The First Time on Glee
November 17, 2011
There was a lot of hype over the last few weeks regarding the Glee episode, entitled The First Time. The episode was about the sex lives of two of the shows’ couples—Rachel and Finn, and Kurt and Blaine—as they had sex for the first time. For three of the four, this was their first time ever having sex.
I have to say, for all of the hullabaloo, between the excitement of fans and the protests of advocates of “clean TV,” the episode spent less time than I would have expected actually focusing on the sex plotline and instead spent a lot of time on other characters and story lines. And after all of the controversy, the “raunchiest” scene involved the couples in bed, clothed.
In fact, what turned out to be the most interesting part of the episode, at least for me, was comparing the situation between the heterosexual and gay couples. Fans of Glee know that the show’s writers aren’t afraid of controversial topics: so far the show has seen teen pregnancy, underage drinking, gay and lesbian relationships, cheating and betrayal. But in the show, Kurt and Blaine’s relationship has been more about longing glances and adorable declarations than hand holding or kissing. Having the couple develop a romantic and emotional connection that isn’t just physical illustrates that their relationship is serious and just as valid as any heterosexual relationship—an idea that is not accepted by everyone. The montage of the two couples before and after they had sex for the first time did a great job of comparing the two sexual encounters and showing viewers that relationships whether you’re gay or heterosexual are not all that different.
So sure, maybe some viewers were scandalized by the implications of teens having sex. But that’s a fact of life. Some teens have sex. Most don’t though. But if some viewers were scandalized by the idea of gay teens having sex, then hopefully this episode had them reevaluate their perception of LGBTQ relationships.