as it causes her to lose control of her powers. The show implies otherwise, considering nothing is made out of it after she sleeps with Stanley, though.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): Subverted. When Jessica and Luke Cage have sex for the first time, neither of them knows the other one has Super-Strength, so they're both extremely careful not to hurt the other one. When they find out about each others' powers in a later episode, they go at it for real. When later seasons of their respective shows delve into their backstories, it becomes clear that this was the first time either of them could truly cut loose with a partner since gaining their powers.
    Luke: (Breathlessly, after a mutual climax) Sweet Christmas...
  • They got around this in Lois & Clark by saying that part of Clark's powers was that his body emitted a kind of "invulnerability field" which extended a few millimeters from his skin but could also affect anything he touched or kept in close proximity (*snicker*), giving it the same durability as Clark himself. Also explained how he could pick up things weighing several tons without just ripping two handfuls of material out of them.
    • Note that the couple did consummate their marriage, in the episode immediately after the wedding (there was an issue with Lois dying as a consequence, but that was because of a curse and not because of Clark's powers).
    • The issue of being able to have children only first comes up in a scene where Lois and Clark's dialogue suggests that they have been taking actions to prevent the creation of a pregnancy, but in this last interchange did not. It is possible though that Dr. Klein is worried about this issue, and since he is so totally clueless as to not clue into a married woman who obviously loves her husband being disturbed by the news that Superman ages much slower than human beings, it seems hard to believe that he is being subtle in his later admonitions to Superman about taking precautions.
    • Also, in the episode where Clark loses fine muscle control due to Red Kryptonite exposure, there is a scene where he sees a bruise he accidentally gave Lois and decides separate bedrooms would be safer for now.
  • The Orville: All of John LaMarr's sexual encounters with super-strong Talla ended in the infirmary. And he kept coming back for more. Eventually, they accept they have to stop seeing each other before she accidentally kills him.
  • Smallville's version of Clark has the typical problem with his first love interest Lana Lang. The problem is eventually resolved when Clark is de-powered for an episode, but when his powers return, he actually complains to Chloe about his sex life. By the end of the show's run, he has gained enough control over his abilities that the problem no longer exists. He outright states that his training at the Fortress of Solitude included learning exactly that sort of control. Apparently, Jor-El never expected his son to remain a virgin for life. Notably, while Clark is complaining to Chloe that, after finally having reached "the next level" with Lana, he can't keep it up for fear of hurting her, Chloe wonders what the big deal is since they can shake hands and hug without Clark pulverizing her. Clark explains, rather embarrassed, that it always takes him some time to adjust his "abilities" to new circumstances. Chloe decides to cruise right past that mental image.
  • This is a concern for Worf, a Klingon, in Star Trek: The Next Generation. When asked in early seasons about the prospects for his love life, he replies that he would require a Klingon woman as human women are too fragile. Subverted: while Klingons do have greater average strength and durability than humans and a penchant for consensual rough sex, his concerns turn out to be exaggerated. There are at least two confirmed Klingon-human pairings in-universe that result in a child, and Worf himself later dates and is intimate with a half-human half-Betazed woman and two (physically) different Trill, all three of whom are roughly equivalent to humans. It's strongly implied that Worf was merely using this trope as an excuse to avoid dealing with his intimacy issues. (Worf's relationship with Dax on Deep Space Nine does involve regular post-coital trips to the infirmary for both of them. Then again, she is something of a Klingon culture buff.) That all said, Riker is kind of lucky that his suggestion (in "A Matter of Honor") to make love to two Klingon women at the same time was never acted out...
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • Lampshaded by a shock jock in season one.
      Leslie Willis: You know, who's hombre enough to puncture the Chastity Belt of Steel?
    • Confirmed in season 2 when Kara admits she broke four guys' noses just by kissing them. She's happy to be finally dating someone at her strength level — Mon-El.
    • When Lois announces that she's pregnant with Clark's child in the Elseworlds crossover, she explains that she and Clark plan to spend the pregnancy on Argo, where the baby won't have any powers and thus it kicking won't cause any harm. It's also heavily implied that their previous visit to Argo is how the pregnancy came to be in the first place.
  • In one ending joke in The Vicar of Dibley, Superman inadvertently rapes the Invisible Man and the Invisible Man says "It hurt a lot."

