In “Real Sex 6,” part of its ongoing docu series, HBO again explores the modern sexual world and its fetishes in a provocative, entertaining and informative manner, without ever becoming sleazy.
The format of the show works well. Segments highlight individuals and groups whose occupations and leisure activities revolve around sexual adventures; these filmed segs are broken up with funny, videotaped sound bites of men and women on the street answering questions from an unseen interviewer.
This episode, shot on various international locations, features a computer-generated dream girl named “Virtual Valerie.” Four men sit around discussing their computer product as if talking about the next great breakthrough in biotechnology.
A middle-aged couple who make sex toys at home are shown discussing S&M, as well as engaging in some light foreplay.
At London’s “Sex Maniacs Ball,” which raises money for charities, activities include dinner guests being fondled as they eat. Organizers say it’s a way for people to live out their fantasies without doing harm to others.
“Real Sex” never apologizes or attempts to justify its content, instead presenting the pieces in a straightforward news approach that works well. (The show comes with a viewer-discretion warning.)
In the last few years, sexual fetishes and out-of-the-norm sexual habits have become suspect in a new way, because they are usually associated with promiscuity. However, although it’s never highlighted, many of the people featured in “Real Sex 6” are part of monogamous relationships and the sex is safe. These are rational people fulfilling their fantasies in a fun, harmless way.
The uncredited music is right for the job, and narrator Cynthia Adler, unseen until the last frame, is good at looping the pieces together without being obtrusive.
HBO exec producer Sheila Nevins and producers Patti Kaplan (who also directed), Aviva Slesin and Helena Solberg deserve kudos for a well made and entertaining series.