I understand "Pressure"

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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emma14
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I understand "Pressure"

Post by emma14 » Aug 17th 2004, 8:44 pm

first when i watched this episode i was thinking "God Jordan,don't be a JERK" Then i remembered he is 2 or 3 years older than her and that makes a big difference.She's 15 and he is 17. Do you get what i am saying?But i loved it at the end when he finally realized maybe she wasn't ready.
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Post by Megs » Aug 18th 2004, 6:19 pm

Yes, I have found that I sometimes forget that Jordan is a few years older than Angela when I watch the series. It's usually in Pressure where I remember that the age difference is a factor in their differing "maturity" levels. I remember when I was 15, and I was such a shy late-bloomer, that I was nowhere near having sex. I can't imagine having sex that young, and with multiple partners! How can they handle that kind of emotional attachment to someone at that age? I especially think that of Sharon. More power to her, but she is having casual sex with someone she doesn't really like all that much. Is she really mature enough to handle that?

Jezz. I sound like an old fart. What year is it in my head, 1956? My future kids are going to love me. :roll:
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Post by Nostradamus » Aug 19th 2004, 11:53 am

Megs wrote:Jezz. I sound like an old fart. What year is it in my head, 1956? My future kids are going to love me. :roll:
I suspect your your future kids really will love you when they are older, becuase you took such good care of them when they were younger.

:)

Of course, they won't see it that way for a while, and until they do, they will absolutely hate your guts. But they will love Amber. And you know, the karma in your house is like ridiculous. It's really low...or dark...whatever it is that happens to karma.

:-P
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Post by MyLifeIsBrians » Aug 20th 2004, 8:55 am

Megs wrote:Yes, I have found that I sometimes forget that Jordan is a few years older than Angela when I watch the series. It's usually in Pressure where I remember that the age difference is a factor in their differing "maturity" levels. I remember when I was 15, and I was such a shy late-bloomer, that I was nowhere near having sex. I can't imagine having sex that young, and with multiple partners! How can they handle that kind of emotional attachment to someone at that age? I especially think that of Sharon. More power to her, but she is having casual sex with someone she doesn't really like all that much. Is she really mature enough to handle that?

Jezz. I sound like an old fart. What year is it in my head, 1956? My future kids are going to love me. :roll:
I don`t think she was. I always thought she kinda regreted it because of her resolution to not have sex with him.
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Post by Angela_Catalano » Aug 23rd 2004, 3:45 pm

Yes, I agree! Jordan was older then Angela so he expected more of her. He was a big jerk about sex, but its normal. Thats what really happens. Guys want sex... And when they dont get it, they become jerks!

I do think that he realized at the end that she really just wasnt ready for sex. I also dont think he cared as much about sex with her after that episode. He finally realizes that he cares about her for more then that.

About Sharon, I think she can handle it pretty well. She knows what she is doing. Even Rayanne we know can handle that stuff. Angela gets to attached so she couldnt handle casual sex at all!

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Post by Nothingman » Aug 23rd 2004, 4:21 pm

Angela_Catalano wrote: He was a big jerk about sex, but its normal. Thats what really happens. Guys want sex... And when they dont get it, they become jerks!
Most guys are jerks so that you will have sex with them. And yes, that is our primary objective. I don't think their's any reason to appoligize for it, that's the just the way we are. And in general we're not interested in a relationship till we have sex with you. It's then that we begin to think about if we'd like to hang out with you on a regular basis. Of course there are exceptions and in highschool this is complicated by inexperience, but in general "that's what really happens".
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Aug 23rd 2004, 4:30 pm

Angela_Catalano wrote:He was a big jerk about sex, but its normal. Thats what really happens. Guys want sex... And when they dont get it, they become jerks!
Just so that we're not guy-bashing here, I have never once found that to be true. And to use the words of Brian Krakow himself, "Not all guys."

