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S01.E09: Social Media Is a Great Way to Connect

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BBC1 is airing two episodes per week while HBO is airing only one episode per week. If you enter this thread before the US air date, you may encounter spoilers!

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Arabella’s bloated social media presence finds her more glued to her phone than ever, perpetually internalizing the stress of her followers.

At a Halloween 'paint and wine' organized by Terry, Kwame opens up to the girls about his recent sexual experiment, and Arabella’s reaction lands her in an emergency session with Carrie.

Original UK air date: 7/6/20
Original US air date: 8/3/20

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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Wow, Arabella is really getting up her own ass. I don't blame Terry and Kwame for getting annoyed when she does stuff like interrupting her doctor's appointment to make another video. I mean, seriously, GIRL.

I totally get that in this day and age, social media is part of our lives and I'm totally fine with it. I take pictures when I'm out so that I can document my life too. But when you're more concerned with creating content than experiencing things (like when she was making another video at the wine and paint event instead of, you know, painting or talking with her friends), that's too much for me.

People who walk around in public making videos drive me crazy, partly because I usually start feeling seasick when I watch those kinds of videos and partly because if you don't have the time to sit down and make a video (meaning you MUST do it while you're walking/driving/biking/on public transportation) then don't bother. When Arabella was just wandering the streets and babbling for another video, I was like damn, maybe you need to take a break from Twitter/FB/Instagram.

Arabella was really judgmental about what Kwame did. I mean, it was a crappy that he wasn't honest with the girl he hooked up with, but Arabella was making it sound like he murdered someone. There are a lot of lies of omission that occur when people hook up with randos on the internet so on a scale from Not Cool to OMFG, Kwame is far from the worst of the internet deceivers. And what about the guys at bars who pretend that they're loaded so they can pick up girls? Or straight girls who kiss each other at bars to get guys to buy them drinks? I'm not excusing Kwame's behavior but in the pantheon of dating faux pas, it's from the worst thing that's ever happened.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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Arabella coming after Kwame was really ridiculous; and as if gay men don't experience this ALL the time, when bi-curious straight guys want to hookup or have anonymous sex with us, and we don't try to classify it as a crime.  It also reminds me of the so-called 'trans deception'  BS.  I don't believe that homophobic woman was victimized because she had consensual sex with a man who wasn't one hundred percent straight. 

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My gosh, I just noticed that Arabella has been flashbacking multiple men raping her. There was more than one face shown.

I don't know about doxxing someone as a rapist. What if they decide to sue for libel? What if they actually are innocent? That's not much different than swatting somebody, IMO.

Bella read Kwame right proper, AFAIC. Her take on what he did to the woman he dated last episode was exactly how I saw it. It's bad that woman was a bigot but that doesn't make what Kwame did okay regardless. I think even she was entitled to be able to give informed consent to sex with Kwame. And he already knew what it felt like to have that choice taken from him.

So Bella had an abortion after she was raped or was that earlier? Either way, why would she have an ultrasound, and why would she have kept the photo? Rhetorical question I guess since I suspect the answer is largely a political one concerning the relevant laws in the UK.

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On 7/30/2020 at 5:15 PM, Joimiaroxeu said:

Bella read Kwame right proper, AFAIC. Her take on what he did to the woman he dated last episode was exactly how I saw it. It's bad that woman was a bigot but that doesn't make what Kwame did okay regardless. I think even she was entitled to be able to give informed consent to sex with Kwame. And he already knew what it felt like to have that choice taken from him.

I'm a gay man. If I have a one-night-stand with a guy, and then it turns out he's never been with a guy before, does that mean I didn't give informed consent, and he therefore violated me?

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I don’t think Arabella was so preoccupied with social media earlier.

Seems to be her malaise at the moment along with the vaping.

She’s also passing judgement, being mean to people, like to the guy who said he liked her costume or just acting like she could do anything at the Wine and paint thing.

She also seems to be far more upset about the rape, since the police ended their investigation, than she was in the immediate aftermath when she seemed so casual about the possibility that her drink was spiked and that she had little memory of what happened to her other than flashes of some stranger raping her.

