Determined not to allow TLC to be the only network documenting the end of civilization and the demise of culture, WE tv stakes their own claim with Sex Box.
Billed as an “extreme therapy reality concept,” Sex Box invites couples experiencing relationship issues to discuss them openly with a panel of three experts. After receiving advice and pointers, our couples then enter the “Sex Box,” where they proceed to just sex out their issues while the “sexperts,” and a live studio audience watch the clock. Now before you get the wrong idea, the Sex Box, which incidentally looks like a large shipping crate and is addressed as its own entity, is soundproof and camera free. So there’s no flesh for you sickos! Once the couple has, um, finished, they exit Sex Box dressed in pajamas stolen from the set of a 1970’s porno and discuss how their relationship has healed through sage advice and the power of sex. And before you start doubting the legitimacy, Sex Box explains the method by dropping some science on your ass: “Post-coitus, a scientifically proven time when people are more trusting and open due to the body’s natural release of oxytocin (“cuddle hormone”).”
It’s difficult to decide what element of Sex Box is the most ridiculous. The most glaring and just plain gross question is: are these couples really having sex in that box? No way to tell, and I’m not sure I’d want to know. It’s basically the equivalent of a “hourly rate” motel room, not that I know anything about that. Who cleans the Sex Box? Would you really want to saddle up the baloney pony in a big box numerous other couples allegedly screw in?
Sex Box’s “sexperts,” (their name not mine), left me bewildered. There’s Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills psychotherapist to the stars, because we all know how well adjusted celebrities are. Next up is Dr. Chris Donaghue, one of only 600 licensed clinical nationally certified sex therapists in the world, although we never really learn what that means. And seemingly just to throw a bone to religion, because surely God intended sex to be treated this way, is Dr. Yvonne Capehart, a pastor and couples’ counselor who never mentions a higher authority but seems cool with things like threesomes. I didn’t really find any member of this panel to have a particular piece of enlightening advice that couldn’t be gleaned from Facebook. In fact, to borrow Sex Box’s parlance, the Q&A is a rambling foreplay to the main event, watching the same panel pat each other in the back while the couple purportedly screws each other mere feet away from them. And if that’s not enough, Sex Box reaches out to the people with inane “man on the street” interviews that serve as reminders just how much love and romance are dead.
Irritatingly, Sex Box is immensely watchable, whether you’ve bought into the show or go the hate watch route. It’s a combination of nailing the format, which by now is tried and true, and acknowledging the cheesy tone. I mean, is anyone really going to argue with a show that recommends sex as a way to solving problems?