Safe sex PSA fail

We need models of responsible male sexuality, including examples of how to responsibly talk about and use contraception. So why does this PSA from Sex Really waste its time on a disgusting representation of men and rehashing stereotypical gender roles? A warning that the video (and some other content at the Sex Really website) may be triggering:

Transcript after the jump.
So the motivation for having safe sex is that the guy you’re sleeping with is an asshole and you’re too clueless to notice? Otherwise sure, getting knocked up on accident would be no big deal!
And the best way for us to learn this is to listen to sexist, racist, homophobic “humor?”
The stereotypes in this ad are offensive to men and women. I find the idea that women have naive, tame, baby-obsessed conversations and that men are raunchy and sex-obsessed completely absurd. I’ve had the fairly unique experience of being in groups of both straight men and straight women talking about sex in a space understood as single gender. This is obviously a generalization, but in my experience women are much more open, honest, specific and yes, graphic about the sex they have and the sex they want. And of course I’ve also had plenty of conversations with men who are incredibly focused on their desire to have kids.
But it’s also been my experience that groups of cis men have trouble talking openly and honestly about the sex they’ve had and the sex they want. A PSA that models this sort of conversation with an emphasis on safer sex would be great to see. This ain’t it.
I’m struck by how much this PSA sounds like abstinence-only curriculum material, minus the nod to safety. It says men are horny and gross and that’s just the way it is and women are too focused on baby making to notice. Maybe this isn’t so surprising – as Shelby Knox points out at This is Misogyny, Sex Really, a project of the increasingly conservative National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, is run by Laura Sessions Stepp. Yep, that Laura Sessions Step, who introduced us to the term “gray rape,” who says women who like sex make men impotent, and who authored the slut shaming book “Unhooked.” Not exactly the person I want running a campaign about responsible and safe sexuality.

Guy 1: And I’m able to grab one titty as I’m doing it and I grab the other titty this way and I was very happy.
Guy 2: Anybody ever do this, the Arabian Goggles, you know where you put your balls on the chick’s eyes.
Guy 1: You know I don’t know if there’s a tribal council or someone you can go to to decide if it’s a threesome or not.
Phil: You don’t have two dicks. You can’t bang them both at the same time. Wait I think I’ve done that, but we call it the Michael Phelps, cause of the chlorine you have to wear the goggles.
Guy 3: She sounded like a duck, she’s be like quack quack.
Guy 1: I’m sitting there I’m like OK it’s over, why don’t you get the fuck out of the apartment and she goes, can you do me a favor? And I was like, what? And she’s like, uh, it’s weird to ask. And I’m like well just fucking say it, I just fucked you all over my fucking abode.
Guy 2: [Unclear] knew how to handle a woman.
Phil: Some busters where you just haven’t got any in so long so you just stop giving a fuck. You’d hit that but if that wasn’t there you might suck a dick. Like, it’s that close.
Guy 2: Whenever I see a girl wearing tight tight jeans I think of yeast infections. That’s why I would never fuck a girl in the circus, cause they ride elephants.
Guy 3: You skull fucked?
Guy 2: No I had a friend of mine who used to like to skull fuck.
Phil’s girlfriend (on the phone): I don’t think it’d be that big a deal if I got pregnant. Well first off it would be a beautiful baby, and second I think he’d be a great father. He’s just such a sweetie.
Phil: I know, if she’s gonna wear a dress like that who’s not gonna lift that shit up.
Guy 2: When I fuck a chick I feel like I’m doing charity work sometimes.
Guys are a@#$%^&. Be safe. Every time.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

Read more about Jos

Join the Conversation