Next episode she’s going to see Simon for the first time since that night and it’s been 9 months.

Will they revisit what happened with Biagio or that experience is all behind her now?

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Whether it's right or not, the reality is that many if not most heterosexual women would likely object to having sex with a gay man, even if the man told them upfront and even if they expected to use safe sex practices.

Ironically, as was evidenced in this episode, many of those same heterosexual women would have less of a/no problem having sex with a someone they knew or assumed to be a promiscuous heterosexual man, as long as they were going to use safe sex practices.

(Note, I am not equating "gay" with "promiscuous." However, that is how many heterosexual women would assess the comparative risks, whether their beliefs were based on proven facts or not.)

IMO, Kwame knew and took advantage of the above-described disparity. That said, his date had made an erroneous presumption about his sexual orientation, but that was likely because Kwame misrepresented himself on the dating app.

And finally, there were racial and cultural issues at play too. I doubt Kwame would've tried to pull what he did on a random Black woman. He probably specifically chose a White woman because of a whole other set of assumptions and stereotypes about dating and having relationships with Black versus White women.

Now Kwame's date admitted she was "into" Black men and had clearly sexually fetishized him before she even met him. That might just be one of the things one might encounter in interracial hookups with people you don't know, regardless of their sexual orientation. I still think she was entitled to be told beforehand that she was being used as an experiment by Kwame.

Edited by Joimiaroxeu
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I think Bella is bipolar. She's charity been in a manic phase these last few episodes.

Please give Cole the Emmy next year.

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Arabella really does lead an unexamined life.  This episode showed that she is willing to read the riot act to anyone else however minor the offence, but she never sees that she's done anything wrong.  Locking Kwame in the room with a stranger who was really really interested in him sexually is 100 times worse than Kwame not telling the white girl he had sex with that he was gay.  Complaining that the doctor slighted her by calling her Afro Caribbean after he patiently waited through her making a video while going over her diagnosis was ridiculous.  She never got the important part - she has high blood pressure - because she stormed out.

At the Wine and Paint, Terry made a trite picture of an orange pumpkin with green vines.  But Arabella and Kwame painted these big angry looking pumpkins in red and black.   Guess we know who still has issues.

I didn't like Terry at first - I'm beginning to think she's a saint.

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I really respect how good this show is at making me stressed and uncomfortable. I don't have an insightful thought about this episode -- my reaction is just me pointing at my TV, going, "Yes, exactly that. I also struggle with that. I don't know to talk about it. Thanks for making a show."

On 7/13/2020 at 3:53 AM, Glade said:

I don't believe that homophobic woman was victimized because she had consensual sex with a man who wasn't one hundred percent straight. 

One of the things I like about this show is that it challenges the idea that there's a binary distinction between being a victim and not. In this particular situation, I think that random woman behaved a lot worse than he did, but it's still legitimate to feel upset when someone has sex with you and then immediately tells you they aren't attracted to you.

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3 hours ago, SourK said:

One of the things I like about this show is that it challenges the idea that there's a binary distinction between being a victim and not. In this particular situation, I think that random woman behaved a lot worse than he did, but it's still legitimate to feel upset when someone has sex with you and then immediately tells you they aren't attracted to you.

Did he say that, though? Being gay doesn't mean you're incapable of feeling any attraction whatsoever to someone who's a different gender. He found her attractive enough to want to pursue her, and if she hadn't behaved so grossly, he might have enjoyed the sex.

The show is definitely exploring the idea that sexual ethics aren't black-and-white, but Arabella's suggestion that Kwame in any way lacked consent in that encounter is pushing the concept of consent to an extreme that virtually no sexually active person can meet.

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17 hours ago, Blakeston said:

The show is definitely exploring the idea that sexual ethics aren't black-and-white, but Arabella's suggestion that Kwame in any way lacked consent in that encounter is pushing the concept of consent to an extreme that virtually no sexually active person can meet.

I think Arabella was responding from her own pain and rage about what happened to her so she took it too far in suggesting that Kwame had violated consent - which she did apologize for at the end of the episode. 

