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All I Need to Know About Sex, I Learned From Buffy

This is actually a guest post I wrote for Kristin McFarland about a year ago, but I thought it would be fun to share with you today! Yes, I know we talked Buffy and sex a couple weeks ago, but this one is funner. 

Beware.

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In an America where people think a slap on the wrist and a vehement “don’t do that!” is enough to deter teens from sexperimentation, I have a better route for you, and I learned it from my favorite Slayer and her pals.

The best thing about urban fantasy is how it tells human stories from a supernatural lens. Today we’re going to center the microscope right over the sexy just to make sure you never have sex ever. Ever ever ever.

 

Bad Oz! Not only is she an evil werewolf, but she has a tattoo that looks like a bone. How tacky is that?

 

1. Sleeping with someone isn’t the best way to keep them from clawing people to pieces.

The Sitch

So Oz was the solo werewolf for a whole season until Veruca came along. Never mind that her name is a kind of wart. Never mind also how she slithers around a microphone as if she wishes it were a heavily secured pole in the floor. As if that wasn’t enough to make us cringe, she’s got her eyes on Oz. If you’re anything like me, this little subplot had your head banging on a table or a wall as you watched Oz stick his foot in his mouth and follow it with his leg up to the knee.

When he finds out she’s the werewolf that’s been taking bites out of the general populace, what does he do? Go tell Buffy the Vampire Slayer who could beat some sense (or some silver) into her? Tell his girlfriend of a year who clearly fears Veruca’s wolfy wiles?

Noooope.

Oz locks himself in a cage with Veruca and decides to bone the trouble out of her.

The Lesson

Sleeping with the enemy doesn’t fix relationships. In fact, when your lovely girlfriend happens by to let your out of your cage with coffee and donuts the next morning only to find you in the buff with said enemy, it’s safe to say your relationship is ruined.

And sex is bad.

 

And you thought your first date ended badly.

2. You might think she’s inviting you over for some ropey hijinks, but she’s just a demon who wants to use your blood to let loose a sea of primordial vampires.

The Sitch

Xander meets Lissa while she’s trying to buy rope, asks her to coffee, and ends up suspended from a big old rack in the school basement while she sticks him with pointy objects to get his blood to open the Seal of Danzalthar.

Oh yeah — she ties him up with the rope he helped her choose.

D’oh.

The Lesson

Even if she says she only wants to use it to suspend her kayak from the ceiling of her garage, if your name is Xander Harris, you should know by now that she’s a demon who wants to kill you. If every woman save one in your dating history is a demon, it’s probably a good idea to look for patterns when you meet someone new.

Besides, sex on the first date leads to bondage and dangling.

 

You might think too much sex sounds fun…

 

3. There is such a thing as too much sex.

In the romance novels, all men are stevedores in bed and the women have the endurance of a Kenyan distance runner. You might think no one notices how you and your new honey sneak off to “look over your psych papers,” but you just succeed in making everything awkward for everyone else. Pretty soon they’ll be chopping off their own hair, feeling up walls, and seeing ghosts. For realsies. It’s serious.

 

…but really, everyone around you sees this. And it attacks them.

The Sitch

Buffy and Riley are flush with the bloom of new lust. Just one little touch makes them go kablooey. And it just so happens that Riley’s frat-military secret ops house has a repressed sexual past — so when they start doin’ it full time, the house gets a little too into it, using it to feed off of their desire until it kills them.

The Lesson

You can sex yourself to death. Sex will be the death of you! It will unleash a jungle in your home! It will kill everyone you love, or at least stab them through the hand with creeper vines!

TEH SEKS IS BAD!

 

Never have sex.

 

4. If you have sex with your boyfriend, he will lose his soul and go evil. And he will try to kill you and everyone you love. He’ll also say really mean things to you.

The Sitch

Buffy and Angel started falling in love in season one. In season two, things started to heat up big time. Big drama, big love, big danger — it all added up to one word: RAWR. When Spike and Drusilla’s minions start creating a jigsaw destroyer demon called The Judge and ambush Angel and Buffy in order to get his arm, both Buffy and Angel get a little wet. Ahem.

When he takes her back to his place, it turns from just getting her warm after a dunk in the drink to some serious lovemaking.

All’s peachy until Buffy wakes up alone in Angel’s bed, and Angel himself has gone and gotten a happy — which causes him to lose his soul, turn evil, and get murdery. Talk about a bummer of a first time.

The Lesson

Men are evil. They might seem nice until you go to bed with them, but they won’t be there in the morning, and they might turn into an evil stalker that strings up your best friend’s goldfish and kills perfectly nice computer teachers.

Better to just stay celibate.

Sex is bad.

Move over, abstinence-only education, because if you’re in need of a great new curriculum, look no further! Just get Netflix and stream some Buffy into your classroom.

In all seriousness, I don’t think Joss really hates sex in spite of the pervasive “sex is bad” theme throughout the show. Looking into the crater of Sunnydale, I think all he really meant to say is that sex has consequences, and it’s something best approached with maturity.

Um…maturity. I’ll look into that.

 Housekeeping note: Due to me heading out for a conference on Friday and prepping a manuscript for betas, this is the last post of the week. I’ll be back Monday with our final Buffyversary post!

