Ever since the Herald.ie’s article on Caitriona Balfe with the headline utilizing the word raunchy, I have been uncomfortably bantering it about. Chewing on the word as it pertains to Claire’s sexual activity in Outlander.
I have looked up the definition of raunchy in several dictionaries. (An American word in origin as an interesting side note by the way.)
According to the Cambridge British English dictionary it is defined as rude or offensive because of showing or talking about sex in an obvious way.
Merriam-Webster has a more detailed definition: Dealing with or suggesting sex in a way that is somewhat shocking
: very dirty, smelly, etc.
1. Slovenly, dirty
2. Obscene, smutty
Stop for a moment and review the sex scenes in the Starz Outlander series thus far….. Raunchy likely NEVER entered your mind.
What descriptors do you come up with?
Okay, okay, I will freely admit that “Downtown Frank” was a shock as a reader as there is never a mention of him in the pages: A) servicing Claire thusly, B) He does not seem like the sexual assertor in the relationship, and C) He feels more sexually selfish in the pages.
That shock aside, Claire’s encounters feel raunchy not at all. They feel like what a sexually aware, in tune with self, vibrant woman would experience. A married woman I ought add. Is raunchy even possible within consensual married sex or any consensual sex for that matter?
No shock she and Frank would have sex at the bed and breakfast. Second honeymoon folks. She and Frank were trying to reconnect and rebuild after the war years. Raunchy? No.
No shock she would like receiving oral sex and suggestively not wear panties on an outing with her husband. And bless her for asking for what she wanted. Ask and hopefully thee shall receive. Raunchy? No.
The wedding night. Virgin groom. Exploration of each other. Claire as teacher. Jamie as astute learner. Three times for sex. Get it done sex. Lusty I like it with you sex. Then the connecting intimate sex. She gives him oral. Nibbles on him. She even has an orgasm during the evening’s activities. No real shocks here. Raunchy? No.
She and Jamie have mostly clothed sex outdoors. No shock here, newlyweds and they are traveling about. Raunchy? No.
On top of those examples, Outlander sex scenes never feel gratuitous to me.
Sex is a very real and healthy part of Claire’s point of view. Sex is a form of communication, an act of giving and receiving, and bloody hell she enjoys it.
The point of the Herald.ie article was actually a solid one. That the intimate scenes are easier for Cait to shoot because she and her co-stars are friends. She feels safe. She feels supported. She feels free to play her role.
That all sounds like the foundation for not only filming intimate scenes but for sex in general.
I wonder how many of the millions of the female readers and viewers have been given permission of sorts to have a positive, open attitude toward sex thanks to our beloved Claire? Or how the male fan views female sexuality?
What say you?