December 24, 2012 | 1
I have held off on posting about my new web series ‘Wild Sex‘ for a few reasons. Primarily I wanted to see how the world reacted to a very new kind of biology show – one that takes risks that are rarely seen in science. Let me set the scene for you. I have been talking/writing/blogging about the evolutionary biology of animal sex for many years. It’s a topic that I find tremendously interesting, and let’s face it – one does not generally get hate mail about animal sex. Last summer I was contacted by Richard Slater-Jones and Ben Hewett at Earth Touch, a production company based in Durban, South Africa. They had seen one of my television appearances discussing how animals ‘get it on’, and they wanted me to host a web series they were in the midst of creating.
A few short weeks later I was on a plane to South Africa, and we shot 21 episodes in 9 days. Topics range from group sex, to masturbation, prostitution and penis size – just to name a few.
And here’s the thing: these episodes are NSFW (not safe for work). They are racy, sexy, hilarious AND informative. Do I get a fake boob job in the name of biology? (yes) Do I wear a corset to explain the mid-line constriction of male spiders prior to sex? (yes) Do I get dressed up as a prostitute, a dominatrix, and a man? (yes, yes and yes) Do I use male models to demonstrate the relative penis sizes of our closest primate relatives? (I think you see where I’m going with this)
I was unsure how the scientific community would react to Wild Sex; however, I have been thrilled with the reception from the majority of my colleagues. My fellow Scientific American writer Christie Wilcox had this to write about it, and other writers have put their opinions out as well. Here are pieces by Jacqueline Howard at Huffington Post, Jeanne Garbarino at XX Science, Liat Clark at Wired UK, Robert Gonzalez at i09, Doug Barry at Jezebel, Kylie Sturgess at Token Skeptic, Sam Gutelle at Tubefilter.com, Kendra Holliday at The Beautiful Kind and Patrick Maliha at Funny Enough.
I have experienced such encouraging feedback from so many of my colleagues – even having several women scientists volunteer to do guest appearances on future episodes. The vibe I have been getting is that people are enjoying the strong, sexy female role. Hello world! This woman has a PhD in biology AND she is pretty darn sexy. Since the topic of the show is sex, I have every reason to celebrate my own sexuality as I present it. I’m so proud of Wild Sex and I regret nothing.
Audiences appear to agree. In our first month alone we achieved over 1.1 million views.
So I’ve decided to take the X from Xmas and create a little Wild Sex marathon for you to enjoy. Here is the series trailer, and episode 1. I’ll continue with further episodes on XXXmas day. By all means, I welcome your comments and feedback – regardless of whether you like my approach here.
Secrets of the Universe: Past, Present, FutureX