Spotlight on Buffy Writer Marti Noxon

Buffy1

 

Welcome back to the Hellmouth, gentle viewers! Be warned; here be spoilers.

Today I thought I’d depart from character stuff and talk about one of my favorite Buffy writers. This writer brought me some of my favorite episodes, both hilarious and heart-wrenching. She’s written some kick-ass blowouts and some punch-to-the-gut breakups — and one of my all time favorite funny moments.

And hey, we also saw her on screen a couple times!

I am, of course, talking about the indomitable Marti Noxon.

Marti1Marti joined the show back in its second season, and she went on to write at least three or four episodes per season through the end. So today I thought I’d showcase some of these awesome episodes and what made them so great for me. And why they’re still memorable so many years after the show left the air.

Gonna come out and say right now that I’m not going to tolerate any vitriol toward her, because I believe it is wholly undeserved. It takes a whole hell of a lot more than one person to make or break a television show. So…as usual, be civil, be respectful, and have fun talking about the Buffyverse. No writer-bashing on this blog. I know that when the show aired there was a LOT of drama and a lot of nastiness aimed at Marti, and I’ve seen enough of it, thank you. Keep it friendly.

So grab a stake and a Doublemeat burger and snuzzle in, folks!

WhatsMyLineWillowOz

 

What’s My Line, Part 1 and Part 2

This little two episode arc is just fun. After a long buildup, Willow and Oz finally meet! I am the bug man, coo-coo-ca-choo! Cordy and Xander making out! Oz gets shot! Angel gets almost deader! Spike and Dru hijinks! Kendra’s accent is unrecognizable!

This is always a fun couple of episodes for me. The Order of Taraka, nerd-vamps — all of it.

BuffyRat

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered

This episode is full of hilarity, and one of my all-time favorite sequences: the Buffy rat.

“We’ve got to catch the Buffy rat.”

When a love-spelled Amy turns Buffy into a rat to get a crack at Xander, they have a little Buffy rat cam for a bit that makes me die laughing each time I see it. The episode as a whole is a pretty traditional warning against love spells and abusing magic, but it’s just done with so much aplomb that it’s always one of my favorite episodes of the season.

BuffyClassProtectorThe Prom

There are so many things about this episode that are perfect.

Buffy has been fighting evil at Sunnydale High for two and a half years. She’s mostly gone unnoticed, unthanked. And even on the big night, she has to stop Tucker’s evil hellhounds from attacking the dance and ruining everyone’s night. But she does it, ensuring her friends can have their glittery evening without fear.

And she finally gets recognition from the entire school for what she’s done for them. Pretty perfect.

Plus, to top it off, we get to hear Giles tell Wesley he has the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone, and Angel stops being a prat long enough to show up and dance with Buffy. Wins and warm fuzzies for ALL! Except maybe for Wesley.

And Tucker.

And his hellhounds.

WildAtHeartOzVeruca

 

Wild At Heart

Talk about a punch to the feels. This episode reaches in, wraps its claws around your feels and jerks them right out of you.

After seeing the build between Veruca and Oz for a while — and the damage it’s wringing from Willow — this is where it comes to a head.

This episode is such an interesting look into the normally-stoic Oz. And it encompasses some really awful decision-making on his part. He had the option to go to Buffy or Willow with what he was feeling. He knew Veruca was hurting people. And instead he chose to give into something that caused him to lose the woman he loved. This is probably the most painful breakup episode for me, and it leads into the relationship between Willow and Tara, which comes to the forefront in another Marti-written episode…

NewMoonRisingOzWillow

New Moon Rising

Oz returns, now able to control his wolfy bits even on the full moon. And he wants Willow back…except Willow’s not available.

First of all, I love the interplay of emotions in this episode. Willow’s confusion, Oz’s disbelief, Tara’s fear. I think it’s masterfully woven together with Willow’s coming out, and what’s also made clear is how healing Tara’s love is for her. I’ve always loved Tara’s character, and I also love how much she and Willow grow together as they develop, bringing Tara out of her shell and Willow into her own power. As much of a beautiful first love story as Willow and Oz had together, I think this episode captures perfectly how first loves really are most of the time: an integral development that shapes your life, but isn’t meant to be worn forever.

You can’t escape them, not wholly, but 99% of the time, you have to move on. Sidebar: this is how I feel about the Buffy/Angel dynamic as well.

There are a whole heap of other episodes written and directed by Marti Noxon that I absolutely love: Forever, Into the Woods, Bargaining Part 1, Wrecked, Villains.

She was able to nail these stories, and I respect her tremendously. What are some of your favorite episodes she created?

 

Sex in the Buffyverse: You Will Get Pregnant and Die

BuffyAndAngelInnocence

Welcome back to the Hellmouth, gentle viewers! It’s Friday, it’s a holiday weekend, and it’s time to get sexy.

This post contains spoilers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and may include spoilers for their comic book continuations.

It’s no secret that “sex has consequences” is one of the biggest themes of Joss Whedon’s Buffyverse. From mystical pregnancies to unleashing the real Angelus, the show is often more likely to show something awful happening after a character gets jiggy than not. Today we’re going to look at some of those consequences.

