Sex & Love

Soap Operas Take It Up the Ass

You know ratings are bad when it takes gay sex on daytime soaps to grab the attention of muumuu-clad, couch-ridden housewives in Iowa. But in a bid to shake things up and recapture its ever-waning audience, the four-decade old One … Read More

By / January 5, 2010

You know ratings are bad when it takes gay sex on daytime soaps to grab the attention of muumuu-clad, couch-ridden housewives in Iowa. But in a bid to shake things up and recapture its ever-waning audience, the four-decade old One Life To Live (OLTL) aired the first ever gay sex scene on the collective yawn that is American daytime television.

Lathering up the gays may seem risky, but it’s fitting for a show that was designed to eschew the traditional, WASP-y image of the soap opera scene. In fact, OLTL enterprise holds the not-so-coveted title of also featuring the first Jewish family. It must have taken the writers several weeks to figure out what to call them before deciding on a seriously Semitic surname like Siegel. David is a lawyer and he’s married to Eileen. (Editor’s note: those name choices only make this Eli Valley comic even more brilliant.) With that setup, she’d be well positioned to throw a bitch fit at a B’nai Brith meeting or attempt a coup on her synagogue’s Purim party committee. Too bad their son is named Timmy and they live in a fictitious suburb of Philadelphia. Where is little Joshua or Jeremy? And what about New York, New Jersey, or winters in Boca? Fail by current standards, but it was still a valiant effort for the early ’70s. Fast forward 30-something years, and OLTL’s attempt at portraying a homo hookup gets a similar grade. Like any other soap love scene, the one between Kyle and Fish (known by their fans as "Kish") was accessorized with Pottery Barn vanilla-scented candles and Bose sound system serenade premiering the specially produced single "My Confession." But the only confession here should have been made by the gaggle of gays writing (or at least doing hair and makeup) on the set. This isn’t even close to real life. The OLTL approach to gay sex: endless amounts of caressing, rolling around, long looking-into-each-others’-eyes shots that force you to fill in the blanks, and an after-sex bullshitting session that includes nauseating phrases like "Is it always going to be like this?" Vomit. Surely, there must be a better way of handling fags fucking on television that still plays to the middle for Middle America.

Let’s take a look at how the Israel’s Channel 2 did it. Til The Wedding tells the story of a budding romance between Harel and Amir (a totally butch wedding dress designer, which, if you’ve ever witnessed the tragic state of Israeli wedding dresses, is plausible). It’s the classic tale of boy-meets-boy at a bus stop – a locale with which every car-less daytime dweller can relate. Three short months later, they’re sharing a house. That kind of scripting is admittedly more appropriate for power tool-wielding lesbians than Gucci shopping gay men, but one can dream.

Luckily, the reality railroad manages to get back on track with Amir’s decision to chow down on a side of hummus for his final hoorah. He orders delivery from the convenience of his computer – every good gay man’s go-to gadget when hunger of one kind or another strikes. So how does this hit-and-run end? The flavor of the night curls up like a kitten in Amir’s toned arms that were undoubtedly molded from countless trips to the gym and not from his days in Tzahal intelligence (read: low-level sector of the Israeli army loaded with gays). Finally, in the true spirit of homo hospitality, Amir gives him the boot and comes clean about the boyfriend. Now that, no offense to OLTL, sounds more like it.