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Television: Why put your sex life on parade?

As the failure of The Sexual Century (unceremoniously booted after dismal ratings) showed, ITV audiences like their sex smutty and voyeuristic rather than academic.

So, there should have been millions watching Bedroom Secrets, a banal but grubbily titillating look at the sexual habits of eight pathetic suburban couples, all linked by their desire to restore a spark to the bedroom, courtesy of the Ann Summers range of sexy lingerie and sex toys.

And, in Angie's case, spicing life up by indulging in a bar pick-up fantasy with her husband, returning each year to the place where they met and re-enacting that first time. Here too were Dave and Jill looking rather bored despite avowals of a mutually fantastic sex life pepped up after the arrival of a kid by introducing assorted vibratory things into the relationship.

Then there was lesbian couple Xaney and Dee going through one of their regular break-up/make-up phases (but no gay couple, because presumably they shop elsewhere). And, taking up the bulk of the programme, Maggie, a former CID detective, now Ann Summers rep, currently on her third husband (Ian) and already finding the marriage on a slippery slope.

He says their sex life's dwindled since they got the dog(!), and now she's taken to wearing the headache nightie. The rows have got more frequent and she's taken to writing him letters asking if they should call it quits.

A lack of actual communication which rather seems to pinpoint their problem more than any decline on the nookie front.

Drearily tame and vacuous, and you have to wonder why on earth people want to have their sex lives paraded on TV for the neighbours to see. Unless they're hoping for an offer.

Mike Davies
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Author:Davies, Mike
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 12, 1999
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