When a package marked Sex Box showed up in our office, I was both baffled and intrigued. We’re used to getting quirky press kits around here – they’re part of the joy of being in our industry – but some are more eye-catching than others.
My first thought was, “There are no instructions for this sex box. If I remember correctly, step 1 involves cutting a hole in the box. But I don’t have the necessary equipment for step 2 … Hmmm. Well, I hope there’s cool free stuff – like a Sex Box t-shirt that I can wear to the grocery store – or at least some candy, in here.” Alas, there was neither swag nor candy – just a DVD and a press release – so onto my next thought: “There is no way I’m going to be able to sit through an entire episode of this without either being horribly embarrassed, or coming up with at least 27 raunchy jokes. Or both. Yeah, probably both.” Surprisingly, Sex Box turned out to be better than I imagined, though I will admit there are some elements to the show that I was unable to describe to my coworkers without convulsive laughter and a few inappropriate comments. If you’re not easily put-off by hearing others talk candidly about their sex lives, I highly recommend watching the premiere episode tonight (Friday, February 27) at 10pm ET/PT on WE tv.
(I definitely don’t recommend this show for everyone. Mom and Dad, I know you read everything I write … Um, Friday’s a GREAT night to go out for a fish fry.)
Each episode of Sex Box features several couples that are struggling with intimacy issues and, for reasons beyond my comprehension, aren’t afraid to tackle them in word and deed on television. (Nothing cures intimacy issues like a live studio audience. Am I right?!) Each couple gets their own turn to discuss their situation with a panel of “sexperts.” (Side note: Is that not one of the most cutesy, overused terms in recent history, or is that just my opinion from reading waaaay too much Cosmo in my 20s?). This sexpert panel (I can’t even keep a straight face typing that word) includes Dr. Fran Walfish, a leading psychotherapist in Beverly Hills; Dr. Yvonne Capeheart, a pastor and couples’ counselor; and Dr. Chris Donaghue, a nationally-certified licensed clinical sex therapist who is extremely easy on the eyes, ladies. All of the panel members speak professionally, as you’d expect doctors to speak — thank goodness. In the premiere episode, I did notice a few slang terms thrown in by the couples, which weren’t exactly curse words, but which did make me say “Uh, are they gonna bleep that when it actually airs for the public?” Doubtful, as it’s cable, so, again, fair warning.
After discussing their bedroom struggles with the doctors for a few minutes, each couple is instructed to head to the Sex Box, and, er, resolve their issues. The Sex Box is a soundproof, windowless structure on the set that, to me, looks like something out of a Super Mario Bros. game (hottttt). (What’s it like inside the Sex Box? Is there a rotating bed and disco lighting? Or is it all romantic lighting and rose petals? Is there a Sex Box cleanup crew that changes linens between couples? How awful is it to know you’re the 3rd couple to enter the Sex Box today? You know what? The box just seems a bit small, is all (tee hee), so maybe there’s just a staircase inside that leads to a separate room downstairs and no sex actually occurs in the Sex Box. Yeah, I bet that’s it. Aaaand, I’ve given this way too much thought.)
While the couple is, er, engaging in their therapy inside the box, the doctors talk among themselves about the couple’s problems, and oh, by the way, they time the couple’s interlude. Yeah. They time it. No pressure here, guys. Once the couple, er, finishes, they’re led out of the box, with remarkably un-mussed hair, clad in satin pajamas that kind of creep me out (because satin PJs just seem a bit Hugh Hefner-y). They’re mic’d up and led back to the panel of doctors, where they discuss their satisfaction with their foray into the Sex Box. Not surprisingly, on the first episode, every couple is like, “Yeah, it went great!” to which I think, “Who’s going to come out of the Sex Box and be like, ‘Oh man, that was just the worst!’ on national TV!?” The idea behind the post-coitus discussion is that people tend to be their most trusting and open due to the release of oxytocin (the “cuddle hormone”) during sex.
The press release promises a shockingly raw discussion about the experiences and relationships; however, I felt like the majority of the post-sex discussions I saw in the first episode were a bit anticlimactic (haaa). For the most part, they weren’t quite as jaw-dropping as I expected them to be, but I have a higher shock threshold than other people, so again, if you’re at all uncomfortable … well, I’ve warned you. Overall, I think Sex Box is interesting and a bit voyeuristic (but cautiously so: not “I may get arrested” voyeuristic). I won’t tell you about the issues covered in tonight’s episode – I’ll let you find out for yourself, if you feel so inclined – but I do have to say this to any woman who has ever delivered a baby and winds up watching this show: Were you not totally flummoxed when the third couple talked about their kinkiest experience? HOW IS THAT EVEN A THING? (You’re intrigued now, aren’t you?)
Sex Box (which lasts an hour – it was longer than I expected) premieres tonight at 10pm ET/PT on WE tv, and if you have questions about your own sex life, the therapists (sexperts!) will be answering questions on Twitter (@SexBox_Wetv) tonight at 8pm ET!