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Discussion/Meta Negan's Sadism & Sexual Subtext

Discussion in 'Negan / Jeffrey Dean Morgan' started by Doctor Grimes, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    Does a lot of Negan's torturous monologuing and behavior strike anyone as sexual? Notably with Rosita and (primarily) Rick in the premiere?

    Throughout the episode, Negan tends to hold Lucille level with his hips/waist, which does lend into the fact it's sort of a proxy for a penis. JDM even talked about the fact Lucille functions as a penis of sorts for Negan in an interview.

    "There's something about [Lucille], especially when there's blood dripping off her. There's a certain beauty that she has. And for me it's an extension of Negan. They become one in these scenes together. It's his dick. I mean, for lack of a better thing, it really is."

    So once knowing this, it could be assumed he played it this way, and that charges the scenes that involve Lucille -- and Negan in general. (Essentially he bludgeoned two alpha males to death with his barbed-wire penis then swung it around proudly for all to see).

    For example, after killing Abraham brutally with Lucille, he implores the entire group to look at his "dirty girl".

    [​IMG]

    He then forced the dripping bat (again, think a dripping dick) into Rosita's face and demand she feast her eyes on it -- then taunts her over the loss of her lover (Abraham).

    "Sweetheart... Lay your eyes on this. Oh, damn. Were you -- Were you together? That sucks. But if you were, you should know there was a reason for all this. Red -- and hell, he was, is, and will ever be red. He just took one or six or seven for the team! So take...a damn look. Take a damn look!"​

    After Abraham and Glenn are beaten to death with Lucille, and being asked whether Negan's joke was "that bad," Rick volleys a threat at Negan, and Negan seems particularly ruffled by this.

    [​IMG]
    (and maybe turned on by the challenge? I don't even know. But that look. :daleeye:)

    Negan asks Simon to give him Rick's "ax" (he scoffs at the term "hatchet"), then tucks the ax into his belt (so again we're treated to a lovely waist shot -- all the while Rick is on his knees in a submissive pose; this transfers a sort of phallic resonance to the ax as well).

    [​IMG]

    Negan then grabs Rick and drags him away in a humiliating fashion that renders Rick on all fours like an animal.

    [​IMG]

    Once in the RV, Negan dares Rick to attack him with the ax (which he has lodged into a table). When Rick makes a go of it, Negan swings around with a machine gun pointed at Rick's chest, forcing Rick to drop the ax (thus emasculating him once more -- just for fun). After Rick is unarmed, Negan punches him in the stomach, and Rick drops to the ground in pain.

    While Rick in on the ground, catching his breath, Negan brushes the ax across Rick's hair.

    [​IMG]
    (This is just creepy as hell to me and gives me some weird sexual vibes.)

    Perhaps this is to scare him, maybe Negan is genuinely contemplating killing him -- then Negan slams it into the table. Rick jumps, terrified for a moment -- probably thinking Negan was going to chop his head off.

    After telling Rick, "You are mine," Negan makes Rick fetch the ax -- throwing it on top of the RV and ordering Rick to go get it -- and he says, "Let's be friends." Like this is some sort of game. After Rick successfully gets Negan's ax, Negan says, "Attaboy!" as he would to a dog. Thus far, he has demeaned Rick by treating him like a toy -- or a pet.

    Later, Negan cleans the bloody ax blade with alcohol, going on about how Rick must've been "addicted" to being a leader, that Rick has metaphorically had his balls snipped off, and that Rick can still live a very productive life working for him. He points the cleaned ax in Rick's face and orders him to "take it."

    [​IMG]

    Then they get back to the clearing -- and Rick is forced out of the RV on all fours again. The situation reaches new terrifying (and creepy) levels (as if it wasn't bad enough) when Negan takes off his belt to use it as a tourniquet around Carl's arm.

    [​IMG]

    ...Which of course denotes certain connotations. (As disturbing as they are.) While nothing overtly sexual is going on here, the imagery is still evocative.

    By the end of his torture fest (the beatings of two friends, the RV trip, being forced to almost maim his son), Rick finally breaks. Rick looks at Negan with a wide-eyed look of almost relief. Of gratefulness. Because Negan stopped him from almost hurting Carl (how nice of him). Knowing Rick has submitted to his will, Negan makes Rick verbally acknowledge that Rick will "provide" for him and Rick "belongs" to Negan. Rick agrees to become Negan's possession.

    [​IMG]

    ... It's so fucked up.

