ABC's The View Gets Hot and Heavy

Sex is always a hot topic for The View, but must it include intimate details about the panelists?

A discussion about Internet porn on July 16 devolved into revelations about the ladies' more, um, personal habits. July 17's edition featured twittering over a 93-year-old man caught soliciting a prostitute and a new Barbie doll dressed in leather and fishnet stockings. 

Barbara Walters used the recent divorce of Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook as the jumping off point for the discussion of Internet porn, as reports of Cook's porn habit made news during the divorce trial.  Walters asked the panel, “You find out that he's [your boyfriend or husband] watching porn on the internet and he's doing that [masturbating]. Is that enough reason to leave him? Or would you rather he had, you know, a mistress?”

Moderator Whoopi Goldberg claimed that porn use doesn't bother her and Joy Behar made it out to be the lesser of two evils, while panelists Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck both expressed doubts about porn.  The conflicting opinions might have given rise to an interesting discussion, but Goldberg instead turned the conversation to vibrators:

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: That's a hard one to deal with for me. I would feel -- I don't think I would be ok with that at all. I think most women in an honest state probably would feel maybe more self-conscious about themselves, maybe wonder why they're not enough, maybe wonder why that person is going other places to find some sort of satisfaction. I think in your most honest moment, you probably wouldn't be entirely ok with it. I think if you're not okay with it, you need to address it with your partner, I think you absolutely should open up.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG:  So you wouldn't use a z-z-z-z.


SHEPHERD:  A vibrator.

GOLDBERG: A vibrator, you would never use a vibrator?

HASSELBECK:  I've never used one.

GOLDBERG: You will. [Applause]

WALTERS:  I think that's different.

HASSELBECK: I don't need one. I'm okay with--

GOLDBERG: Playing with yourself, I'm trying to answer the question.

HASSELBECK: For me, I like the connection with the person. I think that intimacy is beautiful. I think that, you know, when we were married, I loved that connection.

GOLDBERG: Okay, that's cool.

HASSELBECK:  I would not be ok with someone –

Goldberg later clarified her earlier statements about infidelity and porn use but switched back again to the vibrator topic:

GOLDBERG:  I said it would bother me if he had another relationship, which was the second part of the question. But to me, porn, you know, porn doesn't bother me as long as everybody knows what they're doing. And so there are times, if your baby goes away -- not your baby, but your baby goes away and he's going to be away for a while and yeah, you know, that z-z-z-z becomes friendly.

SHEPHERD:  I need a man. Some arms, to look at his face, the kiss, the tender stuff, the w-o-o-o-o is not doing it for me.  It just don't do nothin.'


GOLDBERG: But you've never tried it so you don't know. 

SHEPHERD: I don't want it, it's not attached to anything.

WALTERS: We haven't heard from Joy.

SHEPHERD: Sorry Joy.

BEHAR: First of all, these mmmmm's, I say you get the thing, put a mustache on it. It looks fine. That's number one. Number two, I say better porn than a woman on the side. If that's the choice that you have, which is not great, the best choice is Elisabeth's model of you're with your husband, you're intimate. It's like people say I want a mother and father in the family and that would be the ultimate choice. Well, not everybody gets that. So you've got to deal with the cards you are dealt.

The panel turned yesterday's discussion of senior citizen sex into a rant about the unequal options available for female senior citizens wanting to remain sexually active, the lack of a Viagra-like drug for women and that there just aren't enough men in that demographic.  Nobody seemed concerned about the fact that a 93-year-old man was attempting to use a prostitute. 

WALTERS:  This is my point. The fact that it is this particular man, you know, whatever gets him through the night. [Laughter] But the fact that a 93-year-old man still wants the sex and can do it, if this were a 93-year-old woman who was, I mean, it's so unfair that 93-year-old men still have it going. I don't know. I'd like to hear from all the 93-year-old women. Do you still want it?

GOLDBERG: The question is where could they get it? Because you know there's not a lot of places where women can go and solicit men on the street.

HASSELBECK:  I disagree.

GOLDBERG: On the street.

HASSELBECK: In the nursing homes, there, it's like going on. I'm not kidding. There was a study a few years back that actually said there were some sorts of sexually transmitted diseases on the rise in nursing homes.

BEHAR: The problem is that Viagra has destroyed the country. Let's face it. It's the crack cocaine of the nursing homes. She says they are jumping on each other now in nursing homes. Now is that --maybe it's great.

SHEPHERD:  Women don't have anything. Women don't have a --

BEHAR: The women are involved in this.

SHEPHERD: I mean, but we don't have a form of Viagra yet do we?

WALTERS:  They haven't found it yet.  They've been working on it.

GOLDBERG: You're ignoring the fact that women have changed enormously since we were little kids. Cause when we were little kids, the last thing you thought was going on in your parents' bedroom was sex. I mean, they might not have even stayed in the same room. But as women have gotten older things have changed in the world, women have said you know, I want it, too. But my point is, where do you go? If you're not in a nursing home and you're a vibrant, moving around, you know, kind of cute girl and you don't have all that money, where do you go to find a little something-something?

WALTERS:  It doesn't have to be 93. It could 70 or 60 or 50.  It's very hard for women to find men in general.

WHOOPI:  Well, that's if they're looking for love. I'm talking about a hot 25 minutes, you know bam bam thank you, sir.


SHERRI: I guess that's a good question.  Where do you go when you're older and you're a woman and you just want --

JOY: You go into your bedroom drawer. That's where you go.

ELISABETH: I'm disturbed.

SHERRI: Then you have to get batteries.

JOY: That's what we said yesterday. You know, get the batteries and just—

Apart from Hasselbeck, the View ladies reduced sex to an itch that needs to be scratched, rather than the most intimate interaction two human beings can share.

As for the Barbie, Goldberg defended it, calling it “a character doll” that “is not meant for 6-year-olds.”  Hasselbeck, though, questioned the message the doll sends: “Girls look at these dolls, they play with them, they think of them.  I think they need right now more than ever positive images to kind of model themselves after, even in their imaginary worlds.  They want to be like the toys they play with.”

Shepherd agreed, saying “It used to be you had Barbie, she was wearing the business suit.  You'd say to little girls, you can own a business.  She had the safari hat and the khaki pants, you can be an adventurer.  Okay, Barbie looks like a ho – right here, straight up.” 

Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center