When other people talk about sex, it makes for great television. Add in a little nudity, some controversy and a little confession and it’s a recipe for reviews. The new Showmax show, Sex in African serves voyeurism on a silver platter, and it’s delicious.
The subtitled presentation comes in six parts and touches on sex work, fetishes and swinging, all told by Rian van Heerden.
In the debut episode of the series, we see four couples and two singles talking openly about their sex lives. It is moderated by psychologist Bradley R Daniels. The second episode takes viewers on a quest for sex toys, while a later episode takes a deep dive into fetishes.
†Sex in African explores the world of sex by focusing specifically on the needs and desires of African people.
Why African people you ask?
Well, African people are traditionally seen as more conservative when it comes to sex. But are they really?” said Van Heerden in a conversation with The The Vanir-exodus†
“We delve deeper into topics that are considered taboo: from swinging to fetishes and everything in between.”
And while it may seem so on paper, the sensual revelations in the show are anything but hidden between the sheets.
Van Heerden shared some highlights: “The interview with ‘Amanda’, she is a sex worker who was willing to show her face and reveal exactly what the ‘unclesask when they visit her. And then there’s the latex fetish where people become human dolls. Some details made my jaw drop.”
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“I think if you come from a background where sex is only considered acceptable if it’s done in the missionary position for 15 minutes, Nut vir Nut on a Saturday evening you certainly suffer from boredom,” says Van Heerden.
And that’s why the show is important. Not just for excitement and voyeuristic reasons. It’s the message that sex is okay. After all, birds do it, bees do it… people do it too. It’s time to tear off the panties of perception and get to work.
There are more than 40,000 registered swinging couples in South Africa, the show said.
There is an entire episode devoted to the practice and according to Sex in African† partner sharing and swinging is a growing phenomenon in the African community.
For Van Heerden it was one of the highlights during the production.
He said: “We had a lot of fun! There were too many moments to list, but I must admit I was present at the Swaai Braai (swinging braai) was quite an experience!”
He added that it seems like men and women are equally adventurous.
The six-episode series covers some of the most popular naughty pastimes, but, said Van Heerden, he would have liked to report on the growing interest in nudism.
“Interest has grown exponentially in recent years,” he says.
And while the show covers a lot of sexual themes, Van Heerden believes there’s still a long way to go when it comes to openness about sex.
“I think we are definitely less conservative than we were ten years ago. The reason seems to be more openness in discussions about sex and sexuality. However, we have not reached the level of openness that is needed.”
Bringing the conversation to television was also a challenge.
“You can imagine that most people are reluctant to talk about sex. Now imagine having to do it on television! However, we have tried to be as diverse as possible, with as many age groups, levels of sexual experience, different sexual orientations and different groups within the African community as possible,” concludes Van Heerden.