Romi Tells Us What It’s Like to Be in Real L Word’s Lesbian Strap-On Sex Scene

On Sunday night, Showtime took No Limits to The Limit with lesbian strap-on sex on The Real L Word!

You know, like you saw in The L Word, except with real people. And yeah, The Real World has been showing drunken people having sex in hot tubs and under covers for years, but generally it’s blurred, night-visioned or under-the-sheets. But this is SHOWTIME! That means it’s TIME for a SHOW! And this show has a strap-on in it!

Yup on Sunday, Whitney f*cked Romi with a strap-on for all the world to see. On the bright side, Romi has fantastic breasts! But also, is this okay? Is this teevee now? Do they feel weird? Should we feel weird? Do you feel weird?

So Autostraddle talked to Romi giving her an opportunity to share her perspective on the insta-infamous episode and how she’s handling it all. I mean, it’s a big deal, amirite?

But firstly, since we’re already blacklisted so at this point who the hell cares, our BFF Ilene Chaiken has chimed in with her RATIONALIZATION of the year aka her two cents on filming real sex: “I’m sure there’s a whole big psychological and sociological analysis that could go into it, because there’s something that definitely is altered by the presence of the camera — particularly sex, I would say. When there’s a camera present, that becomes an element of the sexual encounter. My approach to it was simply never to ask for it or push for it. It wasn’t contractual, it wasn’t contractual between me and Showtime — instead, we just allowed it to happen and let everyone set her own boundaries. I cast people and I was pretty sure some would never want to go there, and that other members of our cast would be comfortable with it. To me, that’s part of our storytelling.”

What isn’t a part of Ilene Chaiken’s storytelling, one might ask? I mean, besides character arcs and insects. Also does she not know about our love of sociology. Stay tuned later this week for our full recap of episode 107/free publicity for IFC, per ushe BUT BUT BUT.

This time, the people are actual people, and people have feelings!

So, here’s our exclusive statement/number one feelings from Romi Klinger:

“First of all, Whitney and I were extremely intoxicated at the party and we weren’t even really aware that the cameras had followed us in the room.  We had already been very comfortable sleeping with each other and it’s not a secret that this is one of the ways lesbians have sex. I’m not ashamed of having sex with Whitney or using a strap-on – because we do. That having been said, it was very difficult for me to see it on television because I am not a porn star. It’s not something I wanted out there for my friends and family to see in that graphic detail. I have no choice but to own it now, because it happened, it’s done, and I’m just trying to get through the hype of everything. Straight sex is everywhere, in the movies, on TV and I guess it’s good for these walls to be broken down and hopefully remove mystery of it… but it’s a little uncomfortable to personally be the one breaking those walls down. I’m not part of the main 6 cast members, I have no power whatsoever in what airs, so having it removed from the episode was not an option and that is hurtful – because it is ME out there. Do I regret mine and Whitney’s actions – no. We’re two adults comfortable with our sexuality. Am I upset that it is in the public eye – yes. I just hope my family isn’t disappointed in me or feels like I let them down.”

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Jess is a pop culture junkie living in New York City. She enjoys endless debates about The L Word, Howard Stern, new techy gadgets, DVR, exploring the labyrinth of the Lesbian Internet, memoirs, working out, sushi, making lists, artsy things, anything Lady Gaga touches, traveling, puppies, and nyc in the fall. Find her on Twitter @jessxnyc or via email.

Jess has written 240 articles for us.


  1. Romi’s family should high-five her for getting laid and disown her for being on Chaiken’s crappy reality show. Did everyone learn nothing from season 7?

  2. there’s nothing wrong with the sex. real sex has been happening on european television and in european films for years. walls be damned, walls be broken.
    but in those cases there are actors who are being paid and there’s usually an artistic intent behind it (albeit not always successful). so, i feel bad for romi a little. but, only a little. no amount of alcohol can make me not notice a camera crew filming me while i was banging somebody else. i suppose this was her lesson on self control and self awareness, learned the hard way.

    • why did she need a lesson? i don’t know that anyone should have to learn that lesson that way.

    • I’m a little late joining in the convo but I just watched the episode last night. That being said, I’m a straight 34 year old female and I love the show! This episode and the sex wasn’t offensive in my opinion and I hope not to the girls’ families. I find it to be “real education” and while watching it I found nothing negative about the sex act other than the fact that Whitney had just slept with another girl…but I know she is just trying to figure out what she wants and I’ve been down that road before. We do things in the moment and then think “oh shit! I just hurt someone I care about”. I love all the girls on the show and you shouldn’t feel bad for a second! U guys are breaking ground and teaching the world by allowing them into your personal space. Very brave and courageous! Watching the show makes me envious of such strong women!

  3. I feel really bad for her, actually. I’m glad she’s not ashamed of the methods, but just because someone is sexually progressive doesn’t mean they want their shit out there for all the world to see.

  4. So I finally decided to watch this show & it just so happened to be this episode…I definitely felt weird about it. this -“having it removed from the episode was not an option and that is hurtful” makes me sad.

  5. this -”having it removed from the episode was not an option and that is hurtful” makes me sad.

    What it should do is make you loathe the air Ilene Chaiken breathes.

  6. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m sure if she didn’t want this to air, she could have done something about it…. but I’d like to think, a lesbian show would not go ahead with something so serious (& potentially life f*cking), without the persons full consent: Cue Ilene Chaiken rants.

    We have been warned of real sex on TRLW since the show was first promoted. Viewers (and cast) knew this “scene” was coming. If I was in this situation (highly unlikely), I’d have been protesting from the rooftops to stop this from airing.

    That being said, I hope she’s ok. Reality Tv can haunt the participants life for years.

    • Sad reality of life is that lesbians are bitches, just like everyone else.

      Also, if she signed any sort of waiver she’s pretty much screwed.

    • When you sign a release giving up all your rights on day 1 of filming, 7 weeks prior, you don’t really have a leg to stand on. It’s right there in black and white.

        • We can’t interview any of the main cast members at this time. IC may not be our biggest fan. But don’t fear, we figured something out for ya’ll and there’s some good stuff coming later this week or next. Stay tuned!

          • Interesting. I wonder if that’s a normal thing. I think VP interviewed one of them a week or two ago, and they are notorious Ilene Chaiken/L-word bashers so who knows.

          • they don’t bash IFC as loudly or as often as we do, so they’re allowed to do interviews. that same person wasn’t allowed to talk to us. but WE HAVE A PLAN B SUSAN SO DON’T WORRY. Besides being on IFC’s shitlist is pretty much the highlight of my career thus far. My relationship with Showtime has always been great, I did a show with them and they gave us stuff for our auction.

          • Riese, I personally consider it a badge of honor to be hated by IFC. It means you’re doing something right. ;-) Showtime and all the peeps at Showtime (with the exception of IFC) were always awesome to us as well.

            Being threatened by the SHO lawyers because they object to what you’re writing is always good, too. ;-)

          • This is like that time IFC banned the L Word people from going on We’re Getting Nowhere and then a few weeks later Jane Lynch was on it all “What are you gonna do, fire me?”

            JANE LYNCH. <3

          • I miss We’re Getting Nowhere so much. Can you imagine the field day they’d be having with this? Jane Lynch rocked on WGN.

          • Oh I remember that but I thought it was Showtime and not Ilene that dictated that. Anyhow, seriously, are they afraid we might find out it’s not the best show in the world? Duh! Dear Showtime and Ilene: It’s nothing personal guys! We know your reps are at stake but really, loosen up.

          • It’s fine. We love spending hours upon hours of our time supplying endless free publicity to the elves & the chaik for little in return. We’re not bitter.

