Sex Box: couples make love on TV in 'soundproof' booth
Host Mariella Frostrup insists Channel 4 show will promote 'mature discussion' about sex in Britain
THE idea of having sex on television, albeit on a bed inside a soundproof box with opaque walls, would horrify many. But Channel 4 has persuaded three couples to do exactly that.
The four-metre-square box is the focal point of Sex Box, a new programme that sets out to "reclaim sex from pornography". The actual sex won't be visible - or audible - to the audience. But participants will face a frank post-coital grilling from the show's host, Mariella Frostrup, and a panel of sex experts.
The three couples taking part are an engaged couple who rekindled their romance after being childhood sweethearts, a duo in their 20s and a gay couple in their 30s. The first hour-long episode will air on 7 October at the "watershed-friendly" time of 10pm.
Frostrup, who is accustomed to delving into other people’s sex lives as The Observer’s agony aunt, accepts that some people will be appalled by the Sex Box concept. She says she overcame her "great trepidation and a degree of scepticism" when producers convinced her the format would provoke a "mature, intelligent discussion" about sex in the UK, The Guardian reports.
"Ultimately I think it was a really, really mature – surprisingly for television – look at a subject we've allowed to proliferate in its worst manifestations and refuse to confront," Frostrup told the paper. "The sex we see on screen, in magazines and increasingly online, bears little relation to the real experiences of real people. This will be a frank conversation about an essential element in all our lives."
Channel 4's head of factual programming Ralph Lee told the Daily Mail that producers had been careful not to pick "exhibitionists" for the new programme. He admitted that it had been hard to find willing participants, but said the three couples had "personal reasons" for taking part.
"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," Lee said.