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March 07 2008

(SPOILER) Scott Allie comments on Buffy #12 and Whedonesque's reactions. Scott updates his Buffy column on the DH site and talks on this very blog's take on the "event". Plus he explains why the NYT/ABC interviews came to be.

I get the Dark Horse company's necessity for the Times article, but from a storytelling point-of-view, it's actually made it a bigger deal than it should've.

Would ABC have picked up on it had the Times not ran the interview? Maybe, but also maybe not. Is Buffy S8 really on a national radar like that? It's not exactly the unmasking (and then forced remasking and universe-changing, but that's a rant for another time) of Spider-Man or the death of Captain America.
I think Scott and the team did perfectly right.

And regarding the stir i think, that one pleasurable night sad and lonely Buffy shared with Satsu, the slayer, having a crush on her, will stay a standalone thing. And i find it perfectly fitting and artistically very well done. First I liked the whole cinnamon lipstick mystery, later on Buffy talking to satsu during that fight in the graveyard, I really loved how hard buffy tried to do the right thing after having realized how Satsu was in love with her, trying so hard avoiding to hurt her, and at the same moment that expression between hope and hurt on satsus face (very well done, Georges, thank you!), and it was all about parting, and then her tears and then ... absolutely hilarious!

Latest issues I could get here in Germany last week is #10 and 11. I hugely enjoyed them, especially the dialogue between Willow, Buffy and Robin. I've been waiting for years that the conflicts between the friends would be adressed in a proper way, and the ending was so sad, when they left, sadly, wordless, in different directins. Robins words were so beautifully chosen. I hope the real Robin enjoys the comic and her own strength, to keep the demons that must have been put into her by bad people under control.

Yes it's true, again I shed a few tears over those pages.

Frankly, I do not quite understand that Twilight guy. Is his main strength flying and knowing, having observed much stuff, so he will be able to morally corrupt buffy?

I'm looking forward to "Wolves at the Gate".
it's actually made it a bigger deal than it should've.


Well to those who had a better memory than me, what was the press coverage like when Buffy got together with Angel and then Spike?
Simon, I'm not from the US and I started to follow Buffy in real time since Season 5 onwards, so I can be wrong, but I don't remember national press or TV stations picking up on Buffy news in either of those cases. Or better, in 8 years of fandom, I haven't seen any video or recollection of it. Let's be honest, if Buffy had hooked up with the Immortal or Randow New Guy there would've been hardly any coverage from the NYT. It's all because it's a girl she slept with, and this is a sign of the poor, double standard-afflicted times we're living.
I couldn't agree more, Perseo.
Buffy/Angel got a fair bit of magazine coverage in Australia.. not really the same though I suppose.
I appreciated Scott taking the time to respond to concerns.
The only time Buffy got more press than usual was when the WB decided to delay the final episode of season three because it featured the graduating class blowing up the school. This came a few weeks after the Columbine shootings. They delayed "Earshot" for the same reason.
Even though the Times and ABC have issued stories on Buffy #12, it's almost a relief we haven't seen more coverage and attention towards it by the mainstream media. I'm hoping we have a loud and brief murmur, then move on to worrying about gas prices, mortgages and who will be President.
Spoiled via the RSS feed again! Damn!
I agree, it's always nice to have publicity but only to a certain degree, especially because this is unfortunately a tricky subject and very easy to trivialize and misread.

It's nice of Scott to dot the i's and cross the t's, but I wish there wasn't need to. This is a double-edged sword for DH. More sales (maybe), more ranting from the fans.
Joss and Darkhorse took the approach they did because they knew that to risk not doing it that way would be wrong for them. It's their story and they wanted to control the reaction. I thought it was a very professional approach.

As Scott said, I've no doubt that Drew, Joss and the team know what they are doing and will deliver us a fantastic arc. Joss and Drew may have us jumping to conclusions before we know how it's going to play out and that may be exactly the way they want it.
And it's a bold, gutsy way to storytell, because it's not pandering to the fans or trying to please them with what they already know. We always go back to "what they need, not what they want" with Joss and his writers. I, for one, love that Season 8 is taking risks and going places instead of being fluff self-contained stories about ineffectual little-bads that confirm the status quo. If stories don't bring about change to the situation they started up with, they don't work. That's why I don't understand fans who say the characters don't ring true anymore.. characters need to evolve to stay alive.
Well, I seem to remember that studies on this area say that there are quite a lot of woman having at least experimented with other sexual orientations. Don't see a reason why buffy could not fall into this category, taking her past. So it is not totally out of character for me. Question is, if angel was her true love (and her final destiny) staying like this might negate a lot of the past history. But anyhow, the man at the helmet is someone else. So the only real question here, do we like it or not.
It's true, and not just women only. Anyhow, I don't see this one-night stand as a change of sexuality.. I see it as a request for warmth. For a link with someone else, and sex is the highest, most intimate link with someone. It doesn't matter that she's a woman, it matters that she's close to Buffy. It must be a woman because after all, the Slayers are the closest thing to Buffy's heart right now.

About Angel, we all think our first love is our one true love and final destiny. Doesn't mean they really are. I never saw Joss saying one way or the other, and I think Chosen was an open door for both options. Getting back together in the future or not. And EVEN IF Buffy gets with Satsu, why does it negate her past with Angel ? She loved him back then.
I was kinda concerned about the issue going into #12, but it was handled great. My faith with Joss remains STRONG.
I do remember, however, vacationing in Florida, on the Monday/Tuesday that "Surprise" and "Innocence" aired. There's actually a photo of me holding up a newspaper, on which is a sprawling photo of Buffy and Angel kissing. Can't make out the headline (or even which section it's in), but I guess they did get *some* media attention.

I, too, add my voice to the happy department, in terms of this development. I'm very interested to see what happens!
I agree with snugels that it's just a realistic description of sexual experimentation (from Buffy's side). So it's not such a big thing to me. The interesting part is that Buffy really gave in, while she always appeared (and will certainly stay generally) as outright straight.

So the headlines might be bigger for those, who forgot about these former Buffy-Faith vibes.

With one one-night-stand like this, a sad person speaking out truly, a person in love, clinging on every sign that it still might happen, I can't see any manipulation-abuse scenario going on at the moment, leaving alone of Spuffy-like dimensions.

I'm looking forward to see how the Satsu-Buffy relationship will develop. Will there be tears? A few more shared nights? Or a comparatively mature and peaceful solution, with more solace than harm .....?

[ edited by cleveland on 2008-03-07 14:03 ]
I think Scott might have directed some of his comments in his article at comments I made on the original thread. I was the one arguing that they made it a "very special issue" by letting the comic stores know to order extra. Well, that is interesting. :-)
Perseo yeah it is a gutsy way to tell a story and isn't that's why everyone loved Whedon's stories? because they weren't afraid to stand on the field where most others were hiding and trying to blend in with everyone else in the bleachers (stadium seats).

As for poor little Satsu. What about she's manipulating Buffy and letting Buffy think she's in control. I think Buffy is going to end up hurt by Satsu with her Japanese name connected to this Japanese arc. It sure sounds like Scott is saying saying don't get all excited about it we've made it look like something but actually it's nothing and nothing bad.
I'm actually mellowing a little about this. At first, I disliked it very much -- not because Buffy slept with a girl, but because it was /so/ sudden and jarringly out of nowhere -- but through conversations here, I see that it could be turned to a balance of power theme, paralleling in some respects the Xander/Renee relationship. After all, why else would he ask her out in this issue, if the two were not in some way related?

So... I'm going to be optimistic about where this goes. I really wish we'd seen more build up to it so my initial reaction could've been more positive but I'm going to hope that it all ends up being something I'll really like.

[ edited by swanjun on 2008-03-07 14:16 ]
Of course, they could have got Joss's view out there by posting something on their own website. I'd have loved to have seen if the mainstream media would have picked up on this without them going to so much trouble to make sure it did get noticed in the first place.
I'm not mellowing so much as just feeling a little ambivalent abuot the Buffy character right now. I think the sexuality is a red-herring, a convenient way to pigeonhole all negative reaction to this, despite the fact that Scott Allie explicitly said that Buffy was *using this girl who loves her*. That's just... okay, apparently.

And, yeah, I didn't like how random it seemed -- how Buffy never diverted from her "no" in 8.11 but apparently somehow decided she was horny/lonely/curious enough (again, all inferred from Scott's and Joss' interview) to change her mind *off-screen*. I'd have much rather Buffy been moved to give into those feeling in an emotional context -- like, go for the kiss in the infirmary in 8.11, for instance. Instead, she gave in to those urges with no context at all. And that was upsetting.
It's good of him to respond, even if it's basically pointless IMO. Those that want to think it's a stunt will continue to do so, probably moreso the more vehement the denials and those that don't won't - again, probably irrespective of evidence.

As i've said, i'm happy to assume Joss and Drew did it because that's where the story took them (certainly until i've read it anyway) but, not being idiots or naive about the difference between what should happen (no fuss because everyone's totally cool with same gender sex) and what actually will happen (this much fuss because they're not), realised that with that story comes controversy and opportunity. Dark Horse have managed both quite well - fair play to them, they're not a charity, they're trying to make money (as well as create great comics).

That's why I don't understand fans who say the characters don't ring true anymore.. characters need to evolve to stay alive.

Evolution isn't the same as jarring inconsistency though (just pointing it out since I personally think the characterisations are spot on for the most part).

The Buffy/Satsu thing is stretching her character on paper IMO but it's all down to a) how it's done (still haven't read it, bloody work, boo ;) and b) how it's followed up as to whether it's inconsistency or evolution. I don't mind not liking her for a bit if that's how it goes, that comes with the sickle (I didn't for large parts of season 7 for instance).
I'm not sure they think it's /okay/ for her to have done it. Hopefully they'll explore the various ways in which it wasn't.
I haven't received issue 12 yet or had a chance to read the other threads concerning this, but with all the assertive convincing that Buffy did in issue 11, I kept thinking, "Yep, she's getting feelings, too, but fighting it hard." So it's not a surprise that the next issue finds them in bed.

I haven't had a chance to go through 11 with Robin yet, either. She's had a rough week and wouldn't remember any of it if I did.

Edited to clarify: I WAS surprised to see them in bed, but it was a pleasant surprise, like "Whoa, cool twist!" rather than a negative shock.

[ edited by JerrodBalzer on 2008-03-07 15:25 ]
I just now got our first letter of comment on the issue, from a reader who likened the scene in question to sexually explicit fan fiction, and said that if this becomes a regular thing he'll stop reading the book. Of course I hope he sticks around . . .


You heard him, start writing letters saying that you want more issues that equate to sexually explicit fanfic or we're never getting any more hot Slayer-on-Slayer action!!! Joking, of course. I respect that some people may have this reaction, but I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed by it. You gotta have some faith in the folks who brought us 7 previous incredible seasons. When was the last time Joss and team failed to pay attention to every little nuance of a situation? Not often and the very specific reaction shots and even placement of characters within scenes in the comic is a testament to the fact that they know what they are doing. If this totally blindsided you, it might be time to go back and read Season 8 again. While it may not be wholly expected, its been teased since, what, issue 2? And if anyone thinks that what we saw really equates to sexually explicit fanfic, let me assure you that that was All Ages compared to real sexually explicit fanfic. Really, network TV in the US goes further than what we saw in issue #12.


The Buffy/Satsu thing is stretching her character on paper IMO but it's all down to a) how it's done (still haven't read it, bloody work, boo ;) and b) how it's followed up as to whether it's inconsistency or evolution. I don't mind not liking her for a bit if that's how it goes, that comes with the sickle (I didn't for large parts of season 7 for instance).


Hear hear. And I fully expect follow up on the issues at play here (Buffy's sexuality, power and authority as it relates to relationships, the potential abuse of that power inherent in X/R and B/S, etc.). If we don't see any of this, then forget everything I said and forget that Josh Wheldon guy ;)
A common criticism of late season Buffy is that people had to read the interviews to follow what the story was supposed to be. So again here we have Joss promising us that this doesn't make Buffy gay, rather than trusting the story as written to get that point across.
If this totally blindsided you, it might be time to go back and read Season 8 again. While it may not be wholly expected, its been teased since, what, issue 2?
I absolutely picked up on Satsu's feelings all along - I just didn't expect that she'd actually get anywhere with Buffy.