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate III: Karlach would very much like to be affectionate with a romantic partner, but the infernal engine burning in her chest makes her too hot to touch without preemptive safety measures.
  • Party banter between Sten and Morrigan in Dragon Age: Origins suggests that Qunari have sex so dangerous that a human would have to wear a suit of armor and have something to keep between their teeth (like a bone). He's actually messing with her, as Sten has an extremely dry sense of humor and Morrigan had been trying to make him uncomfortable by flirting with him so he was just engaging in a little turnabout. Iron Bull, a Qunari love interest in Dragon Age: Inquisition, is mindful of the risk of damaging his partners during sex, but that's just from being seven feet tall and very heavy along with the dom/sub dynamic he prefers, not from Sten's claims being true.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Which researching the primal Shiva, the scions conclude that the only thing every account of her agrees on is she chose to "lay down with a dragon". Dragons in this world being very large, anatomically incompatible, and not capable of shapeshifting. Minifilia actually takes a moment to very delicately wonder about the mechanics of such an act. It's extremely likely this is just slander-by-historical-revisionism on Ishgard's part, since Shiva did truly love a dragon from the bottom of her heart, but there's no indication this was ever physical and the true story undermines the Holy See's rhetoric.
  • Implied in League of Legends through a couple of comments made by the massively tall and muscular kraken priestess Illaoi, who although she's not actually superpowered, is still one of the strongest (and most sexually-forward) humans in the game:
    "How could I love only one man? They break too easily."
    (To Braum) "Finally, a man who won't break."
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • Female Shepard can romance and have sex with Garrus, a turian squad member. Turians are an alien species adapted to a much harsher world than humans, leading to such lovely features as razor-sharp teeth and pointy bones protruding out of their skin. When the crew doctor, Prof. Mordin, catches wind of this, he immediately offers helpful advice on "positions comfortable for both species", as well as "oils and ointments to reduce discomfort". (It might help that Shepard is at this point a cyborg with bullet-resistant skin and nearly unbreakable bones.) He also cautions that there are certain amino acids that don't play nice, and warns her not to "ingest".
    • Also, Male Shepard's romance with Tali, a quarian (species with atrophied immune system), who has to pump herself with immuno-stimulants to even be able to touch Shepard. Interestingly, in both cases, it's the woman who is endangered by contact.
    • And there is also advice about dealing with accidental telekinesis if one with such talent is involved in the romance. Jack, in particular, is partial to rough sex, and that involves wrecking the entire cabin. Mordin suggests that Jack should take biotic suppressants. And Shepard should put padding on the walls of his room.
    • And then there's Fem!Shep flirting with Joker in Mass Effect 3. Joker proceeds to lampshade the trope immediately (unlike the other examples, Joker's the one in danger thanks to his very fragile bones and Fem!Shep, once again, being a super-strong Cyborg).
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Deathwing cannot mate with any other dragons due to his corrupted body being made of molten lava. The only survivor, Sinestra, was left horribly mutilated. He had also apparently planned to kill Alexstrasza and Ysera this way after destroying the world.
    • Presumably the reason why there aren't any male elf/human female pairings. Rhonin, husband of Vereesa Windrunner, implies that she can do some damage in the heat of passion: so if the genders were swapped it would presumably be worse.
    • Kalecgos, a blue dragon, and Jaina Proudmoore. Kalec is also naturally intoxicated by the presence of mana, and Jaina is an exceptionally powerful mage. There is the danger that he could lose control and forget her limits. Of course, the Power Perversion Potential of Jaina's particular specialty (frost magic) is chiefly in restraining movement: meaning it would be possible with some planning to construct a scenario where she is safe no matter how mana-addled he becomes.
      • Actually gender inverted in the case of his last girlfriend Anveena Teague due to her not actually being human. A good thing, since the whole mana intoxication thing was even more of a problem with her (she was literally a pool of magical power given human form).
    • Presumably the reason Medivh chose to romance Garona Halforcen. Even with a lot of fel magic in his system, he still wouldn't be able to do lasting damage to her. And the game none-too-subtly implies on several occasions that orcs like it rough.

    Web Animation 
  • Discussed in Dragon ShortZ when Android 18 is solicited by her waiter during her date with Krillen. She tells him not only was it likely he would finish embarrassingly fast, he likely wouldn't survive the aftermath of sleeping with someone who, in her own words, can "bench press a literal building".

  • The Russian comic Dumbest Mage Ever (translation of the corresponding parts here - warning, gory) has a hobbit girl using a love potion to seduce the Dumb Muscle protagonist. After the second time she goes "Pop", he and his mentor decide that resurrecting her isn't worth it.
  • Everyday Heroes: Marion and Jane get around this by using a drug that suppresses superpowers.
  • Averted in The Fellowship Of Heroes. Apparently, there's a failsafe built into most Super-Strength powers that lock them "off" during sex (and under a few other circumstances).
  • In a Palcomix comic called Greenheat, the Martian Manhunter, while in heat, seduces several women, including Lois Lane, under the guise of their boyfriends. Afterwards, they catch him and reveal they knew all along. When he asks how they knew, Lois states that the real Superman never dares to be the active partner during sex.
  • Referenced in a strip of It's Walky!, although it's more a case of straight-up Destructo-Nookie.
    Hotel employee: Man of steel, woman of Kleenex?
    Angry hotel manager: No! Man of steel, woman of steel, bed of Kleenex.
  • One strip of Loserz had Jodi pondering how awkward it must have been for teenage Superman to have sex, especially if the girl wanted to get spanked - leading to Superman covered in Ludicrous Gibs and a news headline the next day about "Mysterious ass explosions!"
  • Gender flipped with Sonoda Yuki and Kobayashi Yutaka in MegaTokyo, though it's less about sex and more about teleporting/jumping all over the city. While the teleporting does nothing to the magical girl Yuki, Yutaka, however, takes the full brunt of the force with each jump. (however, the former is the first explanation Komugiko thinks about when she sees them).
  • A downplayed version is seen at one point in Ménage à 3 where Di Di is seen laying in bed with an expression of post-orgasmic bliss while Kiley is sitting up visibly wondering if permanent damage has been done to her hand.
  • Oglaf has a story about the Snow Queen, spirit of winter, who needs to be sexually satisfied or spring is not going to happen. Let's just say that even the most hot-blooded of men cannot take her freezing qualities and return home in one piece. It gets better though when a clever adventuress happens by. With her trusty strap-on.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has Superman turning down a potential love interest by citing this trope, who regretfully accepts the reality of it. The man Wonder Woman used the same logic with? Not so much. The bonus panel reveals that the man was the author stand-in, and only lasted two minutes.
  • Alison (the strong female protagonist of Strong Female Protagonist) worries about the WoS/MoK aspect of this, and consequentially has trouble getting physically intimate with anyone. Her government-appointed doctor points out that since she doesn't destroy her bed whenever she tosses and turns in her sleep, she shouldn't have a similar problem with any other... autonomic reflexes.

