Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – “Can Sex Mend a Broken Relationship?”

This week Amber West and I are trying something a bit different on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.  We’re still reviewing TV, of sorts…  Amber takes a look at the Hulu original, Battleground (only available online), and I’m reviewing a reality show on Lifetime that I never thought I’d watch.

“Can Sex Mend a Broken Relationship?”

The Lifetime Network poses this question to troubled couples each week on their new reality program, 7 Days of Sex.

When I first saw the advertisements for this show, I had no idea what was in store for us.  I didn’t know if it was a traditional drama like Lifetime’s other new racy series, The Client List, or if it was something else all together.

It is something else all together.

I emailed Amber about it and somehow I was tasked with the review.  To be honest, I would have never watched otherwise.  I’m not a prude (even if I feel a bit like one typing this review), but I also don’t watch shows like Wife Swap, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, or anything else relationship oriented.   It’s simply not my cup of tea.

But I took one for the team with this one…

Each episode features two “real” life couples who aren’t having sex for one reason or another.  In the pilot, one couple was married with three young children and the other couple had been married longer but without children.  The couples vow to have sex once a day for seven days straight to re-energize their relationships.

Will it work?

Besides the fact that these couples are technically broadcasting their sex lives to the world (don’t worry; it’s PG-rated), the most intriguing part of the show happens to be the similarities between these couples and the relatability of men and women’s views on sex.

First, the most obvious difference between men and women’s views of sex:

What is sex to a man? A physical need; they should have sex every day.
What is sex to a woman?  A moment of intimacy, a “deed” or a job.

Moving on, why don’t couples have sex?

  • For couples with children, it’s hard to find alone time for “nookie”
  • Husbands and wives aren’t on the same page about starting a family
  • Women feel uncomfortable about their bodies and don’t want to be seen naked, not even by their partner
  • Finances
  • Control Issues
  • Lack of respect for one another

Married woman from the couple without children... Her generalized thoughts: I'd like to be in control every once in a while...

Regardless of the whys and the why nots, these couples pledged to have sex for seven days straight.  So how do they feel about this?  The men are excited… and the women are afraid their “lady parts” will be sore.

I could go on and on about the experiences of these couples throughout their week-long pledge, but I’ll try to summarize my favorite parts instead.

  • Men think that taking women out to a nice and fancy dinner will help them get “lucky” later
  • Women would prefer to nap than have sex
  • Men think that taking women on a surprise camping trip will help them get “lucky”
  • Women will try to bargain their way out of having sex; “How about we skip tonight and have a double feature in the morning?”
  • Men will do anything to have sex
  • Women want to be spoiled and wowed
  • Men feel sex isn’t complete without the woman reaching orgasm
  • Women don’t care about reaching an orgasm every time they have sex

Married husband from the couple with children... His generalized thoughts: I'm really looking forward to this Sex Pact!

And maybe it’s because I’m a woman, but I also found these points interesting and somewhat valid:

  • Women will set “rules” for a “sure thing” – rules instructing the men to be sweet and not do or say anything to anger her (that’s like walking in a landmine, isn’t it gents?)
  • If a woman buys her own “sexy” lingerie and toys, the men should prepare for a “fun” night
  • If a man buys a woman “sexy” lingerie and toys, the woman doesn’t feel nearly as comfortable
  • If one tiny thing goes wrong, say the man doesn’t help around the house with chores that the woman hasn’t told him about but feels he should automatically know, the woman is “closed” for business
  • Pouring hot wax over one another is not such a great idea, especially when you have children asleep in the other room

Anyway, after the seven-day pact, both couples reconnected; both felt like more of a team.  Taking it one step further, the married couple with children wrote promises to one another going forward and the married couple without children vowed to have a “7 Days of Sex” anniversary every year.  The sex vow seemed to work for these two pairs… but will it always?

Now for the fun part, how does Lifetime’s 7 Days of Sex rate?  It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever watched on TV, but I also probably won’t watch it again unless I’m in bed waiting to fall asleep and there’s nothing else on.  Therefore, I give it the NIV rating (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer.

Sorry Lifetime, but as expected, it’s just not my cup of tea.  I think having watched one episode, I’m good to go…. This is a very interesting conversation piece, but a series?  I was thinking more like a one or two-hour special like the basic cable networks offer.

