The new Logo show “Bad Sex” has nothing to do with an unfortunate date, as the title might imply. To the contrary, “Bad Sex” is an insightful and intelligent look at the darker side of sex as seen through the lens of sex specialist Christopher Donaghue.
But that may not be a fair assessment.
Though there’s no doubt that the participants in the therapy group suffer chronic, unhealthy phobias and/or preoccupations, Chris’ clinic is far from dark. His focus is on being sex positive. To Chris, sex is about humor and fun, not about pressure and judgment, and the light hand of that attitude is a breath of fresh air.
“We definitely run the gamut of diversity,” Chris said during in a phone interview on a rainy day in Los Angeles, “all backgrounds, sexual preferences, special issues: you name it.”
“Bad Sex” features eight weeks of intensive group and individual sessions with 10 clients.
Joel: “I always have a girlfriend and I’m always cheating.
I just want to be able to say no when I should be able to say no.”
Matt: “I don’t have sex. I have problems, intimately getting close to a woman.”
Erin: “I have sexual habits that are detrimental to my relationships. I like rough sex. ”
Ted: “I have an internet sexual addiction problem.”
Arron: “I spend a lot of time on Internet dating sites, wasting my life away.”
Ric: “I have problems separating sex and love from infatuation.”
Katie: “I’m definitely not so crazy about monogamy.”
Chris: “I put sex before friends and family.”
Stella: “I’ve never had sex before. I’m deathly afraid of having sex.”
Ryan (who is gay): “I like sex 24/7. It’s hard work being a slut. I have to leave work because I have to have sex.”
It’s all serious stuff, but Chris observes, “There’s penises and vaginas and sex everywhere. The mission of the show is a real honest, authentic exploration of the topics, and to try and get the dialog going. Sex is too often talked about as taboo, or bad, or embarrassing or uncomfortable. We want to use the real words, and also be entertained while we’re doing it.”
Chris notes the type of sexual behavior that manifests most often, replying without hesitation:
“Yes. I would say a lot is born of a cultural component, and right now there’s an increasing level of not just sex addiction, but also Internet-related pornography. Technology is a beautiful thing but it’s propelled a juggernaut of sex addiction. It’s accessible at any time and there’s anonymity. You don’t have to go out in the streets or go to a bookstore or a bar where people might see you. The Internet is a gift to sex, but it’s also been a curse.”
He said he also deals often with partners who have different interests in the bedroom:
“The other major sexual issue is when you and your partner have a different interest sexually and how to find a common ground within that. But regardless, everyone of us at sometime will find ourselves struggling with some aspect of our sex lives.”
Chris faults Puritans for our sexual issues.
“We (Americans) are one of the most sex-negative, sex-phobic cultures. What is born of such a culture is complete confusion and chaos: rigid gender roles, women not allowed to have sexuality for fear of being judged.
“Men are nothing but a hard erection, and they’d better be ready when we need them to be and last as long as we need them to last,” he said.
“Erectile disfunction is such an erroneous concept. It doesn’t exist. Our erections are supposed to ebb and flow, based on how we’re feeling and how our relationship is going,” Chris said. “E.D. is not a disease and it’s not a disorder. It’s life, but it’s also the influence of big pharmaceuticals.”
On a very touchy subject, Chris speaks about children.
“And children? They’re not allowed to have sexuality even though children are sexual before they’re born. There are sonograms of erections while the child is still in utero,” he said.
In way of context, it should be said that Chris Donaghue is not proposing sex with children. He was simply stating that we are all, no matter how much we try to deny, sexual beings.
Sex is a condition and a compulsion: a biological and social function that some love, some hate, some love to hate and others hate to love. Chris Dogaghue’s no nonsense approach could undoubtedly help reconcile a set of feelings that are as wildly varied as his patients.
My only regret is the limited amount of space that can be devoted to one of the most complex of all human conditions. Watch “Bad Sex,” and see for yourself.
New episodes of “Bad Sex” can be seen at 9 pm ET/PT Fridays on Logo.
Kurt Niece is a freelance journalist from Tucson, Ariz., and author of "The Breath of Rapture." He writes about television for Echo Magazine in Phoenix and SDGLN. He is also an artist who sells his work on his website.