  7. is no one going to bring up the Girls Gone Wild thing? does it have to be me? that’s okay, it can be me.

    basically it’s absolutely fucking crazy that we live in a world where you can’t control whether someone records you naked/having sex/indisposed, and it’s even crazier that this doesn’t seem to bother most people. regardless of whether romi knew/cared she was being filmed, she should always always be able to control whether that’s aired on national television or not. the end.

    • This.

      Also, if someone says “well she shouldn’t have been hanging out with her/been in that house/bar/whatever” I’m gonna cry. Assumed consent is bad for everyone.

    • I agree with everything you said – it’s freaking maddening… but men do not suffer the same repercussions if they’re filmed nude or having sex (in fact, the man is barely remembered).

      I doubt there is a rush to bring in laws to address this issue, as men are almost always the viewers of non consent sex tapes.

      That being said, I expect more from a lesbian oriented show and I hope this is more of a case of post consent regret, than TRLW specifically going against Romi’s wishes.

    • The release papers that all reality show people sign clearly states you are giving up your rights to all filmed material and it may be used however the producers see fit. Once you sign that paper, it’s up to YOU how you behave once the camera is on you. That said, when you sign the release paper MONTHS before you do said ridiculous action, it can be a tough pill to swallow.

  8. i dont see what the big deal is about that scene (but maybe thats because i’m european.. :) )
    I do think its bad that romi didnt have any control about it being aired

  9. Did Whitney sanitize that dildo before the reuse? I hope we didn’t watch Romi get fucked and an STD. Respect yourself pretty lady and demand that women you are with do the same!

    • THIS. If that scene was sexy in the slightest, I wouldn’t know, because all I could think was, “Jesus christ, please Whitney tell me you sanitized that shit.” It makes me nervous just to think about it.

      • If it helps, herpes and the HIV are pretty short-lived outside the body. Hep B, though, is another matter. I really hope she did sanitise it.

  10. Why is everyone [read: 80% of the people I talk to about this show] expecting more out of people “just because they’re lesbians”? I don’t understand this. Lesbians can be selfish, money-grubbing, borderline insane people just like everyone else.

    • I don’t think it’s an expectation of lesbians, I think deep down ALL girls/women want to believe other girls/women will nurture & take care of them, when it comes to the crunch or if you’re in a vulnerable position.

      We want to believe this is what sets us apart from men … and we are constantly *surprised* that this is not the case :)

  11. I’m not sure I buy Romi’s story. Yeah, they were drunk, but she had sex or some kind of sexual encounter with Whitney on camera before. Romi actually becomes more permissive as time goes by. She starts out running from Whitney saying “talk to me when there aren’t so many people around” to actively seeking Whitney out. She walked right up to Whitney at the party and literally asked for it up the ass. Wonder what Mom and Dad think of that.

    And how do you not know a camera is in the room with you? She looked at the camera when Whitney was asking her if she wanted to do strap on.

    I understand regretting it after the fact, and that may be the real reason Whitney was crying on the stairs afterward too, but don’t say you had no idea you were being filmed when you know Whitney’s situation with the show and constant camera crew…which you got undressed for before.

    I do feel sorry for both of them if they didn’t want this to be shown, though. Cuz taking advantage of drunk girls is so Girls Gone Wild, I hope IFC didn’t go there. I’d like to know if they asked for it not to be aired. There were people with their faces blurred out at the party, so how does that work? How can someone have their face blurred out but Romi having sex is okay?

    • My limited understanding of reality television is that people with blurred faces refused to sign the waiver/don’t want to be on camera.

  12. IFC is a looney tune. and not one of the good ones either like bugs or daffy. she’s the walking red beard that gave me nightmares when i was little.

  13. They should have asked Romi why she always has one fucking long earring on; shit’s irritating.

  14. Why is Romi acting so innocent? If you look at the clip when she started dragging Whitney inside the house, you could clearly see that she was mic’d. C’mon! Yeah, she’s not part of the primary 6 but they didn’t mic everyone at the party. Hmmm… drunk or not… they knew the cameras were there b/c I’m sure Romi had to take off her mic to get naked.

  15. Oh jebus, talk about some serious drink regret! Normally people are mortified the day after a drinking session because they told someone they thought they were hot or because they were caught on cctv stealing mail and an industrial sized carton of milk (cough cough, that was my friend not me I swear) but this, goodness me, this is just terrible. It just feels like a violation of them, I know they’re on a reality show blah blah but ew like, it’s all so seedy and creepy, a camera crew following them into a bedroom and filming them when they clearly werent in their right minds. She’ll never live this down id say!

    • WORD. This is why I would NEVER EVER EVER sign a release form to be on a reality show. Not that Romi “deserved” this or had it coming or whatever just because she did, but I shudder at the bits and pieces I can recall from a messy drunk night — if there was a camera there to capture it in clear, vivid detail, I would probably die from embarrassment.

  16. We know this is wrong because Jenny Schecter told us so. Remember when she met with the potential director for Lez Girls who wanted the women to have actual sex in the film? I haven’t seen TRLW and won’t but it sounds weird.

    In other news, that new Beneful ad running on Autostraddle? I thought is said, “Beneficial VagWorld”. Ha.

  17. “I just hope my family isn’t disappointed in me or feels like I let them down.” – This is the saddest part. i have one of the greatest, most suppotive mothers in the world but if i ever did anything like this (i never would, but i have made some dumb decisions under the influence of alchohol) she would would have a LOT of feelings about it. mostly horrified, ashamed, disappointed etc.

  18. I had no idea this kind of scene was coming. I have seen one other ep and was ashamed to be finding myself watching another. Then, when this scene went down (ba dump bump), I was literally frozen in shock with my mouth hanging open. There are so many ways this is heinous and disturbing.

    Porn is two (hopefully sober) people who know full well what they are getting into, not a peeping tom type look into a very personal moment between two supposedly real people. This was some kind of desperate exhibitionism, exploitation, bad judgment all around. Using the same dildo on two girls? Dirty and disrespectful to say the least. Hosting a party which is attended by the girl you used said dildo on the night before and then disappearing to eff a different girl with the same dildo is so ridiculous I can find no words to express my disgust of Whitney, IFC, the fucking crew and embarrassment for, well the entire effing world.
    And, I have done some epic stupid stuff in my time, but Romi, who the eff are you kidding? You knew the crew was there and filming.

  19. have you ever wanted someone who was bad for you? someone who was playing you & everybody knew it & you kept liking them even though you knew you shouldn’t ’cause you’re BETTER than that and they’re not gonna PICK YOU, and for Chrissake you’ve already cried on camera but they’re so NOT worth it… remember how you were standing/how it felt. disappointed in yourself. wondering if you were being used ’cause you were the quickest to undress.

    then you’re at a party and that other girl’s there — the one who lives there, the innocent koala everyone else is rooting for. and you’re drunk and you’ve got that opportunity to prove that she still wants YOU…

    it’s one of the most emotionally vulnerable situations a person can be in, on so many levels — b/c it’s full of the world’s worst feelings; like insecurity and jealousy and desire which are the hardest feelings to overcome or operate rationally within.

    am i saying i’d do what romi did? nah, i would’ve been one of the blurred faces from the get-go, but that’s just my personality. maybe when i younger, back when insecurity & a desire for approval did land me in similarly compromising situations. and i “learned my lesson” back then the hard way, and it sucked.

    But who am I, who are any of us, to judge a human being we’ve observed on screen for maybe a total of six minutes? Is life really this black & white? Is sex ever this absolute?

    but still; what stuns me about this is how it’s being sold and packaged as a raunchy lesbian sex scene when what i see is IFC taking advantage of an emotionally vulnerable situation. is it a coincidence that the only sex we see is between whitney and the girls vying for her attention? the only ones emotionally vulnerable enough to let the camera in the bedroom, just so long as they get into the bedroom (or the shower, as the case may be) in the first place?

