Saturday, August 6, 2022

Netflix’s Sex Room is here to help boisterous farmers with their sex bars

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MMy first reaction when I heard about Netflix’s new reality series How to build a sex room was a full body spasm. There was just no way this show was going to be sexy. At best, it would be mildly embarrassing for everyone involved — from Mike, a bewildered contractor hired to install a red faux leather saddle, to his blushing young apprentice and son, who is forced to watch his father heave Melanie Rose , the show, gently flogging daffy host.

Worst-case scenario, the series would seduce viewers with promises of sex-positive voyeurism and then exploit the couples’ perverted fantasies for awkward laughs. Also, the rooms themselves would be very cheesy and, like most TV makeovers, sloppily executed.

Well I was wrong. Most of time. How to build a sex room It’s not a sexy show, but it’s not mean either. American couples of all marital statuses, races, sexualities, and even sizes — I’m referring here to both the heights of lovers and how many people make up a romantic pairing — are encouraged to name what turns them on, that the English interior middle-aged designer Melanie Rose can build you a room that suits you. But for most, a sex room is ambitious. People want her so they can figure out what they want from their sex life, which also makes Melanie Rose an amateur sex therapist for people who didn’t know they could need one. And she’s so genuinely good at her job How to build a sex room performs a reality TV miracle: It leaves you truly elevated above humanity.

The format is simple. Melanie Rose is a pleasure palace guru with cropped hair and an array of brightly colored blazers. If you’re imagining Prue Leith, but more approachable, you’re doing it right. As with any makeover show, she first meets with couples to discuss their makeover needs. A self-proclaimed “single hell” 52-year-old woman wants a fancy place to try out hookup culture. For a couple with a dramatic height difference, the problem is that their toddler has taken over the entire house. “In my opinion, young parents need a sex room most urgently,” Melanie Rose lectures in front of the camera.

Her clients are exceptionally well cast to maximize diversity, belonging, and the shudder of scandal, often simultaneously. According to the mother, these toddler parents “fought about so long having shower sex because of our size difference”. So Melanie builds them a custom bathroom with an inversion table. Loving Soriya, who lives in a polyamorous “family” of seven that includes her ex-husband, desperately wants a bed big enough for a “snuggle puddle.” She’d love to indulge her golden shower fantasies too, but it’s impractical because her basement is fully carpeted! So the willing crew installs a floor drain, because, on How to build a sex roomForm follows perverse function.

At first, I found Melanie Rose’s “I’m not that casual and enlightened about sex” routine a little grating. It feels relentlessly performative, at least on camera. She really has to need Mike to practice whipping her on that spanking bench? Are These Brass Cock Hooks Really Making Her “Happy”? But an aura of cultivated eccentricity is her most important tool. This reassures her customers so much that they reveal secrets to her that they never shared with their partners.

Melanie is there when a husband learns that the mother of his three children has never had an orgasm. And she’s not just there — she’s actually enforcing reckoning under the guise of talking about what sex toys they need to complete the suite. For Melanie, there is nothing awkward about sex, and in a loving relationship, no sex problem is too big to solve in a sex room.

Which brings us to the rooms themselves. I’m sorry, Melanie, but they are abominable. A couple is looking for the G-spot and she decorates their bedroom with a chrome stripper pole. A long-distance gay couple gets an unfortunate “Yes, Sir” neon sign (and, to be fair, some very hot, if cheesy, Tom of Finland-inspired boudoir photos of themselves). Instead of a sex room, a few “frisky peasants” get a “sex shed,” complete with red check curtains and shiplap, the horizontal wood paneling that’s ubiquitous fixer above Hostess Joanna Gaines. Is there a less erotic wallcovering than shiplap?

But here’s the thing: every single customer absolutely loves Melanie’s work. I’ve watched enough reality TV to know when someone is faking. The Reveal vibes are real and they’re hot. The stripper pole was inspired by a pair of heels that Melanie dug up in the back of mom’s closet. Does she wear them in her real life as a community organizer? no But Melanie sees people the way they would like to be seen… in bed.

The “how” in How to build a sex room is not random or superfluous. Melanie Rose is also the world’s least intimidating sex shop clerk. She explains what this crystal butt plug is before you have to ask. She’ll get you a Sybian saddle and make sure the vibrating masturbation device – imagine a pommel horse bench with a dildo on it – is working before she leaves.

Sure, the result isn’t sexy, but it’s surprising, delightful, and deceptively educational.

How to Build a Sex Room is now streaming on Netflix

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