Question of the Week: August 21st, 2018.

How do you feel watching kissing or sex on TV?

I was watching a TV show the other day when a character walked into a bar and grabbed a girl and kissed her really deeply and I do not relate to this at all.

I just… I can’t understand what the appeal is.  I don’t actually mind kissing that much but when I see kissing like that it just seems super alien.

Sex scenes can go either way.  Either they just feel weird and supercilious or I am fascinated by the logistics of them.

How do things like this make you feel?



About astarlia

Astarlia is proud of herself for only having volunteered for..... okay if you have to stop and count it's probably too many things isn't it? She is passionate about nerd culture, disability and mental health, alternative relationships, sexuality, and young adult fiction.
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9 Responses to Question of the Week: August 21st, 2018.

  1. Zoe says:

    It really depends on how well they’ve built it up and how much I like the pairing. If it just comes out of nowhere or is just there for shock value or something I usually just impatiently wait for it to be over. If it’s a pairing I like or something I’ve been waiting for, I’m obviously excited but it’s still mainly story based and has little to do with the physical affection itself.

  2. Kissing’s fine, I don’t really care but sex scenes are boring and I zone out through them. Sometimes when the story’s good I feel like the sex interrupts it and is pointless, so I get annoyed. I usually skip through those scenes.

  3. Absconding Avarian says:

    As a very sex-repulsed ace, I find unwarned or unexpected sex scenes can actually make me physically ill and immediately cut off any empathy or rapport I was building with a character. It can actually prevent me from watching a show. Kissing scenes are usually fine, as long as they’re consensual and make a reasonable amount of sense within the narrative. But yeah, I’m not a big fan of that stuff.

  4. Rivers says:

    As a romance-replused and sex-replused aroace it pretty much always grosses me out or annoys me. I usually skip it or look away when it comes up. I really don’t get the appeal … At all. However, seeing as kissing isn’t necessarily a romantic or sexual thing, I would like to hear from people who appreciate it from a different perspective/attraction. Because I think being kissed replused can be kind of its own thing.

  5. epochryphal says:

    I really hate french kissing and the whole mouths-duelling style, so much, it’s repulsive. But I like passionate closed-mouth-press kissing, or some other kinds? I also hate the noises and find the constant sugar-sweet type grating. So it really depends on the actual way it’s done, and a bit on its frequency/relationship to the narrative (is it Just A Norm or Just An Event or is it… relatable to me). Sex is pretty similar actually – depends on the content and how amatonormative and/or heteronormative it feels.

  6. luvtheheaven says:

    epochryphal said a lot of what I feel much more succinctly than my following really long comment, but here goes…

    I think I have been quite fickle with my reactions to these types of scenes lately.

    A year ago I explained in this Carnival of Aces blog post of mine:
    that as I went from not knowing at all that asexuality existed and not understanding that actually I wasn’t an inexperienced straight allo, but instead that really I’m sex-averse and kissing-averse and totally ace,

    I went from being indifferent to sex scenes or even curious and intrigued by them, perhaps trying to learn about allosexuality through them before I knew that’s what I was doing… to just instantly when a sex scene would come up feeling reminded that in real life I am sex-averse (because after giving sex a shot I knew I wasn’t ever going to enjoy it), instead of hopeful or expecting to one day be in those characters’ shoes.


    I went from actively “shipping” where I, in many cases, rooted for two characters to kiss… to feeling confused about how I felt as I continued to experience shipping feelings, because now I knew I personally was kissing-averse. I’d been ignorant of that personal truth, but once I knew… I both yes, wanted the couple to be happy and finally “together” either in canon or in a fanfic story I was reading (or listening to in podfic form)… and I wanted them to just stay exactly as they were. I couldn’t even wish that they would get together but not be kissing.

    I watched this last night: despite never having seen an episode the tv show The Golden Girls in my life, but the fact that it all leads up to an assessment happily made in 2017 that it was the most amazingly progressive thing to have back then shown all four main older ladies as very much interested in sex instead of slowing the variety of the human experience and at least letting one of them really be a lady who, at least in her older age, was not exactly interested in pursuing sexual relationships with men nor excited by the attractiveness of men… Um.

