Zombie Butts and Erotic Fan Fiction: Tina Belcher and Female Sexual Agency

By Lauren Ferguson

A defining feature of most teen movies is the well-worn trope of the adolescent male desperate for sex, and almost every sitcom features a wildly horny guy, each chasing after the teenage female ignoring his efforts. This trope has become so integral to the genre that most adolescent storylines, like that of Superbad and the American Pie series, center specifically around the quest for young boys trying to get laid. This type of character is simply that, a character. But for all the sexually-charged men, the question arises: where are all the horny teenage women? The sex drive of the young female adolescent is largely ignored in media and modern culture. When it is addressed, it is often in a negative light, shaming sexually active girls as ‘sluts’ or ‘whores’, further perpetuating a poisonous idea that women should continually be virginal for the sake of men. But, as proven through a 2003 study at Ohio University, women are just as interested in sex as the opposite gender. The study reported that “women’s [sexual activity] was closer to men’s” than previously thought, meaning that women not only engage in sex often, but that they enjoy it just as much as men do. A troubling fact that also came from the study was that “women who thought their [sexual history] might be seen by others tended to give answers that were more socially acceptable,” meaning women still feel the societal pressure to hide their sexuality. With all the push by current culture for women to represent themselves as sexually abstinent and pure, it’s no wonder there are few representations of well-rounded adolescent females who are also just as eager for some action. However, Tina Belcher, the 13 year-old female character on Bob’s Burgers, defies this idea. Tina has a powerful sex drive, but still identifies herself as a “smart, strong, sensual woman.” She often expresses her sexual desires at length, detailing her wild butt-filled fantasies of basketball players and zombies (and once, both).

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However, Tina is never shamed for her fetishes or increased sex drive by family or friends. Her mother insists she has “nothing to be embarrassed about” when Tina writes erotic fan fiction and explores her sexuality, presenting the positive attitude about female sexuality on the show. Additionally, Tina’s appearance is unique in presenting her sex drive. While she is not portrayed as conventionally gorgeous, she is no less attractive than any other girls her age, even juggling multiple boyfriends at one point. No one mocks her for who she is, as Bob’s Burgers rejects the idea that a girl with a high libido is ‘desperate’ and thus ‘unattractive’, but rather that her sex drive is totally normal for her age. Tina is a confident and good-natured adolescent who is just really, really horny. And that’s totally okay. So why pretend that girls aren’t engaging in sexual activities and liking it? Tina has been embraced by Bob’s Burgers’ millions of fans, proving her sex drive is anything but negative. So why can’t we embrace female horniness as well? This honest, lighthearted depiction of young female sexuality proves that women have nothing to be ashamed of. Sex is a part of life, no matter one’s gender. Although female characters like Tina are few and far between, the positive representation of the horny female adolescent is important and beginning to gain traction. So let’s let Tina and butts lead the way!


*1 | Images Courtesy of Fox Entertainment
*2 | Featured image by Cody Bubenik
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Lauren Ferguson

The author

Lauren Ferguson is queer female writer and art team member for the Feminine Inquiry. She is currently a student at The University of Texas majoring in Art History and English honors. Her free time is spent fighting as a wanted vigilante and talking about Tom Waits.

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