Is Channel 4 trying to make me puke to death? I had to ask myself this question after watching an advert for its show Sex Box, which it recently recommissioned.
I was trying to eat my dinner at the time. I remember my mother used to say ‘don’t eat your dinner while you’re watching the TV’, and I never listened. But my goodness she was right. Only did I realise this when I saw the trailer for Sex Box.
It’s a good title for the show, because it really does explain its content. You know, for example, that there will be some sex in a box. What you might not realise – however – is that this will all happen live, while critiqued by a group of sex charlatans, who wait outside the box. “How was it?” They ask, as the puffing participants emerge.
I guess the idea is that we will all find this extremely entertaining. Indeed, sufficient people found the last series enchanting enough to warrant a new one.
But I can’t hack it any more. I used to find other people’s sex lives vaguely interesting. And yet Channel 4 – and a number of women’s magazines – have single-handedly turned me into an old maid. To the point where if I know hear anything about someone’s intimate encounters, I will put out my hand and gently exclaim: ‘Sorry, but I’m a prude’. As if to proclaim an allergy to peanuts.
I don’t know how I became such a sensitive Susan, but it might have been Embarrassing Bodies – which always went a winkle too far. There was too much poking and prodding, and by the age of 27 I had seen far too many erectile dysfunctions. Then there was The Sex Education Show and Sex Party Secrets and The Joy of Teen Sex. Before I knew it, I was stuck in a dark hole of dark holes. Where would it end? I asked.
I thought to distract myself reading my favourite magazine, but again was bombarded with more stories of sex (and sexual dysfunction). For instance, my favourite feminist publication has a section dedicated to “Butt plugs: all you need to know” and “the realities of being a female sex addict in 2016”.
Nowhere is there something for the prudish woman – Smelling Salts Magazine, if you will. It’s not that I don’t care about people and their wobbly bits, it’s just it’s all got a bit too much. And I can’t see what more there is to extrapolate from shows like Sex Box. Like vampires and superheroes, sex has been done to death – and there’s not much more Channel 4 or any other media station can do to enlighten us on the issue.
At least I can hold my dinner down while watching vampires and superheroes, though. Which, unfortunately with Sex Box, seems more impossible than the task the show depicts.