    I couldn't help but notice the physicality of all their interactions as well.Throughout the episode, Negan is very touchy with Rick (and only Rick) -- dragging him by the jacket twice,

    [​IMG]

    punching him in the gut, slapping him, grabbing him by the face (twice!)

    [​IMG]

    even clapping him on the back a couple times (as a subtle, fucked-up form of praise). Negan isn't afraid to get into Rick's personal space with regularity and stare him in the eyes. There's a reason a lot of people have commented that the staredown at the beginning was "charged" -- with the camera angles, the forcing of Rick on his knees, it could be registered as somewhat (if not overtly) sexual.

    Truth be told, Negan seems to get off especially on the thought of torturing Rick (who has captivated his attention), going so far as to say he'll force Rick to stay alive after everyone else is dead just so he can "stew" on it.

    "Still, though, I'm gonna need you to do it, or all these people are gonna die. Then Carl dies, then the people back home die... and then you, eventually. I'm gonna keep you breathing for a few years, just so you can stew on it."​

    Perhaps it's because Rick poses a challenge, who knows, but Negan seems keen on completely, utterly destroying Rick in a way that goes beyond garden-variety tyrant. Negan's methods are tinged in a way, or at least portrayed in a way, that evokes sexual sadism.

    This isn't just in the television series either. In the comic incarnation, Negan makes a joke not once, but twice, about shoving his dick down Rick's throat.

    A transaction that occurred during the Lucille scene in the comic book:

    [​IMG]

    "The name of the game is breaking you in front of them. I'll slide my dick down your throat and make you thank me for it."

    Later, when Negan visits Alexandria, he says this to Rick:

    [​IMG]

    "I just slid my dick down your throat -- and you thanked me for it."

    So... not sure entirely what is supposed to be going on there. But it's an interesting choice of words. And, while they didn't include that line in the TV series, I got the feeling they were trying to send the same message with Negan's behavior.

    In any case, it's beginning to give me the impression that Negan may be some sort of sexual sadist. He gets off on breaking people -- and the stronger they are (like Rick), the more he gets off on it and fixates on it. So it's not even so much homoerotic subtext (though I believe that is there too), Negan would do this to any figure that opposes him.

    Anyone else agree? I've noticed a few others agree there's something... layered going on here. But I don't know entirely how to make heads or tails out of what is going on. It chills me nonetheless.
     
  2. forevermichonne

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    I agree Doc! I wish I could gif this scene that I was talking about it in the bunker. It's after Abe is gone, Negan swings his bat and Abe's blood splatters on Rick's face in a "money shot" fashion for him to wear for the rest of the episode.

    Torturing the group does give him some sick pleasure.
     
  3. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    I refuse to gif anything from the Lucille scene, but I know what you're talking about. And I agree. The imagery is all sorts of sick and twisted.
     
  4. QueenTee

    QueenTee Ricktator

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    I can envision Negan as Christan Grey's even darker older brother. :lol:
    He seems to really get off on the suffering of others. The part that really had my spidey senses going haywire was his need to see Rick lose every ounce of proud and grovel to him or (the look). Now my thing is whether or not that bleeds into his actual sexuality in how he treats his wives.
     
  5. Tisha Grimes

    Tisha Grimes Stay Strong
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    To me Negan has little dick syndrome.
     
  6. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    I sometimes wonder if it's possible Negan just gets off on subjugating people and asserting his power over them -- regardless of gender. With men, he gets his pleasure from breaking their spirits and making them subservient workers (or beating them to death as he seemed to get rev'd up from killing Abraham and Glenn). With women, he enjoys it when they submit to him as sexual servants. Either way, he's getting some sort of enjoyment out of it (sexual or otherwise).
     
  7. Empress

    Empress Permanently mourning Glenn Rhee
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    It’s my understanding that most male sadists use their weapon of choice as an extension of their “manhood”, I should google but I’m sure there’s a statistic or some study out there about serial killers and their knives for example being their surrogate dick, especially if they’re impotent. I guess Negan isn’t that with all his wives, but he REALLY needs to be king of the castle, this is just another extension of that absolute need. I absolutely believe and agree that he’s a sexual sadist, it would not surprise me at all if he got some level of “relief” when he took a life, and TV Negan seems to be even more of a psychopath, and much less naturally charming (much to my disappointment). He also really has to make a show of everything, he's a performer and TV Negan seems so juiced up on power, and needy about it, I wonder how fragile his ego is, it's honestly hard to say so far. He sure talks himself up a lot. Too much. It might all be about making sure people stay in line, but he's definitely an egomaniac and seems to really enjoy all the steps he has to take to ensure he's on top.
     
