Viewers cringe over Louis Theroux’s naked polyamory dinner party

“I’m Louis Theroux and his wry smile at the orgy”


Louis Theroux was back at his cringeworthy best as he returned to our screens last night in the first of three new documentaries.


Titled Altered States, the first episode looked at Love Without Limits as Theroux observed the rising trend of polyamory.

Never one to shy away from the more graphic sides of his subjects (who can forget the legendary Swingers episode from his Weird Weekend series?), the 48-year-old stripped off for a for a ‘sensual dinner’ at a polyamory party.

Hosted by Sex Positive Portland, the party lets participants explore open relationships by engaging in giving and receiving pleasure with others.

Discussing his decision to take part in the dinner, Theroux explained, “After having run it past my wife, I went to an event run by Sex Positive Portland.

“Dedicated to building deep, emotional connection, the group’s members are mostly in non-monogamous relationships. Details about the events were vague, but it had something to do with eating.”

Louis Theroux Altered States Screenshot (BBC)
Louis Theroux Altered States Screenshot (BBC)

But the nature of the evening quickly became clear to the veteran documentary filmmaker, who was informed that while the blindfolded guests weren’t allowed to “inappropriately” touch each other, kissing and stroking was encouraged.

While his guests fully immersed themselves in the supposedly sensual experience, touching and rubbing one another, Theroux just tucked in to the dinner.

Fans of Theroux took to Twitter in their droves to comment on the highly awkward scenes.

The next in Theroux’s documentary series is titled Take My Baby, where he will observe mothers who put their newborns up for adoption.

The final episode of the trilogy looks at euthanasia and assisted dying.

Louis Theroux Altered States (BBC Screenshot)
Louis Theroux Altered States (BBC Screenshot)

Speaking on why he picked these topics for the new series, Theroux explained to the BBC, “Altered States was an attempt to take a look at the most intimate and most difficult sides of life (birth, love and death) in an American context, and specifically ways in which these issues are being handled differently.

“Over the years it has taken time to earn the right to tell stories that are very stressful, intimate and difficult. I’ve come from a background where what I was doing was quite tongue in cheek. To go from that into stories about trauma, involving very vulnerable people… it was just a case of learning how to do that gradually.”


Louis Theroux’s Altered States continues Sunday at 9pm on BBC2

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