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Forbidden Elephants: Sex and the Single Winchester
So there’s an elephant in the room and it’s been here for a long time. Let’s discuss it. Let’s go there: Sex and Supernatural. Now, before you turn away and call for brain bleach, I will tell you that the not-so-brotherly love between the Winchesters will be a small part of this tale. It’s there, but it exists alongside a range of other intriguing sexual issues at play on the Supernatural landscape. We have rape metaphors. We have sexual deviancy. We have religious ecstasy analogies. We have unrequited desire. We have erotica. We have porn. We have necrophilia. We have bestiality. We even have notions of object erotica and sexuality (hello, Dean and the Impala). So, yes, we have a plethora of kinks, but most importantly, we have the objectified male body.
(Close your eyes and remember “The Third Man” – now look at me, or don’t, because quite honestly my eyes are still closed….hmmmm). 

Now, to be honest, when I began watching last summer, I already knew about the “lovethat dare not speak its name” that seemed to hover around the edges of Supernatural. Anyone interested in fandom studies knows about it. “Wincest” is a hard term to break or ignore. It’s catchy and when the show itself acknowledges slash, you know you have a winner. Sam/Dean. It’s a cliché by this point and I often find myself watching The Borgias or Game of Thrones and saying, “Huh, wonder if Supernatural started a weird sexual trend on television.” N.B – If you haven’t seen these shows (or read the books) just let that reference fly on over. 
Anyway, back to last summer. I started watching Supernatural and became addicted, of course, as all viewers who really watch this show are obliged to do. I mean, hot guys, a muscle car, and existential angst. It’s like an intellectual orgasm made for the female scholar. And funny thing is, I started watching in medias res. My first Supernatural episode was the two-part “All Hell Breaks Loose.” Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Dean searching for the missing Sam. Dean anguished over the endangered Sam. Dean holding dead Sam. Dean crying over dead Sam. Dean selling his soul for dead Sam.  Sam crying over the sold soul of Dean. By the end of the two hours, I was convinced that (1) Jensen Ackles is so much hotter when he cries than he was on Days of Our Lives and (2)….Ackles, flannel, beer, Impala…..where was I? Oh, yeah, and (2) both Sam and Dean have some “attachment” issues.  
Now, after having spent a lot of money on all the seasons of Supernatural and being armed with a DVR full of season 6, since you know, it doesn’t come out for another few months and there might be episodes I want to watch multiple times (as if I haven’t already), I feel confident enough to say: Supernatural may need sexual therapy. Sex, it seems, is an underlying issue for the show and it emerges in peculiar and interesting ways. Sometimes it’s violent. Sometimes it’s endearing. Sometimes it’s offensive. And sometimes it’s downright creepy. So let’s take a short tour through the sexual wasteland of the Winchester tale and see what we find….anyone interested? If so, let the journey begin. 

Sexual Issue #1: Winchesters and the Opposite Sex
Or Sleeping with a Winchester is Bad for Your Health
(Ha! You thought we’d go straight for the gold, huh? Nope, you’ll have to wait on that one. You have to let the homoerotic age, become like a fine wine – it’ll be tasty when we drink it, don’t worry.) 
Dean Winchester likes the girls, or at least that’s what the show would like us to assume. From seasons 1-5, Dean’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, Dean’s sexual proclivities seem to be the stuff of good old Midwestern testosterone. And unlike Sam (who we’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 “Tall Tales” to “The Magnificent Seven.” 
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 there….in the afternoon. But in any case, the interesting thing about Dean’s dalliances with the opposite sex is how careful the show is in its depiction of these encounters. The two times (yes, unfortunately it’s happened only twice) we’ve seen Dean in full on sex mode is with Cassie and Anna. And both times, he has been the antithesis of what we’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, let’s just say Dean would not make the cut on an audition for Sea of Love. 
(And for future reference, does anyone think it’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 that’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 I’ll tease you with a few words: Suppress, Supplicate, Sublimate, and S….) Now, Sam’s got some classic panty twisting moves when it comes to the opposite sex. Case #1: “Heart.” Now granted, poor Madison bites it in the end, and yes, it’s an insensitive pun, but come on, still funny. In this episode we see, for the first but not the last time, Sam Winchester’s go-to moves. He’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 viewer’s secret fantasy: to be light as a feather in her lover’s arms. So to my mind, “Heart” is really the episode that needs to be titled, “Why Sam Winchester should star in Porn.” 
Case #2: “Dream a Little Dream of Me” 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 façade of reservedness and also it gives us one more homoerotic jab from Dean, but like the names of Dean’s beloveds, we’ll get to that later. Note: I did try to find a picture of this dream sequence but alas, Google failed me. 
Case #3: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and RubyGate! First, I didn’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 we’ll see in “Sex and Violence” as well as the Soulless Sam sexcapade of season 6. By the way, this episode should be titled, “Why Sam Winchester should star in Porn, Part Deux.” I made it French because French is just sexy. 
Case #4: “Sex and Violence.” Okay, by this time you all should be seeing a pattern and if not, then I don’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.  I’m sure her bruises were epic because, let’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. I’m detecting a pattern here as well. Perhaps it’s Jared Padalecki’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. He’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, he’d be a gentleman on the arm and a rock star in the bedroom. (Hey, men fantasize about hookers. I fantasize about rock stars – don’t judge.) 
Sadly, after this episode, we experience the great Winchester sex drought of season 5. Even “Free to Be You and Me” 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. It’s a sad, barren wasteland full of “I want to marry you and have your babies” Ackles and Sam’s returned (and not appreciated) “reserved” nature. Whatever, Kripke. I’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 – 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 “Cuff me” 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 don’t count Castiel’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.  Don’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, “Up Against the Wall” Sam. Now, that would be interesting enough, but as we journey deeper into the darkness, we’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, we’ll explore the fear of sexual deviancy in Supernatural….We’ll call it “Sexual Issue #2: What’s Your Safe Word? Supernatural mainstreams the kink and kinks the mainstream”