  8. MamaGrimes

    MamaGrimes 100% Certified Shipper Trash
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    What a masterpiece of an OP @Doctor Grimes! You captured all of it.

    While I don't read the GN, I've done enough research (for my writing and fandom participation) to know for certain that Negan is absolutely fascinated by Rick, if not obsessed with him. I can definitely see the seeds being planted with the disturbing exchanges you cited in your OP.

    Negan exhibits both psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies:
    • A disregard for laws and social mores
    • A disregard for the rights of others
    • A failure to feel remorse or guilt
    • A tendency to display violent behavior
    and I believe his subjugation of Rick is him indulging yet another deviant behavior- megalomania. Let's face it, Negan is a petri dish of bad behavior and a prime example of someone who has allowed the 'new world' to become his Devil's playground. Anything goes with him and he will do ANYTHING to bring people under his control.

    When faced with an alpha male like Rick, Negan feels like he has to pull out all the stops as his usual example killing (x 2!) didn't do the trick. He was pissed off and frustrated when Rick threatened to kill him but you could tell that he was fascinated by Rick not being broken. So, yes, I believe the receipts you cited above were all performed by Negan as a way to break an alpha man down piece by piece. It was all supposed to make us feel very uncomfortable and icky because Rick's power and autonomy and free will were being taken from him, similar to how they are removed in sexual assault.

    Sexual assault has been used as a weapon of war since man stood upright on two legs and it's not going anywhere. While Negan isn't officially a rapist and it's canon that he doesn't condone the act of rape, I believe he exhibits many of the characteristics of a sexual predator and performs many of the same actions as one without going through with the act itself.

    As a Rick fan, I am fully engaged in this season because I CRAVE and NEED to see Rick bring Negan down. I'm not holding my breath on Rick killing Negan but somehow, someway, Rick will humiliate and defeat Negan and THAT thought is what's going to carry me through this difficult season.
     
  9. Gooey Goobert

    Gooey Goobert Relocating to The Kingdom
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    I definitely got that vibe in the GN, but TV Negan made it very, very obvious. It was just very blatant and hard to ignore. It's been awhile since I read the GN, but most of the "sexual" aspect came from his dialogue while in the show it's through his actions so far.
     
  10. Empress

    Empress Permanently mourning Glenn Rhee
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    This is a VERY interesting point that I’ve largely overlooked, you are absolutely correct. I would imagine (I’ve been avoiding spoilers as much as possible this season so I don’t know what’s been revealed) that they wouldn’t change that aspect of his comic characterization, so it should stand that TV Negan is firmly against rape, but he’s not against sexual dominance. He may not derive pleasure from forcing a woman to sexually be with him, as in having her cry, fighting, not enjoying herself (hit to his ego) - all the things he may typically associate with rape, but he needs submission, seemingly from everyone.

    It’s not rape, he doesn’t always literally force people to do what he says, sometimes you get to choose, but your choices are hardly choices, and the punishments for not bending are extreme - i.e Glenn's death due to Daryl’s hubris, Rick being broken down to either cut off his sons arm/submit or watch everyone die, etc. So the need to be in control, the need to be above others, he shares this part of a rapists mentality, but arguably even more twisted, as it’s almost like he makes you choose to let him “rape” you, take your food, take your family, take your life, or be forced to endure something possibly worse. Then like Doc wrote in her OP, uses sexual language to further degrade, emasculate, humiliate, intimidate you.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Denie39

    Denie39 Awaiting Job from Deanna

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    All what has been said here is why I think taking Negan's power away is almost as good as killing him. That's what you do to a bully, you take their audience away, and their power evaporates.

    I think that the scenes between Rick and Negan pretty much illustrated the words Negan said in the comic about putting his dick down Rick's throat (EWW). They certainly weren't going to have TV!Negan say this, probably too much for the GA to digest, but every action and word he said pretty said it without the literal words.
     
  12. Armte

    Armte Schadenfreude is my Aesthetic
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    I tried to read your post Doc and while very thoughtful and I agree. I got 1/2 way through and felt physically sick. What was done to Rick I haven't seen done on TV since the hbo prison show Oz. I joked this summer that Rick was going to be Negan prison bitch and I am so upset that I was right. I have never seen one man so thoroughly disrespected, emasculated and destroyed For the duration of an ENTIRE episode. True there was sexual symbolism used but this was more a violation an assault. Negan set out to destroy every aspect of rick that made him a man and a leader. He not only systematically destroyed rick the man but he set out to destroy Rick the beloved leader in his families eyes. Making rick crawl and beg was done to completely humiliate him and never have Rick pick up the mantle again as leader. Other than the actual death scenes that episode was about 30 minutes of fetish torture porn starring Rick. It was one humiliating injustice after the other.

