What makes six apparently sensible people agree to have sex in a box on national television? A guy came up to us and said, 'You look like a happy couple.
We're doing this programme based on couples and their sex lives Sex Box seems to promise so much — the theory being that people will talk more frankly about sex straight after having it — but putting sex into a box hardly fits with the anti-repression mission statement. If sex needs to be out in the open more, what is it doing in a shed in the middle of a television studio, with flashing blue lasers around it to indicate that something exciting is happening within?
Host Mariella Frostrup calls it "a unique space", which makes it sound a bit like a pop-up gallery — here for one minute show only. Perhaps that is why time is on the mind of the participants.
Off-camera, they were told to spend around 30 minutes inside. Dean says he got around the problem of not over-running "by taking my phone in with me". It's not everyone's idea of a good time but his first act in the box was to "set the timer" on his phone. Was there a bed? Dean says that his contract prevents him from describing the box's interior. All he can say is that "they tried to make it feel as homely as possible — like a hotel room".
There were washing facilities, condoms and tissues, an emergency switch, but no ensuite shower. It turns out the box has another door not visible to studio or TV audience. So we came straight out the back door and went to our dressing room. We were able to go for a shower and everything, and at least start some foreplay before going back in. What did any of the participants think they were going to achieve? John and Matt are both chefs, and John didn't come out until , in his mids, "because I lived at work".
He felt he had no choice but to be honest with his colleagues. He and Matt live together but, says John, "Our private life isn't exactly private.
You can't really do anything. You can't have anything delivered without them knowing — oh, another parcel for the gay couple upstairs. We were hoping to put a few facts right, that not all gay men wear dresses. We don't have loads of gay friends. We thought just by being part of the conversation , we're doing our bit to show what it's like. It's a pity they couldn't have got Roy Hodgson on to liven things up.
When Dean is asked the big question — what did he and Rachel do in the box — he seems embarrassed. Then," he tells the panel, "just a bit of foreplay.
None of the participants in the final programme is articulate about their box sex. Speaking on the phone, John is more eloquent. He says that his and Matt's experience was "like when me and Matt did anal for the first time. We hyped it up so much. It was so much better after, when it just happened without being planned and nature took its course. Pornography can sleep easy tonight.