Thursday, November 10, 2011

Was it bad for you too? What went wrong during Glee's "First Time"

I was confused too, Finn.
I watched the credits of Tuesday’s much anticipated (by me at least) Glee “sex” episode a little, how do I say, unsatisfied? This was a surprise. I’ve been a Blaine and Kurt ‘shipper since Chris Colfer watched Darren Criss own “Teenage Dream” at Dalton. They finally went all the way Tuesday night with presumably no regrets, just love, so why wasn’t I as elated and giddy as when they went to prom? And though I’m off the Finn and Rachel on-again/off-again roller coaster, my vague meh-ness at their consummation went beyond my usual apathy at their relationship. Glee somehow managed to make the sex seem positively anti-climactic.

Where was the ball dropped? After extensive discussion with fellow Gleeks, I think the problem is, as usual, botched foreplay. Rachel’s first attempt to give Finn her V-card was thwarted early in the episode when he discovered that she was only interested in him as research for her role as Maria in West Side Story. Artie suggests that it’s impossible to play a sexual awakening while sleeping alone, sending Rachel straight to Finn with loving on her mind. Though I take issue with this reading of the play (Maria’s passion comes from falling for the right “wrong” person, not from sleeping with him), the upshot is Finn and Rachel spend most of the episode not speaking to each other. After a triumphant performance, Rachel finds Finn nursing disappointment from an Ohio State football scout’s rejection. She tells him he’s special because she’s about to give him something that no one else is ever going to get. So not only is their first time pretty damn close to pity sex, it also suggests that having sex 1) is a way to prove your love for someone; and 2) is tied to your value as a person. Um, yikes?

Kurt and Blaine spend the days leading up to their very special night fighting, flirting with other people, and fantasizing about Taylor Lautner. NOT the magical romance I have come to expect from these two. I wasn’t expecting a “do me on a rainbow” fantasy, but their relationship has always been characterized by frank and honest communication coupled with lots of simmering sexiness. So I didn’t expect Kurt and Blaine to be snapping at each other until fifteen minutes before they fell into bed to engage in what my friend and fellow fan rightly identified as make-up sex. That’s hot and all, but only when you’ve had, you know, regular sex previously.

What I had hoped for was something more like what Tina described when talking about her first time with Mike. They discussed it, committed to it, and still were spontaneous, knowing when “the time was right.” A shot of a fireplace isn’t the same thing as generating heat, Glee, and frankly, for a show so reliably sex-positive, I expected you to be better in bed.

At least we'll always have "Baby, It's Cold Outside."

See Alisa’s recap for a more thorough and less contrary take on the episode.

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