Bad Sex: (Ep. 3) "Some Like it Rough"

     LOGO's new television series "Bad Sex" has garnered by attention.  The show features a sex therapist's work as he helps people with dysfunctional sexual issues.  Each episode focuses on a single client as (s)he participates in group and individual therapy.  I found the first two episodes to be nothing short of thought provoking.  Peeling back the layers of their sexual behaviors, the sex "specialist", Chris Donaghue, helps to reveal the deeper emotional issues they were masking with sex.  Good TV.
     The third episode rubbed me wrong.  They turned the camera to Erin, "A rough sex/love addict".  Choking.  Cropping.  Fetish.  She admits, "Sex has to be rough for her to enjoy it."  I found myself waiting for the bad part.
     Her therapy with Chris and the other clients showed that Erin had some major intimacy issues.  Habitually, her relationships consist of sex alone. No conversation.  No cuddling.  No connection.  The major problems with her love life were flagrant.  However, what offended me was their need to continue to emphasize her kinky proclivities.  Slicing in scenes of her purchasing sex toys and buying fetish gear.  From what I seen from the show, I believe her issues were independent of her kink.  Yet, the directors continued to draw this connection between her fetish and her fear of intimacy.
     Her two-year relationship with a married man was the problem, not her urge to be tied up.  Her ability to stay in a relationship with a man who fucks her and then sleeps on the couch was the problem, not the whips and chains occupying her toy box.  Maybe I would've appreciated it if Chris assured Erin, "It's okay if you like to be choked."  I think this show had an opportunity to be kink-positive and progressive, but squandered it on being sensationalist.

I think its possible to have your emotional/spiritual needs met in a kinky relationship.

  I think psychological health can co-exist with fetish.

What do you guys think about this episode?


Anonymous said...

Agree and disagree about the kink-positive view. Agree that the failure to acknowledge kink as a separate issue from her relationship issues was detrimental - it seemed to make Erin more defensive, more a way it re-inforced her feelings of isolation and abandonment from others. However, I do think that had Chris said "kink is ok", she wouldn't have had the 'a-ha' moment with that guy who put his hands around her throat on the first date. It was that moment when she realized "wait, you don't know that I like that" and that he was viewing her as an object and it wasn't healthy. The tightrope here is that line between kink-positive support and supporting normative relationship development. It's a tough rope to walk, particularly for a sex therapist with patients that have deep rooted relationship issues. Short short version - yes, they missed an opportunity and I agree that emotional/spiritual issues can be met in a kink relationship but, no, I don't think it was for a sensationalist purpose but rather due to the complex issues the sex therapist was addressing.

Forbidden Light said...

I respectfully disagree... A good therapist should be able to identify her problematic root issues without severing her unrelated kink. Furthermore, the edits and promotional preview showcased her fetish, as if it was the disorder in itself.

In my "uncertified" opinion, he should have showed her healthy alternatives to exploring her sexuality. It's easy to diagnose paranormal sexual preferences as an escape from reality... It would have been brilliant if he would have helped her accept her individuality and expel her intimacy issues.



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