What do you think? Did you watch 7 Days of Sex?  Do you plan to catch at least one episode – why or why not?  Do you agree with any of the above assessments about how men and women feel about sex?   I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see how the Hulu original, Battleground, fares in her opinion…

Come back next week when Amber and I review something fun and interesting… although it probably won’t be anything like 7 Days of Sex!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

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33 Responses to Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – “Can Sex Mend a Broken Relationship?”

  1. Amber West says:

    I wonder if this is based on that church that made news – the pastor recommended having sex every day to help marriages. The idea was that while sex doesn’t fix things, trying to make the time every day for one another’s needs (physical and emotional) would do a lot of good for a relationship.

    Funny, seems like Lifetime is always NIV. 🙂

    • That was a real church? Obviously, I’m not watching the right news…

      Now, I did know that the pastor on GCB encouraged his congregation to have sex everyday for a week; that was an episode a few weeks ago. LOL. Are you at all surprised that I related this back to another television program?

  2. I think I had more fun reading your review then I would watching the show. I’m with you ~ watching shows with relationships, just not my thing.

    I am amazed though, how tough we women are on men for sex! Maybe because they see it as fun! fun! fun! and we often see it as yet another thing to put on our ever expanding to-do list. It’s an intriguing show concept, I’ll give Lifetime that.

    • Thanks for saying that, Tameri. I had a really hard time writing this review; I wasn’t quite sure which direction to go with it. And yes, women are tough on men in my opinion too. I cracked up at the bargaining and the rules. I guess we just have other things on our minds most of the time…

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I have absolutely no desire to watch this show. I don’t CARE about other people’s sex lives. Ewww.

    Women think sex is a deed or job? What? Women don’t care about reaching orgasm each time they have sex. Really? Um…I don’t get it. Am I just weird?

    • eden says:

      My thoughts exactly. I had a big ol’ questionmark over my head when I read those statements. Either we’re both weird, or pretty dang lucky…. or both.

      • I was shocked at how both women were so much alike, and it came as no surprise to me that the men also were….

        The married woman without children kept saying “let’s just see how it goes” when her husband said he wanted to go until he pleased her, not just have sex every day. It was an eye-opening experience; I just really don’t plan to watch anymore.

        Thanks for stopping by, Eden & Lauralynn!! 🙂

  4. K.B. Owen says:

    Oh, wow, Tiffany, that takes reality tv in a weird direction! (I know, tribemates on a tropical island crawling through mud for key rings to unlock puzzles that have to be assembled is weird, too, LOL. But I can’t wait until Survivor tonight!)

    Thanks for a fun post!

    • Weird direction is right!

      I will take Survivor any day! Of course, they’ve been voting out everyone I’m pulling for. I just don’t know about these girls…

      Thanks for stopping by, Kathy!

  5. tomwisk says:

    “Reality sex” TV is like watching golf on TV. If you don’t play, you don’t understand the excitement. If you play, nothing beats the real thing. If you have a life you realize that both are a way to suck you into buying something.

  6. Stacy Green says:

    LOL. Good for you on taking one for the team. I have to admit, after 13 years of marriage, sometimes I DO think of sex as a chore or a deed. I don’t sleep well, and that effects everything. Of course, being heavy didn’t help either. Things are better since I lost it, but I could still go a lot longer than my husband. Sigh…

  7. Piper Bayard says:

    Interesting. It has long been Holmes’ contention that in ALL cases of marital strife, the woman should cook the man his favorite dinner and offer him sexual favors. I was appalled the first time he proclaimed this all-purpose marriage counseling advice, but the longer I’m married, the more I think it’s not such a bad idea. If the man has an issue with the woman, it will mitigate the circumstances. If the woman has an issue with the man, it will make him much more willing to listen. Glad it helped these folks. Sounds like a fun idea whether you’re having marital issues or not.

    • I love it, Piper!! “If the woman has an issue with the man, it (sex) will make him much more willing to listen.” How right you are… or so I’ve heard. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. The concept is amazing to me. Even more amazing: they got people to do it. I mean the show. Not “it.” but they did that, too. Incredible. Sadly, I bet I’d like this show. I mean, I like Intervention! 😉

    Luckily, I have very little time to watch TV.

