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Sex Season

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Jaine Sykes Jaine Sykes | 15:47 UK time, Wednesday, 4 January 2012

How long on average do we spend on foreplay? How many of us have taken our sex lives online? And exactly why is losing our virginity such a big deal?

Here at BBC Three, we're kicking off the New Year with the Sex Season. Over the next couple of weeks we aim to answer all these questions and more by delving deeper into the sex lives of the British public.

There'll be a range of topics and viewpoints on the complexities of sex and sexuality from the scientist and the historian to the virgin, the lap dancer and the comedian.

Here are our highlights from the first week...

How Sex Works
This three-part series follows the three ages of sex - the first time, playing the field and sex in a long-term relationship. Intertwining real life stories from couples and singletons with some impressive CGI, the show reveals what happens before, during and after sex.

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How Sex Works begins on Monday 9th January at 9pm.

Websex: What's The Harm

Nathalie Emmanuel


Ex-Hollyoaks actress Nathalie Emmanuel investigates how the internet is changing the sex lives of the British public. She meets young people who rely on social networking sites, the latest mobile technology and webcams.

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Websex: What's The Harm is on Tuesday 10th January at 9pm

Confessions Of A Sex Addict
Comedian Jeff Leach is the archetypal ladies' man and he’s got stats to back it up too. At just 27 he has slept with nearly 300 women and has even kept a list of every single one of them. But now he’s looking to settle down. Will Jeff finally uncover the route to emotional fulfilment and, for once, go home alone?

Confessions Of A Sex Addict is on Wednesday 11th January at 9pm

Cherry Healey: like a Virgin
Losing your virginity is one of those life-defining moments that can be intimate, exciting and nerve-wracking all rolled into one. But good or bad, Cherry wants to find out if that one simple little act really does have a lasting impact.

Cherry Healey: like a Virgin is on Thursday 12th January at 9pm

There's lots more to look forward to in the second week too including Coming Out Diaries (Tuesday 17th January at 9pm) following young people's journey of sexual discovery, Britain in Bed (Wednesday 18th January at 9pm) which is the ultimate history of sex and Table Dancing Diaries (Thursday 19th January at 9pm), a look at the table dancing industry through the stories of some of the young women working in the clubs.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Please, make it eventually available for download.

  • Comment number 4.

    Sex season... what next. My view is this world now has gotten too sex obsessed, I regret my first time and that was when I was 17 :L and my other view is that sex is not that great some make out it to be.

  • Comment number 5.

    Why is it seen as necessary to place so much attention on sex ??

    The need for sex diminishes the more secure we feel in our selves, and that security can be found in many ways; the hormones this program calls 'sex hormones' are not just for sex, they are for our creativity. It is all a question of choice and what you want to do with your free will. Turning yourself into an erogenous zone leaves little care for actually making the world a better place to live in.

    Human beings have evolved through the formulation of social mores that allow for creative development beyond the use of sex for ego pampering and narrow self-esteem. The business world, and indeed all the corruption that is in it and in politics, thrives upon the fact that the general populace is busy satisfying insatiable needs and wants. In that respect, sex is the biggest panacea, and so long as people's attention can be drawn to it as a quick fix for their insecurities nothing substantial will improve in the world.

    Dictators, rapist, murderers, and pedos use it for the same purpose...narrow minded self-esteem to boost deep anxieties about life, like insecure chimpanzees.

    Sex at it's best really is about making children and providing for them. The simpe act, without all the ego-pampering and preening, is very pleasurable for any couple that loves one another, and ensures partners are committed to nurturing a family in an atmosphere of trust. With that we can create societies that care for everyone, rather than societies made of human erogenous zones wired up to some artificial matrix.

    I'm hoping for some programs that will help our children to grow up and see their potential as citizens of the world, not mere intellectual erogenous zones.

  • Comment number 6.

    I just watched the Confessions Of A Sex Addict in BBC3 and I have to say it touched a nerve with me. I found myself becoming upset as I went through a very similar mindest and I can totally empathise with Jeff Leach. It is a very serious problem that stems from a complete lack of self-esteem and a lack of belonging. If possible, I would like to talk to one of your researchers about this as this program was like looking in a mirror and I could really relate to it.

  • Comment number 7.

    A little like boniek Confessions Of A Sex Addict touched a nerve with me but for slightly different reasons. I sat and watched a 20 yr younger version of the man that I love and I related to the feelings of the women but also to Jeff. It also gave me an insight into why he has behaved has he has after hearing Jeff. All i can say to Jeff is that like all addictions he will never fully recover but with the love of a good woman who is there to support him will learn to control things. We are 5 yrs on and still work in progress. Maybe ot time to ditch the list and forget about it. finding a documented list with your name on it is horrendous especially when there are names following. Good luck Jeff like my man you are basically and great guy you lost sight of social boundaries and the true sense of who you are without the ego stroking of womens attention filling a void. would be interesting to know how you get on. would like my man to see it but not sure how to suggest it lol. Thanks x

  • Comment number 8.