# shaaben 2011-06-27 00:10
Glad I didn't have to reach for the brain bleach after all. I don't know which is more stupid, the pervy word play on the family name or / or D+C.

And the lady doctor, her name is Cara. I have the scene of her and Sam on my iphone, and yes I feel wrong for having it there.
# Alice 2011-06-27 00:29
I usually moderate comments for offensiveness but man, I can't honestly tell if this was meant to be an insult or not. Honestly, I have no freaking idea what you're trying to say.

We are usually respectful and well, coherent in our discussions here. So, if this was meant to be critical, trying being a bit more constructive.
# shaaben 2011-06-27 00:53
What I was saying is that at first I thought I would have to go for the brain bleach (Bookdal's own words) when I first thought she was going to write about a slice of fandoms' obsession with “lovethat dare not speak its name”. Thankfully that was not the case. It's not unlike the uber Destiel fans and their twitter save-Cas rampage, there are only a handful of them but man, it's hard to avoid them because they are so freaking loud and in your face!

Most times I just want to enjoy my show without these people screaming their fanfiction fueled fantasies at me.

Bookdal, I enjoyed reading your article and thank you for the lovely pictures. I like your respect toward the real life married couple and choosing not to include their pictures. Well done.
# Alice 2011-06-27 01:04
My sincere apologies then! I did get the brain bleach line, but it all kind of fell apart from there. Thanks so much for clarifying.
# shaaben 2011-06-27 07:05
Oh gosh please don't apologize, re-reading my own stuff I saw that it could easily be taken in either direction and I wasn't very clear. Thanks for pointing that out and getting me to clarify.
# FMJemena 2011-06-27 00:58
GREAT ONE, but...this is all?! You've got me panting for more more more! Please don't do anything else until you've got Issue 2 posted. :-)

Re about the saying "Sleeping with Sam Winchester can mean your death" --- My take: Boy, it's a great way to die! :P
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 08:15
It is a great way to die, isn't it?
# Ebony 2011-06-27 01:09
Awesome article! While I don't necessarily feel that sex within the Supernatural universe is a Forbidden Elephant (it seems to be everywhere within and without of the show), I appreciate the appraisal nonetheless. Especially the focus on the more (cannon) heterosexual side of things, as it often gets a little lost beneath the homoerotic subtext (and this is coming from a slash shipper). I can't wait to read the next installment!
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 08:17
Thanks Ebony! I think you are right, the heterosexual canon does get lost in the homoerotic, but I think there are particular reasons for this, that I hope to explore in part 4.
# quickreaver 2011-06-27 01:52
"It’s like an intellectual orgasm made for the female scholar."

BINGO! I've just recently stumbled on this site and I'm a huge fan already. This article sealed it. Fantastic job! Can't wait for Part Deux. 8)
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 08:17
Thanks! Part Deux is all about the kink ;)
# Junkerin 2011-06-27 04:49
Thank you for a fun moment in the office on monday morning :-)

It´s hard to concentrade right now. :lol:
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 08:18
Anytime :). Shirtless "Third Man" Sam always wakes me up in the morning - it's better than a cup of Folgers.

