Thursday, 20 November 2014

Bodies and gay relationships in drama: Sex Positivity Blog

I did have a giggle at the thought of writing a sex positivity blog. Sex hasn't been on my personal radar for a very long while. But my attitude to sex and the enjoyment of sex hasn't changed, and that's what I want to celebrate. I spend a lot of time writing sex, and I want my characters to love sex, and not be ashamed of their bodies or the act.

I feel the same way about looking at nudity and I've never had hang-ups about watching nudity and sex in drama on the TV,  Although I did grin at myself the first time I wriggled in discomfort when my older kid starting watching those scenes with me. She was oblivious and after a few times, so was I. I derive a lot of my enjoyment not so much from what they're portraying but the light of skin, the looks on faces. I want to see their emotions. I feel like that about written sex. I want to know what they're thinking. You can go through the motions and still be planning what to have for dinner.

When I was *cough* fourteen *cough* I watched Brideshead Revisited on ITV. I was a total fangirl of this miniseries. We used to run into school and discuss it every Monday. In detail. Excruciating details. Like how Jeremy Irons had one buttock lower than the other.

This scene might be one of the reasons. Yes, yes, I like arses.

This was 1981, the year of the Royal wedding, years before the first gay kiss in East Enders. Brideshead was very subtle in its portrayal of a relationship between men. Was there a homosexual element? It was never fully established and to be honest, it really didn't matter. The fact is, as a fourteen year old, I enjoyed their relationship. It was the first time I paid much attention  outside the heteronormative portrayal of relationships.

{One day I'm going to focus my attention on UK soaps. The reason I haven't is that I don't watch any of them.}

Queer as Folk UK.

There was nothing aristocrat about this group of gay guys, based around Canal Street in Manchester. Subtle? No fucking way! But wasn't it exhilarating to watch?. This wasn't sex under the covers. It was dirty (in the best way) and lots of fun.

Sadly, in the UK we've gone from gay TV series and gay moves like My Beautiful Laundrette and Beautiful Thing to Celebrity Big Brother. Gay characters are creeping into shows but there isn't the drive for making shows with gay characters... or maybe there is. Russell T Davies is back with Cucumber and Banana.

 Seeing as he's largely responsible for all the kisses on this post and changing the attitudes to gay lives (not just sex) on Brit TV I am thrilled to see him back. This is from the Radio Times. I can't imagine them writing this in 1981.

From the few scenes we were shown Cucumber is squarely a relationship drama, but one which happens to involve gay people. This feels satisfying as it reflects the way gay life is now incorporated into the mainstream - we don't have to think of Lance and Henry as just a gay couple (or for that matter a multiracial gay couple as Nri is black) but really just as a couple. This seems to nicely bookend Queer as Folk, showing how far gay liberation has travelled – but perhaps also how far it still has to go.

If Brideshead was to coax and QaF was to shock, what was Captain Jack Harkness for? Make gay, sorry omnisexual, acceptable for family viewing? Doctor Who dropped huge hints that the good Captain wasn't fussy about what he screwed. In Torchwood Jack got to kiss the real Captain Jack, and develop a tender relationship with Ianto.

Although in 2011 the BBC cut the sex scene in Miracle Day. What the feck? Have we really not grown up enough to see two men in a 'lewd act' Daily Mail's words, not mine. *rolls eyes*.

My blog has really been an excuse to fangirl my favourite series, but also to show that culture is changing and I celebrate it. Sex is a part of life. We don't need to see tab B going into slot A all the time, but equally well, we don't need to always stop at the bedroom door.

Ed Winters despises his job and hates everyone he works with—especially out and proud, happily in love Frankie Mason. He spends his days wishing he could dance, rather than work. 

Late to go shopping one day, Ed ends up soaked in Marchant Belarus’s spilled Coke. Ed’s humiliation increases when Marchant, the owner of a BDSM club, realizes Ed is a sub, albeit a very closeted one. Marchant’s attempts to draw Ed out of his shell release years of pent-up anger and hurt over the abuse Ed’s mother and grandmother heaped on him. 

Marchant is patient, but nothing he does seems to help until he discovers Ed’s secret love of dancing—a forbidden passion that might be the key to unlocking the confident, secure man Ed could be.

The Sex Positive Blog Hop is the brain child of the magnificent Grace Duncan. Please check out all the other posts.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm. You've posted some hot memories here! And yes, it's time that we incorporate members of the GLBTQ community into mainstream entertainment, with no more distinction than we would a female or minority or disabled character. Their 'designation' shouldn't define them.