    I have just watched like a virgin .....

    I'm am very proud to say I'm a virgin at the age 23 :) as in today worlds tht sounds old rite ??
    I've never kissed a boy or done anything nor had a relationship ! I no its sounds like gosh she has no mates or confindance well I'm the complete other way I have loads of friends and loads of confindance !! I just don't see the whole big issue of sex !!
    There is so much on tv about sex and Internet plays a big part on young people's lives and tbh people wounder why we have one of he biggest teenage pregnancy it's because the more young people watch tv programmes the more they think ... Heck I better get move on !! I however don't it's not cos I don't want to have sex of course I do but when I meet the rite man .... Sounds stupid but come on how many of you reading this and how many people in the world would give there right arm to say I wish I waited or still b a virgin !! I'm proud 23 yer old living my life the way I want .

  • Comment number 9.

    Thanks for all your comments so far about Sex Season. There’s more programmes next week so please keep posting up your comments – we read every single one of them.

    Jeff Leach from Confessions Of A Sex Addict wanted to reply to a couple of your comments…

    Hi Boniek,
    Your empathy to my programme serves as an immense power of support and inspiration for me. When I undertook the documentary I could never have imagined just how much of an effect it would have on the general populace. The plethora of emails, tweets, comments and Facebook messages I have received from people either commending the documentary, or saying it highlighted problems they too suffer from, has been phenomenal. I am not alone, nor are you and this addiction has now been brought into the eyes of the public through this documentary and the response of decent individuals such as yourself, for that I thank you. I wish you the best of luck in conquering your own problems related to sex and I hope you can gain the control in life you so deserve.
    Many thanks,

    Jeff also has a message for fruitloop41…

    Hi fruitloop41,
    Your message, like boniek's, is certainly not the first of its kind that I have received. It appears that sex addiction is a far more widespread problem than we first thought and because it is usually laughed at rather than seriously treated, there are so many people suffering its plight in silence. All addictions affect loved ones, friends, family and colleagues of the addict and these people often need as much support as the individual suffering from the addiction. I truly believe that in time I will be able to apply the modicum of control over my actions that will ensure I live a decent and progressive lifestyle and although I am aware I shall always be an addict until I die, I can at least be a human entity that I am proud of in the interim period. The support of viewers is of the utmost importance to me and I thank you for it. x

  • Comment number 10.

    Thanks to Jeff and everybody who has commented. Seven years ago I would have envied Jeff. My own sexually compulsive behaviours took place mostly in isolation, although I fantasised about anonymous sex round the clock and occassionally would sleep with some stranger I wouldn't normally share a bus stop with. They probably felt the same way about me! For years I had been living for the excitement and the sense of safety and comfort that addictive sex gave me. My behaviours progressed into activities that were harming myself and others, but so long as I had the prospect of another 'fix', I could ignore the destruction building up in my life.

    Eventually a family member discovered the worst of my behaviours - actions that I couldn't even explain or justify to myself. Their grief and horror burst the bubble I had been living in for so many years and I came to my first meeting of Sex Addicts Anonymous in Plymouth. I didn't know what to expect, but the men and women I met seemed happy and normal. It took a while before I began to see myself in the stories they shared. The therapist who Jeff visited hit the nail on the head: there isn't a list of behaviours that defines me as a sex addict. I am a sex addict because when I start certain sexual behaviours I loose control of what I do, where I do it and how long I do it for. For a 'normal' person, the solution is simple: just don't do it again! What defines me as a sex addict is that no matter how painful the consequences of my behaviour - the fear, remorse and confusion that I would have to live through afterwards - I would ALWAYS make it OK in my head to return to those behaviours.

    I took the Twelve Steps of Sex Addicts Anonymous. I didn't believe they would work, but I had no 'Plan B'. To my astonishment, I have seen the promises made to me as a newcomer coming true: I have been free of the obsession to act out since I gave in completely to the programme and followed the good example of those who came before me. I don't feel like a creep anymore and I can look the world in the eye. I've applied the programme in my daily life and as a result, I have healthy relationships with friends and family and I'm happy in my own skin. I've been able to take some responsibility for my life and even grow up a little.

    I hated the idea of being a Sex Addict - it seemed like the cure was as bad as the disease. Turning up at SAA has proved to be the single best decision of my life and I would encourage anyone - including Jeff, if things don't work out for him! - to do contact the fellowship and attend a meeting. You can find SAA online: there are national, UK and local group websites that are easily found with your favourite search engine. I would encourage anyone who suspects that they have lost the power of choice over some of their sexual behaviours to attend a meeting - especially my own home group in Plymouth!

  • Comment number 11.

    Fairly typical subject matter for BeeB 3. Why? - cheap TV rules all.


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