Discussion for Episode 13: Pressure

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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TomSpeed
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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 10th 2003, 9:45 pm

likelife wrote:by the way, does anyone else wonder why they have to go from making out to full-on intercourse? i know i have asked this question before in some capacity.. and i think my own answer is that it;s hard to talk about different types of sexual acts on primetime family tv, but jeez, couldn't they do some heavy petting in the car or at the house on cloverdale without actually going all the way? is the reason that both of them see sex as the next step that they are both too inexperienced to realize that you can have fun with your partner and abstain from intercourse? jordan's obviously gotten most of his info from dumb high school guys, so i suppose he would not know how to get creative, and i guess angela does not ask a lot of questions of anyone because she is too afraid to reveal her inexperience and lack of knowledge. ... what are everyone's thoughts on this?
I think inexperience and youth have a great deal to do with why Angela and Jordan focus on intercourse as the next logical step in their relationship. The only way to learn how to please someone is by being a relationship. Also it is hard to look beyond sex. Having sex is a goal for Jordan. Angela is wary of having sex. The both are too young to be able to adequately explain what they want and need. Jordan sees sleeping with Angela as something to achieve. It doesn't really think of sex as a way to please Angela. He only wants to please himself. Angela craves attention. She wants to be touched. She wants to be held. But she doesn't want to be a goal or a trophy. They really haven't taken time to get to know each other. However, time just seems to speed up when you are young.

I remember how much I wanted sex when I was in high school. I also wanted a girl friend. But I didn't necessarily make the connection between developing a relationship and having sex. The educational sex tape, although it is kind of cheesy, makes a good point: sex is part of a relationship, it's not the relationship.

After years of frustration, my first time having sex came almost out of nowhere. But it was a separated event in my life. I knew the woman, but I didn't know her that well. We weren't in love. We really didn't even have a real relationship. Afterwards, I kind of wondered why I had made my life miserable for such a small thing.

It was a few years later when I got in a real relationship. I got to know her intimately in many different ways. We really spent some time getting to know each other before we had sex. And when we did start having sex, we were very open about telling each other what we wanted and craved. Intercourse was a large part of our physical contact, but it wasn't the only part. She taught me many ways to please a woman. And I taught her how to please me. We learned from each other. The big difference between us and Angela and Jordan clearly was our ages. We were both in our twenties, not our teens. We both were experienced lovers. She was much more experienced than me. Instead of being put off by her experience and her eagerness to give instruction, I used both for my benefit and hers.

This isn't to say that Angela and Jordan couldn't learn to be comfortable with each other. But they would have to turn the speed on their relationship way down. That would be hard for most teenagers to do.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 11th 2003, 12:13 am

A great quote from High Fidelity on the subject:
Read any woman's magazine and you'll see the same complaint over and over again: men - those little boys ten or twenty or thirty years on - are hopeless in bed. They are not interested in "foreplay"; they have no desire to stimulate the erogenous zones of the opposite sex; they are selfish, greedy, clumsy, unsophisticated. These complaints, you can't help feeling, are kind of ironic. Back then, all we wanted was foreplay, and girls weren't interested. They didn't want to be touched, caressed, stimulated, aroused; in fact, they used to thump us if we tried. It's not really very surprising, then, that we're not very much good at all that. We spent two or three long and extremely formative years being told very forcibly not even to think about it. Between the ages of fourteen and twenty-four, foreplay changes from being something that boys want to do and girls don't, to something that women want and men can't be bothered with....The perfect match, if you ask me, is between the Cosmo woman and the fourteen year old boy.
Anyway, I think that Jordan is one of those teenage boys who sees the kissing as what leads to sex. Despite the fact that he's probably seen his fair share of porn, he sees kissing as the requisite foreplay. Angela, on the other hand, is too repressed to clearly explain that (1) there are things that they can do besides sex (I don't want to get too graphic!) and (2) that kissing isn't stimulating enough to physically arouse her to the point of wanting to have sex.
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Post by starbug » Apr 11th 2003, 5:14 am

candygirl wrote:I found a few Elizabeth Jenning poems - are any of these the one you were thinking of?

One Flesh

Lying apart now, each in a separate bed,
He with a book, keeping the light on late,
She like a girl dreaming of childhood,
All men elsewhere - it is as if they wait
Some new event: the book he holds unread,
Her eyes fixed on the shadows overhead.

Tossed up like flotsam from a former passion,
How cool they lie. They hardly ever touch,
Or if they do it is like a confession
Of having little feeling - or too much.
Chastity faces them, a destination
For which their whole lives were a preparation.

Strangely apart, yet strangely close together,
Silence between them like a thread to hold
And not wind in. And time itself's a feather
Touching them gently. Do they know they're old,
These two who are my father and my mother
Whose fire from which I came, has now grown cold?

Delay

The radiance of the star that leans on me
Was shining years ago. The light that now
Glitters up there my eyes may never see,
And so the time lag teases me with how

Love that loves now may not reach me until
Its first desire is spent. The star's impulse
Must wait for eyes to claim it beautiful
And love arrived may find us somewhere else.

