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Conscious coupling: What you need to know about Gwyneth Paltrow’s Sex, Love & Goop Netflix show

·2-min read
 (Courtesy of NETFLIX)
(Courtesy of NETFLIX)

Eyes roll when actress-turned-wellness guru Gwyneth Paltrow announces a new venture — her last was a $95 double-sided wand vibrator, which followed a “This Smells Like My Vagina” candle. But there’s no denying that she has a knack for tapping into the zeitgeist. Enter new Netflix series, Sex, Love & Goop.

Her debut Netflix show, The Goop Lab, in 2019 was disappointingly un-goopy — wild swimming and vampire facials were not exactly groundbreaking. But what’s most intriguing about this new production is nothing to do with GP, who reveals disappointingly little about her own sex life with husband Brad Falchuk.

Rather, it’s the sheer bravery of the people it stars. We meet five couples in a group therapy setting led by Paltrow and her go-to “intimacy expert” Michaela Boehm, a relationship and embodiment teacher who has written a book called The Wild Woman’s Way. All are dealing with relatable issues to do with sex. Erika and Damon have been together for six years, but feel like they’re mismatched sexually. Rama and Felicitas have two children and are struggling to reignite their spark after coming close to divorce. Then there’s Camille and Shandra, a newly-engaged couple who want to expand their sexual repertoire while Dash and Sera want to safeguard their relationship by breaking the negative behaviour patterns of cheating.

Why would anyone willingly sign up to this public airing of dirty laundry? As the series progresses, and they lay their issues bare, you’ll be pleased they have. Each is matched with a holistic practitioner who has been vetted by Paltrow and Boehm.

 (Courtesy of NETFLIX)
(Courtesy of NETFLIX)

In episode two, Jaiya, who is a somatic sexologist guides Damon into an “energetic orgasm,” which reduces him to tears. “You have total permission to have an erection,” she tells him. And later, we see Jaiya and her own partner engage in what can only be described as, well, energetic intercourse. In a rare moment in which Paltrow does refer to her own sex life, she and Boehm discuss the “stigma” surrounding sexual submission and the perception that it’s “against feminism.”

“For me it’s so restorative when I can be completely open and soft and vulnerable and not in control and I really only have that within the context of my marriage,” the Goop founder says.

 (Courtesy of NETFLIX)
(Courtesy of NETFLIX)

“But it’s a voluntary act that actually is very empowering,” Boehm offers, later adding: “And you’re actually really good at that.”

“I like to be in that state,” Paltrow responds.

 (Courtesy of NETFLIX)
(Courtesy of NETFLIX)

Yes, there are some toe-curling moments, a scene where one couple crawl around on the floor like animals smelling each other’s bums springs to mind, but mostly this is a six-part sex education lesson with a little woo-woo thrown in.

Sex, Love and Goop is on Netflix

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