Will Channel 4's 'Sex Box' Remove The Stigma And Get Britain Talking About Sex?

'Putting Sex Inside A Box Is Reinforcing The Stigma'

UPDATE: Tune in 10pm, Monday 7 October, on Channel 4

By now you've probably heard about Channel 4's 'Sex Box'. If not here's a recap.

Couples have sex, unfilmed, in the privacy of a soundproof box and then talk about it with a panel of experts - agony aunt Mariella Frostrup, psychotherapist Phillip Hodson, sex and relationship expert Tracey Cox and US sex columnist Dan Savage.

The aim of the programme, which forms part of Channel 4's Campaign For Real Sex season, is to take the stigma out of sex and make it easier to talk about what goes on between the sheets (without having to be coy and say things like "between the sheets" in the first place).

So far, so liberated. But it seems not everyone is convinced.

Cindy Gallop, founder of MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, says that although she applauds the broadcaster's attempt to address the issue of 'real sex', the programme runs the risk of reinforcing the very stigma it is trying to break down.

"The programme would be much more effective if sex was taken out of the box," she tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle. "If people were filmed having sex rather than hidden away, the effect would be much more in tune with what Channel 4 are trying to achieve."

Channel 4's Sex Box

In response to Cindy's suggestion, a spokesperson for Channel 4 doubted the programme would be broadcast if it contained such sex footage.

"The show is a sex talk show," the spokesperson told HuffPost UK Lifestyle. "It's not about imagery or the mechanics of real sex. We explore what sex means in the context of a relationship."

Tracey Cox, relationship expert who featured on the panel for the show, says the programme is less about voyeurism but opening dialogue.

"The box enables the sex to remain private but the conversation to be honest and open," she tells us. "We got the idea from sex researchers who often get their clients to talk about sex immediately after they've had it, so the emotions and thoughts are fresh in their minds."

She added: "Sex Box is a sex show with a twist, but that twist is vital in enabling an open and honest discussion. It is grown-up and intelligent, dispeling all the myths surrounding sex."

Cindy agrees that sex needs to become more mainstream. The aim of her organisation MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, which shows real people having real sex, is to normalise sex - providing a reference point beyond pornography.

"We've taken the box away," she says. "Everyone wants to know what everyone else is doing in the bedroom, but no one talks about it."

"Sex should be celebrated. Sex with someone you love is great, but so is sex with someone you have chemistry with. It's time to talk about it."