    I don't know if Negan is a sexual sadist but I do know that implied sex was used as a weapon by Negan to demean and emasculate Rick. Just like prison rules. Sex is used to break men, it's a tool for destruction nothing more. Like I said I have never seen anything like this on tv since oz and the rape of Beecher and his continued abuse. It was upsetting to watch, heavy handed and excessive and persistent. Gimp never let up with the abuse and it was complete overkill.

    Thanks to that premiere I now have a visceral reaction to the character of Negan. If that's what Gimp wanted kudos to Gimp but I will never watch that episode or the character I love go through that again.

    I only hope that Gimp won't be heavy handed going forward with Negan's implied sexual sadism and torture. I can't set through this for an entire season and it would really turn the harem storyline into a hot mess. I never want to see Negan lay hands on Rick Grimes again.
     
    #12 Armte, Oct 25, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  13. ALDGRichonneLover

    ALDGRichonneLover "I wanted it to be ours, me and you"
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    Here, here @MamaGrimes . I HAVE read the GN, and Negan's lines to Rick ring of sexual domination and control, without the sexual act itself. It's like it's every straight mans nightmare to have some mans dick down their throat which leads down to a whole other topic of conversation, so just the threat of this happening sends men to their knees.

    Negan IS obsessesd with Rick, that was made cystal clear in both the GN and the show. The constant sexual vibes and imagery that I caught onto were so blatant. It's like after he hit Abraham, and the blood spatter across the face reminded me so much of a "cum" shot in a porno, for lack of a better word. Then his swinging of his bat provocatively in front of Rosita, like some huge dick, and toying her with it. Then his dragging Rick to the RV and saying "You are mine" in a possessive manner. Him in front of Rick with Rick on his knees and the shot of Negans crotch, I mean how blatant can you get?!

    He wanted COMPLETE subsmission from Rick with sexual overtones like with how a rapist views his victims. It isn't about the act, but the power over that person, and by golly, Negan was going to get it come hell or high water. So he pushed the envelope with Rick and the only thing to get him there after all of his defiance in the wake of Abe/Glenns's death, was the cutting off of Carl's arm. That's when he knew he broke Rick and his satisfied smile at the end, as if he had the best sexual and pleasurable night of his life. Oh, Negan gets' off on sexual sadism overtones and behavior. He is a megloegomaniac and enjoys deriving his pleasure from being a sadist and emasculating other Alpha males like Rick. Makes him feel all warm, special and cuddly inside. He NEEDS to fill his ego. No doubt about that. But you have to wonder, if a man like this is complelled to act in this psychopathic sexually tinged destructive manner, what does this say about his obvious fragile ego. Any man who feels the need to emasculate and humiliate another man, or anyone in that manner, definitely has "small di*k" syndrome, IMO. He has to take Rick down and others to make himself feel all powerful and untouchable, and that screams, "little boy with fragile ego" to me. I think this is why Negan is so popluar with some fan boys. He is the ultimate baddie, who has a harem of women ( it doesn't matter that the women really don't have a direct choice in the matter. Either be with him or death/other forms of punshiment for them or a loved one. Yeah, great choices there) and brings someone like Rick, a competent leader, and good man to his family and friends to his knees. Talk about an ego booster.

    I cannot WAIT until Rick has Negan right where he wants him. I too, NEED to see Negan grovling at Ricks and or Maggies feet. Oh, that will be a glorious day for this fan.
     
  14. Butler36

    Butler36 What?
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    I definitely think baby boy is a sadist at the least. He enjoys the pain of other whether that be psychological or physically. The more you resist, the more pleasure he gets out of asserting his authority. It like a horse rider who loves breaking horses. The more challenge the better you feel because it means you conquered something that was seemingly unconquerable. And the biggest form of domination is sexual in nature. It's the same reason some men like to tea bag others to show their dominance as alphas. Which is why, other than Rosita, he left the women alone. It is also why I'm real grateful that Richonne's relationship wasn't super apparent to him because he would have went straight to Michonne to prove his dominance to Rick just in the same way he does with Dwight.
     
  15. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    According to the DSM, sexual sadism isn't always about the physical sexual act. It is sometimes psychological.

    The essential feature of sexual sadism is a feeling of sexual excitement resulting from administering pain, suffering, or humiliation to another person. The pain, suffering, or humiliation inflicted on the other is real; it is not imagined and may be either physical or psychological in nature.

    [...]

