Teen Wolf is returning to television in January and so I thought I’d celebrate that fact by discussing the sexuality of Stiles and Derek. We have discussed the Sterek pairing before, but we’ve never analyzed the characters as we have with others in the past. So without further ado, let’s discuss the likelihood of Derek and Stiles actually hooking up, or at least not being straight.
Let’s start with Stiles, as I feel he has the most potential to be a queer character, and we’ll discuss Derek next time. Stiles is our main character Scott’s best friend, and has become a fan favorite largely because Stiles is a huge nerd,
and also because of his witty banter with Derek.
Despite the vast amounts of Sterek that you’ll find online, there really isn’t any evidence for the ship in canon. Some could argue subtext, but TV shows tend to not be subtle when it comes to pointing out who characters are attracted to. It’s painfully obvious from the very first moment that Scott and Allison love each other and will hook up (at least they did; this season is kind of changing that with having Allison and Scott move on to different relationships). It is also painfully obvious that Stiles is interested in Lydia—not only by how he acts around her, but by the fact that he out and out says he likes her. However, in Stiles’s case, there is one character he interacts with pretty consistently that could suggest he is interested in men, and that’s Danny.
Until the addition of Ethan in season three, Danny was the show’s only openly gay character. During one of the first scenes with Danny, we see him joining Scott and Stiles for lunch along with the other popular high school kids (like Lydia and Jackson). Scott has just become popular because of his now werewolf power-enhanced lacrosse performance, and so people like Danny and Lydia surprisingly join Scott and Stiles for lunch. Danny sits next to Stiles along with another unnamed girl. Stiles attempts to smile and nod at both the girl and Danny, but both seem to roll their eyes and ignore him. After the lunch Stiles complains to Scott—not about the girl or even Lydia, who was also eating with them and ignoring him—but about Danny seeming to not like him. He tells Scott, “Danny doesn’t seem to like me very much,” and asks, “Am I attractive to gay guys?” Scott ignores Stiles, which causes Stiles more distress because Scott didn’t answer Stiles’s question. A couple episodes later, Stiles keeps bothering Danny by asking him questions about Jackson and Lydia, but the last question he asks Danny is, “Do you find me attractive?” Danny doesn’t answer, but this scene at least shows that this question is still on Stiles’s mind.
Now to be fair, these scenes don’t have to mean anything; it was once pointed out to me that some people just like to know that they are attractive to everyone, regardless of whether or not they would actually sleep with them. Stiles could just be looking for a bit of an ego boost here—I don’t think it would necessarily be out of character for him. However, at least having Stiles ask these questions very openly does set the viewer up for the potential that Stiles might be bisexual. In this way, Stiles has a bit of a leg up on other characters that fans theorize might be gay, because with Stiles the question is out in the open and written right into the show. Most other characters have nothing but subtext.
Season three cemented for me that Stiles is bisexual, however, with this scene:
Stiles: Missing and presumed dead, Scott, because he was probably a virgin. You know who else is a virgin? Me. I’m a virgin, okay? You know what that means? It means my lack of sexual experience is now literally a threat to my life, okay. I need to have sex. Like right now. Someone needs to have sex with me like today. Like someone needs to sex me right now!
Danny: All right, I’ll do it.
Stiles: Whoa! What?
Danny: Come over to my place at 9. Plan on staying the night. I like to cuddle.
Stiles: That is so sweet. Are you kidding?
Danny: Yes. I’m kidding.
Stiles: You don’t toy with a guy’s emotions like that, Danny. It’s not attractive, all right?
I know many fans felt that the writers of Teen Wolf tried to stress Stiles’s heterosexuality last season with the Stydia kiss, some flirting with Cora Hale, and the almost hook up with Heather, but I saw the above scene with Danny as cementing Stiles’s bisexuality. First, Stiles yells that someone “needs to sex him”; not some girl, just someone. Then, when Danny offers, there is definitely a moment where Stiles thinks he isn’t joking. Stiles has to outright ask if Danny is joking, because for a second he actually thinks Danny wants to sleep with him. This moment is different from the previous scenes because it shows that Stiles is not just looking for an ego boost. He doesn’t just want to know if Danny finds him attractive—he is willing to sleep with Danny, meaning that Stiles also finds Danny attractive.
One could argue Stiles just doesn’t want to be killed for being a virgin, but Stiles’s past interaction with Danny along with saying that Danny offering to sleep with him is “sweet” and then rebuking Danny for “toying with a guy’s emotions” paints a pretty different picture.
Actually, I’m surprised there aren’t more Stanny fans (the ship name for the Stiles/Danny pairing) than there are Sterek fans. Though I think Stiles is written in such a way that implies he is bisexual, very little has been written that implies that Stiles and Derek are attracted to each other. They have only a few scenes together and most of their more tension-filled interactions are more subtext than anything else, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have potential. Jeff Davis has affirmed that Stiles could be bisexual, though he isn’t saying anything definitive yet. And though Davis has stated he didn’t originally plan for a romantic relationship between Stiles and Derek, it isn’t completely out of the question either.
Now, the only reason I am even connecting this post back to the Sterek ship is because of how much fans have been pushing for it. Personally, I have always thought this could be a problem. I don’t want Davis to think that the only way Stiles can be bisexual is with Derek—I am in full support of a bisexual Stiles and a heterosexual Derek. That being said, I do think not exploring Stiles’s sexuality more would be a huge missed opportunity on the part of the writers.
For all you hopeful Sterek shippers out there, I will tackle Derek next time. As you’ve just read, there are plenty of hints that Stiles might be bisexual, but what about Derek? You’ll have to wait and see.