A couple of months ago, I had a thought. I was brainstorming an idea for an urban fantasy novel, one that would feature a strong androgynous superhero whose jurisdiction was over things like stopping rapists, confronting misogynists, and making vulnerable populations feel safe. But as I was brainstorming this hero, who not only saves your life but has a penchant for cuddling and physical affection, I realized that one of the traits I was using was still “could kill you with hir little finger.”
That got me thinking about competency kinks and how they align with violence.
“Competency kink” basically just means that someone being really good at whatever zie does is a turn-on. Movies certainly capitalize on this. Sometimes it’s intellectual competence, or psychic ability, or something else unrelated to violence, but very often the protagonist is competent at killing, injuring, and/or self defense. Whether it’s competence with weaponry, martial arts, magic, or some other violence-related skill, filmmakers are very good at combining destructive prowess with sexiness. Think Christian Bale in Equilibrium. Think Keanu Reeves in the Matrix. Think of all the bad-ass chicks in films that are unexpectedly very skilled at physical combat. Kill Bill, anyone?