Monday, 23 September 2013

Sex Box: Ban This Opaque Filth!

A new television show will feature couples having sex in a sound-proofed box in a television studio with audience and then being interviewed about it afterwards.
Three couples, two straight and one gay, will take turns to step into the opaque box before being quizzed about what they got up to by host Mariella Frostrup and a panel of sex experts.
Makers of the show, called Sex Box, claim that the programme, which will air on Channel 4, is intended to 'reclaim sex from pornography'.

The first couple to use the 'sex box' for the pre-recorded, hour-long show, which will air on October 7, is 20-somethings Rachel and Dean. They will be followed by Matt and John, who are in a long-term relationship, and childhood sweethearts Lynette and Des.
The couples, whose time in the box will not be filmed, will speak to a panel including television sex expert Tracey Cox, relationship expert Dan Savage, and psychotherapist and author Phillip Hodson.
Cox said: 'The Box itself is a unique way to get peoples' attention and to recognise that sex is a normal part of all our lives and something we need to be talking about openly and honestly.'

Daily Mail.

It says something - and is a more than a bit worrying - that the Mail reports this news so matter-of-factly, when it's bringing out Fagburn's inner Mary Whitehouse.
If Sex Box helps British people stop being quite so prudish and hung-up and fucked-up about sex, great.
But Fagburn suspects the thinking behind commissioning this was not to help the nation shake off its sexual chains, and begin the long walk to erotic freedom.
It's more that they know people - lots of people - will watch it just because they hope to see some shagging (albeit opaquely).*
It's more of a sign of our continuing collective sexual repression and alienation, than liberation, what Herbert Marcuse called repressive desublimation.
There is something seriously wrong with a country where sex induces infinitely more embarrassed giggles than it does orgasms.
Remember when the "public service broadcaster" Channel 4 used to show silly fluff in this timeslot like docudramas about Gramsci?
Or, as it would doubtless have to be pitched today, Prison Confessions Of A Red Sardinian Sex Dwarf.

Still above from The Year Of The Sex Olympics, a 1968 BBC TV film.

In a future Britain, the appetites and passions of the masses are controlled by television, with a constant stream of pornography regulating sexual desire. When audiences show signs of boredom, the 'high drive' broadcasters must find new methods to engage them...

BFI Screen Online - watch it here.

* It's hard to tell from Channel 4's preview exactly what the viewer will see; "While the talk is intimate, the couples' love-making is hidden from view, taking place in a private area where nobody but them can see what's going on: inside the Sex Box."
Presumably you will get glimpses of thrusting shadows in the opaque box, otherwise what's the point of it, when they might as well be shagging backstage or in a bedroom?

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