Rich and Sex
Almost every male character has either proactively sought out sex or been desperate to lose their virginities. Rich though never outwardly expressed this desperate need to lose his virginity and in many ways he judged Alo’s desperations. Rich is also one of the few male characters whose bedroom is not littered with posters of naked or half naked girls. I decided that I would play around with this observation to see if there is actual meat to it. Turns out I think there is.
Rich is a character who becomes devoted to things dogmatically so. He throws his everything into knowing all there is to know about metal music. Searching for new bands and new tracks, because metal is his passion it is a part of his identity. The music speaks to him and empowers him to think that the world is wrong and that he is right. He believes there will be a musical revolution in which the awesome destroys the superficiality of today. Then when he met Grace he became devoted to her and he was always a devoted friend to Alo. He is the type of guy who either REALLY loves something or REALLY hates something. Rich is a teenage boy so obviously sex is on his mind and is desirous to have it, but he has other things that he finds more important. Like his metal music and sticking to his principles.
Another reason that sex is portrayed so different for Rich compared to other male characters has to do with the fact that Rich has defined who he is. He has defined himself as a certain kind of person and from this definition his principles mean more than a superficial fuck. One of those principles is this notion of being who you are and being honest. The art of chasing skirt involves nuance, charm, and a bit of lying. Let’s be honest when a guy is trying to sleep with a girl or a girl is trying to sleep with a guy many times people laugh at jokes that aren’t funny, lie to make themselves look better, or even mislead people into thinking that there is more to the situation than there really is. Rich is not the type of person to laugh at a lame joke. Or pretend he likes electro pop to get laid. He hates that kind of interaction and watches people make fools of themselves in order to lose their virginity or get some sex. In other words he is picky and also he hates anything that isn’t real. If a girl he was attracted to asked him to sleep with her and was real about the situation he totally would in my opinion. I do not think that he is a noble knight who does not masturbate or will only sleep with girls due to love. He just won’t sleep with girls he doesn’t respect based on him acting like a monkey for her approval.
Even when he started dating Grace he let Grace set the pace for their physical intimacy. He was never desperate to have sex so much that he began to pester her—like Nick was toward Mini. The development between Rich and Grace was quite slow for Skins and when it happened it meant something to him. It was real. He didn’t need to pretend to like ballet, dance to a song he hated, or pretend to be anything other than himself. He never compromised for sex.
Most of the other male characters are typical adolescent males chasing skirt and trying to be cool. Rich though he had convictions that he didn’t want to compromise in order to have sex. I respect that. It is a rare thing to see. Someone young who wants his life to mean something and is not willing to fake his way into someone’s skirt.