By Troy Ribeiro
Mumbai, Oct 23 (IANS): Film: 'Sex, Love & Goop' (Streaming on Netflix). Duration: 30 minutes per episode (six episodes in all).
Director: Not stated. Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Michaela Boehm, Darshana Ayila, Jaiya, Erika, Damon, Felicitas, Rama, Camille and Shandra.
What most people do not understand is that relationships and sex are actually a skill set. And there is a difference between what makes a relationship good and what makes sex good.
This is what you'll learn after watching this six-episode series whose run-time ranges from 30-40 minutes. Yes, the show does focus on carnal pleasures as this series follows six slightly apprehensive yet impressively willing real-life couples who, with the help of experts, learn about how to enhance their relationships and explore their sexuality together.
In the first episode, set in an exotic retreat-like space, we meet the couples seated in front of Gywneth Paltrow and relationship expert Michaela Boehm telling us how they feel and what to expect from the show. In the opening montage, Paltrow emphasises, "We are having sex, it is a show about sex, and we are gonna talk about sex."
And true enough, under the watchful eyes of the experts assigned to each couple, we have the couples telling us of how they are struggling with their mediocre or non-existent sex lives, then stripping down to their bare minimum, exploring their bodies through the various exercises that are prescribed to them.
The experts explain to us about the types of people who make up the universe. The Sensual are those who get turned on by all their senses (smell, taste, sight, touch) being ignited. The Sexual are those who get turned on by what they think is sex in their culture. So, for them, intercourse, orgasms, penetration, genitals, nudity are all that matter.
The Kinky are those who get turned on by whatever is taboo. So, whatever is taboo to the person becomes the turn-on and that could be psychological, or it could be more sensation-based. And the Shapeshifters are those who get turned on by all of it. So, for them, it is the entire smorgasbord as nothing is ever too much.
As the episodes roll on, you feel like a voyeur watching the experts analyse the couples who work through pleasurable sex and deeper intimacy. It is like watching couples attend sex therapy where dynamics unfold, and you see partners who appear broken, gradually bond and feel connected.
What is interesting about the series is that each episode is relatable. It makes you realise that this is the need of the hour if you want to enjoy a happy relationship with your partner. Overall, the series is quirky, provocative, educative, and far more informative than exploitative.
(Troy Ribeiro can be contacted on at firstname.lastname@example.org)