"The best part of waking up...."
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-27 06:18
I'm glad that I am not the only one that noticed that it is SAM not DEAN that does more sex scenes. As often as we hear about Dean's escapades and see him flirt blatantly, it's Sam we see explore the kinkier side of things more often than not. Hell, even Dean cries in Sex and Violence that Sam seems incapable of NOT sleeping with the current MOTW.

And yes, Soulless Sam's sexual appetite is a rather fascinating thing. I tried to find a way to put it into my own piece, but it just didn't seem to fit. I'm glad you're going there. Take away Sam's reserved exterior and look what comes out to play.

I've made my peace with the Wincesty and Destiel sides of fandom. I figure if I don't want to see it, I just don't look at it. I do look forward to how you address it, actually. The fact that all the main characters for the most part are male has a lot to do with the slash elements, but hey, what can you do.
# shaaben 2011-06-27 07:16
Oh you're not the only one to notice Sam has abit of the kink while Dean is more traditional. However Dean is the last person Sam ever wants to know this about him, which is part of his need for privacy and independence. While Dean doesn't mind that his little brother accidentally walked in on him with the twins and is very open about his wandering eyes and appreciation for the female form.

Glad that you made your peace with that side of the fandom. Me on the other hand will continue to make bitch faces about it. Honestly I hope it doesn't get mentioned in future articles because it seems there are already enough stuff written about it and continue to feed what I feel is a small but obnoxiously loud group of people.
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 08:26

Thanks for all of your comments and I agree, Sam does not want Dean to know about this side of his nature, which I will explore later in the other parts, especially when it comes to Dean's sexuality and the show's portrayal of such.

I will be doing a section on Wincest, because I think I'd like to address that issue, but interestingly enough, I am actually of the opinion that the show opened a can of worms with it and has tried to put the genie back in the bottle. And to a degree, it has. In fact, I think Wincest, for all of its cultural cache in fandom, is pretty much dead on the show and that Castiel/Dean is a direct (and inorganic) consequence of that death....But I promise to put a big warning on the section that goes over Wincest and Cas/Dean because I know that you are not alone in feeling that it's a frustrating part of the viewing experience.

Again, thanks for your observations.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-27 15:43
I think it's interesting that you brought up the point that Sam doesn't want Dean to know his sexual deviancy. It's true. As often as Dean picks on Sam for NOT sleeping around and such, the truth is a lot more kinkier on Sam's side than Dean would ever really know. And I think Sam feels it'd be a bit much for Dean to know---it's another dark part of his personality and I think he is very private about it. He's most certainly---Sou lless Sam's openly sexual deviancy aside---not one to kiss and tell.

As for the Wincest and slash elements, I've checked it out in sheer curiosity here and there. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I most certainly can't stop them from doing it, either. It's just one of those shrug your shoulders and just don't pay it any mind type things. I might not agree with it, but I understand the pull, too. It's taboo and forbidden, an indulgence that is out of bounds. I don't think it's as prevalent within fandom as those who adhere to it would like us to think. The type of slash fans that kill me are the ones that take it that single step further and make it about the actual actors. Like excuse me? Those are REAL people. It's one thing to dabble with fictional characters, another to twist a real life person's life into something that is not in any way realistic or appropriate.
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 17:52
I have no problem with the slash. It's not particularly what I want to read, but I have read some that were very well done. In fact, I have a theory, which I'll explore later, but in a nutshell, I think that slash is a way of actually normativizing what has been a rather co-dependent relationship. Given the active demographic of SPN, being women who have been presented "romantic love" as the ideal (overgeneralizi ng, I know, but a cultural trend is to think of romantic love as the height of love, as seen in movies, etc.), so when we are presented with a love (intense devotion b/t two men, let's say), there is a tendency to romanticize it, and part of that romanticization entails sexualizing the relationship... .I'm off on a tangent, but this does come up later in my part on the homoerotics of SPN.

Now, the RPS/RPF stuff, well I think that is a gigantic step too far, and actually, I think that it was that step too far that contributed to the death of wincest...again , something I'll allude to briefly later. I have thoughts about this that I've included in a paper I'm proposing for a conference. I won't go over it here, of course, but I do think there is a real sketchy line there....