And if anyone thinks that what we saw really equates to sexually explicit fanfic, let me assure you that that was All Ages compared to real sexually explicit fanfic.
Seriously!
zeitgeist/Saje/et al, I agree with about 98% of everything that's been posted so far. Except the person who wrote the letter. I don't mean this in a mean way, but if they really think this issue in any way resembled "sexually explicit fan fiction", they should go out and actually read some of that; after that, if they still can't tell the difference, they probably should stop reading the comic, 'cause it's over their heads.
A common criticism of late season Buffy is that people had to read the interviews to follow what the story was supposed to be. So again here we have Joss promising us that this doesn't make Buffy gay, rather than trusting the story as written to get that point across.


Really? Was that a common criticism? I don't recall seeing that before. I don't think that it was necessary to read interviews to know what was going on. I have always found, however, that coming to Whedonesque to discuss an episode/issue afterwards definitely helped me to see it from all sides and pick up on anything that I may have missed. Its like rewatching/rereading with subtitles that say "HEY, LOOK AT THAT!!!". But I don't think it was ever required that you read interviews to follow the storyline and I don't think that way now.

And I don't think Joss isn't trusting the story, I think he's reeling in some people who may've been thrown by it and not inclined to stick around and see where the story goes. With comics the wait is longer to see the payoff and a lot of people are going to their comic shop specifically for this, so I think he felt that they would be less likely to make the trip and go out of their way than to sit in front of the show next week to see how it plays out. Make sense?
All the media attention is a lot like the unexpected attention Buffy and Satsu got! Except the media attention is a little more orchestrated, and, I would guess, welcomed.
I wouldn't say interviews are required to understand the story. But any discourse, whether interviews or the comments here on Whedonesque, can sometimes provide fresh perspectives. For example, in the Newsarama interview, Joss said: "They’re both wondering if they’re going to get hurt or if they’re going to hurt the other person, and whether or not they should have done it." Some here have commented on how Buffy is using Satsu, but I hadn't really considered that the same could be said for Satsu. She knows Buffy is lonely, feeling disconnected, and drawn to her. Satsu could easily be worried that she--Satsu--took advantage of Buffy, rather than the other way around.
Sorry, I meant it's something I've commonly seen online and that naturally reflects places I visit. However, if you want to see discussion of it just pop by the Buffy threads at TWoP where it is a frequently mentioned complaint. Personally I was always happy to go by what I saw on screen and ignore any authorial 'clarification' and for the most part I think I got what the writers were trying to say. Hey, I actually got that Spike wanted a soul all along just from watching the show.

Bottom line I hate that we have interviews stressing how this is so not a big deal and that it doesn't actually mean anything has changed with Buffy while acting as a huge advertisement saying 'buy this comic, it's got Buffy in bed...WITH A GIRL!!!1111!'
Satsu could easily be worried that she--Satsu--took advantage of Buffy, rather than the other way around.


Absolutely. Its something I wondered if (and was hoping that) we would see acknowledged or explored from the get-go. Satsu knows Bufy doesn't normally swing that way, so in a very real sense, she is inviting some future heartache on herself (and using Buffy). Spike likewise used Buffy as she was using him, all the while hoping against hope that it would lead somewhere. I feel for Satsu and Spike.
I get it-I do really understand why the NYT article, etc. I just wish it wasn't necessary at all. Sort of like the reason Joss gave (in the Equality Now speech) about writing strong female characters. For me this has very little to do with the "controversy" and everything to do with exceptional story-telling.

I think Season 8 is going in a really interesting direction. Aside from that, I'm interested in the moral ambiguity in an entire army of slayers and all the repercussions Buffy never could have foreseen. I absolutely loved that bit in the last issue about Buffy's moral certainty being shaken. It's an awesome twist!

I think based on the character development, this is all very organic. In short, I dig it. Way.
And if anyone thinks that what we saw really equates to sexually explicit fanfic, let me assure you that that was All Ages compared to real sexually explicit fanfic. Really, network TV in the US goes further than what we saw in issue #12.


I laughed when I read the part about that letter. The scenes between Buffy and Satsu were more emotional than sexual and if I'd been rating them, I wouldn't give it more than a PG-13 or an FRT. Frankly, the scenes between Buffy/Riley or Buffy/Spike in the televised series were more sexually explicit as compared to issue #12.
Frankly, the scenes between Buffy/Riley or Buffy/Spike in the televised series were more sexually explicit as compared to issue #12.

And I suspect there are plenty of heterosexual males for whom this is the chief complaint about this particular twist. :-)
I haven't read the book yet, but I'm very excited about this development.

I have always been very frustrated with how un-nuanced Willow's coming out was. I mean, she loves Oz, Oz dumps her, she falls in love with Tara, and then she's a No-Men-Ever-I'm-Gay lesbian? It's so possible to fall in love with a woman and not be gay, so I've been frustrated that we didn't get to see this play out more with Willow. There are so many more degrees than gay and not-gay.

Thank you Joss!
Why are so many people assuming that this is going to be just a one-night stand? Just because Buffy said they should leave it at one wonderful night, as the song says, it ain't necessarily going to play out that way. She did tell Satsu in the first place that nothing was going to happen, and she told Spike that she would never have sex with him, and we all know how those worked out. Very often people make intelligent, reasoned decisions about the best route to follow, and then the heat comes on and the reasoning part of the brain just gets totally detached (sort of like the saucer part of the Enterprise in the pilot episode of TNG.)
The whole issue was spectacular. Nuff said!
Why are so many people assuming that this is going to be just a one-night stand?


I think people are reading that into what Joss has had to say about the issue in interviews. Of course, there are other ways to read what he's saying, but that coupled (no pun intended) with what Buffy is saying makes it seem so.
Well, Joss said that they're not turning Buffy gay, and I suspect have her repeating the act with Satsu would strongly lean in that direction. From how Drew proposed the thing to Joss, that it would be a spontaneous spurt of the moment.. I'm not feeling the encore. Could be way wrong, though. We'll see.
...a spontaneous spurt of the moment...

Paging Dr Freud, Dr Freud to the front desk please.

;-)
Saje, I was paging him myself while I was writing that!
See how I didn't even comment on that? I think I've grown as a person ;) Although I did giggle in an undignified manner while reading it, so...
No, if you read the interviews it's clear that it wasn't a spontaneous spurt, that rather it was a long time coming.
As a lesbian fan & scholar of the Buffyverse, I was delighted to see Buffy and Satsu sexually and emotionally entangled. Whether this is a one-night or one-year or ongoing "friends with benefits" relationship, the characters are moving forward. This brings Satsu into the forefront in contrast to the throng of Slayers in the background. /She/ now has as much (or more) room for development as (than) Buffy herself. For all we know, Satsu could develop into one of the most powerful characters in the Buffyverse. I appreciated Hee's comment regarding the Japanese enemy / Japanese lover coincidence--that is, how can this possibly be a coincidence? In some way, Whedon, et al. are going to have to deal with race politics in a way that (as many Whedon scholars and critics have noted) was not paramount in the television show. This plot development opens numerous doors for potential conflict, struggle, and resolution (or not), and I for one am eager to see where the story will take us. Finally, for me, the intensity I loved about the television show is back. Let's go to work! Thanks Joss!
Jclemens, it was planned from the writers' POV, not from Buffy's.

Zeitgeist, how mature of you:-)
zeitgeist - only because Saje beat you to it! ;)
Carry on Whedonesque.
No, I deliberately held off for many, many seconds before Saje commented. Does it count as restraint if I guessed that he would make the comment for me? ;)

Somewhat topically (meta-topically?), here we are in a thread discussing a link that discusses our discussion of a link that the person talking in this link was involved in. Dizzy yet? Round and round we go. Great discussion the past few days, however, good on you all.

ETA - menomegirl - why are you exclaiming one users name at another user? (joke!)

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2008-03-07 19:15 ]
zeitgeist-Right there with you. ;)

jclemens-Hee!

zeitgeist-LOL!

[ edited by menomegirl on 2008-03-07 19:23 ]
So zeitgeist, you are saying there is a connection between Whedonesque and Satsu?

[ edited by Lioness on 2008-03-07 19:18 ]
No, and you cannot draw me back into Ben/Glory River/Chocolate either, so don't even try ;)
I finally got to read the issue...totally great stuff.

However, I think the excitement that followed the big reveal was way more fun though. I could totally visualize all the actors stumbling into the room one at a time and getting awesome reaction shots from each. (btw--am I the only one that didn't realize it was Andrew doing the superman scene while flying Willow Airlines? I had to immediately turn back a few pages to re-read his lines in "his voice.")
Let me throw out an idea or thought that really isn't mine, that I read elsewhere. Many people have commented on a couple of things with regard to Buffy sleeping with Satsu; one is that this is an age when that kind of experimentation may take place and that sexuality can be fluid, and the second is that when we are feeling alone and unconnected, this can happen to forge a connection and to obtain some comfort and solace. Let's accept these comments as true for the moment.

So, from that perspective, Buffy and Satsu makes sense. But- really, we have been here before. For one, we got to see Willow develop feelings for Tara and ultimately come to grips with them over a lengthy period of time (wich was not the case here at all- oh, we knew Satsu had interest in Buffy, but certainly not the reverse until last issue), and we also saw a more aggresive Kennedy win over Willow. In Joss's world, girl-on-girl is not unique or even unusual. There are now 4 real lesbians- Willow, Tara, Kennedy, and Satsu. To that we add a one-off Buffy. But, here is the thing- why don't we see two men fall into bed together for the comfort they bring each other,for the solace (and no on the Spangel here, please)? Why is it always gay women? It is not brave, it is not novel, it is not unusual, though all of the press here has been about Buffy sleeping with a woman; none of the press has been about the actual story. And the only "gay" male is ambiguously gay and played that for humor. I think it is time to be really brave.
I personally think women are able to 'get away with' more in terms of their orientation than men. If Buffy sleeps with a woman, but it is made clear that she is not gay, people take it at face value. People tend to assume that a guy who has sex with another guy can't be anything but gay.
Hee, jclemens ;).

Ah restraint, someone told me about that once. The fruit though, it hangs low and is so easily reached ;).

I think it's fairly clearly true that female on female sex is more widely accepted than male-male but i'm not sure that's the point. Andrew being the only (ostensibly) gay male, a male-male scene would have to be shoehorned in, it really would be about "The Point !" (TM), about "having gay male sex in a mainstream comic" and not just a natural story development. If we're to believe Joss/Drew/Scott Allie then this wasn't about bravery (though I guess it took some) it was simply about where Buffy is and where she's going.
Maybe, with the characters as established, it would be too hard to get m/m relationships in Buffy at this point.

However... maybe we'll get them in Dollhouse? Although the nature of that story kind of precludes long-term, if the Dolls themselves are involved.
There's an idea. The concept of adding a different sexuality onto a blank slate every time is intriguing.
Maybe, with the characters as established, it would be too hard to get m/m relationships in Buffy at this point.


Some would have said that about Buffy prior to W/T.
It makes one wonder what the clients will be like. Private citizens? I'm imagining bittersweet scenarios where a lonely gay fellow /finally/ finds the right guy, then the time is up.

Can they pay again to get that same personality brought back again? Like.. a recurring contract?
"Maybe, with the characters as established, it would be too hard to get m/m relationships in Buffy at this point."

Not really, if Buffy can suddenly be up for experimentation why couldn't some of the male characters. I mean they could just stop using Andrew as a joke character and actually delve into his sexuality if they wanted to but I'm not holding my breath.

Andrew being the only (ostensibly) gay male, a male-male scene would have to be shoehorned in, it really would be about "The Point !" (TM), about "having gay male sex in a mainstream comic" and not just a natural story development.

Sorry, I don't see how this would be any more shoehorned than Buffy and Satsu and actually less so in that Andrew isn't the title character so there would always be less emphasis on any of his storylines. But it doesn't have to be Andrew, Xander could experiment seeing as that's what people do in their youth.
I get what you're saying, helcat, and I agree that this Buffy thing feels shoehorned to me, too. I guess I'm just hoping there won't be /further/ shoehorning, at least for a while.

[ edited by swanjun on 2008-03-07 21:09 ]
My point is helcat that with Andrew being the only gay male (in the village ;) and Andrew, Xander and Giles being basically the only males full-stop then you'd have to fit either Xander or Giles into the role. If they'd done it from the start then fine I guess you could make it fly but then it would still be about "having gay male sex in a mainstream comic" because, frankly, Xander has plenty of other options if he's just lonely and isolated and wanting to get laid and Giles is far outside the "experimenting" stage agewise.

Can they pay again to get that same personality brought back again? Like.. a recurring contract?

Sure, if the money's right, right ?

