Wolverine claws, orgasms and Goop. This seemingly-odd combination takes the screen in Netflix’s new show: “Sex, Love & Goop.”
Gwyneth Paltrow, along with a cast of sexological experts, tackle couples’ sex problems in hopes of enhancing their intimacy; they explore some interesting techniques to make sex lives more pleasurable. This even includes the incorporation of a wok cleaner (which is typically meant for the kitchen) into foreplay. And so, while it may be hard to admit, the show is so out of the ordinary that it’s not only engaging, it’s addictive.
In 2008, Gwyneth created Goop as a “homespun weekly newsletter” that covered things like food, style, wellness and travel. However, the website gained a lot of popularity as a result of its self-care advice and taboo items for sale — including a $75 candle called “This Smells Like My Vagina.”
So, when Gwyneth turned Goop into a six-part therapy docuseries, it came as no surprise that sex would be its main premise. Still, it’ll always be a bit shocking to turn on the first episode of a new show and hear the phrase, “You have total permission to have an erection.”
The couples are warned off the bat: “(The show is) probably going to be a little embarrassing and weird.” This warning goes for the viewer, too. Naturally, one can only feel second-hand embarrassment from watching half-naked people sensually touching each other in front of a sex expert and a camera crew. Presumably, intimacy is not so intimate when it’s being filmed for a TV show.
“Sex, Love & Goop” takes sex education to another level. Each couple is paired with an expert who helps them discover what they find pleasurable. First, they take a quiz that teaches them what kind of sex they enjoy most: erotic, sensual, kinky, etc. Then, with this newfound information, the couples explore this type of sex to see what each person enjoys most.
Depending upon this, the couple is then given a variety of sex toys or introduced to intimate “games.” This is where the Wolverine claws come into play. While some may argue that this is a prop that should remain on the set of “X-Men,” others enjoy incorporating it into their sex routine to spice things up with some added sensual touch.
The series does a good job of incorporating people and couples of different ages, races and sexual orientations. In doing so, the viewer is able to better connect with those they see on the screen and, therefore, will be able to get more out of the show and effectively incorporate the advice given in to their own sex lives.
After watching the pilot of “Sex, Love & Goop,” you may be asking, “What did I just experience?” But it’s hard to resist the urge to keep watching. The show is made for anyone, whether it be someone with plenty of sexual experiences or someone with no experience at all. This is even reflected among the couples on the show whose experience levels vary or sexual preferences seem incompatible. For instance, one partner may rate kinky sex as the most pleasurable for them while the other partner might rank it as the least pleasurable. The show’s main goal is to bridge that gap by finding each couple’s happy medium when it comes to sexual pleasure and intimacy.
While the show is occasionally cringe-worthy and very blunt when it comes to the birds and the bees, the audience can’t help but relate to the people they see on the screen. Regardless of sexual orientation, age, race or relationship status, intimacy is a topic that is often difficult to discuss. It requires conversation, and that is exactly what Gwyneth’s show attempts to facilitate.
The series is most definitely out of the ordinary. Understandably so, most people can’t imagine repairing the intimacy of their relationship on a TV show. It’s watching other people do it, though, that makes it that much more entertaining. And who knows — maybe you, too, will become a sex expert after binging “Sex, Love & Goop.”
Daily Arts Writer Molly Hirsch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.