If you want to attract men and you say you like girls, you’ll achieve your goal. But I’m not talking about those types of girls. I’m talking about Girls, the show. The one where they talk like Dawson’s Creek. Or worse, Grey’s Anatomy, which means that every other sentence begins with some needy woman telling a man or her superior what they don’t get to do. “You don’t get to tell me you love me.” “You don’t get to tell me how to do my job.” “You don’t get to tell me that this hospital is cursed and at least one of us will be killed come May.” Sorry. Where were we?

Oh yes, Girls.

Girls wins all sorts of acclaim; creator Lena Dunham sweeps some hardware at key awards shows and critics say it’s raw, refreshing, nuanced and funny. It celebrates female relationships. It’s emblematic of emerging adulthood in New York. And it is undoubtedly all of these things.

I bet you know what’s coming. You can sense that I have an issue with Girls, so I’ll save you the suspense and come out with it.

I’m not concerned that it’s about privileged people overdramatising their first-world problems. I’m not bothered that it’s self-consciously hipster, like the first excruciating moments of Juno. I’m concerned that when it comes to sex and sexuality, it’s actually just too… real.

What’s wrong with that, you ask?

Well, I’ll tell you.

When you come right down to it, sex is fairly ridiculous. People who think sex tapes are hot haven’t given theirs a proper viewing — that or they have access to the editing suite at Vivid Entertainment. It’s animalistic. You make funny shapes with your body parts. Often, things get squished. There are… sounds, not always made intentionally.

Lena Dunham does her best to show us this kind of sex — and she succeeds. We spy cellulite; we see gangly lovers; we cock our heads and take in the relative gracelessness of the most popular positions; we witness the cruelty of being used. Can we identify? Sure we can.

But here’s the thing. To my mind, the best part about sex is that, if you’re with the right partner, it gives you the conceit that you are super hot and sexy and your body is beautiful and your partner thinks you’re really good. (Then you wake up, and the rosy glow gives ways to those nasty interruptions: the fears and niggles, those crises of confidence.)

Sometimes, isn’t it better to bask in the rosy glow? What’s wrong with seeing ourselves as airbrushed, edited and choreographed? After all, if life is a narrative, shouldn’t we aim for the fairy tale? Isn’t a documentary awfully uninventive?

Love and sex provide such a bounty of awkward moments that I actively choose to give more air time to the beautiful ones. Even if that air time is stylised and unrealistic.


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  1. #1 by Baberaham Lincoln on November 12, 2012 - 9:11 pm

    The woman has a hit TV show, a critically acclaimed short film and a bazillion dollar book deal by the age of about twelve (or however old she is ) and it’s her sex scenes you find undermining?

    • #2 by sohospeaks on November 12, 2012 - 9:22 pm

      If bazillion dollar deals dictate what you like, I’m guessing you were in camp Romney then?

      • #3 by Baberaham Lincoln on November 12, 2012 - 9:40 pm

        Lena Dunham has already found all sorts of ways to make me feel insecure before I even switch on the telly. Mitt Romney, not so much. Though that hair is kind of intimidating.

      • #4 by sohospeaks on November 12, 2012 - 9:42 pm

        Did Macauley Culkin really freak you out when he achieved so much so young?

      • #5 by Baberaham Lincoln on November 12, 2012 - 9:58 pm

        *NEVER* invoke The Culkin.

      • #6 by sohospeaks on November 12, 2012 - 9:58 pm

        I’m sorry. I know how upset it makes you. It was insensitive and wrong. *slaps hands on face*

  2. #7 by mchasewalker on November 12, 2012 - 9:20 pm

    Gee, I don’t know. While it might be unsettling to those who prefer their intercourse air-brushed and blown dry by professional models and celebs, Lena Dunham’s natural concupiscence and delight in her body and sexuality is both raw and refreshingly real. Hip, it may very well be, but even so, it is a welcome change from the homogenized reenactments we are typically privy to.

  3. #8 by Jenna Milly on November 12, 2012 - 10:30 pm

    Raise your hand if you’re generally annoyed by being hipster refreshed on a daily basis?

  4. #10 by A.M. on November 20, 2012 - 11:17 pm

    My sex tape plays like the first five minutes of Juno.

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