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Sex in Reality TV




The Sex Factor on Survivor
By John Sloan

Survivor, one of the first successful reality shows, is a show that puts a selected group of people in a beautiful setting leaving them to fend for themselves within the two different teams. Every week the two teams compete for rewards and immunity before someone is voted off at the end of each episode. The shows main theme is how the different people interact with one another, and since the theme of the show is outwit, outplay, and outlast there is plenty of drama to go around on the show. After almost ten seasons the show can’t just rely on the same premise that the show has been using for the four years it has been on the air so the producers have to rely on something else, sex.

Sex in the promotion, though subtle, is recognizable. For example the attire of the members in the game is very small, with most women in bathing suit tops and the men without shirts. Although the climate the show is placed in is typically very hot, the producers had a hand in choosing it, knowing very well what the contestants would be wearing to stay cool. Also when the show does the casting, very often most of the women and men that are chosen happen to be good looking with great bodies, which could spark nudity.

Nudity on the Survivor show started in its first season. Richard Hatch the first winner of Survivor was known for walking around nude during the duration of the first season. In the recent all-stars season he brushed up against Susan, who also came out of the first season show, causing a heating argument between the two “Sue believed Richard Hatch sexually violated her during an Immunity Challenge” (e.g., Lewis, 2004, 3). In some Survivor promos they advertised the show by showing women bathing in the water together. One of the most unforgettable scenes in the Survivor series was when two women took off their clothes to get peanut butter and Oreos, so when they showed that in the previews I’m pretty sure men watching weren’t looking to see players outwit and outplay.

Survivor will continue to rule the ratings among the reality shows because people are always intrigued by the interaction of people especially in high pressured situations. Also, with a little bit of sex thrown in, the show will continue to be one of the best reality shows on the air.

Real World

Ashley Taylor

Sex seems to be the major focus in reality TV shows today. It seems as if producers of reality TV shows tend to make a large emphasis in sexual activity on the camera. A prime example of this would be the “Real World.” The “Real World” is a reality television show that debuted in 1992 on MTV where a group of seven strangers are chosen to live in a house together for several months. The house the cast members live in have no doors, it is just one big open room, including the bathroom where people can just walk by while someone is in the shower.
In an online edition of the San Diego Union Tribune, writer, Renee Graham feels that “Real World” would best be described as “Real Sex” ( Graham, 2004 ). Graham later supports her view by explaining about the season of “Real World” that was set in Las Vegas. There was a guy named Elton who was on the show and a girl named Irulan on the show, whom both had romantic interest in one another. The producers were too concerned with the two flirting, kissing, and potentially hooking up rather than the trial (which was taking place during the season) of the accused killer and kidnapper of Alton’s little brother (Graham, 2004).
In this season of the “Real World” which is set in Philadelphia, when the seven first arrive in the house, the first thing cast member Sara announces is that she has breast implants. Because they appear so real, the cast members are shocked that they are silicone. She agrees that they look real and adds that they feel real too. She then invites the other cast members to feel them (Real World, 2004).
Surprisingly, this season there are two cast members, Will and Karamo, who are homosexual. These two were totally comfortable in feeling Sara’s breasts. Since “Real World” loves to focus on sex it is not a shock that while in Philadelphia Will and Karamo find some romantic interests and bring them home. Karamo is making out on the couch with his lover (Real World, 2004), and Will decides to shower with his lover and sleep naked together. Not to mention Will and his lover slobbing each other down while naked in Will’s bed exposing Will’s lover’s rear end (Real World, 2004).
But it just doesn’t end there. Landen, another cast member of the Philadelphia season brought a girl home and they showered together!! It seems to me that on the “Real World” it is a norm to shower together in the same shower stall.
“Real World” loves to promote sex. That may be the reason why it’s in its sixteenth season because sex sells. If you really want to check out how sexual this show is, tune in on Tuesday nights on MTV at 10pm eastern.


Big Brother
By Mark St.john

Big brother is a realty TV show affiliated with CBS, this show is about 13 people who don’t know each other living in a one house for 82 days. The 13 people living there are competing for half a million dollars. In the show each week one person is voted out by the house guests. This show is also shown in other counters but only in the U.S. do the house guest vote people off every other country the viewing audience does. The show usually has all good looking house guest on it in the hopes of sexually relationships taking place. Some European versions have been filled with sex-crazed housemates, whereas the Anglo-Saxon versions have been mostly sex-free, although the second British series was marked by the emerging romance of two of the contestants. Some of the show like this look to people who they thing would be more likely to develop a sexually relations ship. It helps to spice the show up a bit and improves rating. They try to get people in these show that will make them seem like a real life sop opera. According to forbes.com “After a year of secret work De Mol created a show called Big Brother, in which 24 TV cameras trained on a group of young, good-looking men and women cooped up in a house for 100 days. Aired in Holland in September 1999, it arrived just when the world was ready for a new kind of boob-tube content: reality TV. Love it or loathe it, this kind of show has fundamentally changed how television operates--and made John de Mol a very rich guy".(Sex, Money & Videotape 2002 March, 3) This show these guy was trying to create a show that would have a lot of opportunities for people to have sexually relations. His ideal must have worked because he made a lot of money off it so someone must be watching this show. The series is notable for involving the Internet Although the main show, typically broadcast daily with a weekly roundup, is by necessity heavily edited, viewers can also watch a continuous, 24-hour feed from multiple cameras on the web. The web cameras are even in there bed rooms this shows how they use sex to promote realty TV. This helps the show out because people can get even more into the show and it will make those people more apt to watch the show when it comes on. For years people have watched sop operas but since this is more real but no less shocking people enjoy watching it with a half million at stake you can always expect sex and back stabbing this makes for great television.