The 'Dollhouse' idea is just so fertile and that's yet another direction it can go down i.e. is sexuality cultural or genetic (or rather, what's the balance because it seems pretty evident there's a mix, as with most things) ? Would a naturally gay active feel "off" or maybe even disgusted at some fundamental level if they were used for straight sex ? And what about a naturally hetero active ?

Some would have said that about Buffy prior to W/T.

I think in some ways that's made it harder. Obviously in fiction more stuff happens to fewer people than in real life but if you have a character that's apparently hetero and becomes gay can you really do it again ? It'd still feel like shoehorning to me.
"Buffy" as a franchise has already been the bold and ground-breaking series about sexual orientation -- if there's any series that *doesnt'* have anything to prove, it's this one.

Besides, isn't the real point that these people are orientationless, genderless? Men are no better than women or vice-versa, gay is no better than straight or vice versa? There shouldn't be a quest for quotas or something. And, if you think I'm mistaken, well, you've got one ostensibly gay male character and (with Giles not really around) one straight male character. Wouldn't you need them both in the interest of full diversity?
Oh I agree the comic Buffyverse is very lacking in male characters which would make the move tough unless they actually took the time to introduce more male characters but would that really be so hard to do? It'd probably be an easier fit into the AtS comics but I don't see that happening either (and I believe BL has said as much on his website) and while I think it would be a braver move all round it'd now be a mistake after the hoop-la over Buffy/Satsu.

"but if you have a character that's apparently hetero and becomes gay can you really do it again ?"

Well seemingly you can so long as this time it's just about the sex and not a change in orientation.
I'm not saying it wouldn't feel shoehorned if it was main cast, aside from introducing someone for Andrew. Just saying whats good for two geese may just as well be good for two ganders. And no, I don't expect Xander to lay down with Andrew any time soon (though I suspect Andrew has thought about it ;)).
But, here is the thing- why don't we see two men fall into bed together for the comfort they bring each other,for the solace (and no on the Spangel here, please)? Why is it always gay women? It is not brave, it is not novel, it is not unusual, though all of the press here has been about Buffy sleeping with a woman; none of the press has been about the actual story. And the only "gay" male is ambiguously gay and played that for humor. I think it is time to be really brave.


I couldn't have said that better myself. I once had hope they'd do that on Ats but alas.
I couldn't have said that better myself. I once had hope they'd do that on Ats but alas.

Yeah, but you just want it for slashy reasons ;)
Well, of course! But I'd love it as great story, too.
"Besides, isn't the real point that these people are orientationless, genderless?"

I don't think the aim is to portray characters as being orientationless or genderless. I have always thought that the slayers being female was a fairly integral element of the mythology . I also don't think you need to aim for gender neutrality and no defined orientation in order to espouse equality. I've no interest in quotas but it is valid to point out that this terribly brave show seems to have embraced lesbian characters in a way that it hasn't male gay characters and maybe wonder aloud why that is.
KoC, you say "Besides, isn't the real point that these people are orientationless, genderless?" Well, not really. Willow really is not, right? She is a gay women, end of story, and that is indeed now canon, as Joss has said it (not that I am a canon king or anything, just making a point).

They could introduce a love interest for Andrew if they wanted, and they could make it serve the story, because that is what they do, right? :-) But I doubt this will happen.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-03-07 22:40 ]
... seems to have embraced lesbian characters in a way that it hasn't male gay characters and maybe wonder aloud why that is.

Statistical accuracy ? ;-)

Well seemingly you can so long as this time it's just about the sex and not a change in orientation.

Heh, yep fair point but the thing is, with the characters we have to play with, it wouldn't just be about the sex because why would Xander fall into bed with Andrew when he's surrounded by numerous pretty much exclusively gorgeous young women ?

And if you introduce another character for Andrew to bed then isn't that a lot of engineering to NOT make a point (because remember the idea is not to make a point but just to tell a story) ? If it's just incidental (the story point I mean, not the act itself) then frankly who cares enough for it to be worth all the scaffolding required ? Buffy's the "star" so if she's lonely and isolated it's news - if it's Andrew then it's plain old dog bites man.

[ edited by Saje on 2008-03-07 22:00 ]
But the characters they have to play with are the characters that Joss has introduced. He gets to choose whether to limit the male characters to Giles, Andrew and Xander or whether to allow other male characters to play an active role in the verse. It is as it is because that's the choice Joss made. So, yeah, I still think that Buffy/Satsu isn't actually driven by telling a story, I think it's driven by a 'what would make an awesome and unexpected plot twist that we can then make a fuss about in the media'.

Introducing a character to pair up with Andrew would be no less 'engineering' as the convenient arrival of Kennedy in season 7 to pair up with Willow.
Re: male/male sex. One show doesn't have to do it all. Buffy has always been about female empowerment moreso than male empowerment. I should think that would transfer to the sexual realm as well. If Andrew has a lover at some point, that's great. But, for me, this is not a necessity for the show. I think we may see some male/male development in the Firefly / Serenity comic. Meanwhile... there's Torchwood at least...
I'll be damned. As far as a gay male relations on TV, I found out that there really is one, that it has been around for a few months now, that is a real love story not played for laughs, and it is creating some controversy. It is on, of all shows, As the World Turns, a soap opera, and features the characters of Luke and Noah. No kisses allowed yet, which is where the controversy comes in. But man, here it is on a TV soap, and Joss cannot figure out how to move beyond what hetero guys fantasize about?

ETA: willowcedar, you posted as I was writing. Let me add, nothing is necessary for the show. It is all writing decisions, and Joss could make this decision as much as any other.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-03-07 22:45 ]
I think this treads on what some people have expressed concerns about in the other thread. Are we equating female empowerment with women sleeping with other women? I mean Joss certainly doesn't have to have m/m pairings to convince any of us of his cred re: equality. And its also certainly true that the Buffy/Satsu plot gives us more meat for dissecting Buffy's character and where she is at emotionally and psychically.
That's true Dana5140: i.e. that nothing is necessity. Still... The Buffy / Satsu plot makes more sense now (given all the Slayers) than an Andrew / lover plot would have. Do you watch Torchwood?
what hetero guys fantasize about?


We do? I fantasize about chip butties but two women sleeping together not so much.
zeitgeist, I wouldn't say "equating"--I just meant that it makes sense for the show to focus on Buffy and on female sexuality given the general focus on female power in the show--especially with the "Are you ready to make a choice" / share the power moment that led to all these Slayers.
Since people will no doubt wonder: Chip Butty link.
Apparently it doesn't matter if you are "straight or gay" Dana. Switching sides can just be about "experimenting" with an open mind...so we really don't know what will happen with the rest of these characters. Xander must be pretty closed minded not to be "experimenting" with Andrew. ALL the male characters must be closed minded to never have given it a go. Xander and Oz, Xander and Andrew...heck, Giles and Ethan were around the same age, they could have went at it too.
willowcedar - dig, I'm with you.
I'm personally a Spike-shipper with a deep respect for Angel, but I'm also really loving the possibility of a whole Buffy/Xander thing. Having said that, I trust Joss completely. When he's in complete creative control he's an absolute genius. The only project he had control over that I didn't at least like was season one of Buffy. Pretty much everything sucked about that season from the writing to the acting. Other than those twelve episodes he (for the most part) hasn't failed to entertain us. Sure over the years we've all disagreed with the importance of different characters or where certain story arcs ultimately ended up. But we've always returned for another visit to these worlds that Joss has created because at the end of the day he accomplishes what he sets out to do. Tell a damn fine story.
Yeah and lets be honest, not those crap fries you get in the States. Those wishy washy little wisps of a chip. Chip butties are real man's stuff, thin blocks of potatoes fried in beef fat. And served in an bap. With butter. Gorgeous.

Anyhoo back to the ongoing saga of Buffy #12. Btw y'all forgot about Torchwood and two blokes snogging. It works when the plot requires it, not just cause there's two blokes snogging for the sake of it. Same for Buffy #12 I guess, Buffy and Satsu work. It moves the plot along. And hey if you don't like it don't read it. Vote with your wallet.
With you on both counts, Simon ;)
The very best thing I've heard about (I've not really been following this saga as I'd rather stick nails in my eyeballs) is slash fanfic writers complaining about this turn of events. 'cause, you know, Buffy licking clits left right and center = fine, respectful handling of the aftermath of getting laid = bad. Or something.
(Whoa! Got a little graphic there Gossi!)

Simon--Oh my goodness...a french fry sandwich???!!! (And what's a bap?)

And to chime in on the Andrew topic, I think people are quick to assume Andrew is gay. I think he's just shy when it comes to the ladies as a result of his ultimate geekyness. The perfect ending to his story must have him living happily every after with his (non-slayer) super model bride.
The thing about Xander is that we don't know he is 100 percent straight. Remember, Joss deliberately Xander in the early seasons to be possibly gay. And remember in "Intervention", Xander started to describe Spike in a very fondly way. We also don't know what Xander and Dracula did in their "year" together. From the preview and "Antique",it seems that Dracula and Xander had a close relationship. I wouldn't be surprised if their relationship was deeper than meets the eye.

Edit: I would like to say, that I don't think it's likely they did anything intimately. It's just a possibility, but it won't come out of left field or right field or whatever field it comes out of.

[ edited by crazygolfa on 2008-03-07 23:30 ]

[ edited by crazygolfa on 2008-03-07 23:31 ]
The very best thing I've heard about (I've not really been following this saga as I'd rather stick nails in my eyeballs) is slash fanfic writers complaining about this turn of events.


I was, too. What's even better is that the Bangel and the Spuffy 'shippers finally agree on something.

Same for Buffy #12 I guess, Buffy and Satsu work. It moves the plot along. And hey if you don't like it don't read it. Vote with your wallet.


Agreed.

And I think this post is now racier than issue #12.

;)

crazygolfa-Xander also had quite the thing for Riley. ;)
Don't worry I have no temptation to buy this comic at all.
zeitgeist: "Since people will no doubt wonder: Chip Butty link."

Thanks for that, zeitgeist, Chip Buttys are exactly what I thought they might be, and now I am more a'scared than I've been throughout this whole Batsu brouhaha, which is saying something.


gossi: "I've not really been following this saga as I'd rather stick nails in my eyeballs..."

Yes, almost exactly where I'm at, goss, 'cept I say, "gouge out my own eyeballs and eat them..." - but we're really on the same page here. ; >

As always, though, I look forward to reading the issue and caring about Joss' characters, as I have all along. The rest of this all... makes me tired and a little squinchy. Maybe if I have a Chip Butty I'll feel better, but I doubt it.
Chip Butties can cure pretty much anything.

And what's a bap?

A bap is like a cob.

And since Simon brought it up, saw this in the Metro. Even by my (Scottish) standards I think this may be a deep fried step too far.
When Joss went to Edinburgh for the EIFF in 2005, I heard from a friend he was after a deep fried Mars bar...

Even I haven't had one of those.
Y'know when super-heated pizza cheese (especially out of a microwave) gets stuck to the roof of your mouth ? It's like that but made from diabetes instead of milk.
Ok, when the Burns supper page was loading I totally thought it was from a Simpsons episode that I hadn't seen yet.

[ edited by MadeToLoveJoss on 2008-03-08 00:56 ]
A deep fried Mars bar? Double ew. I just cannot imagine that. Ew. *shudders*
"And to chime in on the Andrew topic, I think people are quick to assume Andrew is gay". I believe that Joss has said that Andrew is gay but hasn't quite realized it himself. Quoter Gal? Can you confirm that for me?
Deep Fried Creme Eggs. Yum. Do you suppose there will be any left when I head over in 3 weeks?
Saje--Ok, now you're just messing with me! The only cob I know is at the center of an ear of corn.

Baps, cobs...??? From what I know of the sentence context, either its a basket-style container or a round bread like a pita.
It's a bun or a roll.
It's just a bread roll alexreager ;). ETA: Caroline pipped me to it ;).

(sort of appropriately for this thread "baps" is also a slang term for boobs in some parts of the UK)

Do you suppose there will be any left when I head over in 3 weeks?

Yeah, they're all over the place up to and a few weeks past Easter, should be plenty about. Whether you'll get anyone bar that maniac in Maidstone to fry one for you is another matter Lioness ;).

Ok, when the Burns supper page was loading I totally thought it was from a Simpsons episode that I hadn't seen yet.

With the lesser practiced 'Toast to the Nuclear Power Inspectorate' ;).

Haggis is one of those things you can praise til your blue in the face, once someone's found out what's in it, they're gonna have to taste it to really believe how nice it is.

[ edited by Saje on 2008-03-08 01:17 ]
Lioness, here's wot he said on whedonesque recently:

"Andrew's sexuality is always on the cusp of self-awareness because Andrew is stunted emotionally and because it's hilarious."

