HBO’s GIRLS Gets It Right

There’s a lot of sexuality portrayed on Lena Dunham’s pet project, GIRLS on HBO. Truth be told, I’ve heard many people say that some scenes actually make them feel uncomfortable. There’s a raw honesty to what the characters do on GIRLS. It is an unflinching look at who these young women are and how they are navigating their relationships.I think it resonates with people because we have all been through those awkward sexual moments. There’s also a lot of nudity which Lena Dunham has defended, saying that nudity is a part of all of our lives and why shouldn’t it be portrayed as such? Kudos, Lena.

The episode “Role-Play” was quite poignant and hit the nail on the head as far as making a statement about how sexual relationships change over time. In it, Hannah realizes that she is losing Adam to the Broadway play he is in. After all, he doesn’t even realize when she spends the night at a male co-worker’s house. Hannah talks about how the sex that she and Adam have now isn’t like the sex they used to have.  That it has somehow lost it’s edge and she feels like the way to get him back fully invested is to re-ignite the home fires by delving into some role-play with him.role playAfter giving it everything she had, wig, crazy voice and S&M lingerie; Adam loses it by asking what is wrong with the sex they currently have? Hannah states it’s not like it used to be with dark imagery and crazy sex antics. Adam states that isn’t who he is anymore and that he enjoys the sweetness of their current sex.  He doesn’t need to act out those roles anymore now that their sexual relationship has evolved.

Some people mourn the sex they use to have at the beginning of their relationship; the spontaneity and intensity. These are the same people who have fallen into a pattern of sexuality that may actually be safer and more secure, yet they still prize that honeymoon phase libido. I’m not saying that we all have to settle for hum drum sex but trying to maintain the expectation of how sex used to be, before kids and mortgages and 9-5 jobs isn’t reasonable either. I appreciate that GIRLS went there with Hannah and Adam’s relationship. It’s one way of showing that all relationships change – whether we want them to or not. Long-term sexual relationships can be both solid and exciting, some times at the same time and others not. The main thing is to stay connected on whatever emotional and physical level you are at with your partner. That way you can ride the ebbs and flows together.

image is a copyrighted photo of the model

 is the resident sexologist at Adam & Eve and also runs a private practice and media consulting business. She has a Doctorate from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Her professional affiliations include AASECT, SSSS, and the American Board of Sexologists. She also has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and completed a postgraduate degree in Marriage, Family and Addictions Recovery Therapy.

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