HBO's 'Looking' Will Depict Realistic Gay Sex... Is the World Ready?

This year has been a year of change and progressive social reform when it comes to gay marriage and gay rights, however, some things will never change. Like, for example, HBO's dedication to making controversial and high quality series. HBO's newest project, Looking, revolves around a group of gay video game designers living in San Francisco, and one of the stars, Jonathan Groff (of Glee and Taking Woodstock fame) has said that Looking hopes to depict gay sex in a realistic way, and I have to question whether or not the world is ready for such a thing. Don't get me wrong, I'll be the first to settle in with my glass of wine and watch some realistic gay sexin' (I'm an equal opportunity sex-scene watcher, thank you very much) but how much progress can we realistically expect in a year?

For one thing, there is the homophobic contingent to reckon with, and you can guarantee they'll be pissed because they're pissed off about a lot of things. It's easy (for me at least) to sometimes forget that there is a whole swathe of America between San Francisco and New York that does not unanimously support equal rights, but they're there, and I can't imagine they'll love the idea of "real gay sex" being streamed right into their living rooms. 

Then there's also the fact that realistic sex in the media generally hasn't been well received overall. Girls famously got a lot of flack for daring to show Lena Dunham, a relatively normal looking lady, naked, having sex with other relatively normal looking people, so what can we expect for relatively normal looking *gasp* gay men? It's brave and amazing that we as a country are in a place where a show like Looking is picked up in the first place, but I'm genuinely scared of the backlash that could follow in the wake of Looking's debut. 

I suppose the fact that HBO is a premium channel means that Looking will hit a specific target audience and will be protected from the ire of small-minded regular cable viewers, however, it will be controversial either way. The fact that Showtime has run (with success) shows like Queer as Folk and The L Word with relatively few death threats or Westboro Baptist Church protests is a ray of hope, so let's just hope that my reservations are completely unfounded. I'd like to think the state of homophobia and hate crimes are quickly becoming a thing of the past. I just don't want anyone to try and hurt Jonathan Groff, he is too darn cute to be put in harm's way. 

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Image: HBO/YouTube

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