  20. As an American, I guess my perspective of why it feels so weird to watch is, it’s so voyeuristic. If we’re talking porn … I’m just not into voyeuristic type porn and this is what it feels like to me because it’s real. It wasn’t a fictional show that’s meant to express something with a sex scene. And previously, when we’ve seen real sex, it’s been under covers, night vision blurry green (like on The Real World) or even infrared type footage (like on Real Sex). It just creeps me out because I think Romi looks so vulnerable at that time.

    Oh man, I wonder how many people were pulled into the editing room when they came upon this footage.

  21. this is sad and gross, oh my god. and so are some of the comments here. even if she signed a waiver and even if she knew the camera was there, it’s still scary that any.thing. you do can be aired without consideration to your objections. i agree with those who mentioned girls gone wild — they get releases and “consent” too, but that doesn’t stop joe francis from being creeper mckeevyson (and a rapist).

    • she signed a waiver saying they could use whatever they filmed and then they filmed her and then they used it. it’s not “scary” it’s a “contract.”

      • filmed her while she was drunk and — apparently — with all disregard to her feelings and wishes afterwards. so yeah it’s a contract, but that doesn’t make it 100% ethically okay.

        • i think that if we’re going to get into a discussion about the “ethics” of reality television we could be here all day.

          • this kind of reality tv has no ethics at all whatsoever and is probably a sign of the apocalypse. y/n?

          • YES. IFC could have told the same story by not showing the actual act. But she chose the more extreme way to tell it. The point of it was to show Whitney’s reckless disregard of other people’s feelings by having sex with Tor and then shortly after with Romi. She could have chosen to have the sex scene begin and then show the whispers from outside and even the noises, then cut to Tor’s reactions. There was no need to include the actual acts.

            I have no feelings towards Romi and Whitney, except that when I see them in town, I will automatically feel awkward because I’ve seen them have real sex. That’s a part of why I am still creeped out by the scene. It’s totally voyeur porn and that’s not what I sign up for when watching a reality show. I just want to see interesting people doing something.

            I tend to watch competition based reality shows. The only non-competition reality show I’ve seen is The Real World. I don’t even watch that anymore because it has ceased being “real” for quite a while now.

            Also, these people should have gotten their contract negotiated by better lawyers/agents. People like the Kardashians and the Hills crew all smartly only tape certain aspects and parts of their days. I would think that reality show “stars” sign up to be on reality tv, not reality porn.

          • bizzle, get out of my head, i was thinking that too! ifc could have taken the classier route, but she hasn’t exactly shown to have good taste in the past.

            poor girls, i’d like to hug them

      • The “approved” stamps have to end somewhere, in somebody’s lap. If the cast members (incl. peripherals) won’t be held accountable for their actions and IC won’t be held accountable for her actions and neither the editing team nor the crew will be held accountable for their actions, and certainly not the network, that leaves us. The viewers. And pardon me, but I’ll be fucking damned if I hold myself accountable w/r/t to The Real L Word for anything other than really, really, really poor taste.

  22. I totally agree with Michelle! When I was watching Whitney strap on the dildo, the first thing I thought was “EWWWW” she just used that on Tor the night before. I hope its been sanitized! I love Whitney but that was sooo disrespectful to both girls. And I’m sorry Romi had sex on camera before so the way I see it…her and Whitney are exhibitionists..bottom line!! If this was the first time, she might get a pass, but this has happened before. For the love of God, have a little self respect ladies!

  23. i don’t feel bad for these people. i don’t care that they’re lesbians and they have feelings and they got drunk and regret having sex on screen, or doing anything they do on-screen. i think IFC is gross and makes bad television and that the secondary characters SHOULD have some say in what airs, yes. however, everybody makes mistakes and feels vulnerable and gets into messy situations – it takes a special kind of person to put that, willingly, in front of a television camera, which, by the way, has a BRIGHT LIGHT on the front, making it easy to identify.

    • and by “kind of person” i don’t mean slut, or like, people who want to have sex on screen for free while they’re drunk (obviously not). i mean that there’s a reason they had a hard time casting this show. reality tv isn’t some new thing that people don’t understand.

    • I agree that I don’t ‘feel bad’ for these people. Though I dish out empathy (my go-to emotion) on the reg, I save my sympathy for people in pain who are hungry/homeless/politically marginalized or, you know, raped or filmed unwillingly. Romi signed the contract, there’s no way she missed the cameras, etc.

      It’s not so much that I’m inclined to defend Romi (she’s an adult, she made a choice) as it is that I’m inclined to take an offensive stance towards Reality TV itself and its quick disregard of anything more complicated than “she wanted it” or “she didn’t.” Reality TV feeds on its (correct) assumption that the audience’ll absorb & regurgitate the story we’re sold, regardless of clumsy/raunchy packaging. Most of you don’t feel that you need to even SEE the show to judge, ’cause we’re dealing in archetypes here anyhow, right?

      By virtue of their participation, we’re expected to see these people as “special” humans, not actual humans. We’re better than them, ’cause we’re not on camera. I don’t know why anyone would want to do this, I’ve been asked to do reality shows, I say no, I can’t relate, it terrifies me.

      However, I think agreeing to “other” these women and discount their right to feel regret or fear that they’ve disappointed their family, makes us just another cog in the disgusting machine that churns out this programming. seeing them as “characters” enables anyone’s enjoyment of the show.

      My preoccupation with their actual humanity prevented me from being “fun” in my recaps which was apparently a GIANT TRAGEDY. I don’t like watching real people cry, fuck, or fight over each other. I like documentaries which always probe larger issues, but just someone’s normal life for the sake of it? no thanks! hate it! hated this episode, hated all the episodes!

      So I can’t help but feel like a willing lemming by judging anybody. Romi isn’t a victim. But NOBODY is just that black and white. Very few people are evil or less than human. Very few people are accurately represented in six-minute clips, it’s gross that we’ve been trained to think otherwise.

      basically what i’m saying is that ilene chaiken is the apocalypse

      • who’s judging here? aside from a few weirdos up-thread, i don’t feel like anybody’s judging romi for having sex on-screen. i don’t discount romi’s right to feel regret or fear that she’s disappointed her family, i think that’s totally real and relatable. what i was trying to address was what seemed to be the overwhelming response to this post, which was people being really concerned about the fact that romi was filmed having sex and then didn’t have any power to keep them from using the footage, and how that’s so SAD AND UNFAIR, and whether or not it should have been filmed in the first place, which is a totally different discussion from the one about the manipulative, exploitative nature of reality television.

        i hate pretty much all reality tv save perhaps “cake boss.” it’s so gross and rapey and manipulative and exploitative and uncomfortable and depressing and it bothers me immensely in nearly all its forms and also makes me sad/fearful for america/the world.

        • OMG! Cake Boss! There were like 4 episodes on last night. He made a mechanical bull cake that really moved up and down and side to side. I wonder if it signed a wavier.

  24. Hold up, last time Romi and Whitney hooked up, I distinctively remember Whitney shutting the door to block any camera access. Were they that drunk/blackout to forget that they had the option of leaving the cameras? I don’t feel bad for anyone, except Tor.

  25. I was too focused on the editing of the scene to even realise what I was watching. I mean there was a lot of diffrent angles(was the cameraperson moving around or is there more then 1?), the music, and the jumping from Tor to the sex scene was really fascinating. I regard all of them as characters so… I think I’ll be able to sleep at night.

