Doing it the Traditional Way

// 24 October 2007

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How to Have Sex After Marriage is screened on Channel 5 on Wednesday nights and I am very much hoping that tonight’s show turns out to be more progressive than last week’s.

The featured couple in trouble were Sarmila and Adam, spouses who met on the internet and had loads of adventurous sex when they first got together but now… you know the rest.

According to the Channel 5 factsheet, the couple’s problem was that Adam had “become a glorified housemaid” while “queen bee” Sarmila surfed the TV channels. An unfair state of affairs you might say. So how did the programme deal with this inequality? Did it re-address the balance in a modern and even-handed way? Of course not! It took Adam to the forest for lots of fun activities to help him “draw on his inner caveman” and subjected Sarmila to a night waiting on a really annoying and demanding man.

Okay, so I sense the words “taste” and “medicine” could form part of an argument at this point and, indeed, had the programme given Adam something to do that didn’t seem to constitute some pathetic old-school effort to mould him into a macho stereotype, I might have been inclined to agree. The trouble was that Psychologist Anjula Mutanda added insult to injury by uttering platitudes such as “he’s too feminised” (as if his behaviour would be natural, acceptable and to be expected in a woman) and “she wears the trousers” (a seemingly innocuous statement that, nonetheless, clearly implies that being in control means one is playing out the rightful part of The Man). Put that together with the show’s smug voice-over about a “breakthrough” when Sarmila cried and it all starts to look very sinister indeed. I suppose one could suggest that they were simply enthusing about Sarmila conquering her individual inability to express how she felt about her husband but, really, would a man have got the same treatment?

We were also treated to the sight of Adam being patronised about his inability to talk dirty. To his credit, he did manage to say a few naughty things. Not too naughty though because, of course, they wouldn’t have been able to show it. If I was him, I would have said something extremely profane to get my own back on them for being so condescending…

According to On the Box, tonight’s show will feature Debbie being given the opportunity to direct her own porn movie and her husband John taking part in a course on tantric sex. It’s going to be very interesting to see how this one pans out…

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