Finally about the erotic/sexual nature of their relationship. I didn't bring this topic up as I didn't considered this part of their relationship to be important to the topic. I'm not sure about the 40-45 minutes duration as they were having conversations and sharing light hearted moments with the other allies before the kiss.
I don't know how long it lasted, but I doubt that they went to keep guard only after 50 minutes of conversation with other Tributes, spent several minutes talking and then were just kissing for a minute or two when the lightning struck and Finnick woke up. The quote from the book:I feel that thing again. The thing I only felt once before. In the cave last year, when I was trying to get Haymitch to send us food. I kissed Peeta about a thousand times during those Games and after. But there was only one kiss that made me feel something stir deep inside. Only one that made me want more. But my head wound started bleeding and he made me lie down.
This time, there is nothing but us to interrupt us. And after a few attempts, Peeta gives up on talking. The sensation inside me grows warmer and spreads out from my chest, down through my body, out along my arms and legs, to the tips of my being. Instead of satisfying me, the kisses have the opposite effect, of making my need greater. I thought I was something of an expert on hunger, but this is an entirely new kind.
It's the first crack of the lightning storm—the bolt hitting the tree at midnight—that brings us to our senses. It rouses Finnick as well. He sits up with a sharp cry. I see his fingers digging into the sand as he reassures himself that whatever nightmare he inhabited wasn't real.
“I can't sleep anymore,” he says. “One of you should rest.” Only then does he seem to notice our expressions, the way we're wrapped around each other. “Or both of you. I can watch alone.”
Sounds like a long, intense, passionate make-out session, doesn't it? And it was even obvious to Finnick, who's done a lot more than that.
What makes you think I think Peeta has no desires for Katniss? From my 3 sentences you took my points to the far extreme which is why you see I offered no middle ground.
These lines that I already quoted:
It's debatable whether SC meant the relationship to be in anyway erotic. Her portrayal of Peeta is one of strength physically, emotionally and morally. A non-erotic relationship would show that his love for Katniss is more than driven by lust. Katniss might have had that lustful feeling in the cave and on the beach, but Peeta seemed to be as steady as a rock in both scenes! (I need to read up on the nights on the train scene you're talking about)
What else did you think by that?
Wanting her sexually? You mean when he was a goner at 5-6 years old he wanted her sexually then?
No. I think he wanted her sexually when he was 16-17.
I grant you that we have no privilege to what was on Peeta's mind during the kiss. I'm sure that he would have that warm fuzzy feelings at that moment, but would he or she go any further if they were alone? Would Peeta not have full control over his primal urges and just wanted to freeze the moment forever?
So you do think he had some urges to do more than stroke her hair?
They have shared many private moments together but things never turned sexual.**
Because Katniss didn't feel sexual desire, and Peeta would not initiate things since he believed that she didn't have romantic feelings for him and that she was forced to be a relationship with him, which would have made him reluctant to try anything, for obvious reasons.
Would you think I'd say there's no romance there?
No. I would say that those scenes were romantic and intimate. But things did turn erotic (although without "going all the way") on the beach, and I don't know why you're trying to deny that.
There are plenty of people in today's world who do believe in no sex before marriage, and that sex is for procreation. District 12 is a very rural and conservative society, medieval even. Katniss believes a romantic relationship requires them to get married and have children. Hence her reluctance to be with Gale after that kiss. Are these people "asexual"?
Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. It's a wrong question to ask. What these people are is conservative. That's not sexuality, that's attitude to sexuality. As for sexuality, they may be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual and still be conservative and believe in marriage and no sex without marriage, or be liberal, or be whatever. Asexual means having no sexual desires or an aversion to sex and sexual relationships.
Then there are the quaint traditions and ceremonies with weddings in D12. This is how people in D12 see relationships. Love in its most conservative form. The book didn't address it, but considering the conservativeness, the risk of their kids getting reaped for the games, the assumed lack of contraception due to impoverishness, and just the sheer struggle to keep themselves from starving, somehow I don't think a sexual relationship would have worth the risk of a pre-marital pregnancy. In 21st century settings the outcome could be so much different for Peeta, Katniss and Gale, but then The Hunger Games would just be a reality TV show about tributes cooking up bad food.
Now, this is fanon. All we know is that Katniss thinks of romance as love that leads to marriage and having children. There's nothing to suggest that everyone in District 12 believes that; there's even less evidence that people in District 12 believe in "no sex before marriage!" or for that matter, that Katniss herself is against sex before marriage with someone you'll eventually marry, or that anyone finds it shameful if people have sex before/outside of marriage. We also know that Gale was making out with girls (and I don't think he was just bragging to make Katniss jealous; but even if he were exaggerating, it shows that it wasn't considered such a shameful and awful thing to do).
As a matter of fact, there's more evidence in the books of the Capitol
having conservative sexual attitudes, not the Districts, contrary to the popular fanon that Capitol is more sexually free and that District 12 is all conservative and traditional. It's the Capitol people who gossiped about Peeta and Katniss sleeping in the same bed on the train (despite the fact that they were officially engaged!) and it's for the benefit of the Capitol people and Capitol sponsors, not the people in the Districts, that Peeta told the story about Katniss' pregnancy, which was prefaced by the story of their wedding, to make it acceptable. How does that fit with Finnick's status in the Capitol and his well known relationships with rich Capitolians (minus the prostitution part, which is apparently too unacceptable so it was kept secret from the public)? Easy, that's good old hypocrisy of the rich and powerful, who have different rules for themselves and for the poor populace, and always did in every society in history.
** Some suspected they did have sex in the final love scene when Katniss used the word "afterward". Fanon.
"Suspected"? I don't think there's anything to suspect, it's obviously implied, just in a coy way. What else do you think the "so, after" part was referring to? That's like saying it's fanon that Peeta was physically abused, because Katniss saw him with bruises the next day, but didn't see his mother hitting him, so maybe he just fell down the stairs or bumped into the doorknob.
A couple of other comments from the other thread that I forgot to make:
- Re: Darius and whether he was just bragging. He wasn't really offering her to buy his kisses, that was a joke and his way of flirting. He was flirting with her because he was attracted to her. Katniss may not have understood that, but Gale did. And Katniss probably just took it as a joke. Had Darius said that he wanted to buy Katniss' kisses, it would have sounded really creepy and offensive and dangerous, since he was the Head Peacekeeper, the one with power, and it would've sounded like he wanted to do with her what Cray was doing with the hungry women.
- Re: Boggs' sexuality. It's not really important, we don't know what it was, and I agree with both you and Satsuma that that line was not about Boggs' sexuality but about Finnick's attractiveness. However, your argument that Boggs couldn't be gay because he had a "macho" profession is pure stereotype; it's like people saying that Cinna must be gay because he's a stylist. It's not like there aren't many gay soldiers (what is the "don't ask, don't tell" policy about); and historically, many Spartan warriors, for instance, had open homosexual relationships (even though the word was not used back then), at the time when homosexuality was seen as perfectly compatible with being "a real man". Finally, we have no idea what the attitude towards homosexuality and bisexuality is in Panem - whether it's closer to that of today's USA, to that of today's Saudi Arabia, or to that of ancient Greece.