  26. Saw this hadn’t seen the episode yet. Watched it. And was anyone else distracted by the Squirrel hat Whitney was wearing? Um. Yeah.

    Let your freak flag fly.

  27. i don’t think this is an issue of feeling ‘bad’ for romi, but of realizing that you, the viewer, are being manipulated into passing judgment / having a negative feeling about someone you’ve never met based on ethically questionable filming and editing practices. not only that, but you feel like it’s somehow ok for you to pass that judgment. like it’s your right, b/c she signed a waiver. does this not bother you?

    • I think this is the fuel to IFC’s fire, and it drives me nuts. I feel like a manipulated puppet when watching this show, to the point where I pass said negative judgement on people I haven’t met. Maybe the Southerner in me is freaking out, but now I refuse to watch. I realize people volunteered for this, yet I can’t appreciate being force-fed the material that satisfies IFC’s agenda. I haven’t seen this episode, but from what I’ve heard, it’s prime evidence of her shenanigans. Over it.

      Granted, y’alls recaps are hilarious and hit the nail on the head, especially when it comes to production. That is what I look forward to every week.

    • But all reality television SPECIFICALLY banks on the fact that scenes of this magnitude (see also: crying, fistfights, breakups, Cheaters, puppies, Judge Judy, etc.) result in blog posts and news articles exactly like these (and subsequent comments and flame wars and buzz).

      Which means every last one of us is guilty of the behavior being condemned within the comments, unless of course you are immune to guilt or know exactly what you’re doing (and aren’t bothered by) when you watch reality TV, and I do.

      What I’d like to know in all sincerity is WHY THE FUCK WERE WHITNEY’S PANTIES ON UNDER THE GODDAMN STRAP-ON?!?!? Who the fuck DOES that?!

      • thank you for bringing up this important issue, I too was confused, particularly because Romi was naked and Whitney, despite even putting on a g-damn strap-on which generally entails further unddress, was fully clothed. although on another note they do have harnesses that are actually built into boyshorts, which are cute.

  28. I don’t hold any negative feelings towards Romi. I’m sure she is an intelligent girl with many endearing qualities, and personally I like her sweetness. But ultimately think she has to take responsibility for her actions, regardless of how evil Ilene Chaiken is. And with this level of manipulation and exploitation I’m almost convinced that the woman really is a sociopath (like clinically) with zero aptitude for empathy.
    But I cannot bring myself to pity Romi, that would be even more unfair to her than being judgmental. She doesn’t need anyone’s pity.

    • I feel like she did take responsibility, as much as she felt like she was responsible. She did own it in her statement, but I can’t help but feel uneasy with the manipulation, and some of that manifests in sympathy for Romi. I like what Laneia’s saying about how we’re kinda being forced to pass judgment on a situation that we don’t really know about, simply because of a piece of paper.

      It’s like high school when your best friend comes crying to you and tells you about what a horrible guy her boyfriend is and only gives you half the story. Except maybe it’s happening multiple times here, but I still would rather believe in Romi than She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named.

      Maybe this is a simplistic view on my part. Entirely possible. But I don’t like what this show is doing. I don’t really watch reality TV, but I probably won’t start if this is how it goes all the time.

  29. I was once living somewhere for a few months for a job while a crew was there filming a reality show (mmm intentional vagueness). I was close to the action in some ways due to my job so I got a LOT of pressure to sign a waiver. And I kept refusing because it creeped me the fuck out that once they had me on film they could do whatever the hell they wanted with it. I de-tag like 20% of photos of me on facebook; I am totally not okay with other people having control of my image. At one point there was a sign on a venue I had no choice but to enter regularly BECAUSE IT WAS MY JOB saying “by entering here you consent to be filmed” and I went BATSHIT and made the people in charge of the building sort that shit out.

    I never did sign, and it turns out the editors did a total hatchet job on the subjects of the show and it was all horrible. So I guess what I’m saying is, this is really sad and I actually can’t understand how anyone can think it’s okay. And now I know what kind of fuckery you can get away with in American reality tv I am even more glad I didn’t sign that waiver.

    • Something similar happened to me once upon a time. My boss was all, “Just go with it, this is a great advert opprotunity for us!” and one of the dudes with the crew was all, “You’re so pretty, that’s an advantage!” and then I was all, “Hey, boss guy, did you forget I’m not 18 yet and you need parental consent before filming me?” And that’s when they gave up. Also I loathed the show they were filming for.

      Sidenote: Didn’t bring us anymore business than we already had.

    • You sound like a smart cookie who doesn’t take shit from anyone and who is definitely NOT a famewhore. Good on you. Bravo!

  30. I went to the Abbey this weekend and Rose, her gf, and Whitney were sitting at a table right by the door. Rose’s gf looked hot, Rose looked pissed, and Whitney looked right at me.

    Is it possible to get crabs via eye contact?

  31. hi i just had a new thought. what if romi didn’t know that it would air because she was unaware that an actual sex scene was ok for television? i didn’t know they were allowed to show this kind of thing on reality tv myself to be honest. anyhow just a thought. lalalalaal

    • Also she might have assumed that the camera man, the editor, someone, somewhere along the line had a soul.

      • No, she told me they were so f’in drunk that they completely forgot / didn’t notice they were in the room.

      • Cause she was “comfortable” she said it atleast 5 times before/during the scene. But that could aslo just be some good editing.

        • I honestly don’t think Romi was all that drunk, though Whitney was freakin’ shitfaced. There was a clear difference to me.

          Both times Romi was with Whitney (sexually) on camera, Whitney was wasted and Romi, not so much. Hmm. Who’s playing who in this dynamic?

          Maybe Romi got wasted on that half cup of beer they showed her drinking.

    • Who would have sex on camera AT ALL if they were worried about what would happen to the footage? It would certainly end up on the internet or something. Or DVD. You know they’re not going to film it and do nothing with it.

    • Actually, my #1 creep out feeling w/r/t all of this is in regard to the cameramen (women?) who were in the room with these girls while they drunk f*cked with a strap on.

      Can you imagine what kinds of stories these guys are telling their friends over beers?? I hope I never encounter any of them in a bar/club because I feel like they’ve been let in on the most intimate of intimate lesbian bedroom activities. Along with the entire nation, of course. But to be IN the room. Fuckk..

      • According to the crew list on IMDB ( all or almost all the camera operators are female. (Palmer and Alex might be male.)

        So it was almost certainly camerawomen, which a) doesn’t make it any better obvs and b) is probably part of the reason Whitney and Romi felt comfortable enough around them that once alcohol kicked in they didn’t notice/forgot they were there.

  32. I have a lot of feelings about this but I’m still thinking about it.

    The only thing that shocked me was that Tor was right outside. Other than thinking that Whitney (who i kinda love) is messy as hell I didn’t have bad feelings.

    At least not until now because knowing Romi regrets it makes it a little uncomfortable to watch. But I don’t know about saying she was exploited and I don’t get how the producers have done a disservice to lesbians by showing how we sometimes have sex. I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact that “how do lesbians have sex” is the number one question we get asked that makes us guarded about showing lesbian sex. But I usually just answer the question.

  33. I am judging. I think it’s gross that they would have sex in front of a group (crew) and on film. I don’t care what toys were used, if they were straight, in a group, whatever. It was gross, period. To top it off, there were (and are now for sure) others who would and are being hurt by it, so that’s lame. Again, the sharing of the dildo, gross and lame. The hat, I agree, and have to just ask why?

    And the exploitation of it, it was porn and IFC knows porn sells, it wasn’t shown to tell an important story or make a point, it was exploitive and that’s all. So, yup, I am judging… Lezzie McJudgypants here.