Thank you for the comments, Far Away!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-27 18:06
Oh, Wincest isn't dead by any means. If you poke around you'll find it. Is it being eclipsed by other slash pairings. Absolutely.

I think you're right, though, that it is part of the idealized romantic relationship often peddled to what people feel is the average woman. To me, Sam and Dean love each other very very much, and while it might be on the unhealthy side in many ways, it is a powerful love that attracts. I don't see them as being romantic or sexual with one another. I've read a handful of slash fics myself that are extremely well written---and actually provide a plausibility for whichever slash pairing they were writing for. To me, any story can be good if handled right.

As for the crossing the line by writing stories or having RPGs centered on the actors themselves, that makes me all sorts of uncomfortable. It's funny to see a meta episode like the French Mistake where they dance that fine line, but yet they were smart to couch that with Sam and Dean still Sam and Dean, just being mistaken by everyone in the alternate universe as Jared and Jensen. Those that try to write them as "characters" and twist them into their strange fantasy on the other hand just disturbs me.
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 18:15
I think Wincest is alive for parts of the fandom, but I think the presence of Wincest in the show, i.e. the allusions to it and sometimes the outright playing to it that the writers have done is long since past, to my mind. As I'm sketching out the argument, I've come to the conclusion that the show has tried very hard to reorganize the brotherhood in different ways that actively evacuate it of any possible sexualization. I'll touch on this in the section, but I think Season 4 is the season to look to for this de-eroticism - and I think it has three main causes, which includes Dean's time in hell.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-27 18:21
It's hard to say what season 7 will bring in to that debate.

The interesting thing is this is not my first fandom---nor is it my first encounter with an incestuous relationship within fandom. It seems that there's a subset of people who will explore that element and play in the darker side of taboo. I think there's reasoning for it, considering how we are often repressed sexually in society in one form or another.
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 18:27
This is true. I'll be interested to see Season 7 and how the relationship proceeds and how the Dean/Cas/Sam relationship comes out in the wash.

Not my first fandom either that had shades of incest, although it is the first one to have it as a very controversial and taboo subject within fandom. The polarization is fascinating, and of course, the fact that the show has often been identified with tag. I think of Russell T. Davies here.

That's the elephant in the room, to an extent. I think Levi-Strauss, if he were alive, would be interested in online fan communities.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-27 18:36
I think it's fascinating that the show even went as far to ADDRESS it at all. It's the first show I've ever followed that has openly and blatantly addressed elements in fandom at all---let alone something so controversial as the two brotherly leads being considered in a romantic relationship in some form.

Perhaps this is the internet effect on things.
# Melanie 2011-06-27 23:14
I cannot stand the RPS/RPF stuff. I think its just all kinds of wrong, and I'm not even sure why its even legal.

I don't like non-canon slash pairings at all. They don't do a thing for me.

I don't really 'get' slash, I guess. Maybe you're right and its romantisizing the relationship just like the folks that insert Mary Sues or ship other characters Dean/Jo or whatever are doing to add a sexual/romatic aspect to the story that Supernatural, overtly at least, does not have. (and hopefully never will -- 'One Tree Hill with Monsters' a fate worse than 40 years in hell! ;))
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 23:31
Slash has an interesting history, and it is a female dominated genre - both in production and consumption. It's not for everyone and I have been in fandoms where I've enjoyed slash, and I've been in fandoms where I don't enjoy it. I think it has to do with the forbidden love trope mostly, from what I've seen at least.

By the way, to answer the legality question - all fan fiction, including videos, art, texts - has been traditionally protected by the legal right of parody. Disclaimers in the headings of fan fiction, that disavow the author's possibility of profit and that state that the work is not a work based on fact, protects fan fiction writers from libel suits, much like Law and Order's disclaimer at the beginning of their episodes. And while I agree with you about RPS, I resist any law that limits fan production - it's a slippery slope, to me. (Interestingly enough, Elijah Wood actually said he didn't care about RPS and let me tell you, the LOTR fandom? That's a whole other story. He might not care, but I cringe.)

By the way, a note for the sake of full disclosure - my dissertation is on plagiarism, so fan production will be one of my chapters.
# Kathie 2011-06-27 23:43
I'm not even going to ask what RPS/RPF means. Yikes!
# Melanie 2011-06-27 23:53
"Real Person fiction"
# Kathie 2011-06-28 00:00
Oh. Okay. I agree that it should be illegal on principle, however legally it would be a slippery slope. Reminds me of the case of an university student who used his classmate as a character in his rape fantasy story. Naturally she was freaked out but legally the guy couldn't be touched.

