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Insecure deals with all sorts of jobs in a very funny X-rated episode

Photo: Justina Mintz/Courtesy of HBO
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Well, I guess we have an extra long Game Of Thrones to thank for that extra sexy episode of Insecure. “Hella Blows” definitely makes use of the late night hour to address one of the show’s biggest themes: sex. Intimate moments force Issa and Molly to face the consequences of their decisions this episode.


Sex is such an important topic on the show that there was uproar over the show’s lack of condom use. It was an argument I never quite understood. There aren’t many shows where we see the characters unwrap a condom, but they don’t face this criticism. So, it seems weird to hold Insecure to a higher standard. Of course, the show had no idea that conversation would dominate Twitter when they filmed “Hella Blows.” Watching Molly, Kelli, and Issa stuff condoms into their purses cleared up any issues there.

Photo: Justina Mintz/Courtesy of HBO

What’s more interesting is the conversation Tiffany, Issa, Molly and Kelli have during Sexplosion. It turns out Kelli and Issa aren’t as open-minded as they appear. They’re not down with blowjobs, but their aversion really comes from a fair place. From a young age, black women are almost always hyper-sexualized, even more so when we embrace our sexuality or act freely on it. Like Issa said, it’s like you’re forever a hoe when you give head. In response, it’s easy to swear off activities that could give people “the wrong idea” about us. So, I wasn’t necessarily shocked when Issa and Kelli said they weren’t fans of the trip down south, but that made it clear how important it was for Issa to master this skill during her hoe period. It was supposed to be an empowering experience, like Tiffany describes. Instead, Daniel got the wrong idea about her.

This explains her reaction to Daniel’s… bad shot. Issa’s embrace of her hoe period is all about abandoning the boundaries she’s built to protect her image. Her hoe period is about taking back her power after a relationship that left her feeling powerless and ill-defined. But Daniel doesn’t see it that way; he thinks it’s just fun. He takes advantage of her sexual freedom to do something she didn’t consent to because he assumed she was “down for whatever.” Issa most likely chose Daniel for this specific job because she trusts him and he abused that trust. Issa was hurt and that’s fair. It’s a shame that Issa’s blowjob liberation moment couldn’t have ended on a better note, but this definitely takes away Daniel’s “sweet puppy boy” image, and that’s for the best.

Photo: Justina Mintz/Courtesy of HBO

Molly’s relationship with Dro also deals with a few setbacks. First of all, I am so happy that Dro finally explained the boundaries of his relationship with Molly. A lot of readers think Dro might be lying about his open relationship, but he finally answers Molly’s questions and makes a relationship between them seem viable. Of course, like any open or non-monogamous relationship, things are a lot easier in conversation than in practice. The reality looks a lot more like Dro and Molly’s bathtub scene—cancelled dates and emergencies with primaries. It’s not all exciting romance and sex; it’s compromise. Insecure could ignore these realities and jump straight to the wife drama, but it’s nice to see them portray non-monogamous relationships with the care they deserve.


Surprisingly, Lawrence doesn’t get to partake in any of this episode’s sexiness. Without Tasha around, his character is left to focus on his job. What the show has portrayed of Lawrence’s career hasn’t been particularly detailed. A black man in a predominantly white industry would face setbacks and difficulties and Lawrence’s character is finally reckoning with that reality. While most of this is just a set-up to get Lawrence interested in one of his co-workers, it helps us remember the racial issues Lawrence faced in“Hella L.A.” While we’ve seen Molly struggle with the pay gap (there’s a quick shot of her reading an article on the topic this episode) showcasing Lawrence’s struggles in his career connects him to a broader narrative and gives him a bit more purpose. It’s also nice to see him finally recognize that his app is stupid.

“Hella Blows” is a satisfying episode of Insecure and a strong follow-up to the highlights of last week. There’s a lot of necessary emotional table setting that sets us up a solid end to the season.


Stray observations

  • I loved the “shut your lightskinned ass up” line to Tiffany. Sometimes, it’s as simple as that. She was out of her depth with her white girl school privilege.
  • I did love Tiffany taking center stage more this episode. Amanda Seales killed that blowjob monologue.
  • The chemistry between Molly and Dro is so wild. It looks like Dro’s wife will be back around next episode, but I do wonder if she was really locked out of the house. (Although, I’ve had the same thing happen to me three times, so it seems fair)
  • There was a brief moment where Issa spotted one of the kids from her school on the bus. I wonder where that’s headed.
  • Molly is still ignoring her mom. I hope nothing traumatic happens with that (something is definitely going to happen).
  • Neighbor Bae has a girlfriend! Sorry about your hoetation, Issa.
  • At least Issa is being honest about just wanting sex. That makes her fuckboy stage a bit more fair than Lawrence’s.
  • Seriously, Daniel? Seriously? Seriously. You can see him hold her head down, he did it on purpose.

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About the author

Ashley Ray-Harris

Ashley Ray-Harris is a Chicago-based pop culture expert and freelance writer. Her work looks at the intersection of race, gender, sexuality and modern culture.