  34. I’m finding it a little hard to believe that Romi didn’t know the cameras “followed them into the room.” Duh, she’s taking part in a reality show.

    Furthermore I’m sure they all had to sign some sort of release before agreeing to go on camera and I don’t beleive for one second that it never crossed anyone’s minds that Showtime would want to film that.

  35. To me it doesn’t matter if it’s lesbian sex or straight sex or whatever; it’s weird to see real people having sex on camera. It’s not hot. It feels intrusive and gross.

    • I’m totally with you on this. I haven’t watched the show since the first episode, mainly because I think it’s boring, but now that I’ve heard they actually had sex on camera it’s like, eew.

      It’s not hot, it feels voyeristic and gross like you said. I’m embarrased for the actors.

  36. Here is my problem with this scene being aired: were it between a man and a woman it would be considered pornographic and it would not be aired or else it would have been blurred/night vision as previously mentioned. But because it is between two women it seems that it is not considered “real” sex and therefore it is totally fine to show on cable television. This is not a matter of prudishness, this is a matter of equality. If straight sex was shown on reality television in this same fashion I honestly would not have an issue with showing it on TRLW. But since it is not, this tells the world that lesbian sex is not on the same level as straight sex. Further, it completely exploits the participants (Whitney and Romi) and the lesbian population as a whole. It sensationalizes our sex lives for a profit, for television. That is why I am personally upset by this whole thing. This does not break down walls, this adds foundation to them.

    • YES! It’s like when I learned that there are very few, if any, instances where a non-erect penis appears in movies/television. Men are so paranoid of the penis as opposed to the erect phallus (because the penis is so puny and powerless maybe?) that it has been essentially banned from view.

      So while the world obsessively protects the sexual domain of men and never shows them being weak, vulnerable “soft” etc., we are force-fed an overtly graphic representation of lesbian sex/emotional vulnerability (as Riese so perfectly explains) and just expected to consume it as titillation? Entertainment? Faux porn?

      What if the tables were turned and it showed a guy being fucked in the ass by his girlfriend wearing a strap on on reality television. Think that would ever air? I think not!!

      • this is exactly what i was wondering about. i havent seen it so was curious if they show the strap on itself, if they would show an erect penis and generally don’t know what kind of stuff showtime can show/won’t show. i think this is the most interesting issue. also that it might be getting so much attention because it does involve a more proper “phallus”

  37. Yeah it does have a sleazy factor involved if Romi really didn’t realize there was a cameraman/woman in there shooting the whole escapade. How could you not realize there was a camera there though??

  38. I feel bad for Romi and for Whitney, actually, because they are both so immature and I think they thought being on this show would be cool, or good for them, and it’s actually neither. When really, all it is is an opportunity for Illene & Co. to exploit their immaturity. For those that thought participating in this show would be groundbreaking and “help the community,” they only had to watch the original L word to know that Ilene was bent on destroying every character in it. She was not satisfied until they were all morally bankrupt.

    I also can’t quite get past my discomfort with this scene. I have nothing against strap on sex. I know it’s not for everyone, but it bothers me that it’s being held out as “this is how lesbians have sex,” cause I hate reinforcing that failed belief that women are not satisfied without the dick. I, for one, get off a hell of a lot better from a woman’s hands, as they are much more precise and talented than some rubber dingy.

  39. I’m with Patton91 here. This set us back a long ways. Now every straight male out there that saw this show is going “see, they need a dick.” Bloody hell.

  40. The sad thing is there isn’t a person on this show that isn’t being exploited. I can only imagine how Nikki & Jill feel when only their fights get televised over and over again, and they are subjected to “creative editing.” If you read their blogs, Ilene continuously has them on the defensive. I wonder, will there be any person after this show that will say they were proud to be on it? What a shame.

    Ilene, I’ve given you two chances now, and yes, you are the devil.

  41. Patton,

    Actually there have been reality shows on cable that depicted real straight couples having sex. I recall a show years ago about prostitutions on late night cable, Showtime or Cinemax I can’t remember which, that showed people having intercourse on screen.

    I think in the case of the Real L-Word it’s more about shock value and that shows turn to it when there’s not a lot else going on.

    • But those were prostitutes and it was considered pornography, or soft-core, and on late night, correct? Whereas this is on at what is considered prime time and these women are neither prostitutes nor porn stars, and this is a reality show about six “real” lesbians, not a brothel.

      • Okay good point. I just know I don’t watch it because overall I found it boring, even though I liked a few of the actors…and watching two women “do it” in real isn’t going to make me want to watch it. I can see it attracting the pervy men out there though.


  42. It seems like this type of behavior is presented as the standard for women, straight or gay, ESPECIALLY on reality shows: look she’s slutty, look she’s sloppy, look she’s drunk, look she’s dumb. I’m tired of it. There are women in the world that have the ability to walk around furniture without being told to do so.

    Girls Gone Wild was mentioned earlier. Nothing killed my boner faster than those commercials. For real. wtf happened to women? Because at some point after riot grrrl they became penis receptacles again, and it’s worse now than it was in the 80s. How is Whitney’s treatment of Romi any different than the way Bret treats his Rock of Love women? This is supposedly groundbreaking? To me it just seems like recycling heterosexual media’s garbage. What’s the point? Lesbians can be pigs, too? Ooo. Yay for us.

    Anyway, we’re about 100 comments into this and I’ll just stop now.

    • totally feelin’ ya on the comment about what happened to women after the riot grrrl movement. no clue here, either. it’s like superficialskanksville since the late 90s.

  43. Shan, I couldn’t have said it better. Ilene just seems to recycle media garbage. I need to stop thinking it’s going to get better from her.

  44. The sad thing is there are some nice people participating in this show, people who I believe had great motives for getting involved with it. Now some are subjected to their own stupidity, and the others to evil editing.

    • … and of course Tracy & Stamie are completely sidelined. There was one episode where they were in it for a total of 5 minutes.


  45. Ilene Chaiken = exploitative asshat.

    Reality television is a death of creativity. There is no creativity in the slurry of exploitation, game-playing, and drama that is either egged on by producers or the people who decide to be on this show.

    Is being on television really that intoxicating to the ego that one would shed all sense of self-respect and dignity for 5 mins of fame? Ugh. Gross.

    Clearly, I’m judging. I don’t judge Romi, she chose to be on the show, but I think she DOES have a leg to stand on in terms of legality. I think she should sue the pants off Ilene + Showtime, personally.

    Fiction is one thing. Acting is one thing. But real people having real sex who are not in the porn industry/doing it SOBER on camera on purpose? No. No no no no.

    I don’t like that the cultural idea + media of “lesbians” is being portrayed on television in this way. It’s turning our culture into a f***ing freakshow. SERIOUSLY. /end rant

  46. This is exploitation.

    And they were intoxicated. Hello? Giving your consent to be video taped for a reality show while you are sober does not mean you have given consent to be taped while you are drunk and having sex.

    • yeah i also feel really weird about the idea of consent here. what katie said upthread about the camera people is completely true. how low are your ethical standards if you’re willing to stay in a room and film two drunk girls have sex? yes, it’s their job, but even elliot saved the frogs, you guys. sometimes you just have to do what’s right. and um, filming drunk girls, even girls who’d already given consent, just seems super gross.

      • Especially since they’d shut the camera crew out before, so basically the fact that they didn’t shut the camera crew out this time SHOWED that they were drunk beyond the point of having any awareness of their surroundings (i.e. beyond the point where, really, theoretical advance consent should cease to mean anything). Like, the fact that the crew *could* film it should have been their(ethical) clue that they *shouldn’t*.