People still manage to find this ambiguous, however...
I seriously do not know what direction to take in this post. DO I talk Dark Horse, sex, chip butties or gay characters on television?!

Firstly, I was surprised this was Scott A's first visit, given that the Dark Horse page links directly to us. I do hope he enjoyed the visit and comes again soon. (jc, perseo and sage, don't go there!)

I do wonder if Scott 'got' the main point of the objections. For most of us it wasn't about the gay at all- it was about the abrupt turnaround in Buffy's emotions (Drew's decision, apparently) and the perception that she has taken advantage of Satsu. Joss may very WELL be my master, but it doesn't mean I have to agree with everything little thing he does.

As said, sexuality, especially in women, is never a done deal. (I spoke with my boyfriend and he says that if you want to send a hot chick to our door so I can test that theory, then go ahead! I'm game.) Buffy's adventures as a sexual tourist in Gayland may very well be a one-off. (Or a few-off. I mean, we all know about that slayer stamina.)
BUT at this stage, it looks an awful lot like hero worship on Satsu's part, and indifference on Buffy's.

I just hope that Satsu is NOT evil. Because then I'll have to raise ire about the cultural stereotyping of 'bad' characters. Still, there's a lot more of the tale to be told, so I'm hunkering down and on the 'wait and see' side.
And suddenly, have a strange hankering for a chip butty.
Ya Ya Scott. I believe you...actually wait a minute....I don't.

You ran that image all over the internet as far as the eye could see cos you knew it would create a talking point and it would sell more comics.


Yawn.
Simon- heterosexual male interest in lesbian porn has been well documented. That is in part why it has been more successful in mainstream media compared to gay male sex. So it is easy to add it to the Buffy mix- once again- and get the response that we have seen. I can imagine that had he made, say, Xander gay, the press would be different.

Willowcedar- I regret that I know nothing about Torchwood. From your comment, it would appear that a gay relation may exist. Is it serious, or is it played for laughs?

Andrew is coded as gay. Period. WHAT he is, we don't know. But the portrayal is as a gay male who does not recognize this in himself. I don't think that is highly arguable.

And chip butties? Never heard of 'em, but I want them.
I do wonder if Scott 'got' the main point of the objections. For most of us it wasn't about the gay at all- it was about the abrupt turnaround in Buffy's emotions (Drew's decision, apparently) and the perception that she has taken advantage of Satsu. Joss may very WELL be my master, but it doesn't mean I have to agree with everything little thing he does.


QFT, big time.

I've seen all sorts of forums pelted with completely fatuous arguments that all criticism of this story is rooted in that old battleaxe, homophobia. I've never met the thing and don't care to. I don't think fans' misgivings over this are no more or no less character-related than when Buffy kept Angel's return secret, slept with Parker on the (first? second?) date, tuned out her friends to be codependent with Riley, and used Spike as a sexual outlet for her self-loathing. In other words, it has nothing to do with anyone's politics, and everything to do with the character and what it means for her.

I would really love to have Joss or Scott just simply acknowledge that their audience is reacting to something now as legitimate as what we reacted to then. They are both right to ask that we be patient and trust the story. But I don't appreciate what I feel is the implication from the top down that people that have issues with this just have Issues with this or a bias rooted in their own prior 'shipping preferences (as I feel the CBR interview in particular implies).

This has great story potential. We have what are sure to be very intensely personal reactions to all this coming from Willow, Dawn, Xander -- we have the emotional fallout for Buffy and Satsu. We have room to speculate as to if or how this tells us anything about the events alluded to in "Anywhere But Here". And, as all of us do, the 'shippers will always find a way to hope for their story. So, no, this isn't and shouldn't be a crisis for the fandom, and the media attention will blow over after the same period of scrutiny that followed the Season 3 postponements and criticism of the content after the shootings at Columbine.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-08 03:01 ]
Are we still talking about this?
Oh, Dana, thanks for missing the point yet again - or finding something to complain about for the sake of it:

But, here is the thing- why don't we see two men fall into bed together for the comfort they bring each other, for the solace?

This is what slash is for! ;-)

But I'm only slightly kidding there. I think men can have random sex without the guilts far easier than women can. This makes the dynamics of the story completely different.

I think it's interesting that you've tried to turn the discussion away from the story and complained about another subject that would have equally been called stunty or exploitative or whatever if Xander had fallen into bed with a guy. It's not instructive to the discussion at hand to complain about why isn't it done with men? Because that isn't the story at hand. Also, answering why it's not done with men doesn't really tell us anything about this story.

The series is called "Buffy". Every episode of the show and the comic is about her and how she is emotionally affected. Even episodes that were about other characters, were tangentially about her. This issue is about Buffy very directly - it's not about "Why aren't they telling a story about two men?"

And the only "gay" male is ambiguously gay and played that for humor. I think it is time to be really brave.

I don't think Buffy (or any single series for that matter) is under any obligation to tell EVERY SINGLE KIND OF STORY IMAGINABLE merely to justify the story they are currently telling. Or else you'll have Scottish people complaining there's not enough storytelling about modern day Scotland in the comics - it's all about living in a castle!

As to "brave"... Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball was asked if straight actor Michael C Hall was brave for playing gay character David Fisher - his response was basically, "An actor isn't brave for playing gay. But it's an act of cowardice not to."

It wouldn't be brave of Joss et al to tell the gay male story, but it would be cowardice not to tell the gay female story they want to tell.
It wouldn't be brave of Joss et al to tell the gay male story, but it would be cowardice not to tell the gay female story they want to tell.


That is just brilliantly put, crossoverman. They've got the story they want to tell. They are clearly willing to take some chances with their audience's good will to tell it. I don't think there should be anybody saying "yeah, but..." to this and waiting for a "more" that Joss doesn't owe anybody.

ETA: clarify what I was responding to.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-08 05:29 ]
Personally I think it is too bad that Scott/Dark Horse feels the need to explain Joss' story decisions. For me the whole thing made perfect sense once I looked at it metaphorically: the saga is about Buffy, and in Season 8 Buffy's main concern has to do with the new slayers. She isn't looking for love, her focus is all on these young women and what they need. Who Xander, or Andrew, or anyone else sleeps with is only of interest if it either effects Buffy, or reinforces something in the main story.

Although I would adore an Andrew spin off! Maybe he could seduce Dracula and get him to help defeat Twilight? Unless he IS Twilight....
Actually, this was not my issue; as I noted, it was something I read elsewhere that I thought would make a fertile topic for discussion. Which it has. I haven't tried to do anything, let alone turn the discussion away from something- these are posting boards, so you don't have to respond to anything anyone says in particular. But truth is, I am feeling pretty beat up. Can I not raise these issues without someone attacking me rather than the issue? Please? Can't we all get along?

But while the story is called Buffy, it is not about Buffy alone, and never was. What gives the canon its resonance is the gestalt of the show, not any single character, even if Buffy is obviously the lead and the person around which events swirl. Just like Dollhouse will not solely be about Echo, but will include all the other characters we are only now learning about.
crossoverman - too harsh, tone it down, please. You could've found a way to say what you said that didn't come across as an attack on a fellow poster.
But truth is, I am feeling pretty beat up. Can I not raise these issues without someone attacking me rather than the issue? Please? Can't we all get along?

I apologise. I happen to think the issue you raised has little to do with the issue at hand, but sorry if I was too harsh.

Yes, it would be great to read a story about two men having random sex or comfort sex or a healthy long-term relationship. But because Buffy Season Eight lacks that, it's not a mark against these comics. That it's difficult to find these stories in mainstream media is a concern, but it's not impossible to find them. That Joss and Drew have chosen to tell this story shouldn't be denigrated because they haven't chosen to tell a completely different story.

But while the story is called Buffy, it is not about Buffy alone, and never was.

I didn't mean to imply it was about Buffy alone. I do believe it's about Buffy first and foremost - which is why it's called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and not "Buffy and Friends". It's certainly an ensemble piece, don't get me wrong. There are many other characters that are equally as fascinating as Buffy - and in some periods more interesting than her. But each episode comments on her, which is not necessarily true of the other characters.
I have three things to say on this matter:

#1: Joss' recent assertion in an interview that - wherein he defended this story twist - "all sexuality is fluid" is very presumptuous. Does he think himself a scientist? Psychological studies have shown that because women relate to sexuality through emotion it's much easier for them to be truly bisexual, this is true. But because men are all drive, it's damn near impossible (for them). Of course there can always be anomalies. One or way another, and the possibly of anomalies acknowledged, his claim is very broad. Does he hold any doctorates? Has he researched this? Has he talked to many people for whom sexuality is quite solid? I'm willing to bet that, the possibility being acknowledged by science, a lot of women still don't think themselves "fluid."

#2: I think Joss is a writer, a fine one, but still no scientist. What he produces is the result of his own mind only: it is his own view of the world, and nothing more. In essence it is his well-articulated opinion, rather than a researched and empirically proven fact. A thing is not fact simply because he depicts its existence.

#3: Like many here I didn't like the twist. There was nothing in the series to speak to the possibility of Buffy being bisexual. As an artist I admire Joss' tenacity in helping to normalize homosexuality in popular culture, but as a fan I'm disappointed that he did it at the expense of credible character development; this feels like Joss making a personal political point rather than telling a story.

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2008-03-08 05:53 ]
Ryan-RB - I believe that he was speaking specifically about Buffy and I guarantee you that the man has read up on the subject. As far as doctorates, I assume that you are being facetious. As Buffy is a woman and a fictional one at that, living in a fictional world created by Joss, I guess that his well articulated opinion is the be all end all for Buffy. If you re-read Season Eight I think that you will find the seeds were planted for this event going back quite a ways. Have you read #12? I was worried until I read it, but I think its believable/credible/whatevs. Given that, I don't think that Buffy is truly bisexual much less gay. I think that she was in dire need of comfort and wanted to look at herself through Satsu's eyes to discover what was lovable about herself.
I don't doubt he's read up on the subject. So have I. That doesn't mean I'd make such presumptuous claims. That doesn't make me a scientist. And as someone who lives in relative ignorance on the matter, I don't have the authority to make claims as bold as that, same as him.

As for character credibility we'll simply have to agree to disagree, though it's interesting that what you describe supports exactly the scientific notion of women relating to sexuality through emotion that I brought up. I just don't think the seeds were there in the comic, and the abruptness of its appearance speaks to poor storytelling. At least you're not accusing me of being a homophobe like some people here have been doing. Pleasant, if disagreeable discourse is always preferable. :)
I think a lot of folks see it as lining up with the sexuality through emotion bit, which is part of why I find it difficult to reject it out of hand. To me its plausible given her state. And I don't think that what Buffy does or doesn't do or a short interview with joss gives you the full 4-1-1 on his thoughts on the subject. I mean we've discussed this one issue for hundreds of posts and we haven't said everything yet. Feel free to point out where anyone directly called you anything nasty and untoward and I will look into it. Nothing you've said seems homophobic to me. You do have a weird obsession with scientists, however ;)

ETA - even Joss' line about all sexuality being fluid is open to some interpretation, especially the more you've read about things like the Kinsey scale/reports. in different times in their lives, men and women identify as different points on that scale. You'll no doubt find it interesting that a larger percentage of males 20-35 were identified as equally hetero- and homo-sexual than females of the same age group (11.6% vs 7%). More here.
But, here is the thing- why don't we see two men fall into bed together for the comfort they bring each other,for the solace (and no on the Spangel here, please)? Why is it always gay women? It is not brave, it is not novel, it is not unusual, though all of the press here has been about Buffy sleeping with a woman; none of the press has been about the actual story.


Why no Spangel?

Why aren't gay female characters brave? I think quality gay female characters are still unusual. Maybe not in the Jossverse, but in fiction in general it still isn't the norm. I think a male/male relationship or experience would be more fitting for the Angel series...simply because it is more male oriented and there would be more opportunities within the story. It doesn't necessarily need to be Spike and Angel.

I agree with willowcedar above, Buffy is more female oriented and focuses on female empowerment. Lesbianism and feminism are naturally entwined because they're both rooted in women stepping out of their traditional roles in society. The argument against women being with women is as much about misogyny as it is about homophobia. I dare say it's actually more about misogyny.

Plus, there are more female characters and thus more opportunities to explore female/female relationships. To do any kind of relationship any justice be it between two women, a woman and a man, or two men, I think a fair chunk of time needs to be dedicated to it. We got practically a whole issue of Buffy and Satsu talking and we learned a lot about Buffy and where she is emotionally in the process.