Winter Love

Let us have winter loving that the heart
May be in peace and ready to partake
Of the slow pleasure spring would rush to hurry
Or that in summer harshly would awake,
And let us fall apart, O gladly weary,
The white skin shaken like a white snowflake.
I love Elizabeth Jennings and One Flesh is widely regarded as her best; I've read it before but it's not the one I was thinking about - although it is extremely pertinent to this discussion :!: . We studied her at school (about 25 of her poems) and the one I'm thinking of is full of animal imagery, death and violence. Lots of red imagery. I even think it might have the phrase 'become one' in it somewhere.... anyway it was all about sex being death to life and independence. I looked for my book last night but couldn't find it. But I work next to like, the largest academic bookshop in London so I might take a trip in there.

:wink:

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Post by starbug » Apr 11th 2003, 6:41 am

candygirl wrote:When Jordan asks, "Is [Angela] home?" why does Brian reply, "I'm not sure"?
I always thought this was a nice thing of Brian to do. He's just been hearing the details of why it is that Angela's bothered, and the reason for their split. If he had answered 'yes' to Jordan's question, Jordan would then know that Angela were in the house. If she didn't want to see him, Brian's comment that she was there could cause a problem for her; she'd have to hide from Jordan. If Brian answers 'No', Jordan will go away. For all Brian knows, Jordan is visiting Angela to apologise; something he doesn't want to stand in the way of. Why should he be the one to decide to say 'No' and effectively send Jordan away. Anyway, Brian says something he knows will get Jordan to at least try to speak to Angela. The decision of whether she wants to see him or to hide from him is then hers, not Brian's.
candygirl wrote: When Jordan says he won't hold it against her if her name comes up, she says "thanks" almost sarcastically, but I think that Jordan means it to be comforting. Angela lives in the kind of world where she and Rayanne write notes about people that are true. She doesn't quite grasp that Jordan is doing a nice thing here - he is promising not to lie to his friends about what happened or talk smack about her.
I took this a different way, I think. When says he won't hold it against her, I took it to mean that he wouldn't tell his friends she was frigid/abnormal or whatever because she wouldn't have sex with him. In this way I think he was saying that he wouldn't be telling them to steer clear of her because she was too uptight. He means it nicely, but I can completely see why she was upset. Nobody wants to think they're the topic of discussion, especially when the discussion is about who will and won't have sex, and being singled out as one of those who won't (here, Angela does seem to be in the minority).

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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 11th 2003, 9:39 am

starbug wrote:
candygirl wrote:When Jordan asks, "Is [Angela] home?" why does Brian reply, "I'm not sure"?
I always thought this was a nice thing of Brian to do. He's just been hearing the details of why it is that Angela's bothered, and the reason for their split. If he had answered 'yes' to Jordan's question, Jordan would then know that Angela were in the house. If she didn't want to see him, Brian's comment that she was there could cause a problem for her; she'd have to hide from Jordan. If Brian answers 'No', Jordan will go away. For all Brian knows, Jordan is visiting Angela to apologise; something he doesn't want to stand in the way of. Why should he be the one to decide to say 'No' and effectively send Jordan away. Anyway, Brian says something he knows will get Jordan to at least try to speak to Angela. The decision of whether she wants to see him or to hide from him is then hers, not Brian's.
Wow :!: Great analysis, Starbug. I have never really understood why Brian says he doesn't know if Angela is home to Jordan. Your reasoning makes a great deal of sense. Also, Brian shows true friendship to Angela by not taking the easy way out. He could have easily said that Angela wasn't home to try to keep Angela and Jordan apart.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by starbug » Apr 11th 2003, 9:46 am

thanks :) It's one of those moments that made me realise what a true friend Brian was to Angela - he could so easily have got involved and stirred the situation up, but chose not to, respecting Angela enough to enable her to deal with it how she saw fit.

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Post by meggrrrl » Apr 11th 2003, 11:12 pm

Everything started to seem like, pornographic or
something. Like, Mrs. Krysanowski has sex. So does Mr. Katimsky.
They both have sex. They could -- have sex together. Like
right now. I am, like, the *sickest* person.
I LOVE this quote! Love it! It's got to be one of my favorite mscl moments. I remember feeling that, that sexual awakening. Walking through school and realizing that my teachers had sex. They could have sex with each other. Anyone could have sex at any time with anyone else. And feeling like a complete sicko for thinking that.

I went to an all-girls school, and I remember realizing one day that there were no penises in the entire building. One day, if the world ended and only my school was left, there wold be no penises in the world. It was a penis-free zone. And then I felt like a completely sick person for even thinking that way. What a mscl moment.

Sitting in the back of class and wondering who had had sex. Wondering if I was the only virgin. A few months later wondering if I was the only non-virgin. Wondering why we put on this charade about algebra and biology when all life comes down to sex and death, and algebra seems so trivial. How could sex be something you "had"? How did people go off and just "have" it and then go on with their lives as if they didn't "have" anything special?

Gosh, I don't know how to even express all that, just that that little quote in that show - it was one of those mscl moments that can really get you!