Agree with you regarding the other genre, don't get it and I hope I never get it.
# Melanie 2011-06-28 08:27
That sure would freak me out too. You know, I agree regarding the legality and I don't - I'm all for freedom of speech but if our own image/name etc isn't 'ours' - surely the college student wasn't a public figure subject to parody - so I don't know.
To me it doesn't seem right.
# Sylvie 2011-06-28 08:03
Thanks, I didn't know what it meant either. And might I say...Ewwwww! It's one thing to write about sexual fantasies involving fictional characters, but the real people involved? That's just disturbed.
# Melanie 2011-06-28 08:31
Not my cup of tea, that's for sure.
# Melanie 2011-06-27 23:54
Cool!! Some time I would love to read it!
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-28 07:17
The more you mention this dissertation the more I want to read it.

I agree about the rights of these fans to GO there. I have every right to ignore it. It squicks me out to no end, but I can't stop them and since I can't stop them why get all worked up about it? I figure with fandom as with anything you have to pick and choose your corner of it carefully.

Until just recently, I lived on what I call the fringes of fandom in SPN. I had a rough time in a previous fandom as back biting and flame throwing took precedent over any intelligent discussion, so I tend to stay on that fringe edge in all of my fandoms to avoid ending up in the same boat and having them ruining the canon that I'm following at that time.

I think it's fairly obvious to say that the WFB is nothing like that and while we disagree, we always disagree in a friendly manner and all views are explicitly welcome. It's refreshing to know we can discuss not only the show itself BUT the fandom here so openly.
# Sylvie 2011-06-28 08:09
This is the very first fan site of anything I've ever been on, so I guess I lucked out. I'm not going to be checking out any others, I feel very comfortable in this one. Maybe I'm a little prudish, but I'm just not curious about that part of the fan culture.
# Melanie 2011-06-27 22:39
Just kind of jumping in here -- I'm not seeing where canon makes Sam sexually deviant.

We saw Souless Sam do what we've only heard about Dean doing -- the waitress with the weird rash anyone?
Dean himself, in Unforgiven said 'Even he was impressed' with the notches Souless Sam was racking up on his belt. Is promiscuity being deviant? If so, then both Dean and Souless Sam have been guilty. But actually, I don't think I would catagorize it as such and I don't think the show intends to either. (It is the CW afterall - I think the entire premise of the Vampire Diaries is more deviant than anything the Winchesters have done.)

I don't think they've shown Sam to be out of control and while he's forceful, he's not forcing anyone. Show even made a point of Ruby having a'walk-in' body with no consciousness to be taken against her will. And the hooker in the third man makes a point of saying what a good time she had - which meant to me that whatever Sam's proclivities were/are it wasn't too kiinky or the hooker wouldn't have given him her private number and a good time was had by all.

I also think its important to note that Sam slept with Madison only after he thought that she had been cured of being a werewolf, so I wouldn't say he had any particular conscious attraction to her because she was a 'monster'(there may have been some pheromones going on there of course ;))

And in Sex & Violence, it was Dean, not Sam who was involved with the Siren. Sam did not think Dr. Cara was the Siren. He was quite sure of it - he wasn't attracted to a 'monster.'

So apart from the self loathing nature of the relationship with Ruby a demon his sworn enemy, -- I'm not getting that Sam is 'deviant' I'm getting that he's passionate and physical.
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 23:14
I don't think Sam is deviant, per se. I think he's very much a sexual being, but that's not deviant, except when it comes to Ruby, which I do think borders on unusual in many ways. I think what both Far Away and I were discussing was the fact that Sam may have seen himself as monstrous so he forged sexual relationships that were transient rather than permanent.

To my mind, though, I think it's very important to note that we see more of Sam's sexual nature than we do of Dean's. Dean we know almost entirely as hearsay or as innuendo.
# Melanie 2011-06-27 23:58
True -- I remembered one of Dean's flings that we saw a bit more of - 'Jamie' in Monster Movie - we didn't see Dean in the sack with her, but he interacted with her a bit and they had a pretty affectionate good bye. In contrast to Sam not even wanting to call Dr. Cara. (I'm sure Dr. Cara would have been surprised if he had called her LOL)
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 08:20
Far away, thanks for the comments. I agree, part of Sam's appeal (and Soulless Sam too) is this raw kind of sexuality that gets hidden underneath an intellectual facade.

