Torchwood: Am I a prude?

Posted on: 05/09/2011

We watched episode seven of Torchwood: Miracle Day last night (yes, on catch-up because we are hopeless at scheduled TV), and it struck me – no, actually, it slapped me round the face with a large kipper – that the new series has more sex than ever.

If that were all, I probably wouldn’t have a problem.  The thing is, the only sex we see on Torchwood tends to be gratuitous; it doesn’t help the plot along. It is increasingly graphic. And it is also gay sex.  I don’t recall seeing more than a snog of the heterosexual variety.

Let me deal the graphic and gratuitous aspects,first.  Gratuitous sex of any kind makes me consider turning off the TV. As regards graphic, I never want to see anyone’s pubic hair on TV. Ever. I particularly don’t want to see any measure of a penis.  I like a little left to the imagination.  When Rome hit our screens I had a little trouble digesting that, and even there at least the camera angles allowed for some discretion.  The Tudors – more graphic still – I also struggled with. I didn’t need to know.  Like a good romance novel, I prefer no intimate knowledge of what it was like.  If their kissing is passionate, that’s enough for me, and tells me that the sex will be good. Gloss over the act, please.

Now we come to the gay part.  I am treading on dangerous territory here, I know. After all, I feel strongly that gay rights should be on an equivalent level to any heterosexual equivalent, and I would hope that the bulk of my readers feel the same.  I have friends who have loved and supported me over the years, where the word ‘gay’ is totally irrelevant.  Our love lives have had their ups and downs, and we’ve talked openly about such things, and not once has it felt uncomfortable. People are people, after all.

However, there is one major difference between gay sex on TV and the heterosexual type.  I have not been conditioned to it.  I don’t see men holding hands down the street.  I don’t see men snogging in public places.  Till Torchwood came along, I had also only ever seen men snogging once on TV, and that (a) helped the plot and (b) was comedic (yes, it was on Will and Grace).  So I didn’t appreciate the full-on naked man on top of naked man action.  That doesn’t mean that men shouldn’t be able to hold hands in public, or kiss in public if they want. I know that such actions are currently an invitation to be beaten to a pulp, and the situation there needs to change.  But that doesn’t mean that TV programmes need to show me the most graphic footage possible to try and rectify this.

Annoyingly, I really like John Barrowman.  He’s nice, he’s good-looking, I like that he’s married, and I adore his singing voice; all in all, he is the perfect recipe for a teenage crush if I were still that young.  I also totally understand the reasons for pushing the gay agenda and fighting for equivalency on the TV screen.

The only thing is, I’m just not used to it, and I wouldn’t like it much even if I were, just as I don’t like it in Rome or The Tudors, and why I don’t buy romance novels sold for their more intimate scenes.  It doesn’t work for me.

If you want to please me, go gently.  Gloss over the act itself.  And make it relevant to the plot.  Just like with any other romantic liaison on any other programme.

Maybe it works for you, though. Perhaps I am in the minority.  Let me know your thoughts.

And in the meantime, you are welcome to call me a prude.


9 Responses to "Torchwood: Am I a prude?"

Hmmmm! Having not watched any of these, I can’t really comment. However, I would rather see sex (of any sort) rather than violence. It seems to me that happy, healthy sex is a normal human requirement – violence is not. Although I take your point about gratuitous sex that adds nothing to the story.
Personally, I’m at a stage in my life where I appreciate TV programmes that the whole family can watch; and when I want to see some people having sex, I’ll find myself some porn, thankyouverymuch!

You make some very good points! I agree with you, though my appetites tend not to lead me to porn these days (On the rare occasions I’m in the mood I’d rather do the real thing!). Thanks for your thoughts.

Well, from what I hear Torchwood doesn’t have any proper plot and is basically a total waste of time, so presumably taking the sex scenes right to the edge of acceptibility is their only way to get anything like enough viewers.

I don’t watch much TV, but lots of films have completely unnecessary sex scenes which don’t add anything to the film except an opportunity to see the stars naked. (An opportunity presumably more valued by people who aren’t me. I can’t think of a single film star I fancy. :-/)

Well, you may have a point there… Because Torchwood used to be quite good in the previous series, we wanted to see it through… The latest episode, incidentally, we saw the night before last, and there was no sex at all!!! Typical 😉

The only episode I thought was that good from this series was the one with Angelo, and that had some sex scenes. The series isn’t that good. It’s relying too much on the arc without focus making each episode have its own story. The Angelo episode had its own story but fed into the main arc so I felt it worked better.

Wow. I so agree. It’s very over the to and just not contributing to the plot. Possibly Angelo is acceptable but the others no. i’m not bothered by it being two men actually, I just don’t need to see that sort of thing on TV. I think it should be on TV, but not on a prime channel program that should have nothing to do with the sexual activities of it’s characters.
Overall it was too graphic and out if the context of the story. Shame, I too love John.

“but not on a prime channel program..”

Yes, it’s fine if it’s on a ‘sleazy’ channel, which I can avoid if I want, but BBC1, especially if you’ve had two seasons building up entirely different expectations? I quite agree. Thanks for your thoughts Matt!

I also watch Torchwood and love it & I can see the gay storyline does eventually have it point but I really don’t see that the sex scenes are necessary. I’m fine with same sex love but if I want to watch sex scenes like this I’d rent porn. Please Torchwood, John Barrowman & Russell T Davies the programme was better than this. I think Sacha that viewers will have been turning it off in droves, such a shame.

Thanks Sally – totally agree!

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