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We know Cordelia is a girl that takes crap from no one, whether it's a ghost trying to get her to kill herself or Lilah Morgan, but there's always been something that I've gone back to time and again, wondering what it supposed to mean for her character.

In The Harvest, Vamp!Jesse stalks up to Cordelia, who is gabbing with her friends at the Bronze. He's dark, mysterious, and more than a little dangerous (read: Sexy). He tells her to dance with him, and I'm pretty sure he told her to shut up too. From what we know about Cordy, she should have told him to shove it and move off. She doesn't though. She takes his hand, lets him lead her to the dance floor, and mutters, rather weakly, "well, maybe one dance" to boot!

Okay, this is early Cordy - second episode of the first season. She's not even close to being fleshed out. But it's canon, it happened, so within the context of that world and her character, why would she give in like that? Is Cordelia attracted to that kind of dark, dangerous hotness? Is Cordelia submissive in the right situation, with the right guy? If Pack!Xander decided to do the same thing, would she have had the same reaction? If Angelus (before he started killing Buffy's friends)?

In RL news, a co-worker kept making me giggle today by spamming me with Angel pics. Hee! The last two were B/A, though, and I nearly emailed her back and asked for some C/A - but I suddenly pictured trying to explain the difference, my preferences.....her backing away carefully.....

So I didn't. But it was nice of her, and completely out of the blue.

Date: 2007-01-26 12:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chrisleeoctaves.livejournal.com
I think Cordy was taken completely off guard by Jesse's sudden confidence. And I also think that quite a lot of Cordy's confidence is false bravado anyway- we all know (and are proven right time and time again) that underneath that brash, I-take-shit-from-no-one exterior is actually a very sensitive and often kind girl. Witness her developing feelings for Xander and how hurt she was when he cheated on her. Her defences went completely back up after that; she became brittle. Personally, I loved Cordy from the get go.

Ahh. Someone sent you B/A pics. Clearly subversive.
Thank her for me, would you! *g*

Date: 2007-01-26 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] samsom.livejournal.com
Ahh. Someone sent you B/A pics. Clearly subversive.
Thank her for me, would you! *g*


*G*

They were good ones, too. The clinch from IWRY, and the one where they're doing Tai Chi, and it turned into a make out session. I did wonder if Buffy was standing on a box, though, since she's so tiny next to Angel.


Thanks for your thoughts. I agree about Cordy's walls. They are high and full of barbed wire, but I'm just wondering why sudden confidence from someone she thought of as geeky would so completely disarm her. Cordy's HS life was full of confident boys, no? What made Vamp!Jesse different?

Things to ponder.

Date: 2007-01-26 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chrisleeoctaves.livejournal.com
It's that whole thrall thing. I mean, aren't vampires supposed to be sexually potent?
Could you say no to Angel?
(Okay- stupid question!)

Date: 2007-01-27 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] samsom.livejournal.com
Well, I think it depends on the 'verse. Anne Rice's vamps are very sexually enthralling (if you like that sort of thing), so are Laurell K. Hamilton's (but since I don't read her anymore, maybe I shouldn't include her here).

Until Dracula made an appearance in Sunnydale, I never thought Joss's vamps were specifically sexually enthralling.

Just some more enthralling overall than others.

Like Angel. And Spike. Depending on your mileage, of course.

But if they were written as sexually enthralling, then that's the simplest explanation for Cordy's submissive behavior with Vamp!Jesse.

Uh, and no silly girl, I would not say no to Angel. I could be gay, and I wouldn't say no to Angel. Some things transcend gender.

Date: 2007-01-26 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gabs186.livejournal.com
Well, this was prior to Cordy's knowledge of vampires so I presume she just thought it was him finding his balls, being *aggressive* as oppose to nerdy and stammery and taking initiative.

And I always got a huffed, more long-suffering-because-I-even-have-to-deal-with-morons-like you tone from her, "well maybe one dance."

Then again Cor is strangely attracted to dorky/darksexydangerous! men.... ;o)

Date: 2007-01-27 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] samsom.livejournal.com
Then again Cor is strangely attracted to dorky/darksexydangerous! men.... ;o)

*g*

You're very right about that. Vamp!Jesse was just a prototype Angel all along.

Date: 2007-01-27 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gabs186.livejournal.com
/Monica Voice/ I KNOW!

We should have seen C/A coming from the very pilot. Though in BTVS, as a very brilliant writer whose name atm escapes me put it, Cordy and Angel were both hotties with a soft spot for total losers. ;o)

Date: 2007-01-26 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlivvielockex.livejournal.com
I'll have to rewatch it so this is just coming off the top of my memory, which given how it has been the past few days, not all that reliable. LOL

I think part of it might have been surprise. Now, Cordy was never one to be knocked off her feet or if she was, she sure as heck didn't show it. I think that coupled with a general trend is what caused it.