    Web Original 
  • In Anime Marriage Prospects, this was mentioned as a potential hazard of a relationship with A-Ko/Eiko Magami (for all practical purposes the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman).
  • Openly discussed and rejected by Linkara in an episode of Atop the Fourth Wall on the grounds that Superman possesses perfect control over his strength and how much force he can exert. If he didn't have this ability, then anytime he opens a door, he would pull it off by its hinges.
  • Turns out to be why the Emperor didn’t know about the Sensei in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, most of his mortal partners either suffered explosive orgasms or were left with broken ribs and in generally bad shape. As a matter of fact, he didn't know that any of them survived, much less borne him children.
  • Mentioned in Interviewing Leather as one of the reasons why Leather only has other Supers as boyfriends.
  • In The Jenkinsverse, humans are substantially stronger and tougher than all alien species. While the principal barrier to interspecies sex is that nonhumans just aren't interested if any of them were then the inevitable result would be serious injury or death.
  • Plumbing the Death Star:
    • In "Which Superhero is the Best Lover?", Duscher argues The Incredible Hulk would make a great lover and gets laughed off by the rest of the cast when they realize that coitus with Hulk would definitely end with him accidentally ripping you to shreds from sheer strength.
    • The central issue in "Why Doesn't Rogue Use Protection?" is Rogue's inability to have sex due to her mutant powers, though the discussion veers into the problems most of the mutant population and the Fantastic Four must have with sex. They conclude that Iron Man and Reed Richards, with their ridiculous intellect, could simply make de-powering collars or full-body suits to prevent superpowers from interfering with coitus.
  • Expressly discussed in the Whateley Universe, particularly in "Sara's Little Purple Book" (NSFW), which explains how to deal with sex when you're a PK brick or a lightning Energizer or any of a couple dozen other types of powered being. Sara is a Goddess of Lust in the making, so it makes sense that she'd have a certain insight into the matter. Unlike many others, she deals as much with the 'Woman of Steel, Man of Kleenex' issues just as much as the reverse, as well as questions of how different powers interact. While the book is mostly about Power Perversion Potential, nearly half the discussion is on the dangers involved and how to avoid them.

    Western Animation 
  • A non-sexual version (mostly hugging and hand-holding, since the characters in question are children and this is a kids' show) is intermittently discussed in the fourth and fifth seasons of Adventure Time, as Finn struggles with the obvious practical problems of a human in love with a fire elemental. The danger also works both ways, since as far as Flame Princess is concerned Finn may as well be made of water AND sufficiently strong emotions makes FP lose control of her powers to such a degree that it would endanger the Earth.
  • One gag with Superman on Family Guy has him and two police officers investigating the death of a woman, who's lying on the bed in a nightgown with her brains literally blown out across the headboard. According to Superman, he just got there and has absolutely no idea what could have happened, just like the three men in the public washroom.
  • Woman of Steel example: Upon visiting a planet of eight-foot-tall, super-strong Amazons, the heroes of Futurama learn that the men of the planet died out from crushed pelvises. The male characters are alternately intrigued and horrified when presented with the sentence of "death by snu-snu". Fry and Zapp Brannigan manage to survive — they end the episode in lower-body casts, but don't mind all that much.
  • Gargoyles: Given that Goliath has claws that can tear through stone and enough physical strength to punch right through most steel barriers, Word of God is that he and Elisa are going to have to approach intimacy very, very carefully so he doesn't hurt her by accident.
  • A Robot Chicken sketch had Superman accidentally blow Lois's brains out from the power of his...ahem, load, while she was giving him a blowjob. Cue baffled policemen wondering where the gun, bullet holes, or gunpowder residue was, before theorizing that Lois may have gotten killed from giving Thor a handjob.
    Clark Kent: That cheating bitch! She blew me in that chair just last night! (realizes what he said) Uh, I mean...yoink! (runs through wall to escape)