Sexual Issue #1: Winchesters and the Opposite Sex
Or Sleeping with a Winchester is Bad for Your Health
(Ha! You thought weâ€™d go straight for the gold, huh? Nope, youâ€™ll have to wait on that one. You have to let the homoerotic age, become like a fine wine â€“ itâ€™ll be tasty when we drink it, donâ€™t worry.)
Dean Winchester likes the girls, or at least thatâ€™s what the show would like us to assume. From seasons 1-5, Deanâ€™s sexual appetite served to mirror his notorious appetite for food. Dean, then, is very much a man of his body. He likes pleasure. He likes things that give him pleasure, and most of the time, those pleasures reside inside his Freudian Id. Now, he does develop sentimental ties to female objects of desire such as Lisa and Cassie, but most of the time, Deanâ€™s sexual proclivities seem to be the stuff of good old Midwestern testosterone. And unlike Sam (who weâ€™ll get to in a second), Dean does not hide his lustful inclinations. We can look to a number of episodes in the first few seasons to demonstrate this from â€œTall Talesâ€ to â€œThe Magnificent Seven.â€
When he does sentimentalize, though, the female is generally in danger or will quickly be there, so perhaps he has learned that love in the afternoon should stay thereâ€¦.in the afternoon. But in any case, the interesting thing about Deanâ€™s dalliances with the opposite sex is how careful the show is in its depiction of these encounters. The two times (yes, unfortunately itâ€™s happened only twice) weâ€™ve seen Dean in full on sex mode is with Cassie and Anna. And both times, he has been the antithesis of what weâ€™d expect. Gentle, soft, caring. Watching Dean make love is like watching a really good soap opera montage, with its soft lighting and gentle music. Womb crushing, he is, just womb crushing. But in the end, letâ€™s just say Dean would not make the cut on an audition for Sea of Love.
(And for future reference, does anyone think itâ€™s cool that Dean seems to have a pattern going with names of his beloveds: Lisa, Anna, Cassie, Castiel, but more on that later.)
Sam, on the other hand, appears more reserved when it comes to his sexual appetite, but thatâ€™s just a lie. Ironically, Sam is much more of an interesting and in-depth sexual character than Dean. (I have theories about this that we will explore later, but Iâ€™ll tease you with a few words: Suppress, Supplicate, Sublimate, and Sâ€¦.) Now, Samâ€™s got some classic panty twisting moves when it comes to the opposite sex. Case #1: â€œHeart.â€ Now granted, poor Madison bites it in the end, and yes, itâ€™s an insensitive pun, but come on, still funny. In this episode we see, for the first but not the last time, Sam Winchesterâ€™s go-to moves. Heâ€™s an up against the wall, multiple (and interesting) positions, and all night (or day) kind of lover. He picks girls up! Come on, people, this is like every female viewerâ€™s secret fantasy: to be light as a feather in her loverâ€™s arms. So to my mind, â€œHeartâ€ is really the episode that needs to be titled, â€œWhy Sam Winchester should star in Porn.â€
Case #2: â€œDream a Little Dream of Meâ€ and the Bela Talbot fantasy. Okay, technically not a sex scene, since it was a dream, but even in his dreams, Sam knows how to lay on the sexual seduction. This little nugget gives us a good insight into his faÃ§ade of reservedness and also it gives us one more homoerotic jab from Dean, but like the names of Deanâ€™s beloveds, weâ€™ll get to that later. Note: I did try to find a picture of this dream sequence but alas, Google failed me.
Case #3: â€œI Know What You Did Last Summerâ€ and RubyGate! First, I didnâ€™t even try to find a picture of this scene because it would kind of creep me out since they are married now, so nuh-uh. But this scene, you know the one where he makes the great rough sex face, re-doubles the fact that Sam Winchester likes violent sex. And his interactions with Ruby, which take on some disturbing kinks like knifeplay and bloodplay as well as more traditional kinks like role-playing, actually pairs nicely with the Sam weâ€™ll see in â€œSex and Violenceâ€ as well as the Soulless Sam sexcapade of season 6. By the way, this episode should be titled, â€œWhy Sam Winchester should star in Porn, Part Deux.â€ I made it French because French is just sexy.
Case #4: â€œSex and Violence.â€ Okay, by this time you all should be seeing a pattern and if not, then I donâ€™t know what to say. Here, Sam again, shows some real gusto with the lady doctor, whose name escapes me, but really her name is so not important. Iâ€™m sure her bruises were epic because, letâ€™s be honest, those blinds in the back had to dig a little. Again, up against the wall Sam is not at all reserved when it comes to sexing up the ladies. Iâ€™m detecting a pattern here as well. Perhaps itâ€™s Jared Padaleckiâ€™s size (height, people, height) that makes it easy for the writers (cough *Sera Gamble* cough) to imagine Sam as a sweet guy but an aggressive lover. Heâ€™s kind of like a new, masculine version of an old, misogynistic ideal: A lady on the arm, a hooker in the bedroom. In this instance, heâ€™d be a gentleman on the arm and a rock star in the bedroom. (Hey, men fantasize about hookers. I fantasize about rock stars â€“ donâ€™t judge.)
Sadly, after this episode, we experience the great Winchester sex drought of season 5. Even â€œFree to Be You and Meâ€ teases but never delivers on its promise of sexual Sam. All the ladies die and we go full force into the strange world of Dean/Castiel UST. Itâ€™s a sad, barren wasteland full of â€œI want to marry you and have your babiesâ€ Ackles and Samâ€™s returned (and not appreciated) â€œreservedâ€ nature. Whatever, Kripke. Iâ€™m not bitter. Since I now know that season 6 brings to me, to all of us, the greatest Winchester sex gift ever: Soulless Sam! Up against the wall Sam returns and this time without a conscience! He throws phone numbers in the trash after a one night stand (and the hottest workout scene ever, by the way â€“ thank you, Jared Padalecki, thank you). He picks up a random girl and takes her back to his room, while his brother is missing. And he answers the primitive call of â€œCuff meâ€ with vigor, abandon, and expertise. To say he is back is an understatement. Sam returns with full on kink in tow. Sigh, how I love you Soulless Sam, even as society tells me to detest and ignore you.
Yes, while Dean is being all soulful eyed, gentle, and womb crushing, you, Soulless Sam, balance out what will turn into a rather explicitly homoerotic subtext later in the season. And no, I donâ€™t count Castielâ€™s kiss with Meg as anything other than a strange reenactment of the porn he had just watched, while in the presence of two guys might I note. And plus, Meg is kind of masculine. Donâ€™t worry, Meg and Ruby both have their own little sections to this exploration of Sex and Supernatural. Anyone remember the rack?
So when it comes to the Winchesters and the opposite sex you can see that my bias is toward Sam, Soullless Sam, or better yet, â€œUp Against the Wallâ€ Sam. Now, that would be interesting enough, but as we journey deeper into the darkness, weâ€™ll see that rough sex is the least of our worries when it comes to the show. And Dean will not escape our notice. He has his own sexual issues that must play themselves out.
In a way, violence is a key aspect to understanding how sex is not only portrayed, but how sex itself becomes a metaphor for all types of psychological, social, and philosophical issues.
In the next part, weâ€™ll explore the fear of sexual deviancy in Supernaturalâ€¦.Weâ€™ll call it â€œSexual Issue #2: Whatâ€™s Your Safe Word? Supernatural mainstreams the kink and kinks the mainstreamâ€