I guess the question is, how would a male/male relationship move the Season 8 story of Buffy forward? Especially when we only have an issue a month. It can't be done just to make a statement because that is never satisfying for more than 5 minutes.
Like many here I didn't like the twist. There was nothing in the series to speak to the possibility of Buffy being bisexual.

The Kinsey Scale is 60 years old this year. It definitely describes sexuality as being far more complicated than binary - heterosexual or homosexual. The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid is 15 years old and expands on the idea of sexual fluidity over time - you may have been bisexual when younger and feel more attracted or inclined to one sex or another in later life.

Personally, and I am no scientist, I think the only label that is important is the one we give ourselves. For example, over the period of her entire life, Willow could be described as being bisexual - because we have evidence that she both loved and was sexually attracted to Oz and Tara and Kennedy. But she now describes herself as gay - so who are we to argue?

Buffy isn't bisexual after one night of sexual intercourse with a woman, unless she describes herself that way. However arguments can be made that she is currently bisexual (Klein) and not exclusively heterosexual (Kinsey). Also, this quote from Issue #11...

Buffy: And, honestly, I think it's kind of awesome. You're hot, you have great taste, you're a hell of a Slayer and you smell good.
Satsu: But you're not gay.
Buffy: Not so you'd notice.


... which at least implies that she's not completely closed to the idea (obviously, see issue #12) and that she's aware of it enough to articulate it, rather than completely dismiss it.

ETA: - Very much agreed, GrrrlRomeo

[ edited by crossoverman on 2008-03-08 06:31 ]
There was nothing in the series to speak to the possibility of Buffy being bisexual.

Ryan-RB-I have to disagree with you on that. While I never percieved any vibes between Buffy and Willow, I saw a lot of chemistry between Buffy and Faith. I don't think Buffy's gay, not even really bi but the possibilities were there a long time ago.
Well said crossoverman. I was going to try to cobble something like that together but you beat me to it and you did it well.
crossover: You're talking about something that exists outside the series. Has Joss made a thematic point of acknolweding that kind of idea in the series or comics before? Something referring to the Kinsey scale? The discussion of what sexuality actually is is somewhat immaterial to the discussion of whether or not the plot twist works. If we're talking about the comic in and of itself, then all you're doing by bringing up Kinsey is rationalizing your interpretation of this twist. Yes, Kinsey's scale is quite possibly a credible explanation for how and why a switch like that could happen, but because nothing in the series or comics suggests that that's thematically applicable for the characters, it still comes off as an out-of-nowhere twist that speaks to poor storytelling and Joss shoe-horning a personal political point into his work.

Is the show fundamentally existentialist? I don't thnk so. Not with its pre-conceived notions of right, wrong, human and monster...Buffy is a show that has a clear moral outlook on a lot of things. It's not like BSG, where it just presents actions and characters and leaves the audience to decide the moral constitution of things. Buffy certainly does not purport that self-labelling is the end-all be-all of identity. It certainly has not thematically addressed a Kinsey-ian sexual philosophy.

And let's leave out the entire sexuality debate. How is this sudden a shift acceptable character development? Almost no buildup or tension between the characters. A couple pages in a preceding issue or two does not suffice.
Ryan-RB - you brought up the interview which is something outside of the comic proper as well, so you opened that particular door. In which case, which way do you want it, cause you can't have it both ways. Either a) we aren't talking about anything outside the comic in which case Joss' well articulated opinion is the law of his land or b) we can talk about the science (and I know how you love science!) of sexality research, in which case reference to Kinsey, Klein, et al. are valid. If we ignore the external stuff (which remember, you brought to the table), then you can look at several (not just issue #11) instances of this being foreshadowed within the comics alone or you can go back to the series itself and find little things that were never followed up on. As is always the case the filters of the person watching/reading/experiencing apply, so you may not see things where others do. Also if you subscribe to the emotional theory of fluid sexuality you mention above, how can this occurence of Buffy acting outside her normal sphere of sexual preference be anything but acceptable to you? She was clearly in quite a state and took comfort/advantage in/of the love Satsu proferred.


Is the show fundamentally existentialist? I don't thnk so. Not with its pre-conceived notions of right, wrong, human and monster...Buffy is a show that has a clear moral outlook on a lot of things. It's not like BSG, where it just presents actions and characters and leaves the audience to decide the moral constitution of things. Buffy certainly does not purport that self-labelling is the end-all be-all of identity. It certainly has not thematically addressed a Kinsey-ian sexual philosophy.


Really? Buffy? Did we watch the same show? It explored the murky grey depths of what it means to be human.monster/good/evil and never had a 100% non-movable answer for any of it. Angel? Spike? Buffy? Willow? Not 100% heroic nor 100% evil. Whether the show itself has address/embraced a Kinseyan philosophy regarding sexuality is almost entirely irrelevant to whether or not it can be applied or assumed to apply.
#2: I think Joss is a writer, a fine one, but still no scientist. What he produces is the result of his own mind only: it is his own view of the world, and nothing more. In essence it is his well-articulated opinion, rather than a researched and empirically proven fact. A thing is not fact simply because he depicts its existence.


"Sexuality is fluid" is more a theory than fact...just as most things in science are. The interview I read he said sexuality is a spectrum, which is different than fluid. Fluid means blue can become red, where spectrum means purple is a shade containing both blue and red. And if straight is red and gay is blue, then perhaps Buffy is #FF0033 (and I feel like a total geek for knowing the hex value but not the english word for that shade).

I don't doubt he's read up on the subject. So have I. That doesn't mean I'd make such presumptuous claims. That doesn't make me a scientist. And as someone who lives in relative ignorance on the matter, I don't have the authority to make claims as bold as that, same as him.


I think it's more likely that he just has lesbian friends, and women friends in general, that have related stories to him. Weren't Willow and Tara based on some friends? Joss is in the business of telling stories about fictional people and the human condition that real people can relate to. It would be aweful if his characters were based on scientific subjects.

I'm not a scientist, but I am a lesbian, so I think I have some authority. The question is whether or not anyone is willing to believe me when I say I have met many, many straight women who have slept with a woman at one point in their life. Being a lesbian seems to cause straight women to confide in me or ask me questions about sexuality (sometimes too much methinks). I mean, when I came out in my late teens trying to find a girl to date that wasn't just curious was difficult. LOL

I am more willing to accept this Satsu/Buffy scenerio and see how it's plausible because I've been in Satsu's position and I can relate. And I could relate to Willow and Tara for the same reason. And I'm eternally grateful that Joss has created characters that I can relate to on a level I never have been able to before. Because that's what everyone wants out of fiction isn't it?

There are many times I couldn't relate to things Buffy went through with Angel, Spike, Riley and Parker. But at the same time I accepted them as plausible because I've seen other women go through relationships like that. I couldn't relate, but I could understand. And what I hope is that even though not everyone can relate to this one thing, that they can understand it.

I'll be honest, I fast-foward the DVD through much of "Where the Wild Things Are"...and various parts of Season 6...just because: bored now. Comics are even easier, just turn the page. But let others have their moment of relation with the characters ya know?

Lets share these characters and maybe learn something outside our own personal experiences and observations. I assure you, there are women that have gone through what Buffy is going through.
GrrrlRomeo - /agree and +100 pts for:

And if straight is red and gay is blue, then perhaps Buffy is #FF0033 (and I feel like a total geek for knowing the hex value but not the english word for that shade).

It's quite simple, zeitgeist. There are two debates here:

1) Is sexuality fluid?

2) Is the nature of the Buffy/Satsu twist poorly contrived?

They are both interesting debates and I have addressed them both. I have not, however, presumed to take my opinion on the constitution of sexuality, and apply it to a self-contained story, a story which is the product of another subjective viewpoint, one that functions within its own context and addresses external reality only as its author decides to. I have argued that to some point, it is possible for sexuality to be fluid. But at the same time I have argued there is nothing in the comics or the series to indicate that Joss has presented this view in his themes in the series or comics to a satisfactory end, such that the twist does not feel poorly contrived.

The first topic was discussed both in and of itself, and as it related to the second. I can easily have it both ways when I'm talking about two different things.

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2008-03-08 07:27 ]
Ryan-RB - it looks to me like you are willing to let the two cross over when you post, but when someone uses something from one of them to refute your points on the other one you cry foul, which isn't particularly fair. You don't find that Willow is an example of fluid sexuality within the Buffyverse? Really? If so then fluid sexuality is a part of Buffy's world and Buffy's state right now could lead to her being more willing to experiment.
GrrlRomeo, you're confusing relativity for existentialism.

Existentialism is a philosophy of identity being essentially self-defined, usually, though not always absent of an objective moral order. Relativity can be linked to, but is not the same as existentialism. By conceiving of man and monster as two dialectically opposed moral opposities, the writers of Buffy can leave open the possibility of relative space in between. They clearly establish objective and polar absolutes that exist on opposite ends of the spectrum: Man and monster. Because of that, we can acknowledge that there is a spectrum; grey inbetween. Unfortunately, we must also acknowledge that without good, we could not define evil, nor find the space inbetween. With this acknowledgment comes the admission that such polar opposites must exist. You then admit that there is an objective moral standard in the context of the show. The spectrum has to start and end somewhere.

Alas, this does not help me entirely. There is still room for existentialism here. 'Ryan,' you may say, 'I can still define my own place on the spectrum. As a character in Buffy's little world, I could label myself whatever I wanted.' But I would say:

Wait! Buffy clearly defines man and monster, good and evil, based on the possession of the soul. That is a cosmic definition. It assumes something higher: a metaphysical order that inherently limits or liberates an individual's moral capacity. A vampire in Buffy's world can sit around and label himself all day. But if he lacks a soul, he's still dust. How is that existentialist? If this metaphysically established morality were not absolute in the context of the show, there is no way Buffy could possibly be a good person, because she would be out there killing people with fangs who could very well be good people by their own standards. Perhaps they feel they're helping environmental causes by depopulating the Earth a little.

The show does toy around with the cosmic order a little, especially in the case of Spike. But Spike running off to get his soul of his own will does not automatically destroy the objective, cosmic boundaries the writers set down. It's been argued to the ends of the Earth, but the very possibility that Spike could have acted just to solve his own problems, not acting selflessly and therefore still vampirically, means the boundaries remain intact. Since the writers leave it open to interpretation, it does not destroy the cosmic order of the show.

EDIT: Zeitgest, you're assuming I didn't have a similar storytelling problem with Willow. I sort of did, though I was willing to forgive it because it was so well done. This one hasn't been.

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2008-03-08 07:42 ]

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2008-03-08 07:45 ]

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2008-03-08 07:46 ]
Buffy clearly defines man and monster, good and evil, based on the possession of the soul. That is a cosmic definition.


Except that no one is rushing to kill Clem who is a soulless demon, or Lorne or... the list goes on frankly. Its not as absolute as you are arguing. And Spike without a soul was allowed to live when he had the chip, which also flies in the face of the "no soul = dust" argument. And again, as you say, it comes down to whether or not you see Buffy/Satsu or Willow/Tara or whatever other relationship as a well told and believable story, which falls partially back to your own experience to filter what you see as plausible. So we kinda have to agree to disagree at a point (probably here is as good as any ;)).

ETA - The other thing for me is I don't feel this one needs as grand of a set up or lead in as its not as lasting a change as Willow's was. Buffy was hurt and needy and willing to go with it to try and discover something lovable about herself through Satsu's eyes. Good enough for me.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2008-03-08 07:51 ]
Yes, Kinsey's scale is quite possibly a credible explanation for how and why a switch like that could happen, but because nothing in the series or comics suggests that that's thematically applicable for the characters, it still comes off as an out-of-nowhere twist that speaks to poor storytelling and Joss shoe-horning a personal political point into his work.

Well, I disagree. I gave one example from the comics and there were seeds planted about Satsu's affections before this issue. Or does her sexuality come out-of-nowhere because you didn't previously expect it?

As GrrrlRomeo suggest, there was a bit of subtext to the Buffy and Faith relationship in Season Three. Now this isn't evidence all on its own, but in retrospect it's enough to show it hasn't come out-of-nowhere.

We should also keep in mind that Buffy is in her early 20s, has had three serious relationships with men that all ended badly and she's feeling lost and alone again. Yes, it's playing an aspect of Buffy's story again - but people are known to repeat the same mistakes. In a way, she might even be trying not to repeat herself by trying out this other side to her sexuality.

I'm not sure what kind of explicit evidence you want, though. Some off-handed reference in season two that girls smell nice or Buffy buying an Indigo Girls album in season seven? Sexuality can be a tricky thing - and sometimes the evidence of an orientation only comes in retrospect.

