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Play or Nay? Sex, Love & Goop

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

If you’re familiar with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, you’re probably familiar with the brand’s ethos of curiosity and non-judgment. For those less familiar, you’ve likely seen the disruptive headlines from the brand’s vagina candle to some alternative and even controversial wellness advice. Over the last 13 years, the celebrity-founded, trendy wellness brand has amassed a cult-like following that doesn’t come without its critics. 

What’s the show about?

Along those lines, you may have heard about the new Netflix series, Sex, Love & Goop, which explores sexual vulnerability and follows six real (very brave!) couples as they explore their bodies, individual pleasure, and ways to enhance their relationships with the help of several sexperts. The six-part reality show infuses wellness with sex education and body acceptance. It’s kind of like Netflix’s Sex Education meets Love is Blind meets a Goop therapy podcast.

Led by Gwyneth, the show feels less like you’re taking a sex-ed class, and more like you’re chatting with a friend, aligning with the Goop persona. It explores topics that are a little uncomfortable if you’re unfamiliar with the Goop no holds barred format, but ultimately forces both the real-life couples and audiences alike to be vulnerable and have a healthy and honest conversation about how you view sex and your body. 

Should I play it?

I’m not a religious Goop follower myself and I neither love nor hate Gwyneth as a celebrity. And that’s honestly how I felt going into this show, but I think it’s worth a play. I cringed a few times at some of the sexpert-guided experiments, like the Wolverine claw, but always made it back to a place of comfort once the bigger conversations were being had. The theme of open communication interested me from the beginning and that’s why I think it’s worth a watch for everyone, regardless of your interest in the Goop-y stuff. Ultimately, I don’t regret the few hours on a rainy Sunday that I spent questioning and thinking deeper about some of the central points of the show. 

What are others saying?

Men and women alike have been able to take something positive from the show. 

Even if you don’t share the sentiments of these viewers, you might at least take away some thoughts about a society severely lacking in intimacy skills. Media hasn’t been great (or even good) at highlighting women’s pleasure, verbal consent, or the harsh realities of sex that go beyond the “entertaining” part, especially with the male gaze dominating media for well, ever. But this show challenges that and explores some definitely verging-on-absurd and out-of-the-box (but hey, that’s Goop) techniques to help partners open those lines of communication from a sex-positive mindset. I, like Twitter user, @SinekhayaNazo, will likely forget about some of the more unconventional techniques, but I’ll definitely be taking away some good stuff.

The first episode sets the disruptive tone for the series, going deeper than nervous giggles around the “sex talk” and discussing the importance of fostering open communication and better relationships with any partner. In Episode 1: “A Show about Sex,” we meet a somatic sexologist, learn about erotic blueprints (love languages, but for turn-ons), and witness some animal roleplaying.

Nonetheless, the show always finds its way back to an empathetic and educational perspective that brings the taboo topics back to a grounded and realistic conversation, which is what audiences need more of when it comes to sex. If you decide to give it a play, you might want to take some of the advice with a grain of salt (again, it’s Goop), but the show is overall truly enlightening, nonjudgmental, and unlike anything else out there. 

Ani is a PSU senior, pursuing a B.A. in strategic communications and a minor in media studies. She is a writer and PR intern in Los Angeles, passionate about increasing diversity in the entertainment industry. She is a lover of reality TV, thrift shopping, indie movies, and all. the. dogs. Follow her adventures on IG: @anicataldi.
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