Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lifetime's "7 Days of Sex"

Oh, the things I have seen that cannot be unseen. Last night I tuned into the new Lifetime series “7 Days of Sex,” a show that follows two couples who have lost their sexual spark (or it has at least seriously dimmed) and pledge to have sex every day for a week in an attempt to get it back. With a camera crew around. For a major television network.

How much do you enjoy watching obnoxious people fight? Your enjoyment depends on this.

First, my disclaimer. I like sex, and I like discussions of sex. I think they’re necessary and productive. I think it’s a great idea to examine what happens in long term relationships that often (but not always) leads to a cessation of sexual activity.

Second, my disgust. While this show attempts to look at these issues, it does a terrible job. In the particular episode that I watched, it was so gendered that it scared me. The women withhold, the men are sad. Because, as we all know, men are constantly aroused and women are killjoys. The men claim to “want it more,” despite studies generally debunking this myth, and the women meet with their friends to eat carbs and talk about their feelings.

I’m not saying that I don’t meet with my friends to talk about my feelings. I’m not saying that sometimes women don’t want to have sex. All I’m saying is that these are potentially dangerous stereotypes, and Lifetime ran with them to make a bad TV show. Since this is what Lifetime is best at, I am not surprised.

But back to the things I’ve seen that cannot be unseen. Nothing is so terrible, aside from each couple being rather unlikable and the general ickiness I feel when watching total strangers in dark bedrooms talk about the intercourse they’ve just had. While I am generally one very excited to hear intimate details, I do think there are some things best kept between two people (or at least kept away from just anyone with a television and cable box). Watching these people stumble through the week while throwing out ridiculous clichés and gross euphemisms was less than thrilling.

What did the program do well? It had its saving graces, like the examination of trying to maintain a sexual connection with babies and young children everywhere. Watching the couples relearn their own sexual powers and lose some of their inhibitions was nice. I simply wish that they had more inhibitions about inviting me into their bedroom.

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