Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Sexuality in Outlander

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  • #6736
    barbc624
    Participant

    Recently Jamie’s sexual attractiveness to both sexes and it’s consequences came up in the The Big O thread. Since that thread seems to have become primarily about our indivual experiences, I have started this thread where we can talk about how sex and sexuality is such a part of the Outlander universe.

    One topic I have seen come up as both a positive and negative is the way sex is portrayed in Outlander. Sex is used in a positive way(i.e Jamie and Claire’s relationship) a tool for connection (Claire & Frank), a means of exerting power over another (BJR and sometimes Jamie and Claire) etc.

    What do you think about any of the above or any other use of sex in Outlander? There are no right or wrong answers here.

    • This topic was modified 7 years, 3 months ago by barbc624.
    • This topic was modified 7 years, 3 months ago by barbc624.
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    • #6745
      sonyakhanum
      Participant

      I’m having trouble articulating my thoughts on this, but I’ll just throw in to your portrayal of sex the use of sex as a bargaining tool (but could also be considered as a means of exerting power at the other end of it)…DIA SPOILER ahead..

      I’m thinking specifically about Claire and King Louis…it’s used to achieve an end for Claire, but is also a means of exerting power at King Louis’s end of it.

    • #6749
      barbc624
      Participant

      [quote quote=6745]I’m having trouble articulating my thoughts on this, but I’ll just throw in to your portrayal of sex the use of sex as a bargaining tool (but could also be considered as a means of exerting power at the other end of it)…DIA SPOILER ahead..

      I’m thinking specifically about Claire and King Louis…it’s used to achieve an end for Claire, but is also a means of exerting power at King Louis’s end of it.
      [/quote]

      That’s a really good one. There is also the non-sexual but also sexual in a way, healing of Claire by Raymond. I’m not sure where that fits in exactly.

    • #6772
      JB
      Participant

      Oh goody, I was hoping this would become a separate thread! I think we should all definitely be aware of the moments when new threads present themselves from older ones. I was tempted to make a “Marketing the Show” thread out of the Objectification thread but didn’t. And now wish I had. 🙂

      Anyway, the examples here so far are interesting particularly in light of DG’s comments about why she thinks sex scenes are important. In an essay about writing sex scenes posted on on her site, she says, “A good sex scene is about the exchange of emotions, not bodily fluids.” Here’s the link to the rest:

      http://www.dianagabaldon.com/2012/07/how-to-write-sex-scenes/

      That, to me, sums up a lot about the different ways sex advances the relationships in the books. But now that you guys mentioned it, a lot of the ways involve power. I’m thinking about Jamie and Claire upon their return to Leoch. Or

      [VOYAGER SPOILERS AHEAD]

      Geneva and Jamie. Or Geillis and Ian.

      And actually, come to think of it, one of the reasons that I find Lord John’s longing for Jamie (in Voyager, at least) so sweet is that there’s no power involved at all. He just loves the man. Even when he’s in a position of absolute power at Ardmuir, he accepts Jamie’s rejection with no anger, no retribution. In a series in which violence and upheaval are always around the corner (or, to use a better metaphor, on the next page), I appreciated that Jamie didn’t come to any injury as a result of rebuffing Lord John’s advances.

      • #6774
        barbc624
        Participant

        JB that is a great point about LJG. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to him in the past, but given things other have said on the LJG thread and now your observation I am really starting to like him. He is a very decent man and takes pride in that.

        In the situation you describe it’s interesting that the absence of sex is as significant as having it.

        And that puts me in mind of another way sex is used – as a way of connecting to share grief in Echo in The Bone. I know some hated that scene but I found it very plausible in the circumstances and not offensive.

      • #6780
        maureenanne
        Participant

        JB I like your idea of a new thread on the marketing of Outlander. I keep reading about how “steamy” the show is and Claire’s heaving bosom (really?). Not exactly sure how the marketing works but I think STARZ could do a better job of controlling the message to the various entertainment news feeds. If the second half of the season is true to the novel, the series could really turn off folks who are just tuning in because they think its a fluffy romance. The rape and torture of Jamie is just going to be awful to watch. There is a message to be developed involving the strength and healing power of faith and passionate love. Can they get this point across?

        Back to Barb’s thread, I was puzzled by Jamie’s appeal to both sexes and where DG has headed with this. Jamie was attracted to Claire’s intelligence as well as her sexuality. Absent Claire, what would have become of Jamie? We know his life was going to be difficult and marriage prospects were dim. I am touched by the unrequited love that LJG has for Jamie. Would this have developed into something more had Claire not happened along? I may just float a question by DG or look to see is someone has posed this question in the past.

