Knowing what the subject matter would be, I almost didn't let my girls watch last night's episode of Glee, "The First Time", but I am really glad that I did. This themed episode about losing one's virginity was a little bit after-school special for adults, but I don't think it was aimed at us. I don't think most kids get to see these types of behaviors being modeled, but Glee demonstrated teens discussing using condoms; teen partners have open and only slightly embarrassed conversations about what they wanted out of intimacy, how long they wanted to wait for it, and why; positive and negative emotional outcomes of having sex in high school; partners resisting sexual advances from someone they loved because they were honoring their own feelings; a romantic relationship for a non-traditionally attractive character that was not played for laughs, but introduced the idea that not everyone is attracted to blonde cheerleaders; and a homosexual relationship that had just was much emotional and physical importance as the heterosexual relationships.
I wish that there had been a little more balance and someone other than the mega-uptight counselor and the bitchy ice queen advocating for why they abstain from sex. In spite of some great West Side Story numbers, this will probably not be listed among my favorite Glee episodes ever, but again, it wasn't made for me. Most teenagers don't get to go to OWL and the sex ed schools teach is often ridiculously inadequate. If it takes a silly musical TV show to tell young people that they deserve to have their voice heard in intimate relationships, them I am all for it.
I am so happy with the way this episode approached sex that I am willing to overlook how annoying it was that not one, but two adult female high school staff members are virgins due to their hang-ups and that one of them even discussed this with a high school student. I may be, ahem, singing a different song if the show pursues the choir teacher/student romantic storyline, but not now kudos to Glee.