Daring British couples are going to have sex in front of a live studio audience for a new TV show. "Sex Box" from Channel 4 aims to "reclaim sex from porn" by featuring three couples having sex in a box.
Channel 4's Sex Box host Mariella Frostup and the expert panel
The show is part of the network's Campaign for Real Sex Season, which are programs that explore how pornography is distorting people's expectations of sex and damaging the sex lives of Britons.
The unique studio-based format will feature three couples having sex and talking about it immediately afterwards. It will be recorded in front of a live audience.
But to protect the participating couples' modesty and the sensibilities of the audience, the sex will be entirely hidden from others' view. They will be doing the act in a "sex box," a private area where only they can see what they're doing. There will be no sex or nudity that will be seen by the studio audience or the television viewers.
Journalist and the "Agony Aunt" Mariella Frostup will host the new program, and will talk to the couples after their time in the sex box. The discussion, which will tackle the couples' sex life and its role in their relationship, will also be joined by a panel of experts, including psychotherapist, broadcaster, and author Phillip Hodson; sex, body language, and relationship expert Tracey Cox; and internationally syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage.
The three couples taking part include childhood sweethearts turned engaged couple, a gay couple in their 30s, and two partners who are in their 20s.
"Ten years as the Observer's Agony Aunt has given me plenty of insight into what an important role sex plays in our lives but also how difficult we find to talk openly about it to each other," Frostup said.
"The sex we see on screen, in magazines, and increasingly online bears little relation to the real experiences of real people. I'm delighted to take part in this attempt to have a frank conversation about an essential element of all our lives."
The channel's head of factual programming, Ralph Lee, added to the Daily Mail that the show isn't about the technicalities of sex, but what it means to a couple.
"There has been a massive explosion of pornography but what there hasn't been is a conversation about real sex in people's lives today. This will add context to pornography.
According to him, finding couples who are willing to have sex on the show and discuss it afterwards is not a problem, but the producers had to make sure that they picked people who are not exhibitionists.
"Those who appear have a personal reason for doing so - perhaps some felt that their sex lives were not represented in the media, so it was a chance to show the sort of sex they have."
Channel 4's Campaign for Real Sex Season will start on September 30 in the UK.
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