Angela_Catalano wrote:About Sharon, I think she can handle it pretty well. She knows what she is doing. Even Rayanne we know can handle that stuff. Angela gets to attached so she couldnt handle casual sex at all!
I actually disagree that Sharon and Rayanne are completely prepared to "handle" some of the choices they make in regards to engaging in sex.

* Sharon does appear to really enjoy exploring her sexuality, but she does seem unsure about the choices she's made about Kyle after "Resolutions."
* In "Pressure" Sharon says, "The only strange thing is that after that, having sex was like -- *expected*, because, you can't like -- go back. I mean, it kinda -- stopped mattering if - if -- like -- I wanted to."
* Rayanne says that she feels numb, and hints that she is looking for more than that
* Rayanne says that she does these wild and crazy things because she feels like her life is too slow she needs to make something happen -- it isn't the sex itself, its her means to an unknown end
* Rayanne allows herself to be used as a sexual object -- with the drummer from Jordan's band
* when Rayanne is in the parking lot with Jordan, she rubs her cheek against his hand, she is clearly searching for some kind of affection

Now Rayanne says countless times that she has the right to live her own life, that she does these things with guys because it is fun, that she doesn't need to be in love to have a good time, and that she doesn't get her emotions involved ... Yes, Rayanne totally does have the right to live her own life, and I respect that she doesn't allow other's perceptions of her, and what's expected, to rule her behavior; but, while we don't ever see Rayanne pining after a guy like Angela does, I would argue that there is an emotional involvement for her, at least some of the time, when she engages in these activities. These girls might not be attaching their hearts and their self-esteem to guys as Angela does, but they are engaging in unhealthy behavior, behavior which I believe stems partly from their age and maturity level.
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Post by Angela_Catalano » Aug 23rd 2004, 5:14 pm

Sorry guys!! I didnt mean all Guys... Just alot that Ive known and friends of mine known are like that. I just agree that the way Jordan acts about sex is true to a degree with guys.

And Jody I do agree with what you said. I think I was a little wrong about them being able to handle it. I dont think anybody really can at that age. Its true that Rayanne acted and did what she did just for affection and attention. She was handling things all wrong. Sharon shouldnt have really been having sex at that age either ( even though just about everyone this day in age does) We will all live to regret it, as Sharon does.

I basicly just think, Rayanne and Sharon are more able to have casual sex then Angela.

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Aug 23rd 2004, 5:38 pm

There are two main components to a sexual relationship - the physical and the emotional. In general, high school boys are interested in the physical aspect, while high school girls are interested in the emotional aspect. That is not to say that the two are mutually exclusive, just that each gender tends to focus on one rather than the other.

Many high school girls are capable of becoming aroused and enjoying the physical aspects of sex, but most of them are not prepared for the emotional aspect - due in part to the fact that many guys that age are not willing to give as much emotion as the girls want - the cuddling, the "I love you beary much," etc. That is not to say that guys are incapable of it, but that some of them don't want to or can't give the reassurance and emotional support that the girls crave.

Our societal double standard says that a girl who has sex without emotional attachment is a slut, which is part of the reason why girls are often reluctant to have sex with someone who isn't a boyfriend. It's okay for Sharon to have sex with Kyle because he is her boyfriend. She has probably had sex more often than Rayanne has, but because all of Sharon's encounters have been with the same person, her boyfriend, she is not a slut. Rayanne, on the other hand, is considered a slut (as decided by the Sophomore List) because the guys she hooks up with are not her boyfriends.

Because many high school guys are more interested in having sex than having a girlfriend, the male/female goals are almost at odds with each other. If the boys don't give their sex partners enough emotional support, the girls often feel guilty for having sex.

