Lesbian Sex On Real L Word Will Not Be "Trashy"

Despite the heavy breathing in its trailers, The New York Times says the first few episodes of the reality L Word spinoff are surprisingly chaste. Says creator Ilene Chaiken, "I didn't want to put forward a bunch of trashy lesbians."

Chaiken continued, "But I wanted interesting people whose lives have enough drama to be really engaging." She doesn't really define what she means by "trashy lesbians," and that's not the only contradiction implied here.

The show, which premieres on Showtime on June 20, walks an interesting line: presenting a glammed-up version of lesbian sexuality, so often represented in pop culture as a form of male titillation, that doesn't alienate women who might identify with the characters. Maybe that's behind all this talk of taking the high road, as the Times calls it:

"It didn't make sense to me to cast women who were only comfortable doing the show if we could show them having explicit sex," said Robert Greenblatt, Showtime's president for entertainment. Ms. Chaiken confirmed that Mr. Greenblatt never sought assurances of prurience. "There was never a conversation about, ‘Can you promise me someone's going to have sex on camera, or use this word, or get involved in this kind of activity?' " She promises that as the series progresses, the women get more comfortable having sex on-screen.

Got that? There are no promises of sex on camera, except that there are promises of sex on camera.

Showtime has posted a video of the women being interviewed about such topics as the craziest place they've ever had sex and what they look for in a woman:

Sample answer: "Her smile, then her tits, then her ass."

What does this all add up to? Is it a glossy performance of lesbian sexuality filtered through what's palatable to "mainstream" audiences, all nail polish and lip-licking? Or is it a refreshing look at women being unapologetically sexual on their own terms? Guess we're about to find out.

‘L Word' Creator Enters Uncharted Territory [NYT]

Earlier: First Look: The Real L Word Is Heavy On The Lipstick
The Real L Word Preview: The Scoop On Lesbians' Vaginas