Channel 4’s new season of sex has set out the intention to “reclaim sex from pornography”, but the latest details for their new show sound voyeuristic to say the least.
Sex Box will see couples having sex in an opaque four-metre-square sound-proofed box within a television studio, before being taking part in a post-match interview with Mariella Frostrup and a panel of experts including psychotherapist Phillip Hodson, relationship expert Tracey Cox and sex columnist Dan Savage.
The hour-long pre-recorded programme will get intimate with three couples – engaged childhood sweethearts who split only to be reunited decades later, a gay couple in their thirties, and a new couple in their twenties.
Frostrup asserts that the programme will provoke a “mature, intelligent discussion” about sex in modern Britain, but admitted to the Guardian that the show may polarise opinion. “I approached it with great trepidation and a degree of scepticism,” she said, “particularly about why we needed a box, but 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.”
Channel 4’s head of factual, Ralph Lee, said, “The explosion of online pornography is one of the stories of our time and the Campaign for Real Sex season is our response to it. Sex Box absolutely intends to be an open and adult conversation about sex, something we feel it currently being overlooked by mainstream programming.”
Sex Box will air on 7 October, with The Campaign for Real Sex Season kicking off on 30 September with Porn on the Teenage Brain.