A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The lessons imparted are intended to improve one's relationship with sexuality and self-confidence. The idea that all kinds of people and all types of bodies are valid and deserving of pleasure is strongly championed.
Positive Role Models
The interviewees and experts alike are an empowered bunch. They display intellectual curiosity, self-love, and a desire for equality.
The cast is diverse in nearly every way imaginable, from age and gender representation to race and body type. Different types of relationships are represented -- cis-het isn't assumed to be the default norm sexuality here. The vibe is very inclusive.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The show is centered on sexuality, so naturally, there is nudity and there are frank discussions about bodies and relationships—and topics like masturbation and orgasms. This is all presented in an informed, educational, and mature way. There are a few moments where you see a woman's nipples, and a bare bottom. In one instance, they show photos of several women's vulvas to illustrate a conversation about body positivity, human anatomy, and the way every person is built differently. A variety of sex toys are shown, with some instruction on what they do.
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Most of the terminology here is more anatomy-based in nature, but there is a discussion about slang terms for different private parts, and the word "f--k" comes up from time to time.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Principles of Pleasure is a docuseries focused on uncovering facts and myths about women's sexuality. As such, there are open and graphic discussions about sex and relationships, as well as illustrative animations, photos, and video footage depicting things like a woman's vulva, a plethora of colorful sex toys, and people being intimate with each other (though not graphically so). Slang and medical terms for body parts are used, people say "f--k." Although the focus is on women's pleasure, the subjects interviewed in this series are a diverse crew encompassing cis, trans, and nonbinary folks. The show's tone is playful but educational, with positive messages about self-acceptance, communication, and consent running throughout.
Is It Any Good?
This series may have come along at just the right time, given the 2022 culture in which there are dwindling possibilities for sex education in schools and rapidly-disappearing reproductive rights. Though the discussions of anatomy and certain statistics skew pretty woman-centric, The Principles of Pleasure also features enlightening interviews with queer, trans, and nonbinary subjects of various ages and ethnic backgrounds. Michelle Buteau's narration is amusing, yet full of legitimately useful information. They also highlight the studies of researchers and educators who unpack everything from the neuroscience behind an orgasm to dangerous myths about menstruation and hormones. The way the series examines and defines consent is hugely important, as is the focus on honest communication. Viewers are likely to learn a lot they didn't previously know -- and may un-learn some things society has told them that just aren't true.
This is a bold and entertaining series that can be enjoyed by open-minded audiences of any gender or persuasion. The overarching theme is one anyone can benefit from: Knowledge is power, and has the potential to bring people closer together and closer to understanding their own needs. It underscores that self-acceptance is key to being able to experience a truly fulfilling and pleasurable sex life, and that everyone is deserving of it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.