Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Guilty pleasure

Since I can't sleep with the mouse, I watch late night TV. I watch Sexual Healing, this reality show with sex therapist Dr. Laura Berman, where three couples parade their most intimate troubles for you in the comfort of your very own home.
I find this show fascinating, if, like every other reality show, bogus. The couples come to the ever mindful Dr. Laura with their intimacy issues and she dispenses sensible advice and loony trust building exercises. So far so good. But then they cut to these couples having arguments and sex, mostly both at the same time, in the car, at home, in bed (some are shot with an infrared camera).
The Eew factor sets in, not to mention the Ick factor. Then there are these completely bogus segments where they get the three women together (in a stripping class, par example) and the guys play pool and they discuss their problems. As if!
One wonders how much the people overemphasize the role they play in the relationship for the sake of the cameras, though they seem pretty oblivious.
For instance, there is a woman who will not let her husband see her tits. She will not let him touch them either. But she has no problem letting an audience of total strangers see how she doesn't let him see her tits in bed. The WTF factor sets in. I must say that in this case, I thought the guy was a flaming queen, but Dr. Laura pretended that wasn't the case.
One gets to play shrink in front of the TV set. Fun!
I have learned a couple of very enlightening things from this show:
There are patterns in couples. For instance:
• Very controlling women (aka bitches on wheels) hitched on to wimpy, unbelievably patient, emasculated men whom they torture, deny and psychologically manipulate constantly.
These women are a horror show and don't deserve the company of a vibrator, let alone a man.
• Couples full of rage and resentment who hurt and berate each other almost every moment of their lives. They insist on being together.
• Many people who are hugely damaged goods, apparently some beyond repair. Sad and creepy.
• Some intelligent, potentially great couples, derailed by petty bitternesses, entrenched in their warring positions.
Dr. Laura listens patiently and intelligently. I love it when she comes to the conclusion that some couples simply cannot be with each other, because even though she tries hard to show improvement, some people are clearly beyond it. At least she makes the right call. Not every story has a happy ending.
It is strangely moving to watch these people claiming to love each other, looking for help, shedding tears, trying hard, being so wrong.
It's fascinating.

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