My point in all this is that most high school girls are NOT emotionally prepared to have sex. If, like Rayanne, they choose boys who don't care about them, the girls feel used/vulnerable/abandoned. Girls like Rayanne who have sex with guys who don't care about them are often substituting sex for real affection, the theory being that if she is getting attention then she is worthy of it - classic low self esteem. Even someone like Sharon who, for all we could see, was in an okay relationship with Kyle, had some reservations about having sex, as evidenced by Jody's quotes. It's not necessarily about all guys being jerks, but rather two people who are at cross purposes.
He was a big jerk about sex, but its normal. Thats what really happens. Guys want sex... And when they dont get it, they become jerks!
Well, to quote Brian, "Not all guys." If you are dealing with someone who is not interested in your emotional well-being, then yes, it's very likely that he will be a jerk if you don't have sex with him. Despite all that I have said, there ARE nice guys who will continue to be nice after you have sex with them or even if you don't have sex with them at all.
I also dont think he cared as much about sex with her after that episode. He finally realizes that he cares about her for more then that.
I'm not sure that Jordan is quite to the point where he realizes, "You're wrong," as he does in the finale. It takes him a while to reach that conclusion. I think what does happen after Pressure is that he begins to understand that the way he has dealt with girls in the past is not the ONLY way. We don't know much about his past relationships, but based on the way he treated Angela, it seems that he expects there to be a lot of physical stuff which logically leads to sex. Meeting her parents and expressing himself were pretty big expectations - he was surprised that he had to do these things, but I think he was in the process of learning that Angela required new and different things than his previous girlfriends (or sex partners). At first they were annoying things he didn't want to do because he'd never had to do them before - he viewed it as Angela making "too big a deal out of everything" and "too complicated." Just as he learned that she doesn't like being interrupted, Jordan is slowly learning that not every girl wants the same things or can be treatead the same way.
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Post by Nothingman » Aug 23rd 2004, 5:53 pm

Very well stated CG!
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Re: I understand "Pressure"

Post by Browland » Feb 1st 2011, 5:01 pm

I thought it was sad the way Angela was seeking advice about sex and couldn't get the answers she needed. You can tell she's looking for reassurance that it's okay to not be ready, but the people she talks to seem blind to her feelings.

I couldn't believe the doctor's response to just use both a condom and a sponge. A teenage girl is very awkwardly trying to start a conversation about sex, is it okay to do it at her age, is she normal for having reservations? I think Angela was hoping the doctor would tell her "don't do it, you're not ready!" The doctor seems to be listening and understanding, and she's known Angela for many years, but she completely misses Angela's need for some adult wisdom.

And Graham should have picked up on Angela's hesitance when she practically begged him to say she couldn't go out with Jordan that night. There should have been alarm bells going off, but he was completely oblivious. It upset me a bit because she's obviously so apprehensive about going to that house with Jordan that she's looking for any excuse not to go. Patty would have noticed it right away. Graham's not a bad parent, he's just clueless in that scene and can't read what's going on.

It seems that Sharon is the most helpful in giving Angela advice. At first Angela assumes that Sharon is still a virgin, and that she broke up with Kyle because she didn't want to have sex. Angela's taken aback to learn that Sharon has sex all the time. But when Sharon later has a heart-to heart about the difficult emotional issues associated with sex, it really gives Angela something to think about. Is she ready to take that major step with Jordan, when Sharon tells her there's no going back to before. Sex becomes something expected of her, whether she really wants it or not.

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Re: I understand "Pressure"

Post by Bacchante » Feb 3rd 2011, 1:25 pm

I think the reason why most people to whom Angela talks don't give her the advice she needs or don't pick up on her nervousness is because SHE is the one who needs to make this decision, and the writers wanted to create a situation where she is forced to make that decision on her own. Because there are certain times in life when, despite all the people around you, you are ultimately on your own, and I think this is one of those times. I think no matter what other people would have said, EVEN IF they had made her feel more relaxed and ok with having sex, the ridiculousness of that house that Jordan took her to wouldn't have felt right and she would have fled anyway.

