Hung’s Hang-ups

by Debbie Stoller

HBO is known for featuring shows that are not afraid to be as sexually explicit as they wanna be. So when they announced that a show called Hung, about a male prostitute, was coming to their channel, I figured it would contain some sex, and, in particular, some hot male booty. And, in fact, there is a naked man-butt right in the opening of the show. There is also more than that for the ladies to love: the pimp here is a pretty interesting gal who is not unaware of the sexual politics of what she’s involved in, and, although she never says it outright, is clearly intended to be some sort of feminist: after all, she drinks green tea and knits.

But although there have been plenty of hot-and-heavy sex scenes between Ray, the gigolo, and his clients, they only occur when Ray is with a hot client, and the camera still seems to spend more time lingering on the clients breastessees and not so much on, well, the star of the show. It is called Hung, after all. But what’s more problematic to me is that in the one episode where Ray has sex with an older, heavy set woman, there was no sex shown at all! We see Ray taking down his pants and then, cut, he’s leaving the apartment after a job well done. Apparently,  sex scenes are okay as long as they involve hotttt chicks. But a sex scene with a hot dude and an older woman (who doesn’t look a thing like Susan Sarandon) seems to be just too much for this show to handle. And really, isn’t that what the life of a prostitute is all about? Having sex with people you wouldn’t normally have sex with, and doing it for money? This show wants to be about male prostitution, yet is afraid to really show us what that job is really all about: hot dudes who make it with anyone who’s willing to pay them. C’mon, Hung– don’t leave us hanging!

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