That said, I do also think that what Kwame did was unethical. He had told Bella and Terry ahead of time that he was going to go out with and likely have sex with a woman to regain his own sense of control in sexual situations (a thing he's felt like he's lost with men). So his going into the situation with the woman he picked with that agenda is something that lessens her ability to consent. It's similar to what happened to Terry and how she felt after her threesome in Italy. She went into it thinking it was a spontaneous thing about which she had all the information, but when she saw that the two men knew each other after the fact she realized she didn't have all the information and felt used (or at least that's how I interpreted her reaction).

I think what this show does so well is not just examine the question of consent in clearcut situations - Arabella is drugged and someone has sex with her, easy to make that call - but also examines all the ways in which people lie and maneuver in sexual politics to get what they want.

Writer guy removing the condom halfway through? Kwame being humped with clothes on? Terry being in a threesome and finding out that the two men may have planned it? Kwame having sex with a woman without telling her he's gay and has other reasons for wanting to have sex?  In each of those instances the person perpetrating the fraud (in all the mild and not so mild ways) is pretty convinced that they didn't do anything wrong - that it's all part of the game. And most of the time I think that's how people will roll with it. Chalk it up to a learning experience. But all is deceptive in some way and all makes the person on the receiving end feel shitty (at the least). 

And all so wonderfully and honestly explored with this show.

 

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On 8/5/2020 at 2:55 PM, Pop Tart said:

I think Arabella was responding from her own pain and rage about what happened to her so she took it too far in suggesting that Kwame had violated consent - which she did apologize for at the end of the episode. 

That said, I do also think that what Kwame did was unethical. He had told Bella and Terry ahead of time that he was going to go out with and likely have sex with a woman to regain his own sense of control in sexual situations (a thing he's felt like he's lost with men). So his going into the situation with the woman he picked with that agenda is something that lessens her ability to consent. It's similar to what happened to Terry and how she felt after her threesome in Italy. She went into it thinking it was a spontaneous thing about which she had all the information, but when she saw that the two men knew each other after the fact she realized she didn't have all the information and felt used (or at least that's how I interpreted her reaction).

I think what this show does so well is not just examine the question of consent in clearcut situations - Arabella is drugged and someone has sex with her, easy to make that call - but also examines all the ways in which people lie and maneuver in sexual politics to get what they want.

Writer guy removing the condom halfway through? Kwame being humped with clothes on? Terry being in a threesome and finding out that the two men may have planned it? Kwame having sex with a woman without telling her he's gay and has other reasons for wanting to have sex?  In each of those instances the person perpetrating the fraud (in all the mild and not so mild ways) is pretty convinced that they didn't do anything wrong - that it's all part of the game. And most of the time I think that's how people will roll with it. Chalk it up to a learning experience. But all is deceptive in some way and all makes the person on the receiving end feel shitty (at the least). 

And all so wonderfully and honestly explored with this show.

 

I think maybe it comes down to whether Kwame gave that woman the impression that he wanted a relationship with her. I didn't see his actions that way - but she may have seen it differently, especially considering how wacky she was.

I don't think there's anything wrong with someone who wants a quick roll in the hay just keeping your motivations to yourself, so long as there's nothing sinister about them. He wanted sex with a woman because it felt unthreatening to him, and she wanted sex with him because he was Black, and I don't see any need for either to disclose that so long as they didn't cross into the realm of dating.

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(Every time someone makes a valid point on either side of the Kwame debate, I change my mind.) 

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On 8/4/2020 at 8:08 PM, Blakeston said:

The show is definitely exploring the idea that sexual ethics aren't black-and-white, but Arabella's suggestion that Kwame in any way lacked consent in that encounter is pushing the concept of consent to an extreme that virtually no sexually active person can meet.

And I think that is one of the major take aways of this show for me.  The slope gets very slippery when we go down that path.  What must you disclose prior to casual consensual sex?  Sexual orientation, marital status, health conditions, mental health disorders, number of children, job status, criminal history?   I just don't think the woman not knowing Kwame was gay was any different/worse than him not knowing she was a homophobic, when it comes to consent.     

.  

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So did no one else see the creepy floating woman with the long black hair in the first scene of this episode floating over the foot of Bella’s bed like something out of a Japanese horror movie? WTF!? 

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