Surreal Life

Allison Tanner

Out of all the reality shows the Surreal Life is very unique. It has the same base as most other shows, a few random people living in a mansion trying to coexist in their daily lives while being filmed. However in the Surreal Life the cast members aren’t just anyone, they are somewhat semi famous people that have one time or another had their 15 minutes of fame for whatever reason. If sex sells then having famous people hooking up is just that more entertaining. For some reason people get attached to the screen if they know there’s going to be a steamy scene on that episode. In reality T.V. sex scenes grasp people because they aren’t actors, they are real people behaving spontaneously and with a little editing at the t.v. station a simple kiss turns into a whole episode and somehow sex. In season two of the show, Trishelle from the Real World: Las Vegas was constantly shown hitting on Vanilla Ice or stripping in front of the guys and one episode even shows her having sex with Andy Dick. That season had continuous drama, however most of the show hit the subject of sex. One of the stars was Ron Jeremy the famous porn star. Obviously putting someone like that on the show is going to bring some kind of sex around. That season also brought a trip to a nude hotel where there was no physical contact, but still the thought of sex was on people’s minds because of naked people around. The producers of the show know what they are doing and try to make it completely hidden from us that they try to set up sexual situations and encounters. Season three of the show brought along old rapper Flava Flav and Bridgette Nielsen, the most awkward couple ever, but I’m sure it brought in ratings. A short gold toothed African American hooking up with a full figured voluptuous, tall white woman was key for the Surreal Life. If the shows weren’t focused on those two constantly grinding on each other then it was of Bridgette walking around nude or rolling around with the puppy naked. If for some reason neither of those are happening then the old T.V. show Charo’s chest is somewhere in the shot. The producers try to be sneaky about things but every episode has sex in it. Sex symbols, sexual contact, nude people. And it all works for Surreal Life because these are people we know and have watched on T.V. or listened to. It makes things that much more interesting seeing how a famous person reacts to things. Especially with sex, for some reason people glue themselves to the screen when a famous person s personal life is going to be revealed.


Queer eye for the straight guy

Joel Straley

Queer eye for the straight guy found great popularity when it hit America in 2002. The show was another success in the trend of reality TV shows. The show was also in a time when television shows on homosexuality were gaining popularity, shows such as Will and Grace. The show was an instant success. It fell in a pattern that reality television shows were keeping, the prevalence of homosexuality. Since the first season of The Real World homosexuality was very common in reality television shows. Many, including homosexual, felt that the television show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” only reinforced stereotypes and portrayed homosexuals less accurately than other reality television shows.
The basic idea of the show was five homosexual guys who made-over a straight man’s lifestyle so that he would be more fashionable and stylish. Each member of the “Fab-Five” focused on a different aspect of the man’s life. The stars of the show, the Fab-Five, ranged from subtly homosexual to flamboyantly homosexual. The show was a big success, especially compared to other shows on its network, the Bravo film and arts network. The show is believed to be help in opening the minds of America towards homosexuality. An interview with, Carson Kressley of the Fab-Five, by CNN proclaimed that the show is opening up the debate on homosexuality and providing an easier environment for closeted homosexuals.
The show also created a national trend of being “Metro-sexual”. A metro-sexual was a straight man than dressed well and fashionably, almost to appear as a homosexual male. Some homosexuals praised “Queer for the straight Guy” for exposing homosexuals while others felt the idea of the “Metro-sexual” only helped reinforce common stereotypes about homosexuals. Whether the show has had a positive or a negative effect “Queer eye for the straight guy” has opened up America on the issue of homosexuality and any step towards open-mindedness is always positive.


Lewis, N. (2004). Survivor Sue flies out after getting rubbed wrong way by Nick Lewis.
Retrieved November 8, 2004 from http://www.canada.com/entertainment/features/survivor8/story.

Graham, R. (2204, Sept 26). MTV’s ‘Real World’ turns into ‘The Carnal Camera Show’. The San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved October 7, 2004, from http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040926/news_1a26real.html

MTV (August 31, 2004). Real World. 10:00pm-10:30pm.

MTV (September 21, 2004). Real World. 10:00pm-10:30pm.

MTV (October 19, 2004). Real World. 10:00pm-10:30pm

Sex, Money & Videotape (2002 March, 3). from http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/free_forbes/2003/0317/088.html

Belle, Laura (2004, 0ct 3) Brigitte's Just Loose! Reality
Shack. Retrieved Octover 8, 2004 from

Abrego, C. (2004). the show. the surreal life. Retrieved November
3, 2004, from < http://www.thewb.com/Shows/Genericshow/0%2C11116%

WB(Season 2) . the surreal Life . 9/8 C


Group Members

Mark St.John

John Sloan

Ashley Taylor

Allison Tanner

Joel Straley