I personally describe myself as bisexual though my recent dating history and sexual experience is gay. I've had relationships with women in the past and am open to them again. At the moment, I'm not really interested in a physical relationship - but that's just fine for me right now. For a long time I thought I was straight, but in retrospect I see where I was never exclusively straight - just that all evidence of my actual sexual life pointed that way. But a person's orientation isn't solely defined by what sex they have had. You can be gay and still a virgin. You can feel indifferent to sex and still be bisexual.

Looking for concrete signs that a person is bisexual or - in this case - open to the idea of a one-off sexual escapade with a hot person of the same sex is a bit of a troublesome sport. Exactly what those signs are will differ person-to-person; what these signs mean will differ to friends or fans looking for them.

you're assuming I didn't have a similar storytelling problem with Willow. I sort of did, though I was willing to forgive it because it was so well done. This one hasn't been.

Well, you've only seen the start of the story. Objecting to this story now is like objecting to the Willow/Tara story after "Hush".
Re: Clem and Lorne: those are just poorly expalined or completely unexplained anomalies that we can run with because we like the characters or because the writers contrive them as harmlesss. Don't think that because I like the show means I simply accept the inconsistency that their existence represents in the show.

The fundamental presupposition of the show is that there is cosmically bordered good and evil, and it stays with that presupposition right up til the very end. That doesn't mean the show can't be somewhat relative (and in the later seasons it definitely gets braver in exploring the grey), but it is certainly not existentialist as a whole. Although it does explore existentialism occasionally; big love for CWDP!

EDIT: crossoverman, that is true. I may forgive the storytelling twist later. But that doesn't make it any better now. Being able to forgive it later assumes there was something there I had to forgive in the first place.

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2008-03-08 07:53 ]

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2008-03-08 07:54 ]
Maybe I'm just sleepy, but it seems to me like every time someone makes a point you change the argument just enough to squeeze by. Like I said, I think we'll have to just agree to disagree to some extent. Cheers, Ryan.
I may forgive the storytelling twist later. But that doesn't make it any better now. Being able to forgive it later assumes there was something there I had to forgive in the first place.

So why object to it now? Why not wait until the whole story plays out? You object to it - but that's like turning "Jaws" off halfway through because you object to the shark getting away with killing a lot of people! You know, by the end it all turns out a lot better. (Note: I am not comparing a one-off lesbian experience with shark attacks - really!)

I'm not saying you need to forgive it, I'm saying you should be more open-minded, see all the facts before you rush to judgement.
(Note: I am not comparing a one-off lesbian experience with shark attacks - really!)


Early contender for Quote of the Day, crossoverman. Cheers ;)

EDIT: crossoverman, that is true. I may forgive the storytelling twist later. But that doesn't make it any better now. Being able to forgive it later assumes there was something there I had to forgive in the first place.


Not necessarily, it may just assume that you don't have all of the facts yet, so you should to hold off on hopping on to your jump-to-conclusions mat ;)

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2008-03-08 08:03 ]
I am not changing the arguments. I am arguing on several different topics. I am not dodging or changing any of them in themselves. I have been consistent in each of them, though I would not presume to ever close discussion on anything so long as I am human, and therefore limited. I state only what I can reasonably assert. It seems my opinion merely differs, and particularly with regard to crossoverman, my own subjective viewpoint simply has me coming at this another way. Her (I'm guessing her, yes?) experiences allow her to see this as a natural, acceptable twist, whereas my life, and my opinions on dramatic construction, do not. We will, as you say, just have to agree to disagree.

And just because the twist may or may not prove itself a good thing in the long run does not make it any more credible, believable, or natural a development in its own right. Sure it might go somewhere good, but that is a result, that is not the thing in itself. A thing has to stand on its own in its own context, as well as build to something later, to be fully functional and of the utmost quality as an ongoing thread. But that is just my opinion. After all, who else's would it be?

PS: Nice one with the sharks.

I hope none of you mistake me for hostile, I simply love a good debate. I think I could use some sleep myself. Cheers, zeitgeist. :)

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2008-03-08 08:04 ]

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2008-03-08 08:06 ]
Wow, this has really gored some people's oxen. I can only voice my support of GrrrlRomeo and crossoverman's testimonies through my own experience; despite being neither a gay man or woman, I have known both men and women who, identifying as straight, have slept with an individual of the same-sex. It happens. More important, this does not feel poorly contrived, does not ring false, does not feel staged, at all to me. Rather, the emotional resonance of it is spot on. Sorry I can't quote any authorities, either than my own opinion, on the subject.

And, most important of all, when did we lose our sense of humor in our discussions here? They are growing ever more po-faced. This is twice in two days I've seen someone speaking of "forgiving" the storyline, or wondering whether to "approve" of it or not.

This is a fricking (fracking) work of fiction, people. A delightful, exciting, swooning-over sort of work of fiction, but nevertheless . . .
No worry re: hostility, Ryan, always fun to debate with anyone who is passionate about a subject and has something to say :)
A delightful, exciting, swooning-over sort of work of fiction, but nevertheless . . .

Unfortunately, some people in this thread feel some kind of ownership over the work above and beyond that of just being a viewer/reader. In that context, they expect to be satisfied on a level that is next-to-impossible for an author - which if this story proves nothing else, can never hope to satisfy everyone.

Early contender for Quote of the Day, crossoverman. Cheers ;)

I figured the thread needed some levity. Or, as Anya would say, "Here to help. Wanna live."
Ryan-RB said: "Buffy clearly defines man and monster, good and evil, based on the possession of the soul. That is a cosmic definition."

On the contrary, I would say that the show was proving the opposite with characters like Warren, who clearly had a soul but chooses (through free will) to do terrible things. Of course it is possible to argue any position endlessly because this is a rich and diverse Universe, and we can all cherry pick the characters and scenes that fit our own point of view.

"I just don't think the seeds were there in the comic, and the abruptness of its appearance speaks to poor storytelling."

Frankly I think that if you don't see the clues then it is because you don't really want to. Comic books do not contain a lot of words, so we should all know that they are chosen with care and they all mean a lot. Satsu feelings for Buffy are 'true love', and Buffy repeated in just about every issue how lonely and disconnected she feels. Clearly this coupling was something they both wanted/needed in different ways. It is your POV that the abruptness was poor story telling, but most of us have done impulsive things in our lives, and here was a clear narrative choice to make this one of those times. The abruptness is doing exactly what the writer intended: create a shocking situation which the characters, and the readers will have to think about and respond to. Seems like masterful story telling to me.
So much for sleep. This is too interesting! :) Although I don't understand why crossoverman has decided to imply that I am demanding something unfair of Joss simply because I believe his work to be flawed in this regard. No, I don't have ownership, but I am quite free to critique it and disagree with the assertion that it is of good quality. I have not done so angrily or rudely. Striving and desiring for better in all things is not negative.

Embers:

Ah, but was Warren not in between the absolutes? He provides a very interesting grey area to explore. My argument was that the cosmically bordered morality of the show was based on moral capacity, not necessarily moral inclination. Vampires are portrayed as being compelled to evil because they have no no other capacity; it is their nature. They are base. They can do no other. This is not a wild claim about the show. Humans possess souls and are therefore on the opposite end of the spectrum: they have the capacity for any range of things. As beings with conceptions of good and evil both, they are naturally inclined towards the good, but they are capable of doing otherwise. And there is your grey area. You're right though, this is a very vast universe, but I have not any argument successful at dissuading me from believing that the show established a cosmically ordered morality that opposes man and monster as paragons.

As for your second point, I feel you're being overly hostile. We disagree. It does not make me blind. I am no child. I know how a comic book is written. I realize that dramatic construction is the primary expression of theme and that dialogue rides above the structure. I also do not appreciate your condescension. I have offered none to anyone, so I don't deserve it back. I have good reasons for believing as I do, as I'm sure you do as well. Based on those reasons we arrive at our respective conclusions. Of course we've all done impulsive things in our lives. That does not automatically mean that an abrupt and poorly built-up-to character development is automatically credible. There has to be something there in the character to indicate its possibility, and I do not believe there was.

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2008-03-08 08:40 ]

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2008-03-08 08:41 ]
Although I don't understand why crossoverman has decided to imply that I am demanding something unfair of Joss simply because I believe his work to be flawed in this regard.

To clarify: I wasn't directing that comment at you specifically.

That does not automatically mean that an abrupt and poorly built-up-to character development is automatically credible. There has to be something there in the character to indicate its possibility, and I do not believe there was.

The problem here - and it seems we are going around in circles - is that you seem to be looking for concrete signs whereas others are happy with the allusions that were already there.

Also the assumption that sleeping with Satsu is something beyond other impulsiveness that we have - as if sleeping with her is worse than if she had slept with Xander. Sure, not everyone is going to be jumping into bed for same-sex encounters, but how is this so difficult to accept when many, many people on this thread speak to it being something they have done and/or witnessed?

Calling this out-of-character suggests that Buffy has never entered into unhealthy sexual relationships and had sex when looking for comfort. She's done both. And now she's doing it again. Falling into an old pattern. How is that out-of-character?

To me, the only difference is - she slept with a woman. To me, that is basically no difference at all. To me, it doesn't matter if she woken up with Xander, Andrew or Satsu. Because her history is clear - she feels disconnected, she sleeps with people.

That the same-sex thing is an issue (and it's not just you) is kind of ridiculous. But that seems to be the biggest barrier for some people right now. I think it would be more easily "forgiven" if it were Xander. But it's so silly that there is a double-standard because of sexuality. No way the New York Times would be writing an article if she slept with Xander.

But then, no way Joss would write that story - because that's nowhere near as complicated.

[ edited by crossoverman on 2008-03-08 08:50 ]
GrrlRomeo, you're confusing relativity for existentialism.


::: Looks around ::: I did what when?

Are you saying #FF0033 is relatively red to the human eye, but is existentially red with a bit of blue? Although, I wondered if it should actually be #CC0033. #FF0033 is actually additive which sort of changes the argument to the possibility of someone being 100% of one thing and 20% of another. Although, that could possibly be relative to a person's sex drive. Rainbow Brite must be really horny.

I think I should keep my humor to myself.
No, GrrrlRomeo - you were arguing one thing, and Ryan was arguing something completely different. He has conflated the two, possibly as a means to confuse us all or the debate. And it's kind of working.
Crossoverman: I just don't see it. I don't have a problem with it being another woman she's sleeping with, my problem is that it wasn't well built up to as a romance between two people, and it's never been shown that Buffy is the kind of person who could or would break away from her most common sexual preference like that. If the show, in and of itself, shown that that was a possibility, I could accept this. Anyway, I'll exit this thread of discussion unless we find new points to make, though I think a lot of the other things going on in this thread are still quite ripe.

GrrrlRomeo: This is what my diddy on existentialism was in response to:

"Really? Buffy? Did we watch the same show? It explored the murky grey depths of what it means to be human.monster/good/evil and never had a 100% non-movable answer for any of it. Angel? Spike? Buffy? Willow? Not 100% heroic nor 100% evil. Whether the show itself has address/embraced a Kinseyan philosophy regarding sexuality is almost entirely irrelevant to whether or not it can be applied or assumed to apply."

You were implying that that made the show existentialist, and I disagreed, proceeding to show the difference between relativity and existentialism, and to try and demonstrate how the show was not existentialist. If I confused your intention with that statement above, if you were not actually implying that that qualified the show as existentialist, then worry not!
I don't have a problem with it being another woman she's sleeping with, my problem is that it wasn't well built up to as a romance between two people, and it's never been shown that Buffy is the kind of person who could or would break away from her most common sexual preference like that.

This comment shows you clearly do have a problem with the fact she slept with another woman.

Also - romance? This story has NOTHING to do with romance. It's about sex.
"That doesn't mean the show can't be somewhat relative (and in the later seasons it definitely gets braver in exploring the grey), but it is certainly not existentialist as a whole. Although it does explore existentialism occasionally"

But is exploring grey the same as being somewhat relative? Grey is fine most of the time, but since this thread seems to be about colors, you do need black and white to make grey.

I think sometimes we confuse acts that are morally grey with acts that are truly relative. For example, for an act to be thought of as grey it has to question our moral absolutes, it questions the morality of a decision we would think would be easy but suddenly is not, and yet simply because an act is thought of in this manner, it does not mean that there is not a certain truth to the matter. It may only mean that the truth is much murkier and much more difficult to achieve...

