“Everyone has sex,” says Lesego Tlhabi, aka Coconut Kelz, at the start of the trailer for the new 18SNL Showmax Original Sex and Pleasure, which premieres on 8 March 2023, with new episodes every Wednesday. “Even your most conservative grandmother had eight kids. So let’s talk about it.”
Sex in Afrikaans was one of the 10 most streamed titles on Showmax in South Africa in 2022, but it’s clearly not just Afrikaners who like to pomp.
Hosted by writer Kim Windvogel and journalist Romantha Botha, the adults-only documentary series Sex and Pleasure will take a broader view of what South Africans get up to behind closed doors, and, well, everywhere else too.
“I’m a sex positive, curious queer who works in the sexual and reproductive health and rights space,” says Kim. “That’s just feminist talk for believing that people should have access to sexual health information and services.”
“We made this doccie series because we really wanted to know how South Africans, from various intersections, experience and explore sex in their everyday lives,” says Romantha.
Kim and Romantha co-wrote and conceptualised Sex and Pleasure with director Ayanda Duma, who was also a producer on the South African leg of Planet Sex with Cara Delevigne, which you can binge on Showmax now. SAFTA winner IdeaCandy (Steinheist, Devilsdorp) is producing the eight-part series, which includes playful motion graphics by Mbali Hlatshwayo.
“The aim is to invite the whole country, from conservative to highly liberal, to take part in an adult conversation that hasn’t been possible until now,” says Ayanda.
In addition to OnlyFans creators, exotic dancers, and couples talking about choking, the trailer features familiar faces like actor Siv Ngesi and Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux, a disability and women’s rights activist. The trailer also includes the secret to long life: more sex, since apparently if you’re over sixty and have sex twice a week rather than twice a month, men increase their life expectancy by six years and women by eight, according to professor Shingai Mutambirwa.
Episode 1 of the eye-opening series explores sex work, in all its forms – and yes, that includes slay queens, according to some of the interviewees. Among others, look out for author Jackie Phamotse; public attorney Sanja Bornman; Moonlight, a Master’s graduate who founded a phone sex academy; and dominatrix Mistress Cleo, owner of Fetish Haven, self-described as “the ultimate kink venue”, which she runs with her son. Interviewees discuss talking dirty in Zulu, race play and age play, Christmas-themed porn, family reactions and the power dynamics of sex work. They also ask why, if doing the horizontal tango is about giving and receiving, the transactional nature of sex is still a crime in South Africa?
Each subsequent episode will explore tlof tlof in relation to a different topic: parenting, love, drugs, orgasm, disability, age, and spirituality. Look out for appearances from singer Moonchild Sanelly, sexperts like Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng and Dr Mpume Zenda, and publisher Ingrid Jones, among others.
Watch the official trailer below.