He's actually the perfect geek - smart and sexy.
# AndreaW 2011-06-27 09:19
Thahk you! You just described in simple words why I find Sam Winchester so fascinating and why I'm a Samgril (not that big brother doesn't have his charms).

I love intellectual men. For some reason I find them terribly sexy. And then, who knows what's going on beneath those placid waters? And surely, Soulless Sam is Sammy without restraints.
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 17:53
Sam and Chuck - Two Great Geek Gods, to my mind.
# AndreaW 2011-06-27 18:43
Agreed. Loved Chuck too. Now, if Sam wore glasses while researching my happiness would be complete. :-)

Now, concerning more physical attributes, Sam could also be described as a Greek God. ;-)
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-06-27 15:46
I think Sam's most certainly an attractive man, both sexually and intellectually. It's almost like the perfect female fantasy packaged to a degree. He's got that wild streak we all hope he would have looking at him, yet can hold his own in any scholarly debate as well. It's interesting to see this topic come to light---conside ring how much sex is discussed on the show in one form or another.
# percysowner 2011-06-27 09:30
I really enjoyed this analysis of Sam, He is the more athletic and kinky of the two brothers. He also has a worse record of sleep with Sam and die (at least when he has a soul). Only Cara managed to have sex with a souled Sam and keep on breathing. With Dean, both Cassie and Lisa made it out alive.

I am curious, you counted the dream scene with Bela as one of Sam's on screen sex scenes, why did you not include Dean's dream in TTM. It was with Lisa and reasonably long and it even fits with his pattern of gentle and sweet as a lover? Was it because they kept them under sheets for most of the scene? I understand your leaving out the short scene with the twins in Mag 7, it wasn't really a full out sex scene, just a way of showing how Dean was reacting to his impending doom.

I'm looking forward to the rest of this series.
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 09:40
Good question about the Dean/Lisa scene. I did think about including it, but I realized that the scene was not really as explicit as the Anna or Cassie scene, and also, it was somewhat redundant. I wanted to focus on Sam, at this point, since it leads into the kink section. Dean, who I will focus on much more in a later section, is an interesting case study and I think his sexual encounters mirror audience reaction and expectation about sex. It's part of my ongoing argument that Dean is the subject of Supernatural, whereas Sam is the object of Supernatural... I hope that makes sense later on, at least.

# Cassy 2011-06-27 09:47
Okay, this article could not have come at a better time...let's just say Dean Winchester was in my dream last night, and we were "studying" French...part deux. ;) (And no, I'm not kidding, I fell asleep studying French last night and really was dreaming about studying French)

Okay, perv moment aside, it's a very interesting article, and I like it a lot. It's about time somebody addressed the elephant in the room. And as someone who supports homosexuality but doesn't ship slash, I love looking at both sides. (I really can't wait to read about Wincest- I'm not a big fan, but it's like a car wreck, I'm still fascinated by it)
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 17:55
It's a fascinating component, but let me tell you, the more I look at SPN and sexuality, the more intrigued I am....It's all kinds of wonderful and weird.
Veronica Bianchi
# Veronica Bianchi 2011-06-27 10:13
What a great article. I agree with you about Sam in a sweet life and a fierce love in bed. Must be all that is repressed or not matter to me because I like it. To think that Jared said he does not like sex scenes. it hurts because I love and I'm dying to see more !!!!. As Dean I think it is sweeter because not being repressed displays tenderness. I do not think we see many scenes like we saw in season 7: (
I can only plead with our beloved writers who do not deprive us of that amazing body of Jared. please!! :cry:
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 17:57
Thank you, Vero! Ah Sam, so repressed, at least on the outside :).
# faye 2011-06-27 10:47
Great article. I've enjoyed all your writing so far. I love the academic eye you cast on the show. The rest of us seem to get far too d you're funny, too!
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 17:58
Thank you, Faye. I'm trying a new voice out in my writing and I was going for humorous, so I'm glad it came across that way.
# magichappening 2011-06-27 11:30
Fascinating. Kudos.

I wonder if you consider both brothers to be the mirror image of each other in terms of repression (or the face they choose to show), and sex to be a manifestation of this? Sam outwardly quiet and sweet, inwardly confident and demanding, and Dean outwardly confident and demanding, inwardly quiet and sweet.

And if so, what purpose does this reflection of one another serve, in terms of the story, or traditional archetypes or your thesis about the philosophy of the Winchester world?

