I JUST HAD SEX – a critique

Time to cast a critical eye toward Lonely Island’s new song “I Just Had Sex”. It’s catchy as all hell and kind of makes me want to dance. But in my repeated viewing, I’ve gone back and forth as to whether or not the video (which has been widely viewed–20 million as of today) sends positive messages about sex to women.

Macroscopically speaking, “I Just Had Sex” parodically humanizes the experience of sex, and reminds the viewer that everybody does it. It also humorously makes a statement about appropriate discourse of sexual encounters. But I do have a few complaints–mainly, that the video implies sex is something men “do” to women (i.e. “It’s sure nice of her to let you do that thing”, “I’m so humbled by her ability to let me do her”, “Thanks for letting us fuck you”). My own experience begs to differ ;)

Seriously though, the song is pretty heteronormative (to be expected in the mainstream, unfortunately), and when an intimate act becomes someone “doing something” to another, it silences the experience of the other person. They become the passive receptor of whatever it is you’re “doing” to them. The internalization of this message would be unfortunate for both parties involved; for women, it is disempowering, and for the men, it romanticizes a watered-down version of the exchange that sex COULD facilitate.

Despite these gripes, I love the song. The embarrassed and annoyed looks of the women in the background serve to make us laugh, but also to remind us that such behavior makes men look like a complete jackasses. It even apologizes for all the men that actually DO act like that…so, thanks Akon, I might be able to see past your awful grammarz now.

67 thoughts on “I JUST HAD SEX – a critique

  1. You could also explain it differently. In that they don’t mean the guys are “doing something” to the girls in your interpretation, but from the point of view that they don’t know what they are doing. So in the cases the song is actually about it’s not so much sex as in a guy “doing something” to a girl and calling it sex (as would be apparent from the “best 30 seconds” of my life comment).

    It seems to be more of a parody on how important the concept of sex is in this day and age and seems to make fun of the idea that (especially boys) seem to have that having sex (and just “doing something” to someone would already count) is almost more important than the actual act of sex itself. To me it seems to parody the idea that exists that as long as your penis (like I said, especially from a boys point of view this counts) is somewhere near a girl and she touched it at least once you’re super cool.

    In short, I would see it as more “insulting” to guys who glorify anything that could be called sex than to something that is disempowering to women. Seems to me the women are in power in this video.

    Probably didn’t make sense, but there you have it.

  2. Speaking from the point of view of a hard-core feminist, I still think this video is great and hilarious, because what I think they were really parodying wasn’t how great sex is, they were making fun of ass-hole dudes who think like that. Like the whole sequence where they’re saying “i wore a bag on my head!” and stuff like that, and “best 30 seconds of my life” it’s making fun of guys who don’t understand sex and are just ignorant and overexcited.

  3. Personally, I would have never seen the video as making fun of anything but stereotypes. When I read Laci’s opinion on the video’s meaning, I went back and tried to see if I agreed.
    While it is true the women in the back acted disgusted (which made me almost fall out of my chair laughing), I saw how it disrespected(?) women. I would say it is more of a mocking those “bro” virgins (see here: mylifeisbro.com, but don’t type in mlib.com haha).
    Now that I just wrote it on the comments I can see these two beat me to it.
    But back to the point. I highly doubt anyone will see this as attacking either sex. They will either not want to analyze this or be to busy laughing (like I was).
    I am a dude btw.

  4. I actually love this song, as well as the message it conveys, however, I’d interpret it slightly differently. As a comedy group, obviously TLI should be trying to attack our funny glands from all angles and in my opinion the funniest thing about this video is that the male is so amazed that he was “let… do that thing”.

    In my opinion, it parodies the idea that sex is something that males “do” to females, if they are lucky enough for the female to allow it. Maybe I’m getting a little too deconstructionist with it, but in my opinion the song is actually meant to be somewhat of a social commentary in the same vein of what you’re saying, but it is lost in the more mainstream jokes that have to be put to the forefront of the song, because (let’s face it) if they weren’t, TLI would quickly lose their popularity with pop culture as a whole. Not too say that most people would highly disapprove of this theme, they just wouldn’t find it as funny as little things like jokes about finishing after thirty seconds and crying the whole time (and who can blame them! sorry those who got offended…)

    • “In my opinion, it parodies the idea that sex is something that males “do” to females, if they are lucky enough for the female to allow it.” I agree here. I think the song itself is trying to convey that a woman is allowing sex, not that the man is “doing it to” her. Which, in either case, like Laci said before, it’s taking away from the intimacy of sex, and plugging in the mainstream idea that men want it, and women do not.
      Either way though, the video made me hurt myself laughing.

  5. personally i love it this video, because it normalises sex, especially using two famous influential females. it makes girls think that haing sex, and being ok with sex is a good thing. :)

  6. I think this also goes back to the way our culture views sex by gender perspective. For a lot of guys, sex is a form of conquest, because stereotypically women are just not as interested in it. Now recent experiences have told me different but I still think a lot of guys have found it challenging to get their female partner to participate in as much sex as they want.

  7. Just for the record the song probably says
    “It’s sure nice of her to let you do that thing”, “I’m so humbled by her ability to let me do her”, “Thanks for letting us fuck you”
    because as a guy you kinda do want to thank the girl even though you (as a guy) did have to work to get to that point

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  19. I can agree with what you are saying but at the same time I think you’re reading too far into it. These guys make funny videos. They may be poking fun at sex and making it a joke and as you said making it out that it’s something a guy does to a girl but unfortunately in society that is what happens. I am a girl and I can tell you that there has been many times in my life that sex was something a guy did to me. I’m not saying I was raped but it was a situation in which I wasn’t really in the mood and decided “whatever do your thing dude”. I don’t believe they are saying that EVERY sexual experience is like this but lets face it, a lot of times it is JUST like this. If someone is sexually active and can’t realize that this is a joke and sex isn’t ALWAYS like this that’s there problem to figure out.

    • I needed to add something so people don’t think I’m a stereotypical girl that never wants to have sex. I DO enjoy sex, I just don’t enjoy it as much as a lot of people I know (male and female) so maybe my opinion is slightly biased …

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