        And I’m not blind to the nature of reality tv or anything; I know that’s not how it goes. I’m just saying from an ethical standpoint: wergh.

  47. WOW.. I am one of those judgmental douches who hasn’t even watched the episode — but really do I need to? Do I need to Blanche!? Haven’t I seen it all before in a little show called THe Old L WORD and almost Every single Lesbian Movie to date – maybe it’s not real sex in the old show, and movies- but clearly we are obsessed with ourselves having sex, getting sex, making sex, proving ourselves as sexual objects, and predators and that we’re sooooo sexually free, and comfortable and confident, and we have sex too. and sex sex sex sex…I am so disappointed by this show’s existence and now with a real Sex “Scene” its confirmed to me once again the GLBTQabcdefg Media community is fucking obsessed with our own sexual prowess. Its’ like we’re stuck in the 80’s when straight people made every movie about “getting laid” and “gettin chicks” and wearing sunglasses all the time..God, we’re cool. Where every sex act has been simulated – every grind, every single little act. Sure – we need to learn, we want to see some sex here and there…BUt in Gay and Lesbian media – ITS ALL THE TIME and when it comes to would think all we do is prowl around and lady fuck eachother with lady toys. —- We have ONE show left for lesbians. ONE. And this is what it is? A bunch of arrogant, predatory, assholes tromping around LA “getting chicks” “making sex” and looking “cool” I want to puke. I dont need to see 2 self indulgent assholes fuck eachother with a strap on. I’ve seen it a hundred million times – and played out in a hundred million ways in every god damn movie made for lesbians, and every show. Its tired. Give us somehting else. Be something more. If I want to watch fucking i’ll watch porn – no. I wont. cause thats gross too. I don’t know. I’ll just watch Harry Potter again. where I feel safe – and SHE who will not be named has ncan’t make any more gross shows that make me feel soiled.

    • i read this all the way through w/out pausing for air or implied commas ‘CAUSE I FEEL THAT’S WHAT YOU WOULD’VE WANTED JULIE GOLDMAN.

  48. As a girl who’s made a lot of drunken mistakes, this made me feel gross. I don’t even like to think about some of the things I’ve done when drunk, let alone know that anyone and everyone who cares to can now watch these antics on tv and online. It creeps me out that a contract signed when sober still applies when intoxicated, even though a contract signed when intoxicated would not. For reality tv especially, this just begs for trouble, and this scene took it over the top.

    Ilene Chaiken, you’ve just made me feel even guiltier about my reality tv guilty pleasure.

  49. I don’t think she has any legal leg to stand on. No matter what Romi says, she could have said no to them airing the sex act. Tor and Whitney’s sex wasn’t shown because Tor probably refused to sign a consent form. There were people @ Whitney’s party whose faces were blocked out…and that usually means they didn’t give permission to have their faces shown. Romi may regret her actions now but that’s a personal issue, not a legal one.

  50. Man there are a lot of judgemental people on this thread. No one here has ever been drunk off their face at a party and done 1 (5, 10) things they were TOTALLY 100% OKAY WITH!!!!1!! at the time, but which would cause them endless, cringing horror and shame if they were somehow filmed and shown on national television?

    Like seriously, all the people being like “How could she not have noticed/remembered there was a camera there?!?!? She’s lying”, you’ve really never been that drunk? Especially in some emotional fucked-up girl-related situation? Things I have been drunk enough to not notice/care about include: STDs, other people in the room, furniture, walls with drops on the other side, where my skirt is, potential alcohol poisoning, and traffic. The only difference is that the shit I forgot/didn’t care about due to my friend mister vodka didn’t include some piece of paper I’d signed months previously while stone cold sober, and I had friends taking care of me instead of IFC cackling with delight that she had something juicy to air this week.

    Like, we can argue about how she signed a waiver and all that, and let’s. But getting into ‘calling her a liar’ territory because some people apparently don’t understand the concept ‘drunk’ is making me really uncomfortable. If Romi is telling me what happened to her and how she feels about it then I am more inclined to belive her than some random person on a comment thread. True story.

  51. HI!
    There’s really nothing left to say here, but at the risk of sounding redundant- I am truly horrified.

    I generally enjoy reality tv. Unlike Riese who humanizes people (which, btw was so sweet and so cute to hear. Not for nothing- Riese, your recaps WERE fun and funny and I was proud of you for facing your reality show fear and getting in there and witnessing the human condition insofar as it extends to fame-hungry, megalomaniacs, But I digress..)

    Where was I? Oh yes. I can usually embrace the crude caricatures present on reality tv- and I have a ton of reality shows that I absolutely love. That being said, I have NEVER been so grossed out and disappointed (except when I heard there were talks that Tiger Woods and Jesse James mistresses were going to get their own reality show). The whole thing is appalling and inappropriate.


    • Sadly, Brandy, it’s shit like this that’s funded instead of proper, well written cinema (i’m guessing since i haven’t read it) like you and Julie, and countless other creative people, are trying to put on screen

      I fucking hate Ilene Chaiken. she’s an artless, tasteless, talentless, psychopath.

    • Don’t you reallyreallyreally hope that Riese never ever watches a single episode of ANTM? I don’t think that would end well at all. It is super sweet, though. It’s very kind.

  52. I am reposting my comment (sorry!) because I am logged in now and felt weird not seeing the little square with my face in it:

    i still havent seen the show so i’m not sure how sex usually goes down here, but here are a few thoughts/questions i’d be interested to hear folks’ feelings about…

    1. have there been other scene scenes sans strap on? did they show a significant amount of the action?

    2. if not, okay, the hype around this scene in simple i suppose.

    3. if so, how do we all feel about this particular scene’s level of attention?
    seems like everyone’s got a sense that it’s more intense in some way. so, is that because:

    – strap on sex is kind of a weirdly sacred queer thing that happens behind closed doors (and usually not between straight sexual pairings?)

    – strap on sex involves a dick, of sorts. so, is it a) getting attention because penetrative sex with a kinda dick shaped thing is a heteronormatively condoned kind of sex and is therefore more valid/intense/something? i’d imagine there are scenes of women in this show fucking with their hands, as two women are wont to do.

    – strap on sex weirds outsiders out more?

    also, in the scene, do they show the strap on itself? would showtime show a (y’know, non-synthetic) dick in the same ways the strap on is depicted in this scene?

  53. Why is our community coming across so prudish? It is sex. It was filmed. We saw it. I found it hot which I guess must make me some pervert. I am just mad we did not see Whitney introducing Tor to strap on sex.

    • I am with you, Chris H.D. It was very hot and I don’t know why people are acting like such virgins about the situation.

      • Absolutely. You have hit the nail on the head. This incident is sparking off discussions about the nature of reality tv, exploitation, consent, regret, waivers, female/lesbian sexuality on television, alcohol, decision-making, ethics, responsibility and STDs, and all of this is happening because we are prudish and/or “acting like virgins”. If we were only as sexually enlightened as yourselves we would simply be saying “That was hot” and stopping there.

        Thank you for clarifying that; I’m so glad you were here.

      • it isn’t just about the sex. i think a lot of autostraddle commenters are very okay with sex. it’s the context in which their sex is placed. like cassandra pointed out, there are a lot of elements surrounding that night and not just the fact that whitney and romi had sex.

        • Yup. Plus as far I can tell from the Autostraddle recaps there have been sex scenes already. There was just a lot of things surrounding this one that bring up a whole lot of questions, concerns and uncomfortableness, if that is a word.

  54. Romi is not going to sue anybody and if she does, she will be laughed out of court. This is not exploitation by any means, no matter how many of you insist that it is. Romi is not some wide eyed 18 year old caught on film. She is a grown woman who can clearly be heard telling Whitney that she wants Whitney to do what she did to her on film. You know the cameras are in there so don’t try to play dumb now.

    bizzle, Real Sex showed actual intercourse more than once.

