Girls has been back on the air for roughly five minutes, and yet we're already supposed to be gasping uncomfortably at the first sex scene on last night's premiere, which featured Marnie getting her butt eaten by Desi, her partner in acoustic folk crimes against humanity. Counterpoint: that butt scene looked bad, dumb, and desperately unfun and unsexy.
Just so we're all caught up, here's a gif of the relevant moment, lovingly retrieved by Gawker:
Your eyes do not deceive you: Desi is motorboating that butt.
The whole thing takes about seven seconds, not even long enough for Marnie's attention to wander to the stacks of dirty dishes next to her or the fleeting thought that maybe it's bad form to get your butt eaten directly in front of two open windows. Yet the scene is being positioned as something much more: Vulture called it "shocking" and "soon to be infamous," while MTV dubbed it both shocking and "intimate." And Entertainment Weekly got the breakdown from Williams on how the scene was filmed:
I had a couple of days talking to wardrobe and makeup to get ready to rig the thing that I wore for the ass motorboating. It was an engineering achievement! I would manufacture it if more than one person a year needed it. [Laughs] It was so elaborate—it involved Spanx that we cut away and glued down and involved menstrual pads and two of those weird thongs. I've had to do scenes like this twice now.
But as much buildup as we're getting here, the scene isn't shocking at all: I watched it this morning and had no desire whatsoever to spit-take my coffee, unlike moments later, when Desi and Marnie inflicted their hideous Mumford and Sons-style sensitivity jams on an innocent crowd of Sunday brunchers. And in truth, it's less a rimjob or even a lengthy motorboat; it doesn't look like something designed to give pleasure, despite Williams' ecstatic gasps. More like the kind of thing you might do if you were helpfully trying to knock something loose, or make your partner giggle and swat you away. (Hi, mom! Please stop reading this, OK?)
The truth is, butt-eating isn't particularly risqué ground anymore: we really reached Peak Butt last year, both musically and culturally. There were thinkpieces on the subject. Rimjobs are so mainstream you can see asses being eaten in the parking lots of major sporting events. For God's sake, Harvard hosted a workshop on butt-play.
It's become standard practice to hail each new scene of partial nudity on Girls as groundbreaking, reaching new heights of realness and awkwardness. But let's not give them or their butts more credit than they're due, all right?
Image via HBO.