What general trend? The more women that I talk to about their sex life (I don't have that Puritianical influence holding me back here), the more that it seems the rather outwardly confident women in life are more likely to be submissive in the bedroom. Relinquishing power within a safe setting. This, naturally, isn't true for all powerful women. Just enough, in my limited experience, to designate a trend.

And if I am remembering correctly, I don't think we saw Cordelia having sex in any other position outside of missionary? Whereas, I can't remember specific episodes but I do believe we have seen other females of the 'verse on top, as it were. If you want to take the choice of positions to signal dominance or submissiveness.

It could just be the part of the spoiled princess coming through as well. Where is strong and takes no crap until that specific knight comes to sweep her off her feet. Or in this case, tells her what to do. One might assume that since the Chases are rich, Cordelia's father was a rather strong, dominant male with a strong hand. And every little girl wants her daddy. LOL

Then again, I could SO SO SO be over-analyzing this and reading too much into it. It could just be poor/non-existant character development up to this point. But personally, I think in the presence of the right combination, that even strong confident fabulous Cordelia could turn over the reins of command, if only for an hour. *winks*

Date: 2007-01-26 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlivvielockex.livejournal.com
And replying to myself here cause I just saw your earlier comment about confident boys. In my HS, the confident boys weren't ever THAT confident. Never had that kind of tone to their voice or that swagger. It was more confidence tempered with a whole lot of hormones and fear.

So again, I think it might have been thrown off guard for the moment by the complete 180 coupled with the fact that Jesse's confidence appeared to be a more adult confidence, devil may care attitude as opposed to the more lukewarm confidence of most people in high school.

Date: 2007-01-27 05:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] samsom.livejournal.com
The more women that I talk to about their sex life (I don't have that Puritianical influence holding me back here), the more that it seems the rather outwardly confident women in life are more likely to be submissive in the bedroom. Relinquishing power within a safe setting. This, naturally, isn't true for all powerful women. Just enough, in my limited experience, to designate a trend.

I've read this before. Some powerful men are the same way, seeking a way to relinquish control after making decisions all day long. Women are less written about, I think, because it's not very PC or feminist to say that a woman wants to give in to a strong man, be the weaker sex.

And if I am remembering correctly, I don't think we saw Cordelia having sex in any other position outside of missionary? Whereas, I can't remember specific episodes but I do believe we have seen other females of the 'verse on top, as it were. If you want to take the choice of positions to signal dominance or submissiveness.

Well, Cordy didn't have a lot of sex to begin with - *g*. But yes, with Wilson Christopher, she was passive, letting him take the lead. Whereas Willow, I think, nearly always took the lead with Tara, and Buffy of course made the first move on Spike, and we saw her in dominant positions with him more than submissive. In fact, I always thought Buffy and Spike reversed gender roles in their relationship - but that's another post.

It could just be the part of the spoiled princess coming through as well. Where is strong and takes no crap until that specific knight comes to sweep her off her feet. Or in this case, tells her what to do. One might assume that since the Chases are rich, Cordelia's father was a rather strong, dominant male with a strong hand. And every little girl wants her daddy.

Another really good point, and one that validates how I sometimes want to write Cordelia, as submissive to a strong male, like Giles, and a non-dorky Angel. And I think that Cordelia's father has a lot to do with how she is, with how she treats people. Cordelia might push, wanting someone to push back. She might be looking for someone to take control from her. I want to write her like this, but it has to make sense within canon. That's why I always go back to that scene in the Harvest, because it means its within her canon to respond to the dominance of a vamp like Jesse or Angel.

But personally, I think in the presence of the right combination, that even strong confident fabulous Cordelia could turn over the reins of command, if only for an hour. *winks*

Agreed. Giving up her power indefinitely isn't Cordelia, but giving it up for an hour, to relieve herself of the responsibility she has every day because of her visions, that makes a lot of sense. I'm glad you responded to this, Livvie, as you've pretty much articulated what I sort of half thought might be the case.

Date: 2007-01-26 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lostakasha.livejournal.com
Chirstie and Livvie et al have done a fine job helping you wit the meta so far, so I'm going to just sit back and add my "uh-huh." I'm really here to just say....

Kelly Clarkson! Hee! Shut up is right.

Full disclosure: I have Taylor Hicks on my Booth/Hodgins playlist. *hangs head*

Date: 2007-01-27 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] samsom.livejournal.com
*joins you in shame*

I actually was slightly embarrassed when I downloaded that song, as if the rest of my collection were, somehow, judging me.

But the writer in me, she likes the song, so what am I going to do?