    • I hate that term. I’m sorry. “It’s not x, no matter how many of you think so.” It might just be me, but it sounds wrong. It sounds illogical, and hostile.

      I get what you’re saying on the whole, even if I disagree. I almost want to agree with you, because I wish everyone was always in control of their surroundings 100% of the time and that other people weren’t manipulative bastards, but the reality is that they are. They just are.

      I deal with drunk people on a regular basis. Really drunk people, averaged out to about 1-2 people a night. I’m not surprised at all that she could have had sex without knowing people were filming her.

      Basically it boils down to speculation: Do we believe Romi? Do we believe that she could have had sex without knowing cameras were there? Do we believe that she was manipulated?

      I choose to believe her. I choose to believe her based on personal experience and what others have said about the industry. I choose to believe that whatever the legal situation, ethically someone fucked up. I’m content in that belief.

      I’d rather be wrong about Rami than wrong about Showtime and IFC.

      • It’s not hostility at all. Having buyer’s remorse doesn’t make it exploitation. Romi is trying to play the victim card here. I clearly saw Romi’s microphone taped to her back when she walked Whitney into the room. I am not going to be made to believe that Romi had no idea the camera was in there. Let’s say that she didn’t know, she still could have signed a consent form in which she didn’t allow them to show the sex act. Why is it that we didn’t see Tor having sex with Whitney? Because Tor didn’t allow the producers to release the act on film. Maybe some of you want to believe that Romi is some sort of victim here but she’s not.

        • But we don’t *know* any of that. She could have been mic’d for hours, long before she had a few. All we know for certain is what’s been shown us, and Carly’s interview elsewhere shows that some pretty fishy editing goes on here. I’m not really willing to use that episode as evidence of anything except sex at one point did happen and someone filmed it and then it went on national TV. She could have been completely hammered, we wouldn’t have seen it. There could have been entire conversations that we didn’t see. I’m not saying that Romi is a victim here necessarily, I just think something’s fishy. I empathize for her. Whether or not it’s just after the fact remorse or manipulation is complete speculation. I’m just not comfortable with saying Rami is wrong.

          We have no hard facts for why sex with Tor wasn’t aired. We can speculate, but there’s no facts.

          And there’s nothing wrong with a little regret.

        • it’s not about feeling sorry for romi, it’s about being sick of this kind of world/’entertainment.’

          • Exactly! And I hate the fact that the only thing on television with lesbians is THIS! THIIIIIIIIS! *facepalm*

  55. why everybody here think the sex scene is a BAD thing?!!! every comment s based on ” that is sooo inappropriate, oh you can’t show that on national tv,,or ,,,Romi and Whitney is going to sooooo regret it… ” why ??!! , what s sooo bad about it??!! they are good looking girls having sex like everybody elses do everyday in the world,,,,, they didnt show the “body parts” any way, so i actually think its a positive sex scene and cool and comfortable to watch, we ve seen way more outragous straight, or gay scenes enough,, and this time its finally two women,,,… so what is wrong…??!! ppl, we should celebrate this…

    • Exactly. Sex is one of the best parts of life and these girls shouldn’t be made to feel guilty because some people are uncomfortable with watching it. All those who cried about how exploitative it is, you sat there and watched it, didn’t you?

  56. Also, the two of them are comfortable with themselves , the only worry is the family members see it, they are comfortable with their bodies and actually i think they dont give a S@#$, they were enjoying themselve and had a good time,, the problem is the other ppl makes sooo big a deal of it,,which is some kinda pathetic…nothing is an issue untill somebody decides otherwise…

    • I think it comes down to feminism, in a sense. I consider myself to be very sex positive and progressive, but at the end of the day, if I put myself in Romi’s shoes, I would absolutely NOT want someone to film me having sex with someone else while I’m hammered.

      Also, I think we’re viewing the media/Ilene Chaiken as the culprits here, and there is a weird forced emotional distance that happens with reality television. We watch real people do real things as if it’s fiction. But it’s not!

      As far as celebrating the sex scene, I see what you’re saying in terms of “sexy, hot lesbians having great sex” being portrayed to the media, but honestly, we already have enough of that. In fact, we need to get past that with the media, because we’re being shortchanged as individuals when it comes to lesbians, and instead often viewed as just sex objects. That’s why it’s exploitative, that’s why it’s damaging. If they were sober, I would not feel crappy about it, but it’s all about consent, and it’s all about how these real people feel after the fact. I don’t want to watch two girls fucking if they don’t actually feel good about it after the fact. That’s just emotionally gross to me.

      At the same time, I don’t want to point fingers and say, “Romi’s a victim of Ilene Chaiken or the producers or the powers that be” because she’s an adult, and she made her own decisions, albeit while intoxicated. She is allowed to feel regret for doing what she did. I would, for sure. But I also think that it does smack of “Girls Gone Wild” exploitation, and it’s even grosser that this show is headed up by a woman, supposedly “one of our own”, but she has no bones about not protecting the women she’s selected for the show.

      I think that’s the crux of it, too. With reality television, people are going to act stupid and do dumb things. That’s why we watch it. But it doesn’t feel right when it’s a show that’s oriented towards a group (i.e. lesbians) because then we ALL get thrown in the mix of the media truth of “this is what lesbians do/are”.

      It’s almost political in a way. We still don’t have the same rights as heterosexuals, and we’re still trying to gain respect in the media. We’ve come a long way, but sometimes I feel like this stuff sets us back. We can disassociate ourselves from it and say “Whitney and Romi may be lesbians, but they’re not us, so they can make whatever decisions they want, good for them” but because they’re tagged as “lesbians”, everyone else will make assumptions about us as a group based on what these two women do, as well as what the rest of the women on the show do.

  57. Ok. Now that I’ve just viewed the entire episode in context *reminded once again to actually watch something, before giving an opinion*, my view has changed.

    Was it voyeuristic, trashy, uncalled for? Oh Yes. But I’m not convinced they were so drunk that they weren’t aware of the camera (and the consequences). In fact, they appeared to look directly at the doorway/camera a few times, and a female said “They’re having sex in there” (camera woman?).

    Afterwards, Whitney looked pleased with herself (explaining to the camera) … Later on, they were slurring their speech and (appeared) more drunk than when Romi first grabbed Whitney outside and went into the bedroom.

    I wouldn’t describe Romi as “vulnerable” at all – although I can see her regretting this bigtime. Everyone should have control over their own image, but neither of them seem to be the kind of person that is too concerned, ‘drunk’ or not.

  58. I think showing Romi and Whitney performing oral sex on one another would be far more invasive than the strap on sex that was shown. Whitney sits there and talks to the camerapeople right after she got done with Romi and Romi doesn’t know they have been in the room the whole time? Please.

    I don’t think Whitney cares too much what we all think of the scene (I for one was pleased by it) and she shouldn’t care. She got laid. Good for her!

  59. wow. Great comments everyone. My feelings?
    1. I did feel uncomfortable because we’re talking about ‘real’ people here.
    2. I think that otherwise it would have been a hot scene, as Verbal and ashh pointed out.
    3. Being drunk doesn’t necessarily mean ignoring your surroundings but it pretty often means making pretty bad decisions. That’s what makes for ‘interesting’ non-competitive reality tv, at least traditionally.
    4. I would have felt the same way if it had been a straight couple. However, as bizzle said, other reality shows have dealt with sex in… let’s say “less revealing” ways because there have been A LOT of blurred out/night vision scenes involving drunk, straight couples in other reality shows.
    5. Do I have a point? Nope. It’s just that this is ‘reality’ tv and that’s what happens in reality tv. With less detail, of course, but maybe it’s because we’re talking about Showtime here. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with it, but I think the issue here is that trash sells, and IFC isn’t in it for ‘artistic’ purposes, she’s in it to make money. So, I will not take this sooo seriously because that’s what reality tv does: take advantage of drunk people. :-/

  60. Hellooo, it’s not Big Brother, there are no hidden cameras, they had a camera crew inside their bedroom, a f*cking camera crew, and the lights where on, like it was daylight.

