Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: OUTLANDER ISSUES ****SPOILER ALERT****

#2922
Terry Dresbach
Keymaster

[quote quote=2918]I think the sexual situations depicted so far have been done very well, especially the ones where Claire takes charge. I don’t really like to include rape under sex because rape is usually associated with power and generally is not consensual; although, there has been some discussion associating rape with sexual release. One of the reasons Outlander does such a good job is that they’re starting out with such terrific source material. Many people thought the scene with Jenny was too much, but it showed early what kind of person BJR was. The attempted rape scenes in 108 were done appropriately, in my opinion. They followed the book very closely. Some viewers are upset by so much nudity from mostly just Claire. The details of the rape of Jamie by BJR was revealed during the opium session with Claire in France; so, I’m hoping the scenes are edited in a way to depict flashes of memory while under the influence. BJR is so vile in TV and book Outlander that I’m finding it difficult to watch the violent scenes with him in them. The last episode was really difficult. I actually think Black Sails did a good job of depicting both consensual sex and rape. It seems that most programs that depict consensual sex do so in a very passionate (quick) way and then move on to the remainder of the storyline. The wedding sex in Outlander was given an entire episode, which allowed for a build-up and more detail/emotion.

One of the most interesting aspects of depicting consensual sex is that people seem to be more uncomfortable with sex scenes than with extremely violent scenes. It’s disturbing to me that movies with no sex/nudity but with extreme violence are Rated PG13, but movies that have sex/nudity are Rated R. What does this say about our society–that violence is tolerated more than non-violent sexual situations? This has always been troubling to me. Full frontal for men and women for that matter doesn’t bother me. Starz has done it with Black Sails and Spartacus. If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander.

Thank you for bringing up this subject. I appreciate your wanting input from the fans. We’re very lucky that Ron is doing the adaptation because he is masterful.
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It is very interesting to work on a show where is sex in just sex, not soft porn. One of the reasons I got out of the business was I just could not take what I felt was a porn approach to women. The exaggerated breasts, hair, makeup. The pressure to dress every woman as a porn star no matter who she is , is inescapable. Shorter, lower, tighter. It is degrading, and it is desensitizing. Our young people are starting to view porn as very young children, and it is informing their sexual expectations.
I think what Maureen Ryan and others are referring to as a “female gaze” (did she use that term?) is actually a human gaze. What the wedding night was in truth, was nothing more than a normal sexual experience between two people. Cait doesn’t have 10 pounds of makeup on, her lips have not been injected, not have her breasts, Sam is not covered in spray tan, and they do not engage in porn sex.
It is incredible that we are all just getting around to such an approach.