    The sadistic acts performed or fantasized by a person with sadism often reflect a desire for sexual or psychological domination of another person. These acts range from behavior that is not physically harmful although it may be humiliating to the other person (such as being urinated upon), to criminal and potentially deadly behavior. ​

    It does sound like this is within Negan's wheelhouse. He derives pleasure from the domination of people -- sexual or psychologically.
     
  16. ALDGRichonneLover

    ALDGRichonneLover "I wanted it to be ours, me and you"
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    I am here with you Armte. That was madness, just watching everything unfold, it.. did..not.. let.. up... and the assault to my senses was on overload. And seeing Rick in that vulnerable destroyed position as a man, as a father , as a leader did things to me, made me feel some kind of way towards Negan and I..want.. him..dead... like yesterday. That was brutal, but then again, Negan is very brutal in the comic. that is his characterization to further show how some people just relish in power, control, submission for their own greater good. It's just so different to see this brutality go from the pages of the comics to when it's applied to a flesh and blood person on TV. Much different for me, which is why my reaction was so visceral and strong to Ricks torture. :(
     
    blackjack, treecie, candi18z and 5 others like this.
  17. HustleBunnee

    HustleBunnee Nestled in Rick's Beard
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    Negan was a jerk. He was a high school coach who cheated on his wife constantly. His wife died of cancer at the beginning of the apocalypse and her name was Lucille. When she died he saw her turn and had to put her down. He has a history of being disrespectful and derogatory towards women. That's where his power tripping, sexual boasting, masochistic behavior comes from.
     
  18. Mousey

    Mousey Awaiting Job from Deanna
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    I think you're entirely right, Doc. JDM plays Negan with a relentless sexual energy -- he's probably the most sexually charged character ever to grace TWD and I think that also accounts for why he seems almost not to fit the universe. (Now this isn't to say that the actors aren't sexy or there aren't sexysexual moments, but he's been oozing "that energy" from his first second on screen, whereas most of the rest of it had to be earned by the story.)

    He's definitely enjoying his scenes with Rick, and the Lucille imagery is unmistakably transference, so together it paints a really disturbing but psychologically interesting portrait of Negan so far. He rules by fear/power not just because it's the easiest way to control other humans, but because he actually is gratified by the experience. :dalewtf:
     
  19. richonneromance

    richonneromance Survivor of Many Disasters

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    I'm glad you made this thread because trying to explain this on reddit was ridiculous. Only a few people would accept the interpretation there (it's not an interpretation, it's literally canon but I don't know what else to call it).

    I began to notice it when he says "Did you hear him? He said "Suck my nuts!". I noticed because JDM changed his voice coming off from swinging the bat. He sounded a bit slurred, almost drunk-like. Then I realised swinging the bat does something to Negan. His body movements as he was killing Glenn, that odd full body lean backwards, it's sexual posturing and the need to keep hitting over and over and over....yikes.

    Don't even get me started on the wet, moistened phallic object. Someone else mentioned the blood on Rick's face being the "money shot" - perfect sum up, I had been trying to figure out why they made a point of that particular blood spatter. Sickening (but effective).

    Easy comparison imagery in Rick's smaller axe compared to Negan's bigger, longer, more lethal bat.

    When Daryl jumped up, I was thinking "Now what was it about that ineraction with Rosita that would get Daryl fired up?". He was unable to contain himself at witnessing the sexual humiliation/harassment of a woman whose lover was just murdered. Definitely the most twisted moment and I completely understand why Daryl jumped up, it reminded me of season 2 when Randall said the rape victims were "real cute" and Daryl stops torturing him for info and just plains beats the shit out of him instead. To me Daryl punching Negan was the good man vs the sick man. The good man will always step up to defend women, to defend the "weakened" or the victimised, and will stand up to the creeps. Daryl never got along with Shane, another creep, and Shane looked down on Daryl, devalued him, insulted him. Negan appears to be degrading Daryl to be like a pet (illustrated in Reedus's animal-like movements in the van).
     
  20. Barbarossa-TWD

    Barbarossa-TWD Ricktator

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    This scene was a clear callback to "A" when Carl was nearly raped by a Claimer.



    In "A" you can hear the Claimer undoing his belt buckle. So Negan doing this and seeing both his father and Michonne completely helpless must have triggered Carl. I think not only did this break Rick but it broke Carl, no longer is his father the white knight that comes to the rescue as he has always done... time for Carl to be a monster.

    Also, Carl is just stone cold. He submits "Just do it"... and get it over with.
     
    #20 Barbarossa-TWD, Oct 26, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016