Intercourse Still Rules: Glee and Shows Like It Toe the Line

So, I was looking through old drafts in my blog, and found this from 12/12/11. I never published it for some reason. Also, as for a Glee watching update on my end: We did watch through at least the first season where some of them were in New York, like I saw Rachel rehearsing for Funny Girl on Broadway and have this wierd fight with Santana cause Santana was her understudy, but was pretty much way better actually, but then Santana had an epiphany or something I think and she dropped the whole thing or something like that...it was a few years ago. Anyway, but then we just stopped. It just got extra boring - we didn't have the gumption anymore. That's it. I think it's off the air now, though, so enjoy this flashback.

Glee. Oh Yeah, I'm gonna write about Glee again. I know there is a strong and pulsating hatred of Glee out there that sets beside the wild unabashed love of the same show. I, like probably many others, sit in between. I hate many of the characters, a fair amount of the writing, some of the songs, and some of the ridiculous stereotypes the show promotes.Yet, it's got some funny parts, sweet parts, and progressive moments. For instance, I just saw an episode where Finn (who I usually hate) sings a haunting version of Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. The hell I say? That's right, it was actually a really cool take on that song. Also, when I watch it, it feels like the 42 minutes of show is a full feature length movie. I don't know why or how, but the show seems to go on forever - which you might think means I'm just utterly bored, but actually just leaves me feeling fulfilled, like I've watched a whole hell of a lot of TV.

Anyway, I'm writing about Glee because tons of people of all ages and background see it. It is pop culture, which is, in many ways, the most common way we learn about what is normal when it comes to sex and sexuality.

This brings us to the Glee episode "First Time," which is in fact about losing the ol' Virginity. The issue I have with this episode is a little more vague than my usual critiques. There were no specific depictions or discussions of female sexual response to speak of. What it did have was more of the same ol' same ol'. It reiterated the crappy ideas we're already feeding teenagers:
  • Intercourse is the most important sex act. 
  • A person is not truly sexual until they do the ol' in and out. 
  • Intercourse is equated to love; making it super duper special. 
  • Other types of sex acts - like masturbation, manual sex, or dry humping barely exist as options for lovers, and even if they did, they are not the main course, and they obviously don't express love the way that intercourse does.
  • No one ever says it outright, but the insinuation made by these situations is that intercourse is awesome. Awesome must mean orgasm. Therefore intercourse must be orgasmic for all involved! 
  • Also, it really seems like the couples in these shows literally just go from making out to fucking, as if you have 2 options for teen lovin' 1. You make out and maybe do some under the shirt stuff if you want to stay safe, pure and SO COMPLETELY SEXUALLY UNSATISFIED. 2. If you want to FINALLY get some satisfaction, well, ya gotta fuck.
I'm really just using Glee because it's so popular, and I just watched that episode, but that's the same message we're getting from almost any TV show aimed at teenagers - or adults for that matter. I know it's a pipe dream right now, but wouldn't it be awesome to see a show where instead of dwelling on intercourse (the most risky and anti-female-orgasming type of sexual interaction)  it is insinuated that one or more of the couples on the show are engaging in mutual masturbation or exploring by giving each other handies*...and they are loving it. It's disease free, pregnancy free, quite intimate, and equal opportunity orgasm inducing for both the gal and the guy. Why aren't we promoting this more and intercourse less?

Watching that show just reminded me how very radical it still is to talk about non intercourse forms of sexual interaction at all; much less to consider them as equally bonding, loving, and special as intercourse. I won't hold my breath, but I hope one day I'll see my dream fulfilled on some silly teen show in 15 years.

 (*I didn't mention oral simply because we're talking about teens and everyone's always worried about teens and disease and all that, and oral is still exchanging bodily fluid membrane to membrane, and there's not widely used protection out there for that, so I'm just being like all public health minded with the handies and MM. Please don't mistake that for a disinterest in a good eatin' out - 'cause I. LOVE. THAT. SHIT.)

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