SFSX Vol. 2
SFSX: Vol. 2 releases this Wednesday, Nov. 24th from Image Comics! If you were a fan of the first volume, then you’re in for another triumphant dystopian adventure. If you haven’t read the first volume, I highly suggest you do so before reading this one. Vol. 2 jumps right back in where Vol. 1 left off! How did Vol. 2 measure up to the first volume? Let’s find out!
What is SFSX?
SFSX is an abbreviation of the words Safe Sex. For those that are not aware, this is a series that focuses on a dystopian world where men have decided that sexual pleasure is in the way of society functioning well. In Puritan fashion, they have decided to wipe all people and things tied to sexual pleasure off the face of the Earth. No more masturbation for you, sir, no more vibrators for you, ma’am!
I could make a million jokes about this, as I’m sure many people could, but this is no laughing matter. In this world, those that are caught doing something as simple as masturbating or having sex with their one significant other are arrested, captured, and either tortured for the rest of their days or killed. How awful is that??? Imagine if you are someone who does more than these “vanilla” considered acts. What if you are into incredibly kinky acts? If the government finds out, you become their mascot of the “unpure”. Truly, a horrible world to live in!
Of course, in a great dystopian world fashion, there is a rebellion! Woohoo! Bring back safe, consensual, and great pleasure for all! But what’s the cost of fighting for the freedom and safety of pleasure?
Where did Vol. 1 leave off?
In the first volume, we left off with multiple characters getting killed, multiple characters betraying the rebel cause, and… some remaining captured by the Puritanical government. YIKES! Cliffhangers all around. SFSX Vol. 2 doesn’t waste a moment! We jump right in it all with Avory, who is still unwillingly scrubbing “unpure” data, video, etc away. We see the rebels trying to come up with a plan to rescue her, other characters trying to find a way to physically feel pleasure again after the events of the last volume, and the government making… sex robots? Sigh. Of course, they would be doing that, of course!
The Big Message
This volume takes a different approach to the plot and message. Horn does a beautiful job setting it up from the start: even though the male government said no one can have sexual pleasure, including themselves, they’ve now found that so many men are “useless” without an “outlet”. Therefore, the government has decided to create some female (of course… heteronormativity, am I right?) sex robots to allow men to achieve pleasure. However, they can only achieve enough pleasure to become socially “more productive”. so, basically, men get to have sexual pleasure because without it they are miserable, but women? nope. Even if women are miserable without sexual pleasure, women have to make it work. Don’t even ask them what you get if you aren’t straight!
“Your programming says that rejection is a worse fate than death. A fate worth murdering over.”
The social commentary here is HUGE. Huge examinations, within the plot and characters, are done on how men are socialized in society, how pleasure comes in all kinds of wonderful, horrible, and necessary forms, and even what it means to be a bimbo! These things only scratch the surface of what SFSX is all about, so if you are 18 or older… this is a MUST-READ!
The Revealing Imagery
Due to the content of this book, the art is also incredibly mature. Open it up and you’re bound to see a nude body almost immediately- and that’s not a bad thing! All the nudity within this story is done in an incredibly real, tasteful manner. Furthermore, the faces of each individual are magnificently drawn. Emotions are incredibly easy to read on each character’s face, but they aren’t overexaggerated. It’s an art style that’s very easy on the mind, which I really appreciate. The colors are magnificent. At many points, the world is colored dark, grey, almost muted in color. However, when the characters are in a place of safety or at least feel safe, the environment around them mirrors that with bright oranges, yellows, and pinks. It helps the reader see what is happening between the words of each character and take nothing at face value until proven otherwise. Nothing is ever as it seems in a dystopia.
I absolutely love that they continued a trend from the first volume- at the end of each chapter, there’s a playlist of songs to listen to that goes with what just happened in that chapter!! How rad is that?? I absolutely love when creators go the extra mile to add these additional connections to other forms of art that we know and love in our real-world- it makes what we are reading feel that much more real! Some of my favorite songs that I saw on these playlists are P*$$y Fairy (OTW) by Jhene Aiko, U.N.I.T.Y. by Queen Latifah, Keep On Going My Way by Fleetwood Mac, and Daddy AF by Slayyyter. Check out the volume to see what other songs are on the playlists!
Final Thoughts ON SFSX
At the heart of it all, SFSX continues to stay true to what it’s all about: celebrating the diversity of what pleasure means to different people and advocating for pleasure for all safely and consensually. This is one of the most sex-positive stories, human stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading and is a must-read comic! SFSX is a series that will open your eyes up and remind you of the simple pleasures that we take for granted. Vol. 3, where you at?? Be sure to get SFSX Vol. 2: Terms of Service this Wednesday, Nov. 24th!