*shrugs*

Date: 2007-01-26 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damnskippytoo.livejournal.com
In my mind, Cordy is just me on a really, really good day in a really, really cool alternate universe. Therefore, I'll answer why *I* would do it.

If some guy I previously brushed off as unworthy, nerdy, etc. who had merely hemmed and hawed in my presence before came up to me suddenly confident and not taking any shit from anyone, I would be impressed. And, I would begin to wonder if there weren't "hidden depths" as Cordy liked to put it.

Plus, for me, confidence is not only really sexy but in a man can intimidate me and, I think, Cordy. Powerful women don't really intimidate me, more like piss me off, but men do probably because of the whole they-can-beat-me-to-a-pulp fear. But, basically, a really confident, powerful man does make me feel...like the weaker sex.

It could be the same thing with Cordy. We all saw how she was with Wilson Christopher which seemed like someone awestruck with a successful, powerful man. Granted there was an element of flirting, but she acted really shy and vulnerable which was a side of her we didn't glimpse too often but apparently was there. Just like me! ;)

On the flip side, she (and I) also had a propensity to date "fixer uppers" because, IMO, we/she could mold and control them far easier than a strong, confident man.

So you have confidence from a formerly non-confident man which is impressive, possible hidden depths, intimidation mixed with possible molding him to her whims and I can see her/me dancing with the dweeb.

Date: 2007-01-27 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] samsom.livejournal.com
I actually found myself in Cordy's situation once - sort of. At a Friday night dance close to Halloween during my junior year in HS ('88), I walked in and saw a guy in a mask and ripped pants by the turntable. I couldn't see his face, but he was shirtless and the body was very good. Lean, tall, broad-shouldered. I was sort of smitten, asking who he was but my friends wouldn't tell me. The guy walked over, gestured for me to dance with him and I hopped up like an obedient little puppy dog. This went on half the night without him saying anything and I was crushing on him big time, wondering who this mysterious guy in the mask was.

Well, he took off the mask and it turned out it was my pal Ray, who was geeky and sort of Xander-ish - jokey and harmless. I knew he liked me, but I wasn't interested.

So if I put myself in Cordy's situation, I'd have just slapped Vamp!Jesse down and told him to get lost (and gotten eaten!).

But what I'm getting from your reply is that Cordelia pushes people because she can, to see if someone pushes back. And when they do, when she meets that man who oozes confidence, then she becomes softer, more...submissive?

It makes me wildy curious to see Cordelia encounter Pack!Xander, or Beige!Angel. I mean, we got a glimpse in...Reprise? During the book scene. If Wes hadn't been there to tell her to give Angel the book, what do you think Cordelia would have done?

Date: 2007-01-27 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damnskippytoo.livejournal.com
I'm heading out of town for the weekend but just wanted to do a fly-by and say something about Angel. He's different. Actually anyone she already knows would be different I think. His wasn't a display of confidence so much as a threat and Cordy doesn't take threats from anyone. She was shaken, but I think she stood her ground well. And I think she probably would have said, "Try it" after his "Don't make me move you" and he would have and she would have tried to kick him in the balls. At least, I would. :) But, anyway, anyone she already knows is not a mystery to her and so she wouldn't be impressed or intrigued so much as thinking, "Yeah, right."

Ooops, gotta run!

Date: 2007-01-29 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlet2367.livejournal.com
I was gonna say that she was quite submissive during the love scene with Wilson Christopher, but Deb beat me to it. :)

So basically I'm just hanging around here basking in y'all's glory.

cordy's a submissive

Date: 2007-02-19 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

hi..lally here..i've been reading some of your wonderful stories..
then i saw this question..i know it was written last month..but i only saw it now.

you said you were stumped by cordy's actions..in that very early, i think even, pilot buffy ep.

i understood it completely..

yes, cordy takes crap from no one.

yes..she cultivates and weaves an outer core ..that seems to be made of steel armor..

however these are also the exact same things often needed for a submissive relationship..

it's refreshing to have someone call one, on that stiff control.

it's a relief to give over..one's endless self control..

i've read that people who become submissives..are usually first, very, very strong, confidant..powerful people..

that's why, even if only temporarily,
giving over their power to another..
is such sweet relief..

at least that's what i got out of it.

so..cordy immediately shuts up..in that scene..i believe..
because he called her, saw through her bravado..
her endless facade..
so she just melted
right away
just like that.

Re: cordy's a submissive

Date: 2007-02-20 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] samsom.livejournal.com
Thank you for commenting:D

I agree with you. I do believe Cordelia works as a submissive, which is great, because it fits into how I see her, and write her. I like to stick as close to canon as possible, so getting the validation from others helps me write it as truthfully as I believe it to be.

Thanks for reading the fic too:D

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