Let me start with saying everyone is entitled to their opinion. I believe our opinions are just that. Our perceptions. We all have them and they will all be different. I do not expect nor want everyone to agree with me, however, respect my right to say what I perceive…as I respect all of yours.
One of the biggest discussions in the world of Outlander this season was the sex…or there lack of. Many say “We didn’t see the love.” “We were robbed of what makes Jamie & Claire…Jamie & Claire.” “The love would never last 20 yrs if they don’t connect!”
Believe it or not, I have made a living talking about sex & intimacy in life & relationships. That is what I want to do now. Class is in session.
Romantic relationships need TWO things to survive. Intimacy & Communication. I didn’t say sex because sex is a product of these 2 categories. Without intimacy, there likely will be no sex. Without communication, we likely won’t choose to have sex.
Let’s first keep in mind that Outlander the TV Show is that. The TV show, not a play by play of the book. Conveying intimacy is something they can do in the show and it will turn out to have more meaning. The depth of talent that Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe have, means they are able to delve into that. Deeply. Skin & sweating does not equal love & commitment. No matter how much we want to “see” it.
To reference being robbed, denied or missing something. These were never there in the first place. What I mean by that is Outlander the TV Show has never existed before it did.
But we read the books! Yes, I know, so did I…repeatedly. This does not mean the TV show has been ‘built’.
If the argument is “They gave us all the sex in season one and took it away in season two.” I do see your point. I would like to reference that season 2 was a different relationship, a different set of circumstances and frankly, a different show with the same title. It wasn’t a bait & switch, it was an evolution. The evolution of a marriage. Those of us blessed enough to have found a deep love have likely experienced something similar ourselves. Change happens & it’s not always comfortable.
Season 1 was an exploration of a building romantic relationship, which is undeniable more passionate. That, for visual purposes, should be seen to some degree. Each sex scene in Season 1 had a purpose. The wedding. Each scene was given in stages. First newness/awkwardness, passion/exploration & then falling in love. The scene in which they were having sex away from the group, distraction. The scene in which they have sex after the spanking scene, is not only forgiveness but also ferocity.
Season 2 was a marriage. The people in the marriage had been through a huge trauma. Jamie’s rape along with the fight to keep him alive was one that could have easily broken a marriage apart. In the start of the season we saw that. Sure, it might have been nice to see a little skin here and there, however, it wouldn’t have made a lot of sense.
Those who are dealing with a physical trauma such as the one portrayed in the show, more often than not, lack the desire a) to perform b) have someone THAT close. No matter how much you love & trust them. It isn’t about the partner, it is about the victim and their ability to process. When a sexual assault happens, very often the victim is loathe to put themselves back in that vulnerable position … especially when they are still emotionally coping with the trauma.
The beautiful thing we love about the visual exploration of these books should be the writers ability to see that the human experience will need to over rule the labido.
What we saw a GREAT deal of in season two was intimacy. I am not referring to the fade to black or the scene in the blue room. I am referring to the looks, touches and conversations/arguments that took place. It is in these moments that our characters become the lovers that can not bare to lose one another.
The ability to fight. Jamie & Claire did that. Expressing anger can be quite a passionate act between partners. It encourages us to say what is on our mind, it encourages us to not only say but show with emotion what our true feelings are. An example is when Jamie was upset with Claire for working at L’Hôpital des Anges. The argument was a conduit for deeper understanding which creates intimacy, which creates a deeper bond. Even when our partners say & do irrational things it causes us to think of the deeper issues. Disagreements tend to open lines of communication which in turn leads us to healthier relationships.
Another tragedy befalls Claire & Jamie. It is the loss of a child. Hurt, anger, pain -both physical & emotional will cause a rift in any relationship. What truly matters is the bridge back to one another and crossing it together. For when they do…it cements the relationship into something more permanent. Something that could span lifetimes.
There was a WHOLE LOTTA story to tell in 13 episodes. We need to speak of the actors commitment to their characters. Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan have said they will not do gratuitous love scenes for the sake of them. They understand they are telling a story and that the scenes, whether sexual or violent in nature will not be over done. That is something I am personally grateful for. It is when shows start throwing in ass shots for the sake of ass shots that they lose credibility. Honestly, we know that Claire & Jamie are having sex. Like any other married/loving couple…but we don’t have to see them do it to know they are. It’s like bathing…we really don’t have to see the act, the flies aren’t gathering so we get it.
Conveying the depth of their relationship is more important to the story than sexytime.
I would encourage folks to examine logistics of the end of the season as well. Cold, hungry, weary and focused on changing the future. Having sex for the sake of having sex isn’t exactly what any sane couple would do under the circumstances. There is no doubt in my mind that they were, as their intimacy & connection showed greatly in those episodes, however, it was probably pretty un-sexy & the telling of that story was far more important.
The sex at the stones was much like the sex in the book. Fast…intense…and final. That kind of sex is never like a movie, its more like a punch in the stomach. Which I believe they captured perfectly.
I would love to end my view on the sexual world of Outlander. O-Lander if you please. Some of the most intense and intimate moments in books…don’t involve “sex” at all. *cough* Get ready for the print shop folks. *cough*
Too skip even further ahead to what I believe to be one of the most intimate scenes in all of Diana’s books…the final passage of The Fiery Cross.
**Book Spoiler—if you haven’t read to this point in TFC, it is up to you to continue**
FYI- Fun/Heartwarming Trivia —Diana Gabaldons husband is the one who uttered the final line of this particular passage. It is a testament of a well balanced marriage. Translated to Claire & Jamie, we have watched the start of it & will continue to enjoy it.
“I sat down beside him, close, my hand on his leg, and his hand on mine. We sat thus for a bit, side by side, watching the rain clouds roll in over the river, like a threat of distant war. And I thought that whether it was choice or no choice, it might be that it came to the same thing in the end.
Jamie’s hand lay still on mine. It tightened a little, and I glances at him, but his eyes were still fixed somewhere past the dooryard; past the mountains, and the distant clouds. His grip tightened further, and I felt the edges of my ring press into my flesh.
“When the day shall come, that we do part,” he said softly, and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’–ye’ll ken it was because I dinna have time.”