Which is slightly sad, yet of course perfectly understandable. Maybe women should wait till they're older and lose their virginity to someone who has waited for them and has been their steady boyfriend for a while... or maybe they should lose it to someone who was their great(est?) love? I know I didn't lose my virginity to the guy who used to be my greatest love, instead I lost it to an actual long-term boyfriend who I didn't really love that much-- and I kind of still regret that... in some ways.

But hopefully Angela won't have to worry about that cause I believe that she and Jordan did stay together and he waited for her and all was well in the end :)

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Re: I understand "Pressure"

Post by Browland » Feb 3rd 2011, 2:50 pm

Thanks for the response and welcome! I agree that it was a choice Angela needed to make on her own. Ultimately, she was the one who had to face Jordan and tell him the truth, which she was afraid to do at first. I thought Jordan was a jerk about it in the beginning. Maybe that's typical of a lot of guys his age, but I'm glad he was more sensitive to her feelings in the end and probably felt bad about calling her "abnormal." I have to remember also that he's two years older than Angela and experienced.

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Re: I understand "Pressure"

Post by Bacchante » Feb 4th 2011, 5:09 am

Well, I didn't really think he was a jerk until he called her "abnormal", which was rather horrible. I guess I have a different attitude towards a guy wanting to have sex with a particular girl (who is not the slutty type). It can be flattering in a way, and it can be an expression of affection. At this confusing age especially, Jordan's wanting to have sex with Angela could just be an expression of how much he needs her emotionally. Or maybe I'm just crazy :)
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Re: I understand "Pressure"

Post by myso-calledlove » Mar 19th 2011, 1:06 am

let me start this by saying that this may be my favorite episode because it is so much about the ironies in Jordan and Angela's relationship. Angela is always seeking that "conversational element" with Jordan, but when it's her turn to to talk, she is just as shy and withdrawn as Jordan usually is. Sharon even tells her that she has a tendency to shut people out when they don't live up to her expectations of them.

Angela sees her and Jordan's relationship in black or white: good or bad, existing or over, but so much of the MSCL characters exist in varying shades of grey including Jordan. I believe this is testament to Angela's age in this situation. While obviously Angela and Jordan disagree on the topic of sex, she immediately equates this disagreement as the termination of their relationship. However, i don't think that Jordan feels the same way otherwise he would have never bothered to bring her bike back. I think Jordan coming to her with the bike was going to be his way of apologizing but as soon as he walks in Angela says something to the effect of "making it official" that they are over.

While i cannot defend the horrible way he treated her in his garage when he called her abnormal (Those eyes under his hat were literally like piercing daggers, it still hurts to watch that scene :cry: ) I feel that in this scene he is more clearly than ever expressing his feelings toward Angela for lying to him and in essence not trusting their relationship enough to be upfront with him or her unreadiness for sex. You can hear his pain in his voice when he tells her "You can think what you want about me, but i never lied". This to me is possibly the most important line in the episode because i believe that it reveals that the pressure for sex is not necessarily coming from Jordan but from within Angela herself. What i think this line means is that while Angela may see Jordan is just a typical guy with only one thing on his mind, his intention with sex was a way to further express his feelings toward her which is why he was willing to do it on her terms aka the place of her choosing and she never really gave an indication that she was uncomfortable with the act as much as she was concerned about the location. He was clearly upfront about his intentions and desires for her and is hurt when she does not reciprocate the honesty and trust back to him.

Getting back to when Jordan comes over, Angela is constantly trying to make their "break-up" Official by making definitive statements such as "so i guess this is it" and "Goodbye" but Jordan now realizing the significance of their relationship and the importance this disagreement plays into it says "i'll see you tomorrow" as if to say " I am not going anywhere". while understandably their differing views on the topic of sex has altered their relationship, i think it is for the better and i think that Jordan recognizes this before Angela.

I am soo sorry that was so long, apparently i had a lot of feelings to express on this topic :)
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