Looking forward to the rest of your series :)
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 18:03
This is a great observation, and yes, I do think they mirror each other in this way. I think that the mirror serves two purposes. First, the repression/pers ona dichotomy shows how fragile the brotherhood is, that to a degree, the brothers have been hiding parts of themselves along the way, which makes sense since secrecy is both their curse and their blessing. Second, I think it underscores the whole idea of don't judge a book by its cover, which is a theme of SPN. Things are not what they appear to be - that's how this universe works, by uncovering and re-covering the hidden evils (and joys) of the world....That's a quick answer, but this will make me think about the next parts as I write them.

Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2011-06-27 11:58
This is one of the really interesting things about both boys; that they’re such opposites of what we expect, in more than one aspect of their lives. That Dean, the rebel without a cause (well actually, with a pretty big cause!), the guys with boobs and magic fingers on the brain... is hugely tender and gentle and that Sam, the bookish, peace loving nerd, the guy who almost fled at the sight of knickers had no qualms about pinning someone to a wall or window before getting it on.

I do wonder if Jessicas death bought this more aggressive side of Sam to the fore. It is rather difficult to equate that side of Sam with the sweet, earnest, almost reverent way he treated Jessica in the Pilot, What Is and What Should Never Be and, to a lesser (slightly more disturbing) extent, Free To Be You and Me. Maybe the huge emotional upheaval of Jessicas death bought about a much more Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am side of Sam because he didn’t want to be reminded of how he was with Jessica.

Maybe this rather rough sex is a detachment process for him, as with Soulless Sam, less about the emotional and more about the physical. Soulless Sam was all about the physical release, as was Sam when he was with Ruby. It’s possible that with Madison, it was still too soon for Sam to get emotionally attached again hence the rough and ready Sam.

I do wonder about Sam being drawn to the supernaturals. I originally thought that like is drawn to like ie because Sam believed he was part-demon (in the sack, guffaw!!), monsters were drawn to him. However, I don’t think that is the case anymore. Discounting Ruby (and Sam was in a serious self-flagellati on mode at that stage, probably felt far from human, and didn’t consider himself safe to be around other people), you’re really only left with Madison and let’s face it, she had more humanity in her than many of the humans we’ve met on Supernatural. Plus, had Dean not lost the rock, paper, scissors, he’d have made a serious play for Madison so... (I wonder would she have cut him down??)

It was touched on earlier and I definitely agree, that Sam is a fiercely private person and does not like to show that side of himself to anyone, even Dean. Perhaps it’s embarrassment (though I don’t know why, these guys have lived in each other’s pockets for years now and Dean certainly isn’t shy about his exploits), so it is interesting that Sam is so determined to keep this side, quintessentiall y human, side of himself under lock and key.

With regards to Dean. I think he’s gotten down and dirty a good few times in the past, it just hasn’t been shown on screen. We saw how Sam wanted to bleach his eyeballs when he looked in on Dean and the twins (I think. What freaking episode is that?? Dean gave the thumbs up sign to Sam, who was sitting in the car, before closing the curtains... Bad Tim, not knowing your SPN) and it was also alluded to again in 3.2, when both Dean and Lisa mentioned the weekend of wild shenanigans. Add to that the many references thrown in about watching porn, one night stands etc etc and I find it hard to believe the middle Mr. Winchester hasn’t got down and dirty in a more exuberant way.

I feel that the show has chosen to show the brothers respective state of minds via the nature of the extra-curricula r activities they partake in. Dean was emotionally invested in both Cassie and Lisa and also (given that she knew a hell of a lot about Dean and understood him better than practically anyone else at that stage, Sam included), Anna. (Besides, you can’t get all kinky sex with an angel, ffs. You’d have to say about 4,000 Hail Mary’s before you’d even be let out of the confession box!)

I think with these women Dean needed the grounding effect, the reminder that he wasn’t a ghost, that people do remember him and want him, for him. Sam was the opposite. He was only ever emotionally invested in Jessica, and that relationship took place off-screen and was now dead. Sam needed to be transient, to be a fleeting presence, because that’s how he felt.

That being said, I don’t think I’d be adverse to seeing Dean get down and dirty ala Sam, any more than I’d like to see some sweet Sammy loving for once.

Spending Monday thinking about Winchester sex..... ah, let every day be Monday! Thanks Bookdal.
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 18:09
First, I love reading your comments, Tim - I often look for them in other posts, so thank you for commenting here.

I agree, I do think Dean can be naughty - I think the interesting thing, to me at least, is the way the show portrays Dean, when he is in a sexual situation. The portrayal is counter to the persona, so that intrigues me.

