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33. Sex Addicts

Tapehead no 33

Sex Addiction is all the rage these days, and no wonder. Where better to meet dozens of horny men or women than a Sex Addicts therapy session ?
Fine Cut: I Am A Sex Addict illustrates how sex addiction can lead to devastating debilities for S&M, pornography and violence, and the sort of massive self-loathing that causes one addict to describe herself as “a hopeless romantic in a vibrator life.”
Phew.
“What sex addicts have in common,” Fine Cut states, “is their compulsion and the fact that they are people, just like you and me.”
It looks as if you and me have lot of problems then.
One addict, a scary exhibitionist, wistfully remembers his first erection and recalls the time a couple from Gravesend tied wax and gauze around his dick. With blushing sentimentality, a couple of hippy swingers/addicts display their cum towel, a six-year souvenir of their outdoor encounters, which she has kept, “in case we might want to frame it, or put it on the wall”.
A hardcore S&M addict helpfully explains the variations in his collection of whips and handcuffs, and reminiscences about putting fluorescent cayenne pepper in a girl’s welts so they would glow in the dark. Happy times to be sure.
Quirky voyeurism is all very well of course (Tapehead likes nothing better), but Fine Cut veers uncomfortably towards crass exploitation for Lori, an obese nymphomaniac, a porn star renowned for being generously well-disposed toward gang-bangs (as many as 33 times in one go).
“No one’s interested in Lori,” she claims, so her alter ego, Layla (the lay of LA) stars in flicks like Hard and Lard in which, she says, she is renowned for her jiggle-osity.
Lori/Layla’s lewd version of Rescue Me is probably the most disturbing, pathetic sight of the week as she belts out: “Gang-bang me/Take me in your arms/Gang-bang me/I want your throbbing charms…”etc.
Seriously demoralising.
Sex addict and freak-lover, Pedro Almodovar, would feel for her. The Indiscreet Charm Of Pedro Almodovar, a Late Show special, looks at his fantastic passion, brilliant women and outrageous humour, and includes the surprising sight of John Waters being superbly upstaged by Almodovar’s mother.
Well worth taping, if only to count Almodovar’s costume changes – some of them seemingly in mid-sentence. The most extraordinary moment is Pedro stepping out of a limo with what can only be described as a hairdo even Kevin Keegan would baulk at.
“I felt like ET in the village I grew up in,” he remembers, and no wonder with that hair.
The Indiscreet Charm Of Pedro Almodovar also features undoubtedly the best clip of a transvestite and a knitting teacher enjoying a golden shower that you’ll see on TV this week.
More sex and madness in Jeremy Issacs’s Face To Face interview with Jeanette Winterson, who concedes (um, reluctantly) her books are “a play on form”, “challenging a genre”, “like Virginia Woolf”, even “a rod, a staff for her readers,” and “a guiding light.”
Isaacs praises the novel, experimental diversity of Winterson’s language and asks gravely where she finds these words.
“In the dictionary,” Winterson elucidates.
Contrary to recent opinion, it is not true that Winterson is incapable of modesty. She admits parts of Oranges are badly written -“in the same way as, say. A book like Wuthering Heights.”
“My childhood was happy. I was a happy child,” she says at one point, bringing to mind a similar master of the language, revered for his plays on form.
“It is a fiction. I am a fiction writer,” she explains, an obvious allusion to that great writer/philosopher, Chris Eubank and his (profound) statement, “I box because I am a boxer. I am a boxer because it is boxing.”
A true insight into one of literature’s most important influences.

Fine Cut: Sat, 11.15pm-12.25pm, BBC2
Face to Face: Tue, 11.15pm-11.55pm, BBC2
The Indiscreet Charm of Pedro Almodovar:
Thu, 11.15pm-11.55pm, BBC2