Photo: ‘Sex, Love and Goop’
Over the years, Gwyneth Paltrow has unapologetically developed a lifestyle and wellness empire that hasn’t been afraid to push the boundaries on the practice of self-care. Gwyneth Paltrow’s multi-hyphenate brand, goop, has faced controversial claims over the past few years. Despite the chatter, it’s undeniable that Paltrow is putting sexual pleasure at the forefront in a way that is more than just educational; it is therapeutic. Paltrow’s new series, ‘Sex, Love, and goop,‘ enlists the guidance and advice of professional sexual health experts who take the taboo out of sex talk and establish a nuanced understanding of sex, mental health, and identity.
With the debut of her first Netflix series, ‘the goop lab,‘ Paltrow gradually carved a niche for female sexuality by introducing experimental and playful narratives that force viewers to consider what we’ve learned from society about the balance of power in the bedroom. It’s worth noting that the show goes beyond the physicality of sex but acknowledges how mental health, relationships, society, body image, and other external factors attribute to how we intimately perceive ourselves.
Why We Should Talk Sexual Health
By now, it’s safe to say Gwyneth Paltrow is not one to shy away from confronting traditionally censored topics perceived as vulgar or crude through a conservative lens. The actress, author, and entrepreneur has made women’s health the forefront of her expansive empire. Paltrow doesn’t just sell skincare, recipes, or luxury brand name clothing; She sells a lifestyle approach to self-love and empowerment. Her website, goop, features supplements vetted by medical professionals and sex toys that fall under the wellness category of the shop’s drop-down menu. The design of her website is notable gender-neutral and avoids the overt pressure of sexuality. It parallels the same minimalistic tone her series harnesses, allowing viewers and shoppers to create their interpretations.
In 2020, goop made its formal introduction to Netflix with ‘the goop lab,‘ which features unconventional wellness topics that explore the human body and mental health. The third episode, “The Pleasure is Ours,” sparked necessary conversations on how sex should be redefined across gender and culture. It features legendary sex educator Betty Dodson, whose experience includes teaching women to focus on their sexual pleasure and the steps to reach orgasm. The 90-year-old Dodson helps erase the negative stigma that society has placed on feminine sexual pleasure and celebrates the complexity of the female orgasm. It’s a visceral episode encouraging women to strip the innate embarrassment of asking what they want from their partner and feel comfortable with their body image.
More on ‘Sex, Love and Goop’
Gwyneth Paltrow’s newest series is an intensive follow-up on that third episode. This time the show follows couples’ personal lives on their path to better understand their sexual identities and improve their experience in the bedroom. The series centers on how fluid and honest communication between yourself and your partner is the key to creating a space for connectivity and reinforces the confidence to ask for what you want. The show urges women to have a healthy line of communication with themselves to identify and feel confident with their sexual identities. It’s interesting to witness as multiple couples allow themselves to be vulnerable while being filmed, sharing their deepest insecurities on a global scale.
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Within the first episode, viewers become acquainted with the term “erotic footprint,” a quiz that establishes your sexual distinctions and how they align with your partner’s quiz results. One of the purposes of “erotic footprint” is interpreting the type of energy you crave from a partner; from there, couples are meant to approach their intimate lives with a newfound knowledge of what works and doesn’t work for their partners.
The experts on the show, including Michaela Boehm, prioritize female sexual health by repeating the importance that there should be a sense of equality in the bedroom so that each individual feels a sense of control and is emotionally seen by their partner. They strip the sense of shame and even ignorance that prevents many couples from having honest and vulnerable conversations of their private lives. Viewers are taught how mental health plays a crucial role in our intimate lives and how we identify with ourselves on a sexual level.
Mental and Emotional Health
One of the main reasons’ ‘Sex, Love, and goo’’ has resonated with audiences is the emotional journey of courageous couples who are willing to put themselves in an unfamiliar situation to improve their connection with each other. They’re exposing the most intimate part of their relationships by revealing that issues such as body image, anxiety, and past trauma has affected their concept of sexuality.
The ability for the couples on the show to break down their barriers is a cathartic and emotional moment as they start to view each other differently. In the first episode, Damon and Erika establish their sexual chemistry and are quickly surprised that their issues stemmed from a lack of communication. Erika states how freeing it feels to get out of her head, if even for a moment once they begin their practice. Alluding to the anxiety many carry from their daily lives into their intimate lives.
Anxiety coexists with the importance of setting boundaries within the same breath. In ‘Sex, Love, and goop,’ Camille and Shandra courageously shared their thoughts of feeling “broken” when many of their issues lay with understanding how to be in the moment by accepting and initiating boundaries that alleviate the stress of feeling tense and apprehensive. By appreciating boundaries, that is where the sense of equality becomes recognized. Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘Sex, Love, and goop‘ welcome feelings of fear, vulnerability, and the cringe-worthy moments that all lead to the path to discovering sexual identity. Evading judgment and allowing yourself to step away from the shame that perpetuates through society gives you a moment to recognize that prioritizing mental health is the key to unlocking a healthy and producing dialogue with your partner.
Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow
Producers: Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarina Roma, Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard, Elise Loehnen, Shauna Minoprio
By Gina Michele Yaniz
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Gina Michele Yaniz is a writer and digital media content creator with a deep love for storytelling. Charmed by the notable influence of the entertainment industry, Gina is passionate about uplifting the voices of artists and celebrating powerful material. She likes to embody the philosophy of writing through a non-judgmental and a genuine perspective while expanding the perception of film industry. Along with Hollywood Insider, Gina values the responsibility the media holds and wishes to use her writing to provide meaningful content. During her free time, Gina loves to watch period pieces, stand-up comedy, and indulges on her avid interest for reading articles on self-care.