Meg

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Post by loveme » Apr 11th 2003, 11:54 pm

but (on a really big tangent) did you know there's a small town in France called Condom?

no i didn't know, i mean i heard about it but didn't remember it was in france...it's pretty funny...

just a few words: i'm not really taking part in any of your conversations simply because i've got huge problems to express myself in english, especially when we're talking about complexs things, details...anyway, it's great to read you.I feel good when i read your conversations (even if i'm frustrated not be a part of it :( )
So...just to say i love this forum.Very exiting and highly interesting.Thanks.

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Back to the whole "Brian/Angela" thing...

Post by lithiumkat » Apr 23rd 2003, 4:34 am

Has anyone ever noticed how when Angela is all upset because she feels like boys are not interested in like HER, but more or less in simply getting into her pants and not even caring about who she is, what she thinks or anything or whatever that the person she talks to about it, that she chooses to confide in, is not a female friend, not the Rayanne or Sharon or not even Rickie her CLOSE male FRIEND, but -BRIAN.-

And then when she says it's sad about boys just wanting to get in your pants and she asks 'dont they?' and BRIAN just doesnt say anything for awhile but then he looks at her and says 'not all boys' and the way he says it and the way he thought over it for awhile like he was thinking...*not me* and it's like god the whole everything you are looking for is right under your nose and you don't know it.

because brian is probably the one guy she would come across that does not just care about just getting in her pants but really likes her and she just like doesnt even realize that exactly what shes LOOKING FOR in jordan catalano is actually right underneath her in brian krakow?!? but i mean it's just some crazy thoughts that always runs across my head whenever i watch that part.

and obviously even though ang may treat brian the way that he does she obviously trusts him and has enough respect/like for that she is going to confide in him to talk to about something that serious and stuff?

i dont know just crazyass random thoughts.
"people always say how you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing...like a toaster or something, like you can know what it is even."

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You guys are gonna think I'm sick...

Post by lithiumkat » Apr 23rd 2003, 4:42 am

Because where Angela says---"Like breaking and entering? And Jordan says "Just.....entering." I always get the feeling sick or not that Angela is referring to herself like ya know like breaking angela and entering I mean I'm not trying to make a really sick sentence so yeah but then Jordan is like just entering" and I always feel like they are both talking about her like ya know in their concerns/intents whatever I mean here. I may just be crazy though.
"people always say how you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing...like a toaster or something, like you can know what it is even."

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this always cracks me up

Post by lithiumkat » Apr 23rd 2003, 5:36 am

"i mean i think about it all the time but..."
angela

"wait! you think about it all the time!?"
brian

"BRIAN! yeah, shut up. boys don't have the monopoly on thinking about it."
angela

"THEY DONT?"
brian

"NO!"
angela

"okay."
brian
"people always say how you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing...like a toaster or something, like you can know what it is even."

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Re: You guys are gonna think I'm sick...

Post by TomSpeed » Apr 23rd 2003, 9:12 am

lithiumkat wrote:Because where Angela says---"Like breaking and entering? And Jordan says "Just.....entering." I always get the feeling sick or not that Angela is referring to herself like ya know like breaking angela and entering I mean I'm not trying to make a really sick sentence so yeah but then Jordan is like just entering" and I always feel like they are both talking about her like ya know in their concerns/intents whatever I mean here. I may just be crazy though.
Jordan's "just...entering" comment always makes me cringe. You can't miss the sexual undertone. Angela is a virgin. The hymen is broken. A woman's body is entered. It's this conversation that makes me think Jordan isn't a stupid as he seems. His comments and body language are very manipulative. However, a true caring about Angela seems lacking.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by meggrrrl » Apr 23rd 2003, 4:32 pm

I figured it was just an easy sexual reference. Angela, innocent as she is, made the "breaking and entering" analogy completely unintentionally, yet it still fits. Jordan pounces on the chance to make a crude joke, as many high school boys would.

On the other hand, perhaps the deeper meaning is that he's not completely aware that she's a virgin? I mean, he can't just enter without breaking, does he know this? I doubt we're supposed to analyze it that closely. I think he's just a horny guy, trying to bring the conversation around to sex.

Meg

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Post by Nothingman » Apr 23rd 2003, 5:51 pm

"breaking and entering"

That line works on so many levels. To Jordon, they are "just...entering" the next step in their relationship. It's what "You're *supposed* to! It's accepted -- it's what you're supposed to do! Unless you're -- like -- abnormal. " To Angela, they "breaking and entering" into that next step. She'd be crashing through bariers she's not ready for. "It's sort of like when you were letting me drive your car. And I loved it -- it made me feel really powerful -- but also really terrified, like I wasn't ready -- for that much freedom.
"To come to your senses, you must first go out of your mind." - Alan Watts

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Post by Guest » Jul 28th 2003, 12:58 pm

Did anyone else think that Jordan looked, I don't know, more decent( in sense that he was shaved and his hair wasn't as greasy as usual), when he came to her house to met her parents( when he met Graham).I think he even wore a new shirt.Oh I don't know I'm probably exaggerating. :o

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