If you're familiar with writing about love, sex and everything in between, you probably know Em & Lo. What you may not know, unless you get UK Channel 5, is that they turned their best-selling 2008 book, Sex: How To Do Everything, into a TV mini-series. Each of the 10 episodes includes interviews, advice and demonstrations for men, women and couples. I had a chance to interview them about the show and their experience creating it. Click here to purchase the DVD.
Why did you turn the best-selling 2008 book, Sex: How To Do Everything, into a TV show?
The publishers were actually the ones who approached Channel 5 in the UK and suggested they have us host a show. They fell for it and we went along for the ride. We're not sure if any cable channel in the States was approached, but we don't even think HBO could have shown it as is—way too racy!
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What differentiates this from HBO's Real Sex series?
It's definitely much more instructional. Real Sex (from what little we've seen of it) seems to focus more on fringe sexual practices that are fun to watch in a sort of oh-my-god-get-a-load-of-this way. Our show certainly has moments like that, but there's a lot more practical info.
Were there things that were too racy to make it into the show?
Actually, there were a number of things that were too racy for us, but they made it into the show anyway! It was originally shot for UK TV, where they can show A LOT more. In fact, we're not sure what they CAN'T show over there. Let's just say that if you want to know what bum sex or manual "prostate stimulation" or female ejaculation looks like but are afraid to look for it on the internet (for fear of being scarred for life), get this DVD and all will be revealed.
Was there ever a moment in which you thought, "Wow, this is just too out there to be true?"
We interviewed a woman on the street in downtown NYC who talked about writing poetry on paper and then making the guy she was having sex with literally eat it. Then again, she was such a cliched downtown hipster that we totally believe she's for real!
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By the time someone sat down on our interview couch in the studio we'd already been apprised of their DVD/website/book/product, so we knew it was for real. Perhaps we've been in this biz for too long, but it's been a while since we've been truly surprised at someone's sexual preferences...
I know that you are both very open-minded, but was there anything that you came across that was just plain wrong?
We had two "roving reporters," an adorable couple who would road-test various sexual activities and then report back to us with their experience, and we were horrified to learn that the producers had sent the woman to have a G-shot (that dubious procedure that injects collagen into the area to make you more sensitive) and we insisted that they make it clear we did not condone this and thought it was a really bad idea. We also had Deborah Sundahl on the show, a female ejaculation expert, who claims every woman can ejaculate—we're not convinced of this and made sure to let viewers know not to feel like failures should it not work for them.