      • #6782
        rachely
        Participant

        Claire’s heaving bosom (really?

        that bugs me too, because she’s ‘heaving’ because your boobs heave when you’re in stays! It’s like running without a sports bra.

        I think I tweeted Terry once while I was sitting on the couch in my stays sewing something and I was literally resting my cheek on my right boob.

        (I am apparently even more unable than usual to keep to a topic today…everyone ignore me)

      • #6783
        rachely
        Participant

        /cough/ Lizzie Wemyss /cough/

        there’s an interesting storyline about sexuality.

      • #6824
        barbc624
        Participant

        I love Lizzie and the twins. Talk about being a strong woman. She knows what (who) she wants and she gets it. Poor Jamie – she had him completely confused! This was such a fun storyline.

    • #6785
      michellibell
      Participant

      [quote quote=6783]/cough/ Lizzie Wemyss /cough/

      there’s an interesting storyline about sexuality.
      [/quote]

      Yeah, I am so entertained by this storyline. It’s such a great example of acceptance. Everyone was quick to judge, but love won out in the end.

      But the sex angle of it has me exhausted.

      • #6789
        conniebv
        Participant

        Did anyone else find it unrealistic for the time period that people would be accepting?

      • #6792
        rachely
        Participant

        I think it was just because they were twins that the Presbyterians didn’t figure it out. And an unmarried brother would often live with his married brother and her wife.

        But once the kids were old enough to talk they were calling them “da” and “dad” like My Two Dads 18th Century Style? Someone would surely notice.

    • #6834
      Zina_t
      Participant

      How about healing power of sex??? This idea comes strong throughout the books. The scene in Voyager where Claire, burning with fever from the wounded arm (and drunk on the turtle soup), forces Jamie to have sex after which her fever breaks and her arm stops throbbing. Another scene where Jamie was bitten by snake and thought he was dying. Claire held his “center” all night and forced him to hold on to life. But the best example is the quote from book #9 that Diana has just posted on FB, Jamie is telling Claire what he thought of her healing him in the Abbey:
      ********SPOILERS******************************************************

      “Ye healed me of something a good deal worse, Sassenach,” he said, and touched my hand gently. He’d touched me with his right hand, the maimed one.

      “I didn’t,” I protested. “You did that yourself—you had to. All I did was…er…”

      “Drug me wi’ opium and fornicate me back to life? Aye, that.”

      I have always thought sex could cure many ills, but to bring one back to life…wow, that’s an idea…

    • #6836
      barbc624
      Participant

      [quote quote=6834]How about healing power of sex??? This idea comes strong throughout the books. The scene in Voyager where Claire, burning with fever from the wounded arm (and drunk on the turtle soup), forces Jamie to have sex after which her fever breaks and her arm stops throbbing. Another scene where Jamie was bitten by snake and thought he was dying. Claire held his “center” all night and forced him to hold on to life. But the best example is the quote from book #9 that Diana has just posted on FB, Jamie is telling Claire what he thought of her healing him in the Abbey:
      ********SPOILERS******************************************************

      “Ye healed me of something a good deal worse, Sassenach,” he said, and touched my hand gently. He’d touched me with his right hand, the maimed one.

      “I didn’t,” I protested. “You did that yourself—you had to. All I did was…er…”

      “Drug me wi’ opium and fornicate me back to life? Aye, that.”

      I have always thought sex could cure many ills, but to bring one back to life…wow, that’s an idea…
      [/quote]

      To be fair I think he meant life in the sense of restoring his will to live but yeah sex can be pretty amazing in other than purely physical ways.

      So here’s a question how many others missed the sex in their initial reading of that scene in the Abbey or am I the only one who was initially obtuse?

    • #6841
      maureenanne
      Participant

      Not sure if I am remembering it correctly but I thought she was trying to recreate Jamie’s rape by black jack. Can’t remember how far she went with this before he began to fight back. He saw her breasts and though of his mother. Can’t remember if they actually had sex. Now I have to go back and re-read…

    • #6843
      conniebv
      Participant

      I don’t think they got to full penetration, from what I remember he started choking her….

      • #6851
        rachely
        Participant

        I don’t think they did either…or else there’d be a weird Oedipus thing I’d rather not think about.

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