The key to allowing straight HTML is to include the following configuration at the top of your webpage. TinyMCE will take any textarea and make it into a nice editor.
valid_elements : "a[href|target=_blank],strong/b,div[align],br"
Above is a basic configuration to allow certain html elements. In order to allow a more flexible amount of elements, just follow this link: http://wiki.moxiecode.com/index.php/TinyMCE:Configuration/valid_elements
Simple, eh...too bad I wasted some time searching for it when the answer was right in front of me...