    Sooo, i don’t know how drunk they were, but they should have known that they were filming PORN.

    Ilene Chaiken is a PORN PRODUCER, actually it is the only thing that she can do well….. and she makes wanna go straight…..

  61. I believe Romi was fully aware what was happening – drunk or not. Camera crew was everywhere and Romi grabbed Whitney to take her in the bedroom to have some sexy time…that’s all and makes for good drama tv. Even though Romi isnt one of the original 6 girls she’s aware she is co-staring (by association) on a reality tv show and thats why she keeps showing up.
    As far as the sex scene? Bring it on…it’s about time America shows more – Europe has been showing this for many years already. Hot lesbian sex is lovely to watch.
    I feel a bit bad for Tor’s feelings but Tor knows how Whitney is – no surprises here and girls like Tor need to wake up if they want a caring monogamous relationship.
    We hope for many more seasons of The REAL L WORD!
    + love you LA!

  62. This is reality tv – not porn – very different. I am really tired of listening to all the hardball feminist BS out there “this is exploitation” etc…I want to say this is FAR from exploitation!! Why not put your voice & energy into stopping actual exploitation then complaining on websites about reality Tv shows – they are very different issues.
    I want to thank Ilene Chaiken for bringing lesbians together to watch some good tv with lesbian charecters and now a reality tv show we should be all embracing. If its not your thing dont watch – leave the rest of us to enjoy.

    • hahahah i kind of love you for this comment. in essence, you’re right. they signed waivers. if anything, they agreed to exploit themselves.

      and god i kinda love it. the episode was all around good. totally loved the cute argument about nik and jil’s chandelier as well.

  63. Everything I feel about this scene has already been said: fucking unacceptable on so many levels! (and I am not a prude, but rather love porn and all things sex!)

    What is truly upsetting however, beyond this one scene, is this total clusterfuck we’re all in with IFC. It’s like she’s one of the few women out there who have funding/name/backing to get lezzie shit on teevee…so we’re dammed if we do and dammed if we don’t! There’s nothing else to watch…so watch THIS. If we don’t watch this lezzie shit: well that just shows there’s no real market for it. If we do watch this shit: well then we just love this type of shit and love IFC in the process. Please dear baby jesus, let some decent, talented lesbian win the lotto so she can make something that is, if not actually representative of our community, then at least fucking interesting. IFC killed my soul when she killed Dana, but now I feel she is killing something much more important: overall dignity and common sense.

  64. episode seven was so epic. i hate ilene c., i really do. but i just can’t deny it anymore- the show is fairly entertaining (as fake as it is).

    as much as i do not condone whitney and romi’s actions, i do feel sympathy for them. alcohol is not an excuse for bad behavior, but the fact is that everyone makes mistakes- but not everyone has those mistakes so graphically broadcast on tv. i definitely feel the worst for tor though, oh my god. i wonder how much crying goes on behind the scenes that is cut out. i’m thinking A LOT.

    also, i must be screwed up in the head, because despite it all, i have a TOTAL crush on whitney. there. i said it.

  65. episode seven was so epic. i hate ilene, i really do. but i just can’t deny it anymore- the show is fairly entertaining (as fake as it is).

    as much as i do not condone whitney and romi’s actions, i do feel sympathy for them. alcohol is not an excuse for bad behavior, but the fact is that everyone makes mistakes- but not everyone has those mistakes so graphically broadcast on tv. i definitely feel the worst for tor though, oh my god. i wonder how much crying goes on behind the scenes that is cut out. i’m thinking A LOT.

    also, i must be screwed up in the head, because despite it all, i have a TOTAL crush on whitney. there. i said it.

  66. You know what would be fun? Let’s talk about what an authentic, healthy, hot, non-creepy, non-voyeuristic voyeuristic, sex-positive reality lesbian sex scene REALLY looks like.

    Or let’s not, because you know IC is reading this shit and taking notes.

    WE SEE YOU, IC. We’re going to CREAM you, and not in the white trash corn wrestling way, either. Sorry, should I not have mentioned the word “cream” just now? There’s a lesbian party somewhere up here named Cream. Or used to be. Huh. I wonder what happened to it.

    Oh, yeah:


  67. I’m really shocked by the content of the show. I loved the l word cause it was relatable fiction, but this show is really taking it a little too far for my taste. Yea two hot girls fucking is nice and it’s pay cable, but I just worried about the lack of respect. It’s disgusting honestly.

  68. haven’t seen the show, so I can’t comment on the sex scene. but grown up or not, judgment can lapse when alcohol or drugs are involved. what seems like a good idea at the time will end up being a horrible idea when sober. i’m guessing romi knew going in that there were cameras, just as whitney did. still doesn’t balance it out in the grand scheme of things.

    IFC is a vampire. with reality tv, and espesh this being the first reality tv about lesbians, it gets edited to titillation factor 11. i bet the producers were crapping double rainbows when they got this footage.

    it really sucks. reality tv is a wasteland. maybe you get nice people like tracy and stamie out of it <3, but really. i mean, seriously. reality tv wasn't created to sell 'nice'.

    i do feel bad for romi. is there a way to live past a mistake like this? seriously, how? i've been embarrassed by my own post-coital realizations. however, my fuckups weren't aired across the world on tv and won't end up as clips on the youtube, and potentially screw up my life for a long, long time. it was a costly mistake.

  69. I call BS on this girl. If you are that F’d Up to not notice someone filming you in a small bedroom, you either have a drinking problem or you’re making excuses for your bad behavior. She had to sign a release for her face to be shown. I’m all for spontaneous sex, but the thing that bothers me the most is the blatant lack of respect that Whitney showed for the girl she bought the Strap-on for…COLD BLOODED.

  70. omg they showed her having sex with a strap-on oh well, and she said she had no control of that sex scene she didnt know the cameras were in there….get over it if u have a problem with them showing stuff like that then dont watch it.

  71. After reading the majority of these comments, I can quite easily gather that we’ve hated IC for quite some time. May I indulge some of your fantasies and ask why exactly we are doing so much bashing? I can see why we might be extremely violated by some of the contents/actions/etc of TRLW but what’s wrong with the regular L Word? Just curious as to where this is coming from. I’d like to be in the loop. Here’s your chance to rant. =)

    • oh lawd. maybe somebody can answer you succinctly, but i’d think that kind of feedback would require a whole series of articles. mebbe we all need something like that. might be cathartic.

  72. You know, like you saw in The L Word, except with real people. And yeah, The Real World has been showing drunken people having sex in hot tubs and under covers for years, but generally it’s blurred, night-visioned or under-the-sheets. But this is SHOWTIME! That means it’s TIME for a SHOW! And this show has a strap-on in it!

    Yup on Sunday, Whitney f*cked Romi with a strap-on for all the world to see. On the bright side, Romi has fantastic breasts! But also, is this okay? Is this teevee now? Do they feel weird? Should we feel weird? Do you feel weird?

    So Autostraddle talked to Romi giving her an opportunity to share her perspective on the insta-infamous episode and how she’s handling it all. I mean, it’s a big deal, amirite?

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