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The following RANT is somewhat ADULT. You've been warned.
There are two prime time television series that I'm fond of that I'm annoyed with for a very specific reason.
One is GILMORE GIRLS. The other is JOAN OF ARCADIA.
Last week, on Joan of Arcadia, 16-year-old Joan nearly decided to lose her virginity with Adam.
Last week on on Gilmore Girls, 19-year-old Rory lost her virginity with Dean.
In both cases, it's not the losing or not losing that bothers me.
It's just that in both cases, we've more or less been witness to these girls sexual awakening. And I've never gotten any indication that either girl has done anything beyond kissing, that neither guy has ever gotten past what we used to call first base.
One of my biggest pet peeves about television is that second & third base (including anything and everything in between kissing and sexual intercourse) do not exist. Oral sex? Doesn't exist. Touching and/or nudity without intercourse? Doesn't exist.
I don't need to see it. (Not that I'd object, but this isn't about me being a pervert for once.) But I would think that two shows as smartly-written as Gilmore & Joan should be able to find a way to suggest that such "intermediate steps" DO exist. I mean if they can talk about full-on intercourse, why can't they talk about things that are safer, younger, more exploratory, with FEWER consequences.
I feel it's TERRIBLY irresponsible to teach kids and teens that there's no way to express themselves sexually, once they've gotten past a kiss, except by going all the way. By hitting home runs, by scoring, so to speak.
Look, when I was a teen, there was a LONG, LONG gap between my first kiss and my first time engaging in sexual intercourse. There was a pretty substantial gap between my first kiss with the girl that I would end up losing my virginity to and the actual act of losing said virginity. In fact, in every relationship I ever had, up to and including my wife, kissing was a prelude to touching, etc., which was in turn a prelude to "making love"... assuming the relationship lasted that long.
The frustrating truth is that I really like both Gilmore Girls and Joan of Arcadia. I even really liked the episodes that are currently annoying me. But I'm still waiting for someone to brave the taboo and bring back second and third base.
PROPS TO "THE WONDER YEARS" for the only example of Second Base on a Prime Time series that I recall. But what was that -- ten years ago? Has there been no progress since?