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With her broad, disarming gaze and friendly demeanor, Alice Levine has a way of asking the most direct questions about people’s sex lives without offending anyone. I’m not talking about the “How many dildos do you own?” Or “Were you lying about your penis size?” variety as much as the straightforward question “How much money do you make?” ”
The couple Geordie, Jack, 27, and Kayla, 21, gave up their jobs (decorator and sandwich maker) to explore, as Levine puts it, “the new frontier of the gig economy in Britain”. They are part of a seemingly growing trend of “cam couples”, broadcasting their intimate encounters live to the benefit of paying clients. The pair of chuckles brings Levine into their bedroom, where a cat sleeps next to a row of sex toys, and allows him to sit down during their next session (luckily, that doesn’t involve the cat). “I wasn’t prepared for the reality of watching two people have sex just two meters from my face,” she recalls afterward.
At the very least, Levine learned from his previous Channel 4 documentary on extreme right-wing extremist attitudes to focus on charming participants. Nikita and Sam, 24 and 29, a chic biker couple from Bournemouth, have a whiteboard showing their strict sex schedule. They each have an OnlyFans account to maintain (a subscription platform), as well as their couples’ sessions. Sam is the size of a chintz covered sofa and has the same pattern as well, with tattoos on her arms and neck and in her hair. “90 percent of my fans are men,” he reveals. Nikita, on the other hand, can win a pony just for calling someone a “dirty bitch”.
Soft-spoken Scottish couple Cole and Callum are big earners on Chaturbate, the adult webcam site, with an average of 15 million views of their energetic content per month. Subscribers pay in tokens, choosing from a large menu of sex acts. Levine: “This is quite the options page. Dressed in unpretentious hoodies and sweatpants, the pair jump onto the bed to demonstrate the positions that look “really good” on camera: the price goes up to 280 tokens for. . . a very explicit act (I do not state it.)
Despite the franchise, this first episode of the three-part series, of which Louis Theroux was executive producer, is not really about sex, but about love. The way these couples look at each other is downright adorable. Jack’s on-screen porn patter might be hilarious, but afterward he assures Levine, “I’m saying sorry.”
On Channel 4 from September 22 at 10 p.m.
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