I like the idea that Sam is drawn to the "monsters" because he sees himself in them, as well as juxtaposing that with Dean's need to be "seen" as opposed to Sam's need to "disappear" into these encounters. I think that's an incredibly valid point. Sam kind of invested the whole future in Jess and when she was gone, he just let it go for the most part. In the early seasons he thought about going back (in Salvation and the confrontation with Dean), but look at the conversation in "Swap Meat" and Sam says he basically doesn't imagine that life anymore, so it's not really surprising that sex moves from emotional connection to physical release, whereas Dean is on the opposite track, moving from physical release to emotional attachment.

Thanks for making me ponder this, Tim.
# Melanie 2011-06-27 12:12
This is so interesting -- can't wait for further discussion. I had noted the differences in Dean's and Sam's .. um .. approach? to the bedroom. I think its very interesting that Show juxtaposed their traits (as magichappening points out above) and I always kind of had a giggle at the 'positions' in the werewolf episode while still thinking them brave and racy for primetime. And also damn those super tight camera shots!!!
The other aspect of Sam with the Dr in Sex & Violence was the 'c-blocking' as Dean put it and the theme throughout S4 of Sam besting Dean.
I'm going to guess you deal with the whole dominance thing in a future section?
Its an interesting thing about Souless Sam that he doesn't chaff against Dean being the Alpha as Sammy did -- both are headstrong and do what they want regardless, but SS just does it without the angst and/or anger.
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 18:19
Thanks Melanie! I will touch on dominance in the next part, actually. And your observation made me go back and tweak it, so thank you.
# Melanie 2011-06-27 22:10
Looking forward to it.
# Jamie 2011-06-27 12:32
I hate thinking about or reading about Wincest." Ewwwwww is the only thing that comes to mind. I know they have an un-healthy bond, but they are not sexually involved. Some people over think this TELEVISION show, there is no controversial SEX scandal between the BROTHERS. I don't think the writers are thinking about Sam and Dean's romantic relationship. They love each other, but only as FAMILY. I hope Wincest DIES. And the slash fans are not fans, fans love the story line of the show, but gay, incest relationships is not is the plot, so they are not fans. I actually hust find this whole thing ridiculous and disgusting. This is just my opinion on Wincest.
# Kathie 2011-06-27 23:22
I'll double your "Ewwwwwwwww". Pretty much agree with everything you wrote and I too hope that wincest DIES, along with destriel or whatever it's called. Ridiculous and disgusting doesn't begin to describe it.

However I don't feel that the brothers have an un-healthy bond. It can seem that way by standards set by civilians and non-hunters. I just don't think that we can apply those standards to the kind of life that these two characters have lived. While it's an unusual upbringing, it had far more advantages than disadvantages.

Raised under very isolating conditions, the brothers were the only company the other had. As they got older and began to participate in hunting themselves, they developed an extremely tight bond where they had to be able to know exactly what the other was doing in order to keep themselves alive and safe.

For Sam and Dean this kind of closeness is their version of "normal". What was abnormal was the extended estrangement from s4 and s5.

I have never thought they had an unhealthy attachment to each other. Dean loves Sam like a son, which can mess up the dynamic at times. I think the devastation Dean felt when Sam died was much like how a parent feels when their child dies. Sam also has a great love for his brother.
# Sylvie 2011-06-27 15:38
Oh thank you, thank you, thank you. That had me drooling and laughing at the same time! I realized Sam's sexual potential when we first see him wearing a teeny tiny towel in "Hell House". My jaw literally dropped at the sight. I'm more of a Dean girl, but boy Sam (and by that I mean Jared) is quite the eye candy!

Keep 'em coming!
# Linda-bookdal 2011-06-27 18:23
Thank you, Sylvia, for reading. And now, thank you for reminding me of TowelSam! in "Hell House." Sigh....sigh.
# FMJemena 2011-06-28 01:15

If there was an 'exalt' button on this site, I would have hit it in all of your answers--esp. the part about fan fiction work of all kinds having the right to exist...Now, I'm drooling in anticipation of all your other issues, incl. your proposed conference paper. (Hope you'll share it, even if it's in another site.)
# Junkerin 2011-06-28 03:17
I started reading FanFiction last week. And soon Wincest came along...
Now my theory is that some fans put Sam and Dean together together and throw themself in between. :lol:
Just my theory.
But you are right some of this stuff is just sick.