    (I mean the whole thing I’m sure was more playing on how funny it is when people assume older women aren’t sexual anymore but then have to be confronted with the defying of their expectations and a lot of people find so much about sex to be sitcom worthy because it’s all taboo but… It’s still invalidating and erasing of the fact that people like me exist?)

    I think I started caring more about the “world” created in the fiction having no room for someone like me in certain tv shows and films, than I care about when individual characters are the type of person to walk into a bar and just passionately start making out with someone.

    It’s complicated for me to unpack though exactly when I am most uncomfortable by sex and passionate kissing scenes, and I think there are a few factors that can “up” how alienated, frustrated, or even disappointed they can make me feel – I think it’s when sex is framed as the ultimate goal finally being reached, “relationship escalator” style, when sex is the pinnacle and I’m clearly expected to be thrilled they’re having sex even more so than any other developments between the characters thus far, between the swelling musical score and the amount of screentime the sex scene is getting, or because of similar factors.

    The fandom’s reaction can also do this to me, if THEY’RE that excited about the sex, while I’m sitting here only reminded of how my sex-averse self really can’t relate to the characters fully, that I almost never can relate to characters fully, and that I also don’t relate to all these now vocal and excited fans.

    When sex is only casual I appreciate that sex isn’t the special pinnacle of human experience and emotion for these characters. When sex is less than perfect I relate more to the experience.

    When sex or passionate kissing involves a raw side with all things I don’t feel like I can relate to, I want to turn away. I can feel like I don’t recognize beloved characters anymore, even.

    When sex or passionate kissing involves smiles and giggles of giddy excitement, giddy excitement is an emotion I can relate to and I feel more connected to the scene and still recognize the characters.

    There are a select few characters I’ve really projected my asexual identity onto and for me, my asexual identity is very tied up in being kissing-averse and sex-averse. So those characters being involved in making out type scenes are much more viscerally repulsive to me, because it almost feels like a violation, although that is exceedingly rare to see happen.

    I think I’m more sqicked out by certain written descriptions of body parts and actions because they are more explicit but in tv and films, even some of the most explicit scenes I don’t feel as uncomfortable around??

  7. demiandproud says:

    The sex and kissing is irrelevant, unless there’s something else going on, e.g. there’s an expression of emotion that suits the character arc or a seduction takes place for plot reasons. Mr Darcy’s soulful gazes carry far more weight than your average action movie sex scene. I found Tony Stark’s babbling about how his biological clock is ticking in the face of Pepper’s indulgent denial a lot more real, in terms of portraying a relationship, than Steve Rogers kissing Sharon Carter with a nod and wink to his friends.

    I have to say, I’ve come to view explicit sex the way I do gore… only in very rare cases where it really makes a difference to the story does it seem suitable. Compare True Blood and Vampire Dairies… the latter I found both scarier and was more invested in while I watched it, in spite of its PG-13 rating.

  8. Blue Ice-Tea says:

    Demisexual perspective:

    For me, it’s all about context. If two characters have a well-developed relationship, if they’ve spent some time establishing their friendship and demonstrating their love for each other, then I can get really into kissing or even sex scenes – at least theoretically. But sex and kissing between strangers or people who aren’t friends is boring at best and nauseating at worst, and I tend to zone out during those scenes. The problem is, it’s the couples who haven’t demonstrated their love for each other who are more likely to get explicit sex scenes. For some reason, in film and television it’s much more common to see sex scenes between total strangers than between married couples. There should be a name for it: the Inverse Emotional Investment Law, or something. Basically, the more established a relationship is, the less likely it is to feature an explicit sex scene. So, while I have enjoyed kissing scenes, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a really enjoyable sex scene. All the couples I care about don’t get sex scenes, and all the sex I’ve seen was between people I didn’t care about. This also creates the weird impression that sex is more common between people who don’t love each other than between people who do!

  9. Rachel says:

    My feelings fluctuate a lot. Broadly speaking, I can get behind kissing more easily if the couple clicks well (good actors with good chemistry, strong writing to make the dynamic feel engaging, my own liking for the pairing, etc.) Sex scenes are a much harder sell… at best I begrudgingly tolerate them, at worst I find them tiresome and uncomfortable (especially with live actors, nothing aggravates my sex aversion more than seeing real people).

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