the waitress at milliways (fenchurchly) wrote in ontd_sassenach,
the waitress at milliways

Outlander: The Best Sex on TV?

I'm just quoting a few lines since there are some spoilers in the article:

Stuck in 1743 and not knowing how to get back, she eventually marries a hunky Highlander for a pragmatic purpose, namely, protection. “In any other show, he would be the bimbo,” says Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie. “The strapping, hulking hero.” He is, in some ways. But he’s also intelligent, with a fine wit, sensitive, romantic, and, up until this point, a virgin.

The episode, which was written by a woman (Anne Kenney) and directed by a woman (Anna Foerster), was all about watching Jamie. Foerster added choreography not in the script, where Claire tells Jamie to take off his shirt because she wants to look at him and walks around his muscular form as he undresses, a moment fans loved. Jamie’s expressions were priceless — delight, confusion, wonder, delirium — as the much-passed-around GIFs of his orgasm face attest. ("Oh God, I never want to see that!" says Heughan, laughing. “They’re probably horrific. But you’re seeing through Claire’s eyes.”) And there’s equal opportunity here, because while Jamie’s caught up in experiencing his first, second, and third time, there’s a distinct focus on Claire’s pleasure, too, starting with his concern whether or not she’s enjoying it. (She is.)


For a series ostensibly about time travel, politics, and being a stranger in a strange land, this relationship, and this night, is the true beating heart of the show, showrunner Ronald D. Moore says. “I think couples enjoy it because it’s neither a male fantasy nor is it a gauzy boudoir bodice ripper.”


In the case of the wedding-night line, Moore thought Jamie’s words might read a little too cocky: “I said I was a virgin, not a monk. If I need guidance, I’ll ask.” The women violently disagreed — his wife admits to throwing a chair at him (“I kind of missed on purpose,” she says.) — and told him to keep it because it was cocky. “There are just those moments where my own blinders in terms of what I think a woman’s point of view is, or what I think a female character would or wouldn’t do, sometimes needs a reality check,” he says.


Most of the writers, male and female, have sci-fi shows on their résumés—Graphia, Matthew Roberts, and Ira Behr included — while Kenney had worked on Greek, L.A. Law, and Switched at Birth. But both Graphia and Kenney say the members of the group have a dynamic they haven’t experienced on other shows. They bring up ideas that they’ve never heard discussed in other writers’ rooms. “The males were very traditional males, and couldn’t even go there in their minds,” Graphia says of her experience on previous shows. “They were just brick walls.” But on Outlander, they talk about how women feel about giving blowjobs. (“You know, I think if you asked most women what their top-five fantasies are, that would not be one of them,” Kenney notes). Would a woman jump on horseback three days after she’s given birth? (Yes!) Should they show a woman expressing milk while on the road away from her newborn? (Moore pushed for that, even when some of the women in the room thought it might be “so gross.” It turned out to be a refreshingly honest moment onscreen).


For example: “We had an episode where Jamie’s pleasuring Claire, and they get interrupted,” Kenney recalls.

“Usually, the guy would stop,” Graphia says. “And that’s how it was originally written. The men were like, ‘A guy would be more rattled by the knocking on the door, and jump up, and the girl would be begging him for it, begging him to finish.’ ”

“But we flipped it, so that she sort of tries to stop it, and he says, ‘No. We’re going to finish this,’ ” Kenney says.

“Because that, in the female fantasy, is what we want,” Graphia says. “The girls were all, ‘No, no, no, Jamie’s the king of men. He’s not stopping.’ And to his credit, Ira Behr went, ‘All right, all right, I get it,’ and he very good-naturedly agreed and changed it, because this is our chance to show a relationship the way women dream of,“ where pleasure is a participatory experience.


“Last season, I feel like Claire was very reactionary,” Balfe says. “All of these events were coming at her fast and swift, and she didn’t really have time to absorb any of them, really. It was all fight or flight and survival.” But now, Claire is making choices to determine not just her own fate but the course of history, in an era where agency is unheard of and consent is a murky notion. “I often see her as the lady with the scales,” Balfe says. “I mean, she’s out there fighting for justice all the time. But it’s in the small, everyday things, where she demands acceptance and respect and that people treat people fairly, where we see the biggest effects.” Fairness and equality in and out of the bedroom, or the daybed, or the dusty table in a ruined castle.

Tags: #pervnation, article
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