We're waiting to hear if Georgie has chicken pox, or another virus, or school sores, or the plague, or a combination. She's got sores in her mouth and has been pretty unhappy. I've been feeling slowly better from a couple of days last week where the undersea oceans of my sinuses slowed, and then froze, so that my face throbbed and ached miserably, especially at night. So there was a lot of sitting up and watching TV on my computer, moaning with self-pity and breathing gormlessly through my open mouth.
Silver linings, though: I caught some good stuff. Possible my favourite was a golden scene in an Australian series called Making Couples Happy. It explored the relationships of four couples in crisis, helping them to learn better ways of relating. One episode looked at their sex lives, and the scene in which Laney and Darren discuss their sexytime procedures with earnest Swedish sex therapist (see? comedy already) Desiree Spierings is absolutely hilarious.
Laney and Darren are fortyish, a down-to-earth pair with two small kids and a plumbing business. They have no idea what Desiree has in store for them when they enter her office and she gives them each a clipboard, says 'These are my nude stick figures, ' and asks them to diagram where they would like to be touched, and in what order they would like the fondlings to happen.
Laney and Darren are polite. They start numbering. Darren is quick to complete his chart and waits awkwardly while Laney finishes thinking carefully through her procedure. Back and forth she goes thoughtfully. A bit of number four here, a couple of number fives... Desiree starts talking them through Laney's drawing, and it becomes clear quite quickly that the conversation is going to be painfully specific.
Numbers one through seven are all quite romantic and sweet. Face-kisses, ear-nibbling, etc. And then Desiree says 'and next?'
'Well, next is my number eight', says Laney. 'The, um, breasts. '
'And is that firm massaging, touching lightly, stroking?' asks Desiree earnestly. Laney blinks. You can see she is trying to be a good sport. 'Um, starting at stroking, moving to firm massaging. '
Desiree smiles encouragingly and moves on. 'And number ten is what?"
'That's my... vagina', ' says Laney.
'And what would you like to happen with the vagina?'
Laney and Darren, at this point, look terrified. This therapy session, complete with camera, has gone to an unexpected place. Desiree makes her question clearer. 'Do you like to be touched everywhere, or all around, or just the clitoris, or the vagina?'
'Well,' says Laney desperately, 'probably in that order.'
Darren is a little confused when the explanation is over. 'I'm a little bit confused,' he says. 'I always rub her hair because I thought that was one of the things that she absolutely loved. She's told me before that she likes her hair being stroked.'
'Oh...' says Laney slowly. (A light bulb is going off for her too.) 'I've told him that I like my hair being brushed.'
'But not sexually?' Desiree probes. 'So that's a misunderstanding then.' Darren looks crestfallen.
Misunderstanding for them, yes. Comedy gold for us. (And, you have to assume, for Darren's friends for the next three decades.)
The fun continues when Desiree moves onto Darren's chart.
His diagram is much more to the point. Numbers 1 and 2 involve some brief kissing. And then Darren must explain the big arrow he has drawn at Number 3.
'I do enjoy having my balls,' he begins bravely. 'Sorry, my testicles...' It's too much. Laney and him both crack up, and so do I, spluttering tissues everywhere. 'You can say balls, ' murmurs Desiree comfortingly.
But I don't want to! you can almost hear Darren wail. I don't want to say balls! He moves on, valiantly. 'Number 4 is my penis there. I'm not too fussed about what happens to that area, just... anything.'
'Laney, what did you learn?' asks Desiree.
'I learned that its really a short time between kissing and ending up at the penis, ' says Laney. 'I'm adding in a few unnesscesary steps.' Darren nods in agreement.
It was a magic piece of television.
Somehow, they captured the endearing awkwardness of sex through the brave confessionals of this likeable pair. It was sweet, and hilarious, and unexpectedly profound. Plus, I think the snorting helped get my sinuses moving a little more freely.Overall, this series was a really well-made show, if you are interested in, generally, the psychology of couples, and specifically, the sexual preferences of Darren the plumber. (He likes his balls tickled, FYI.)