    • I’m beginning to think people will do just about anything to get on TV these days, Renee… I’ve never watched Intervention. I’ve tried to watch Hoarders but simply couldn’t make it through the episode.

      Thanks for stopping by!! 🙂

      • I used to be a Professional Organizer, so Hoarders was like therapy. Like someone saying: you are not alone. 😉 my friend Scott wrote the theme to Inrervention. That’s how I got hooked. Crazy, right? But I can stop any time I want to…

  9. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes says:

    Therapy is the new reality tv. They have that celebrity couples therapy show too. I do think that for a married couple having serious problems just decided to have sex every day for a week is probably a good idea because it’s going to force a lot of feelings out BUT…I don’t see how this can translate into good tv. And I suppose I’ll never find out…unless I’ve got some Nyquil in me.

  10. Julie Glover says:

    Maybe such a show isn’t so bad if it gets couples talking about what helps them stay emotionally and physically connected. As to whether a 7-day straight sex challenge will solve things, I don’t know. I do know of a Christian marriage blog that has a 10-Day Challenge every year, suggesting that couples go for it ten consecutive days. They give tips for how to make the most of it.

    I’m actually curious about this show, but that may be due to my counseling background and some personal experiences in talking to people about this issue in marriage. I have also taken a few marriage classes/retreats through my church, and there is often an emphasis on what men want vs. what women want in this area.

    Thanks for taking one for the team, Tiffany! All that said above, I watched Revenge today instead.

    • I agree that sex keeps couples emotionally and physically connected, but I’m not sure it solves anything either. I’d love your take with your counseling background. If you catch an episode, please come back and let us know what your professional opinion is. 🙂

      REVENGE. Now THAT’S a good show…

      Thanks for stopping by, Julie!

  11. Thanks for taking one for the team. I’m not really into reality shows and I’ve heard of this method of “fixing a relationship,” and I don’t buy it. Sex isn’t going to solve the problems. It might give your greater intimacy (in the moment at least) but it won’t fix the underlying issues. I don’t think I’ll be tuning in.

  12. Bella says:

    Tiffany, I don’t know if 7 days of sex will help repair a messed up marriage but what can help is if shows like this stop promoting the stereotypes that men are up for sex 24/7. Give me a reality show where women commiserate on the fact their husbands are never into nookie and I’ll watch it. Just the other day some acquaintances and I were talking about the fact that it’s time to declare this phenomenon for the urban legend it is. I don’t know if it’s the exacerbated stress levels, sleep deprivation or if it’s the water, but the men showcased in the conversation were never into sex. And we’re talking good looking women who take care of their appearance! Dear Lord, if that’s the case, what do the rest of us have to look forward to? 🙂

  13. Jess Witkins says:

    Leave it to you to blog about this show. I just saw the preview for it two days ago while on a binge marathon of Dance Moms Miami. LOL

    I think the show is based off a book that came out not long ago. I’m not so sure Lifetime can solve a marriage issue in a week of sex, but your points seem pretty spot on. If it helps the couple, that’s a good thing. But this TV wouldn’t be my cup of tea either. On a brighter note, catch Jennifer Love Hewitt’s interview on Chelsea Lately? That was pretty funny.

    • I did catch JLH on Chelsea — she’s out of control! Of course, if I had her body…

      Thanks for stopping by, Jess!! I can’t wait to meet you. 🙂

      • Jess Witkins says:

        Me too!!! Let the countdown begin! Why do I think we’re gonna be the naughty table? “And will the table with the two redheads please SHUT UP!” LOL

  14. Pingback: The End is Near (and we deserve it). . . . Bacon Coffin « Author Piper Bayard

  15. I hadn’t even heard of this show but I know hubby will be “game” to watch it and play along. LOL!
    Do I think 7 days of sex will help save a marriage in trouble. No. But do I think ensuring you are having regular, healthy sex with your partner is key to a healthy relationship; absolutely! To have a healthy, long last relationship I think you need to have success and pay attention to all areas; sexual, spiritual, emotional, psychical etc. All play an important role – one no more than the other and each deserving equal play.
    Just my two cents. LOL!

  16. Pingback: Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – 2012, A Year in Review | Tiffany A White's Ooo Factor

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