CordeliaPregnant

 

Lesson One: If You Have Sex, You Will Get Pregnant and Die.

…after spawning a horde of baby-demons, that is.

Cordelia goes out with a great guy, takes him home, and wakes up eight months pregnant with demon spawn. You can’t make a message much clearer than that. No sex on the first date, guys. Bad. Baddy-bad-bad-bad.

Is the message here that one night stands are bad? Be careful who you date? If it’s Xander we’re talking about, maybe you should give all your dates a full FBI background check just to make sure they’re not demons. And let’s not forget that Cordelia having sex with Connor is what prompted the birth of Jasmine. As much as I love Gina Torres, that maggoty face thing she had going on was rather…unsavory.

FaithAndXander

Lesson Two: Having Sex With Someone Might Make Them Turn Evil

Especially if you’re doing it for the first time ever.

Buffy and Angel do it? He becomes Angelus and goes on a killing spree across Sunnydale. Buffy has a one-night stand with Parker? He’s the quintessential player and tells her to hate the game. Xander does it with Faith? She conveniently forgets to employ a safe word and almost chokes him to death.

And let’s not forget how Willow kissing Kennedy literally turned her into Tara’s killer.

And in the comics when Buffy and Angel go at it? They spawn a whole other universe and unleash hell on earth. How’s that for a consequence? “You can stay here and bang…or you can go save humanity. Love and kisses!”

The point here is that you should be very, very careful who you sleep with. See above re: FBI background checks.

BuffyAndRileyWTWTA

 

Lesson Three: Too Much Sex Feeds Poltergeists

So Buffy and Riley are in a nice, committed relationship. They’re happy, they’re frisky, and they start doing it and doing it and doing it well. (Sorry about that reference.)

The problem is, Riley’s Initiative frat house has a poltergeist made of the souls of a bunch of sexually repressed children who start tormenting the rest of the people in the house when they get a taste of Buffy and Riley’s sexy-time mojo, natch.

From making a girl cut off her beautiful auburn curls (I die a little each time I see that) to a spot on a wall that gives you an orgasm, the house starts going just a little bit bonkers. It feeds off of Buffy and Riley. If it weren’t for Xander and Anya wading through a literal sea of attack vines, they’d probably just bang themselves to death.

I suppose there are worse ways to go out.

Anyway. The point? Too much sex is bad. But also teaching kids to be ashamed of sex is bad, because they might become vengeful spirits and try to drown you in a bathtub.

BuffySpikeSmashed

 

Lesson Four: Using People is Bad

I’m at the front of the line of people who believe Spike and Buffy belong together. But I’ll also be the first to admit that their sexual relationship begins in a way that is less than healthy.

The biggest reason for that thought process in my mind is that Buffy chooses someone who represents everything she hates. Regardless of how her feelings for him change later, that’s not the best way to begin a relationship. The consequences here are mostly emotional, on the part of both characters. Buffy hates herself and takes it out on Spike. Spike conflates their sexual relationship for love. Everyone ends up a big, soggy mess.

All that said, there ARE a couple examples of sex gone right in Sunnydale and LA. So let’s look at those.

WillowOzGraduationDay

 

Example One: Committed Relationship + Love = Sexy Green Light

Willow and Oz are able to have sex without unleashing doom on Sunnydale. When they first do it, it’s a mutual decision with a lot of forethought (and one very awkward false start involving VHS tapes and Barry White). But they’re together. They’re committed. And they love each other. Somehow this equation allows them to bypass the curse of the Buffyverse sexy times.

In fact, Willow’s able to have two healthy sexual relationships on the show. She and Tara have a beautiful relationship together.

The other example of this equation for healthy sex is probably Xander and Anya. Even if they start out rather unconventionally, they stick together.

Doom Prophylactic #1: only have sex with committed partners.

FredGunnKiss

 

Example Two: Same Species + Attraction = Safe

As a general rule, the couples on Buffy that are the same species are able to avoid major sexual consequences. Fred and Gunn, Spike and Drusilla, Buffy and Riley (as long as they come up for air now and then), Willow and Tara. I’ll let you decide if Oz is human or not.

Maybe the rule should be “don’t bang vampires,” or “test people for demony-vibes.” Either way, it’s pretty safe as long as you keep it in the realm of your own taxonomy.

Doom Prophylactic #2: date within your species.

The moral of these stories is that if you pick someone in your species and have a loving, committed relationship with them, you can pretty much have sex with impunity.

Well, whaddya know? That’s pretty much like the real world. As fun as one-nighters can be, I think we can all admit they pose a higher risk factor (though I can hear your thoughts right now: “But that’s part of the fun!”).

That’s about all I’ve got for now. As far as themes go on the show, this is always one of the more obvious, and one of the most fun to dissect. One of the best things about the Buffyverse is seeing human stories play out through the shows’ supernatural lens, and the portrayal of sex is no different. How many of us have experienced some sort of sexual doom, albeit not as severe as unleashing a serial killer? (I certainly hope, anyway.)

What are your favorite sexy dooms in the Buffyverse?

 

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