*Post contains spoilers*
Let me start by saying that I didn’t watch the first season of the popular HBO show Insecure in real-time. I’ve grown fond of binge-watching shows because my schedule leaves little room for me to be home at certain times to catch some of my “must see” shows. I binged Season 1 in a day and was pleasantly surprised by how it played out, and I was happy to support a show with so many chocolatey Black folks. I’m biased. I’m Black *raises fist*
Season 2 premiered July 23, 2017 and it is a solid start. We’re picking up where Season 1 left off: all the characters are still hot messes and the complicated simplicity of their lives draws in the attention of most because, in some ways, we can all relate to their experiences. Issa is recovering from her relationship with Lawrence ending after she cheated on him. Molly remains a single, hard-working lawyer trying to make moves in various parts of her life. Lawrence fucks Tasha, his get back chic, on the weekends and occasionally takes her out for skrimps. Cool.
I couldn’t help but notice something was missing: condoms.
Lawrence, feeling the pain of Issa’s betrayal, immediately went to fuck Tasha, who was happy to get her back blown out by a scorned man. Didn’t see any performance or hear any discussion of condom usage then. This was a glaring omission, considering he was easing out of a monogamous relationship with Issa, who just confessed to cheating with another man (with no condom). In S2:E1, we get more hot and steamy sex scenes between Lawrence and Tasha and also between Lawrence and Issa– no condoms used in either.
With all the talk of “wokeness” on the internets, I find it incredibly troubling that a show with a key demographic (25-40) would slip on something so important. STD/I rates are still high and Black women are still contracting the virus at an exponentially higher rate than several other demographics. Why would such a modern show be so careless? Will something about pregnancy or an STD contraction be written into the script? That would actually be great because we need more discussions about the possibly consequences of having unprotected sex with multiple partners, and using a show that features younger Black folks would be a great space to do that. Somehow, though, I’m not sure that’s where this is going, but we’ll see.
It’s 2017. We have to talk about safe sex. We have to have open conversations with our partners about their sexual activity and approaches to self-preservation and concern for personal health. We have to discuss consent. We have to promote openness so that we can encourage people to do better at taking care of their sexual health (and physical and mental health). It may not be popular (though it should be), but it’s absolutely necessary to present engaging in safe sex as the fun, healthier way to enjoy physical intimacy.
“Do you have a condom?” A simple question asked by Issa or Tasha could create important dialogue about Black women’s sexual self-care. They can even explore the nuances of the “it feels better raw” argument and offer push back and the “condoms feel better” POV (yes, this exists). There are many opportunities to introduce important sexual safety conversations and Insecure continues to miss the mark with that, which I find incredibly irresponsible.
I enjoy the show. I think it’s quirky and sexy and thought-provoking. It definitely starts all types of conversations about love and relationships and friendships on Twitter and Facebook, which is good! So I’d like to see the writers harness the influence they have and engage the audience by creating a higher consciousness about sexual safety between Black lovers.