This is the first in possibly a few blog posts about the BBC television programme. I adore the programme, it is one of the few I watch every year and never miss an episode of. I am hoping to write some in-depth analysis and thoughts on the show. This, my comments after series 6 episode 2, will be the first and has a more adult nature than some others.
Things to consider when thinking about the physical relationship of Patsy and Delia.There are a lot of things I want to say about this, and I’m not trying to annoy anyone. I love a good fanfic as much as the next person, especially when it is about our girls but I want to make a statement and then I am going to explain why. Here goes.
I don’t think that Patsy and Delia have had sex yet.
There, said it. Some of you will be confused, some of you will wonder what makes me think this but there are a lot of hints out there. I know that there are a lot of ways that their relationship can be read but I, as a person who adores a good bit of history, see a lot of things in a different light. So here goes, my reasons follow… stick around if you want to know more.
Point one- Experience. Nowadays us gay people get most of our information from reputable sources i.e. Tumblr. But when these girls were discovering their sexuality, when they were young and impressionable things were very different. To learn more about the ways these two girls would have learned about sex in the first place we need to look at their very different backgrounds.
So as a young girl in the beautiful (and wet) welsh countryside, Delia wouldn’t have been very exposed to the rumours and hushed giggles of the girls her age. Her experiences would probably have gone along the lines of seeing animals mating in the fields and realising that was where babies came from. Her Mother likely would have sat her down and explained that it was ‘nature’s way’ when she had her first period. She wouldn’t have learned much about male anatomy from home, and likely wouldn’t have learned much from her friends either. She likely would have been immature for longer than those in the cities.
Patsy, on the other hand, likely would have learned a lot at a very impressionable age. While in the prison camp she would have seen naked woman, she would have seen blood and birth and many things at nine years old that Delia would not have seen at fourteen or fifteen. She also went- before and after the war- to a boarding school, likely an all girl’s school. Unlike Delia she may have been around many other, older girls who would have heard rumours, rumours that were often wrong but were the only sex ED she got. She was likely in the camps when her periods began, when she began to change and develop. Also unlike Delia, Patsy probably hadn’t seen any form of male organ, or forms of mating, until she became a nurse.
Point two- shame. This is a point which I feel only really applies to Patsy. She grew up in a world of arrangement more than love. She would possibly have realised her feeling quite young but not realised what they meant until she was much older. She would likely have had a huge amount of self-hatred. I am very surprised, knowing how much I hated myself at that age, that she survived- I actually think she only did because of survivors guilty. I don’t believe this was such an issue for Delia, being as to the point, strong and stubborn as she is.
Point three- knowledge of what to do. I, personally only found out how to girls had sex after finding fanfictions online at around fourteen (the same time I started to realise I was gay) I became aware of how it all worked. It made sense, sure, but I’d never have thought of using finger and especially not about using mouths! So I think for Patsy and Delia it would be incredibly hard to know how to please each other. I think they will have learned how good it feels to have skin on skin, possibly learned to touch each other a little but not how to penetrate or how to make penetration worthwhile.
Point four- being discovered. This is an enormous worry for the girls, they would lose everything if this happened. They can’t risk anyone learning anymore (of course Phyllis was amazing, I think Trixie would be too, but very few people will be so ok with this) They would be given the same treatment as paedophiles. It wasn’t illegal for women to be gay, but that is simply because it was believed a woman could never be so ‘perverted’ as to do such a thing. I think this, again, worries Patsy slightly more because she had a more aristocratic upbringing, she keeps things to herself and doesn’t talk about things that make her vulnerable.
Point five, and the last point- Illness. Both of the girls are competent nurses, Patsy has likely been a qualified nurse for 8 to ten years at this point. They have both worked in multiple positions and have very likely seen sexually transmitted diseases. Most of these diseases at the time were believed to be spread only through prostitutes or gay sex. There was also very little knowledge about the treatment of illnesses which are now so easy to treat. I would imagine the girls are aware of how horrendous these conditions are, and believe that they are both capable of either carrying or contracting an illness with would likely kill them.
So, these are my thoughts, my beliefs about the couple and their sex life – or lack of one – but I am more than happy to be challenged, let me know your thoughts on the matter. And also, as I said, this does not mean I won’t read or write sex scenes between the two. As I gay woman I believe it is in my duty, lol