The First Time: Glee or Not
There’s a first time for everything. Last night was the first time I watched a full episode of Glee from start to finish by myself. The fifth episode of Season 3 is all about first times. For those of you out there who haven’t seen the show, here's a quick rundown: Rachel and Blaine are starring in the West Side Musical. Artie calls them out mid-way through rehearsal for not having enough “passion” and wants them to pull from their sexual experiences to convey that passion to the audience. Rachel and Blaine are clearly embarrassed as they both admit that they're virgins. Over the course of the next 40 minutes, the two go back and forth between consummating their relationships with their respective significant others.
This episode was clearly created for shock value and to create controversy with the chastity-belt endorsing set rather than an opportunity to actually provide viewers with some real sex-education (which would've been nice). But, honestly, there’s a lot of sex on TV. Insert sex into any teen show and *boom* instant conflict. “Does he really like me?” “Am I pregnant?” “She slept with my best friend? I must destroy her now!” With shows like Gossip Girl and 90210 all over the airwaves, it's usually just assumed at some point in the characters' backstory, their innocence was destroyed. And I guess that was the one really nice thing about this episode of Glee. We're not just supposed to assume everybody has already slept around a lot (like in other shows) but are rather faced with multiple people deciding whether or not to trade in their “V-Cards".
Just because you’re a virgin doesn’t mean you’re alone. In fact, it wasn’t until I started college that I realized just how few people actually were having sex regularly in high school. As Artie says, “It’s a human experience”- one that changes people. Sex is totally normal but it's something that needs to be thought about. And it was made clear in this episode that sex was something these characters had taken their time with.
That being said, there’s a lot of pressure in this episode to wait for love before having sex. I’m totally for this but come on, we’re teenagers. What we believe is “love” today may very well be gone tomorrow. First love, true love - I don't think these things necessarily have to be set as a standard for losing your virginity. Time and time again you’ll hear stories about people who had sex for the first time because they were in love, then soon after regret it after a nasty break up. So instead of finding someone who just loves you, or even whom you love, look for someone who most importantly respects you and your opinions. During the girl chat in Glee, Tina discloses the reason, besides true love, that sex was such a great thing: she talked about sex a lot with her partner, who she clearly shared mutual respect and trust with, ahead of time, which allowed her to come to terms with what a huge step she was taking.
So whether you’re having sex the first time with someone you love, or with somebody you like and respect, know that you must ultimately live with that decision. Feelings and emotions you never anticipated will surface no matter what the situation is and you can't control that. Sure, Glee makes it look beautiful with all the cuddling at the end, but life exists after the pillow talk. Losing your virginity is just one decision among many you’ll make for the rest of your life. So do what needs to be done. Make a pro/con list, talk about it with your partner/best friend/sibling/Mom/cool Aunt, even take a pledge of abstinence if that's what's right for you. But above all else (and yes it's cliche, but it's true) do what's right for you.
More articles by Category: Education, Feminism, Media, Violence against women
More articles by Tag: Sexuality, Sex education, Social media, Television, Activism and advocacy, Sexualized violence