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2008-03-08 09:40 ]
Crossoverman: Okay, I have a problem with her sleeping with a woman as a dramatic turn, not because I have a moral problem with her sleeping with another woman. There's the clarity. Again I say I'm done with this thread of discussion unless something new comes up. We've made our positions quite clear.

Jerry: Your final claim is an interesting one, but I do think that being grey is being relative. Grey can only be understood in its relation to black and white. Without those absolutes, there is no grey. They grey is fundamentally relative. If we assume objective moral standards - a black and white position - then we have to look at the grey in between as relative to those. This is the consequence of absolutes being dialectic, which they are portrayed as in Buffy.
Moral acts can't be relative to other moral acts can they? If that were the case then for one, morality would be circular and thus inconsistent. For two, this seems to be saying that one moral act can be less morally evil than another act, and though correct in and of itself, that statement implies not a relative understanding of the act but of it's relation to another act. It is true that a moral act can be less egregious than another moral act, but in the end, the idea that something is less morally wrong than another still implies that something is morally wrong, and hence absolute.
Ryan, you're confusing me with zeitgeist.
Wow, that was intense and by that I mean all of you. As a gay man (isn't it sad that I feel the need to enter this conversation with that) I have had more than a few experiences with men who would consider themselves straight. Now let's all be honest here there are some people who are just lying to themselves because of societal stigmas and don't tell me they're gone with the millenium because I see them everyday, but there are also some people that are just curious.
Now as for Buffy herself this is how I see it:
I think that when Willow came out she considered it abstarctly, intellectually but without any real heart or passion more just hmm wonder what that's like. Put it aside, moved on and forgot all about it. That (as I said in my opinion) probably about as much as Buffy thought about the whole notion before Satsu.
Now back to real life (but still pertaining) I have known I was gay since I started wanting the sex and realized I wanted it with the men. I tried not to be and in that time I tried really hard not to be and didn't want people to figure it out so I dated lots of girls and had the sex with a few. Then I came out and was like whew glad that's done with. But then years later I had a good friend who was a woman and in love with me. Long story short we had sex one night. As friends, to maybe settle a curiosity or I don't know exactly why other than to kill the sexual tension. Point is I am gay, she knew that. We both got something different out of that experience and we both went into it with our eyes open. And if you had met me at 16 (the age we met Buffy) you would have had no idea that there was an inkling of a possibility of me having sex with a woman. My point is just because you don't see the signs doesn't mean they aren't there. People still hide their true selves all of the time, even from themselves. I ask how anyone can possibly claim to know everything about Buffy Summers when there is so much they can't know about themselves. People are twisted little beasts that make no sense. And I know I for one would have it no other way because that would be fraking boring.
I think as long as Buffy is honest with Satsu (and vice versa it does take two after all) then everything is ok. Yes, she is in a position of authority over Satsu and there will be problems down the road because of it. But so fraking what. Life is messy, and would anyone here really want there to be no mess. I think that story would suck. Can Joss make mistakes? Of course (Showtime contadicts nearly everything else that happens in Season 7. Seriously, skip the episode and I bet you enjoy the season so much more) but I think he cares about these characters more than any of us could and he ain't gonna do them wrong (life may but hey c'est all that right). I just find it strange that after Seven Seasons he hasn't earned people's trust by now. I'm not saying blind devotion but geeze give the guy a chance to see where it goes before telling him it's the wrong choice. If he hasn't earned it, why are we here?
Ryan-RB, zeitgeist, to the best of my recollection, it is never stated that *demons* have no souls. All vampires have demons, but not all demons are vampires. Indeed, D'Hoffryn claims "the life and soul of a vengeance demon" when he threatens Anya and kills Halfrek. Lorne also makes some reference to "having soul" -- he's speaking of singing ability, but he seems to mean it in the spiritual sense as well. Even the demon who possesses the "empty" little boy in "Angel": "I've Got You Under My Skin" seems appalled to encounter soullessness. Besides, Buffy isn't killing vampires because they're demons, or even because they're soulless -- she's killing them because they habitually kill humans. So far as we know, Clem and Lorne do not habitually kill humans (Lorne's incident with Lindsey aside). We mostly hear about demons who kill people on "Buffy" for the same reason we mostly hear about murderers on "CSI" -- this doesn't mean the entire human population is out committing homicide, only those humans the "CSI" team goes after. It wasn't likely Giles would spend time -- especially on-air time -- lecturing Buffy about, "This is a demon you're not going to encounter. It's perfectly harmless. If you do see one, don't worry about it." :)

What we know about Buffy's sexual preference is that it runs towards beings with superpowers. Angel, Riley (when the relationship started -- it went downhill once he was "normal"), Spike, Wood to some extent (Slayer blood and a demon fighter, though not *as* superpowered as the rest -- then again, she never slept with him). She was even attracted to Ben -- who harbored a god. Buffy didn't like Glory, but it seems interesting that, Parker (and Pike) aside, everyone she's considered dating has had that bit of something extra. Of those she's had sex with, all but Parker have had some sort of superpower, at least when the relationship began. In that light, a fellow Slayer *does* fit easily into that line of preference. Satsu is a person with the same powers as Buffy. We know she likes this. And again, when Satsu turned out to be the revelation with the "true love's kiss" plotline in the first four issues (cinnamon-flavored lipstick), it would have been pretty weird writing if they haven't paid it off. "Hey, we're introducing this character to throw everybody off track, save Buffy's life due to romantic feelings and then do nothing with the character's feelings about Buffy ever again" -- that would have been a major waste of build-up, in my opinion.
Buffy fell for Angel, Riley and arguably Wood before she knew they had "something extra" (I don't believe Wood really did, beyond being extremely driven by his own "demons"). Or are you saying she somehow "knew" Shapenew ?

But then, no way Joss would write that story - because that's nowhere near as complicated.

Was with you for most of it crossoverman (especially the half-way through 'Jaws' argument, brilliant ;) but here you lose me. Xander is one of her oldest friends, they have a fraternal relationship, he's expressed desire for her that's been rebuffed, he's effectively her second in command - I think it's easily as complicated because of their history and because she has to work with him afterwards whereas, if she chose to hide from the issue Satsu (in a sense "just another Slayer") could easily be moved.

Here's the thing that bugs me: either it's no big thing because sexuality is a spectrum OR, in Joss' own words, it's an "Oh my God" moment and in your terms it's "more complicated". I don't see how you can consistently claim that it's a bigger issue while at the same time claiming it's not a bigger issue.

And no offence to anyone in particular but can we please stop pointing out how silly it is that there's so much fuss ? The people here mostly know that already (if they don't then they're probably unreachable) and saying it is just implying that we don't and, to be honest, feels a bit like points scoring. It's also, IMO, irrelevant anyway because whether it's right or not, Joss/Drew/Dark Horse will not have been so naive as to think it wouldn't happen so the "fuss" argument is perfectly fine to support the "stunt" argument (which isn't one i'm behind BTW).

Good to and fro everyone, intense yes but interesting ;).
Saje, I think it's possible Buffy did sense something at least a bit unusual about Angel, Riley and Wood -- at minimum, they all presented as a) a bit mysterious and b) giving signs of attraction to her. She did know about the superpowers well before having sex with any of them, and as far as Wood goes, she didn't follow up on that -- unclear if she would have if Wood had not decided she was off-limits due to her relationship with Spike. But here we come to one other factor that has been present in all of Buffy's active sexual relationships (again, except Parker, which she felt with some justification was primarily a reaction to Angel's departure) -- all of her partners had, prior to consummation, indicated that they were deeply into *her*, however she felt about *them* (however one categorizes Spike's emotional state at the outset of Season Six, I think it can be agreed he was interested in Buffy almost to the exclusion of anything else). Here again, Satsu fits the pattern of we've seen throughout the series. About the only thing that really makes Satsu different is gender, and maybe with Buffy that is less of a factor than having superpowers and being in love with (or at any rate, sincerely interested in) Buffy. Not saying that Buffy is going to jump into bed with everybody who has both superpowers and a big crush on her ... but actually, so far, she has :)

[ edited by Shapenew on 2008-03-08 11:20 ]
theMidnighter, thanks for your post - a great read.

Saje, it's more complicated because of everyone else's reaction. I think this thread proves it, but I also mean for the characters in the comic book.

I shouldn't have said that Joss wouldn't write the Buffy/Xander story - because he did use that mislead in the first arc. But I think it's more complicated because of the fact that Buffy is Satsu's boss, her mentor, her "Watcher" and another woman. Because while I don't think it should be any big deal for us (as readers), it will be a big deal for Buffy. And for Xander, because of the surprise. And Willow, because that could complicate their relationship. (Then again, it might not - unless Willow has some Buffy love that she's keeping secret and there's a jealousy thing - she might be all, "Hey cool, Buffy, how'd you like muff diving for once?")

For me, the Buffy/Xander story is less complicated (for them and us) because it's borne out of years of friendship. I don't think a one-nighter with them really threatens the heirarchy. It might be uncomfortable, because he's her right hand man, but it's less of a betrayal to the rank-and-file Slayers. Buffy sleeping with her right hand man is one thing; Buffy sleeping with one of dozens of Slayers under her command is a bit of an ethical breach (just as Riley as a TA sleeping with Buffy was murky; it's not the end of the world, but it's a little transgressive).

I don't think Satsu being able to be "moved" is easy - what do the other Slayers think about Buffy having sex and then just getting rid of the Slayer she slept with? What does Willow think about Buffy thinking that's the right way to deal with the problem? Heck, what does anyone think of a boss doing that to an employee?

To sum up: it shouldn't be a big deal to us as readers, but I understand why it is a big deal for them as characters. That said, when my friends discovered I was sleeping with boys, nothing changed - but that's not much of a story.
Most things that happen in real life aren't I find ;).

Good points, I see what you mean about moving her, I was thinking more of a "spirited away" type of thing where everyone else just wakes up one morning and she's gone "on a mission" but if the other Slayers knew it'd be complicated (though I guess the message would be pretty clear, "If you don't like living in a Scottish castle - possibly with winter coming up - then sleep with the boss" ;). And obviously even with the "Stasi" approach (but like a nicer, kinder Stasi ;) Buffy herself would still have to live with it (and at least Xander would probably need to know).

Yep, as i've said, it all boils down to what happens now because the power relationship/abuse of authority feels like it should be a huge aspect of what comes next - if it isn't then that cuts the legs out from under it a bit I reckon. Wait and see ;).


I dunno Shapenew, Angel, Riley and Wood are all conventionally good looking guys and Buffy was clearly smitten with Riley "at first sight". Given the evidence, you could make a pretty good case that she's just attracted to older men for instance, to their self-assurance (Freud would no doubt bring up Daddy issues but then Freud was pretty full of it IMO ;).

Interesting about the one way street idea though, she does seem to avoid the whole compromise and adapt aspect of relationships and as we saw with Riley (and Spike sorta) if she can't have them on her terms, within her comfort zone and with a "guarantee" of their involvement, then she's not interested. Maybe she's just terrified of rejection, of abandonment ? ... Shit, she really does have Daddy issues, damn you Freud, i'll get you next time ! ;-).
Wait and see ;).

What? No wild speculation and flailing about because of something that might not happen? Where's the fun in that? ;-)

*waiting to see...*
re: whether or not Demons in the Buffyverse have souls, I would point to: http://www.atpobtvs.com/metap.html#so. Its not cut and dried by any means.

Here's the thing that bugs me: either it's no big thing because sexuality is a spectrum OR, in Joss' own words, it's an "Oh my God" moment and in your terms it's "more complicated". I don't see how you can consistently claim that it's a bigger issue while at the same time claiming it's not a bigger issue.


Well, for me, it goes like this: its not a huge deal in a bigger picture way that Buffy slept with a woman (spectrum, etc., blah blah blah), but there is a little bit of "I didn't entirely expect her to,". I've watched Buffy jump into bed with people who cared for her that she didn't feel the same way about before and I a) hoped that she'd worked through the issues that brought her to that and b) moving outside of her normal sexual comfort zone added a little further twist that made me say "Oh my god, she really just did that... AGAIN... but more so." So, I guess to some extent it depends on where your place of "Oh my god" comes from whether you can have the two feelings co-exist. Probably clear as mud, that explanation on little sleep :)
GrrrlRomeo said:

There are many times I couldn't relate to things Buffy went through with Angel, Spike, Riley and Parker. But at the same time I accepted them as plausible because I've seen other women go through relationships like that. I couldn't relate, but I could understand. And what I hope is that even though not everyone can relate to this one thing, that they can understand it.


