Sex Box

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Sex Box
StarringMariella Frostrup (2013)
Phillip Hodson (2013)
Tracey Cox (2013)
Dan Savage (2013)
Steve Jones (2016-)
Goedele Liekens (2016-)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes11
Russell Barnes
Molly Milton
Running time44 minutes
DistributorDRG TV
Original networkChannel 4
Original release7 October 2013 (2013-10-07) –
2 May 2016 (2016-May-02)
Related showsSex Box (U.S. TV series)
External links

Sex Box is a British television series. The first series was hosted by Mariella Frostrup. The series was produced by independent production company Clearstory and broadcast on Channel 4.[1] The show's premise centres upon the idea that couples will be more open to sexually themed discussions after having performed the act itself. The show's hosts have the couple retire to a private "sex box" on stage, where they are to have sexual intercourse with one another.

Sex Box was released as part of Channel 4's "Campaign for Real Sex", which the channel described as "a series of programmes which aim to reclaim sex from porn".[2] The programme provoked controversy and debate in both the British and international press.[3][4] Some reviews of the programme were positive, praising the sincerity of the programme's aims.[5][6][7] However, many critics and viewers panned the show,[8][9] and ratings for the first episode showed that while 1.1 million viewers tuned into the show, this number dropped by 200,000 after the first 15 minutes.[10]

Series 2 began broadcasting on 4 April 2016. It is presented by Goedele Liekens and Steve Jones.


The show features couples that have agreed to come on to the show and have sex in the titular "sex box". During this time the hosts will discuss their relationship. After a certain amount of time the couple will emerge from the box and talk about sex and their relationship. The show's theory is that couples will be more likely to be closer after having sex and be more likely to be honest and open when answering questions about their own sex life and sex in general.[11]


Series 1[edit]

  • Episode 1, airdate 7 October 2013, viewership 900,000[12]
  • Episode 2, airdate 8 October 2013
  • Episode 3, airdate 9 October 2013
  • Episode 4, airdate 10 October 2013
  • Episode 5, airdate 11 October 2013
  • Episode 6, airdate 14 October 2013
  • Episode 7, airdate 15 October 2013

Series 2[edit]

  • Episode 1, airdate 4 April 2016
  • Episode 2, airdate 11 April 2016
  • Episode 3, airdate 18 April 2016
  • Episode 4, airdate 2 May 2016


TIME remarked that the show was "all pretty tame, polite, slightly awkward at times and, overall, just dull" and that the couples "weren’t so overtaken by sex endorphins that they actually revealed anything vivid or shocking."[13] The Guardian and The Telegraph also panned the show overall,[14] and The Telegraph's reviewer wrote that "Sex Box was one of the worst TV programmes I have seen in a long time. From concept to execution, it was a combination of gimmick, prurience, exploitation and dullness."[15] Metro also commented on the show, noting that the show "left viewers in a state of awkwardness and confusion tonight, with many pondering over a series of unanswered sex questions following its debut."[16] The Mirror poked fun at the show for having "a weird box with flashing multicoloured lights that looked like an Ikea-bought version of Doctor Who's TARDIS".[17] They also criticized the show for spending more time on its heterosexual couples than on the disabled and homosexual pairings,[17] a criticism shared by Gawker.[18]

By contrast, Time Out praised "A surprisingly earnest, likeable and good-hearted affair",[19] and a reviewer for Complex praised the show for its diversity and stated that they "actually learned a thing or two", which surprised them.[20] According to The Times: "If you put aside your preconceptions, ignore the surrounding brouhaha and watch this programme with an open mind, it becomes difficult to criticise and impossible to condemn".[citation needed]

In other countries[edit]

Sex Box is distributed internationally by DRG TV.

It currently broadcasts in Australia on SBS Two.[21][22]

In March 2014 WE tv announced that they were in the process of developing a North American version of the show and had ordered an hour-long pilot episode.[23][24] The show first aired on WE tv in February 2015 and was hosted by relationship therapist Fran Walfish, sex therapist Dr. Chris Donaghue, Florida pastor Dr. Yvonne Capehart, and comedian Danielle Stewart.[25] Nine episodes of the series were ordered but only five aired, as the show was cancelled in April 2015 due to low reception.[26][27]


  1. ^ Cocozza, Fran. "Sex Box: the participants reveal what actually happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  2. ^ "The Campaign for Real Sex". Channel 4. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Huffington Post".
  4. ^ Murfitt, Nikki; Knowsley, Jo (28 September 2013). "Daily Mail". London.
  5. ^ "Timeout".
  6. ^ "The Guardian".
  7. ^ "Televisual".
  8. ^ Barraclough, Leo. "'Sex Box' Gets Thumbs Down from Critics". Variety. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  9. ^ Rigby, Sam. "'Sex Box' on Channel 4: The funniest Twitter reactions". Digital Spy. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  10. ^ Fletcher, Alex. "'Sex Box' on Channel 4: Was it anything more than a cheap TV stunt?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  11. ^ Lambert, Molly. "What's in the Sex Box? Not Much, It Turns Out". Grantland. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Sex Box gets 900,000 viewers, despite being 'the weirdest thing ever'". Metro. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  13. ^ Gibson, Megan. "The Real Problem With Sex Box Is That It's Boring". TIME. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  14. ^ Wollaston, Sam. "Sex Box – TV review". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  15. ^ Cumming, Ed. "Sex Box, Channel 4, review". Telegraph. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  16. ^ Duncan, Amy. "Channel 4's Sex Box confuses Twitter and leaves shocked fans with unanswered questions". Metro. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  17. ^ a b Hodgson, Claire. "Sex Box proves a massive turn off for viewers, as the controversial new show falls flat". Mirror. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  18. ^ Juzwiak, Rich. "Couples Have Sex in Box on British TV, Discuss It After". Gawker. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  19. ^ "TimeOut".
  20. ^ GHAHREMANI, TANYA. "I Watched Eight Episodes of UK "Sex Box" and Here's How It Changed Me". Complex. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  21. ^ Thomas, Sarah. "Couples have sex, get performance rated on TV show Sex Box". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  22. ^ Willis, Charlotte. "Sex Box to premiere on SBS 2 — It's sex. In a box. On television". Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  23. ^ Suddath, Claire. "In Defense of the New Reality Show Sex Box". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "U.S. Adaptation Of British Reality Format 'Sex Box' Gets Pilot Order At WE TV". Deadline. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  25. ^ Goldberg, Leslie. "'Sex Box': WE tv's New Dating Show Goes All the Way". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  26. ^ Yahr, Emily. "'Sex Box,' a reality show where people have sex in a box on TV, is a real thing for 2015". Washington Post. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  27. ^ de Moraes, Lisa. "'Sex Box' Doesn't Sell, Scrubbed From WE TV Schedule". Deadline. Retrieved 27 May 2015.

External links[edit]