C5's 'Good Girls' Guide To Kinky Sex' Means Well But Misses The Mark With Its Language

'Good Girls Guide To Kinky Sex'/Channel 5

On Nov. 14, Channel 5 aired their new series, Good Girls' Guide to Kinky Sex. The show follows the journey of three couples as they spice up their bedroom activity using new toys, positions, and lingerie. Putting yourself out there in the bedroom can be scary and seeing real couples do exactly that is massively encouraging. However, using “good girls” in this context is a problem. While the intention behind the show is good, insinuating that liking a certain type of sex must mean you're a certain type of person isn’t helpful to anyone.

When it comes to talking about sex and pleasure, the more education out there the better. Whether it's learning where the clitoris is in a sex education class at school or watching a docu-series on new things you can introduce into the bedroom, it's all positive. By having conversations about sex and owning our pleasure, it becomes less taboo. However, how you frame these conversations is incredibly important.

In Good Girls' Guide to Kinky Sex, as each couple are introduced, they explain why they’ve held back in the bedroom. One couple cites being too busy, while another says they’re embarrassed at the thought of living out their fantasies. In essence, some very normal reasons as to why sex can sometimes become a bit routine.

From the start of Good Girls' Guide to Kinky Sex, the people in the three case studies are referred to as “the good girls and their partners.” But the women featured in the show are exactly that: grown adult women. Referring to them as "good girls" infantilises them. And juxtaposing "good" with "kinky" suggests these two concepts are mutually exclusive. If having your partner on top of you during missionary gets you going, then you do you. If you like being tied to the bed posts with a gag in your mouth, live your truth. One is no better, more sexy, or purer than the other. You’re not dirty for liking bondage and you’re not a “good girl” because you engage in the type of sex that mainstream society deems palatable. The concept of "good girl" may be introduced into the bedroom if you’re into sub/dom power play, but you’re not a bad person for liking kinkier sex.

I reached out to Channel 5 to ask about the specific language used in this programme, but they declined to comment.

According to research conducted by relationship counseling service Relate, only 34% of adults are satisfied with their sex life. That’s a massive issue. Everyone has the right to a fulfilling and pleasurable sex life. If you’re not getting what you want or need, you should be able to vocalise that without fear of shame.

Annabelle Knight 'Good Girls Guide To Kinky Sex'/Channel 5
Rebecca Dakin 'Good Girls Guide To Kinky Sex'/Channel 5

Despite all this, the educational side of things is where Good Girls' Guide to Kinky Sex comes into its own. With the help from sex and relationship experts Annabelle Knight and Rebecca Dakin, the show busts the myths around incorporating food into sex, rimming, and alternative sex positions. The intention to educate the British public about how to try something new between the sheets is all good — I just wish the language used had been considered more carefully.