I haven't commented on this topic yet, but I have been reading all of the discussions with much interest. I have been struggling with how to accept this plot development; wanting to but not sure how since I cannot relate at all (I am straight, married and have never had an experience with a woman nor could I see that happening). I have absolutely nothing against what anyone does in their own sex-life, but I just couldn't find any way to relate to what Buffy had done. Your comment really made me see that I need to stop trying to relate and just accept that these things do happen. Even though the signs might not have been that obvious to me at first, when I go back and think on the comics thus far, I do see how this was building and it doesn't seem like such a shock as when I first read this issue.

I don't have anything brilliant or insightful to add to this thread, but I wanted to thank you for your post which really helped me come to terms with all this. :)
This comic was way funnier than this thread would make it seem, but I also wanted to throw in a thanks to grrrlRomeo for a post I really appreciated, to crossoverman for the 'Jaws' comment (we've barely rolled past the credits of this movie!) to SNT for mentioning gored oxen, and to zeitgeist for both the chip butties link (ugh!) and incredible orange tenacity.
Thanks to the spoiler tag I was genuinely able to read Buffy 12 this morning with no idea that anything in particular would happen.

That was the first Buffy comic that I found myself inadvertently calling an “episode”. Huge laugh out loud moments, but we know there will be repercussions. All that plus picking up the Dracula thread.

Buffy was soooo Buffy in this episode.
Man, I go to bed and come back and there is a new world out there! Very interesting discussion here, and I enjoyed the back and forth (though not some of the personalizing that went on). Here is what I sort of conclude in all of this:
1. Most of us have no problem that Buffy slept with a woman.
2. If we do have a problem, it is because we felt that there was no set-up leading to this, or that the set-up was deficient.
3. Some of us saw the seeds for this development going back to the Buffy/Faith relationship.
4. The concern that many have is that this creates a potential source for either plot development or internal friction as a result of the power differential that is involved. We are concerned about how the various players will react to this, and whether or not Buffy ever does this again, and why.
5. A few of us thought this might be a ratings ploy, and at least one felt it was a very special issue (that would be me, no duh).
6. More of us thought it was Joss writing with a goal in mind, though what the goal is we don't know. Some of us will wait and see, and others have given up.
7. We'd generally have preferred this not have been announced in the NYT, or at least until after we had read it.

One observation I have is that many arguments tend to come down to, Qu: why did Joss do this, Ans: because that's the story he decided to tell. I find this kind of discussion less interesting, because there is really no argument one can offer that posits different storylines or speculations that someone else cannot dismiss by saying "Joss gotta write what Joss gotta write." And there are time when meanings are imputed to what he did, when in fact none of know why he did what he did. Did Joss know of the Kinsey scale? I doubt it. Did it matter? Well, probably not. But it does offer a new and interesting way to analyze the development with Buffy, and that allows for a fertile discussion, which is what happened. Who knows why Joss does what he does? And would it matter if we did? Given I am hard core reader-response, I'm free to dismiss his reasons and read the tale with my own interpretations. And then come here and discuss it and have a great back and forth, and so on.
All right, seriously. I've been wanting to say this for a while now, and after reading this thread, it's come up again:

Could someone please, please, please compile and publish a Best of Whedonesque book? Even if the price were astronomical, I would totally buy it.
"Could someone please, please, please compile and publish a Best of Whedonesque book? Even if the price were astronomical, I would totally buy it."

Whee - the collected wisdom of the Whedonesquers - that would be insanely interesting.
Did Joss know of the Kinsey scale? I doubt it.

Hmmm, his describing sexuality as a spectrum in the New York Times suggests otherwise. Also, there was a movie about it. I hear Mr Whedon likes those 24-frames-a-second persistence of vision entertainments.
Whee - the collected wisdom of the Whedonesquers - that would be insanely interesting.

There, I fixed that for you ;-)
I just read the issue. (and am pleased with myself for avoiding the spoilers). I think Satsu seems like a nice girl - I hope she doesn't get hurt. (Yes, I know they're fictional characters).

I like that Willow isn't a token character. Whether Buffy realizes she's bi, or gay, or open to experimentation, more power to her.

It does seem one way to settle the Angel vs. Spike debate.

[ edited by redeem147 on 2008-03-09 00:16 ]
Here's what's being said:

-Joss is a sell out
-Joss is milking Buffy for all she's worth
-Joss is doing Season 8 just for the money
-Joss doesn't care about the characters anymore
-Joss is slowly ruining his own francise
-Joss is lazy and doesn't take the time to explain things

Here are my thoughts:

-Joss is a smart one, yes he is
-Joss is the God of TV
-Joss is doing Season 8 because he wants to, and we want it
-Joss doesn't care about negative opinions because he knows where this is going, and it's gonna be good.
-Joss is slowly ruining nothing
-Joss is lazy and doesn't take the time to do every interview that is proposed to him because he is working on a comic, a tv show, and maybe Ripper.
I like that Willow isn't a token character. Whether Buffy realizes she's bi, or gay, or open to experimentation, more power to her.

I think it's safe to assume that Buffy knows Willow is gay. ;-)

(Yes, I know, that's not what you meant. I'm not THAT dense...)

Dana5140 that was an excellent thread summary for latecomers.
"There, I fixed that for you ;-)"

You sure did, that is definitely what I meant to type.

[ edited by moley75 on 2008-03-09 02:19 ]
Dana5140, Just signed in and I see you asked about Torchwood. Captain Jack is the lead character, and he is bisexual. At the beginning of this season, James Marsters guest-starred as his lover. Check it out sometime...
Yeah... invite Joel, Crow and Tom Servo with you when you do check it out, though. Television in all its craptastic splendor :)

The reason "Torchwood" has been referenced so much (and with such beautiful snark) on this subject is that really quickly you'll realize that one of the main conceits of the series is that *all* the characters have at least some interest and willingness to act upon same-sex interest. Prior to this new and bold move into genre television, this particular story-telling device was mostly common only in music videos and the adult film industry.

With Buffy, per Joss and Scott, having 'experimental' sex that was at least ostensibly intended to be NSA on her part, it resonates along those "Torchwood" lines. Really, I don't think any comparison to that show can be a compliment where the title is not preceded by the words "but not like" or "instead of".
Its really Jack and Ianto that are up for anything (and Marsters' character), so saying that every character (Rhys for example) is up for anything is overstating things. Not that I don't appreciate some snark :) Torchwood stunk for the first half of season one, the rest of Season One was actually quite good and Season Two has been mostly good as well.

Did Joss know of the Kinsey scale? I doubt it.


Either you are being facetious or I have to assume that its entirely possible that you think Joss may also be unaware of things like that there newfangled interwebs thing or that Teddy Roosevelt is no longer the President :)
In the first ever episode of TW you see Owen seemingly up for a threesome with a woman and her boyfriend, Gwen had an onscreen kiss with a woman (possessed by an alien) in the 2nd episode of season 1 and Toshiko who mostly mopes around Owen had a lesbian relationship with yet another alien also in season 1.
Sorry, I've blocked out the first four eps from my memory, I should've made that more clear ;)
Wait. Teddy Roosevelt is no longer president of the US? When did that happen? :-)

willowedar- than you for the recommendation. If I can locate the DVD I will check it out. After I complete watching In Treatment, that is, but still. :-) It sounds like a not completely serious show, but that could be fun since In Treatment is a serious as it gets. Poor Sophie...

ZG- I just meant that he was not aware of it when he was writing, ie, not using it as a starting point. That's all. Sorry it was not clearer, as I know what I meant, and cannot understand why no one else does even when I use the wrong words..... :-)
Zeitgeist, I'd counter that there's a lot of room between "better" or "pretty good" and "less awful". I'd find "Torchwood" never manages better than "less awful", and I've watched all of Season 2 that's aired in the US so far because everyone told me it was better. Those people were, to steal from the TWOP recapper Demian, LYING LIARS WHO LIE :)

Give me two xanax and a "Charmed" marathon instead.
Charmed?

shudders

Gosh, I'd rather get my amygdala stripped than watch Charmed.
I adore Torchwood. It is fabulous unserious stuff. Everything doesn't have to be so frickin' IMPORTANT all the time.
More or less my point, really -- "Charmed" is really less than good, but all in all, leaps and bounds better than "Torchwood".

What I don't get is how "Doctor Who", which I've seen at least a fair amount of, can seem to consistently good and "Torchwood" seem so consistently bad. "Doctor Who" is irreverant, they shouldn't be that far apart. I mean, it would baffle the imagination if "Buffy" was great and "Angel" had been a steamer. You don't see many spinoffs that are in production simultaneously as the source material differ so widely in quality.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-09 06:32 ]
And I don't think it does differ widely in quality. YMM so obviously V.
KingofCretins, I think comedian Al Franken wrote a book with a title something like "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them," which is where I think TWoP may have gotten it originally. Or maybe it's a case of fed-up minds thinking alike. I haven't seen that much of "Torchwood," but I'm guessing if people (I use this term to encompass any sentient characters on the show) are somewhat indifferent to the *species* of a sexual partner, gender might be practically a footnote. I haven't seen much of "Charmed," either, largely because every time I tuned in, one of the leads was huffing in a manner meant to be cute. I foresaw the huffing driving me crazy if I had to see a lot of it, and as it seemed to be part of every "Charmed" clip I encountered, either the show had a lot of huffing or I had terrible timing. I decided to err on the side of caution. On reflection, maybe this is what I like most about "Buffy" -- not a lot of intended-to-be-cute huffing :)
Dana5140 - I was being incredibly over the top silly with that one. I was hoping that you meant what you apparently did, which is (correct me if I'm wrong) - He knows what it is, but he wasn't specifically saying to himself "How can I use this in a story?" :)



Oh, god... Charmed is better than Torchwood? I'll freely admit that Torchwood falls into the "not great" category for me. Its uneven, makes a fair number of missteps and started out falteringly, but Charmed? Yeesh ;) I was actually expecting you to hate Who as well after your Torchwood thoughts, KoC, as Who requires a fair bit of allowance for general silliness, being over the top, and MacGuffins aplenty. Regardless, to each their own - and, hey, enjoy that Xanax ;)
Gosh, I'd rather get my amygdala stripped than watch Charmed.

Yeah, but imagine if you have your amygdala stripped then watch 'Charmed' *shudders squared*.

I was an uber-hater of 'Torchwood' up until about episode 8 of series one when I became just a hater (OK, OK, 'Random Shoes' was actually a really nice episode which, back-handed compliment stylee, reminded me much more of 'Doctor Who' than TW).

Series 2 has been leaps and bounds better though IMO, they've lightened the tone, sharpened the writing, allowed the characters to find more natural niches and actually made the episodes about something (either series 1 wasn't or I couldn't see the subtext through all the craptastic dialogue and plot silliness). Sure there're still horribly clunky lines in there but now they feel against the run of play.

Anyhoo, i've actually read the issue in question now and boy, did it flow more smoothly and feel less like a "big deal" in the actual reading of it than "The Event !" does when discussed in isolation. In the comic it feels very much like the beginning of something that's far from finished and that all of the characters will have to deal with in their own way. Great stuff, roll on issue 13.
ZG- of course I missed the silly. How silly of me! :-)

And Charmed? Oy. I bought S1 some time ago, thought it might make some fun (well, there were far more Charmed books in the YA book section than Buffy), and watched maybe 3 eps before giving it up for lack of resonance. It was silly, not deep. Hex is better, truly. Given the talk on Torchwood, I am not sure I should invest the time, what with everyone here telling me I should watch The Wire. Of course, I have this love hate relationship with House (I'm enrolled in an MA program in bioethics...)....
Getting OT here but Dana5140 - The Wire? Simply the best TV programme ever in my opinion. Final episode airs tonight in the US.
I know- it is on just before In Treatment, which is one of the best shows I have seen in years. It'll be on my list of shows to watch intensively, since the DVDs for 3 seasons are out.

But best ever- that'd be Buffy. :-)
I watched an episode of Charmed once in an airport restaurant during a layover. It was a strange experience.
Personally, it was a fantasy of mine that came true. Kudos!
1- Considering how many negative things I'
ve had to say about S-8, I find this totally unobjectionable, minus what I'
ve said in other threads.

2-Kinsey was a zoologist. As a former psych major, his name gets my back up automatically.

3-I agree introducing a guy to help Andrew think t hinsg t hru would be tricky; too bad Larry's dead.

4-I think it's ahrder for straight guys to write the one than it si the other.
... too bad Larry's dead

Not necessarily (i've always imagined that he broke his back but recovered and went on to compete in the para-olympics and be a great ambassador for gay and disabled rights. What can I say, I liked the big lug ;).

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