HE: Do you want to keep this?
ME: What?! It's a used condom!
HE: Ha! You should have seen the look on your face.
ME: .. but if I had it, then I could use it for analysis ..
HE: Wow. I say something creepy and you reply with the only thing that could top it.
ME: I couldn't keep it around anyway. Biohazard. I don't have the proper receptacles to store it.
HE: This conversation is OVER.
HE: I've never been fortunate enough to be compared to a jungle cat. I was, however, once called a cuttlefish and then only because of my mating habits.
ME: You are competitive, highly sexual, and like putting your gametes into the female's mouth?
HE: While I'm not really willing to deny those claims, they were not what I was initially referring to.
SHE: I thought a strumpet was a pastry.
ME: Me too! Which is why I laughed SO HARD.
SHE: But someone told me that it's a term for a loose woman. A crumpet is a pastry. Scrumpet is fried lamb. Strumpets are, like, us.
I also noticed how Elementary uncomfortably plays to mainstream sex tropes, especially in regards to sex work. In “The Long Fuse”, the high-end escort is the cunning murderer. “You Do It To Yourself” shows Sherlock having boyish fun with a pair of beautiful twin ladies, and Watson uncomfortably draws boundaries as he overshares. Also in the same episode, Sherlock accuses a woman of murder, ignoring her distress from years of sex slavery. Last Sunday, “The Deductionist” opened with a provocative scene condemning sex workers who steal from their clients. Moments later, Watson makes a disparaging remark about strippers. Then, finally, we get to the scene above where Watson reveals her feelings about having pornography filmed in her home.
It’s perfectly reasonable to be uncomfortable with unfamiliar activities in your private space, but it’s unclear from the narrative whether Watson is uncomfortable because it’s an invasion of privacy or sex or a mix of both. A character can keep very private boundaries around sex, but when a show consistently uses shallow sex tropes, it’s hard to read Elementary as anything other than sex-negative.
SHE: Do you know of a good place to take a first date for wine and conversation?
ME: Metropolis Cafe in the South End. Small, intimate, classy. But not a place to have bathroom sex. Because it's tiny.
He and I are opposites. He bumped his head and broke his back. I bumped my butt and broke my mind. Still, between the sex, we commiserated over our common symptoms. Sitting gets uncomfortable over long periods. We both blunder when writing while tired. He leaves off the second letter to words. I drop entire clauses. We both understand how we now move more slowly, even though we drive in the fast lane. We both lost years to our lives. We both keep secrets for self-preservation.
Don’t ever tell them during the interview, he said. Between you and an equally qualified candidate without a traumatic brain injury, you don’t stand a chance.
Je ne regrette pas beaucoup but I do wish that I had done better at the interviews after school. Many openings disappeared but I know that for others, I didn’t present myself well. I know better now, but it is difficult for me to compromise for what feels like discrimination. I am proud of how far I have come, and I dislike playing politics over something I didn’t choose and can’t change.
I hope that I can be honest someday, in my career and in all aspects of my life. I can’t continuously pretend that I don’t have a disability, keeping silent about the condition while toiling to bridge the ability gap. The double performance is doubly exhausting. It’s isolating. It prevents authentic connections with other people. It’s a lie.
He was a gentleman, walking me to the T before we parted. It was fun. Let’s do this again, he said. I smiled. Yes, I replied. Let’s.
Because that night—the show and the food and the conversation and the sex—was fun. But that was also the most honest I’ve been in a very, very long time.
SAM: This situation is even weirder than I could have given it credit for. Where else on earth do you get that extra special combo of complicating levels in interpersonal relationships?
SAM: Pff. Our orgies are way better than Congress's. Besides, even just being in the same room with people like Akin is like a great way to never want to have sex ever again.
HE: We could just use sex as a cool down after rock climbing. All the ropes and straps could come in handy.
ME: Funny. I was thinking that when I noticed all that rope in your room.
HE: I'll make sure to use it the next time you come over. As an eagle scout, I know lots of useful knots.
ME: You are an awful, horrible temptation.
HE: Thank you. That's what I'm going for.