How has the internet changed our notions of what it means to cheat in a relationship? What does our approach to sex education through the years tell us about ourselves? And what’s the new normal emerging from our evolving sense of gender and sexuality?
Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S, one of the nation’s foremost authorities on sexuality in the digital age, joins a prestigious group of experts to help answer these questions and more in a six-part National Geographic Channel series titled “Original Sin: How Sex Changed the World.”
Created with the production company World of Wonder, the series aims to bring the once taboo topic into the light and examine how sex has influenced the cultural, scientific and political events of the past and been influenced by them in turn.
In sharing his insights for the production, Weiss drew upon his years of clinical experience treating sex addiction and intimacy issues, as well as his experience establishing and overseeing addiction and mental health treatment programs for Elements Behavioral Health, where he is currently senior vice president of national clinical development. He’s also the author of several highly regarded books, including Sex Addiction 101: A Basic Guide to Healing from Sex, Love, and Porn Addiction, and is the co-author of Closer Together, Further Apart: The Effect of Technology and the Internet on Parenting, Work, and Relationships and Always Turned On: Sex Addiction in the Digital Age.
The first episode in the National Geographic Channel series examines “High-Tech Sex” and the concept that technology is allowing people to explore their sexual natures as never before, away from prying eyes and the judgment of others. In an earlier era, the episode notes, the car (that rolling bedroom) was once the technological innovation that opened up new ways to connect. Today, the internet has taken center stage, bringing us sexting, Ashley Madison and online sexual role-play.
“Clearly what the internet has offered is a faster, easier, more anonymous way to get yourself caught up in potential pleasures that are problematic for some people and not for others,” Weiss explains in the episode. “There are more people than there were in the past getting hooked and stuck in this fantasy-based world.”
Other episodes will look at government attempts to regulate what happens in the bedroom, the wars over what we do and don’t teach in sex-ed classes, what political sex scandals reveal about hypocrisy, the evolution of sex in advertising, and how high-profile people such as Caitlyn Jenner are changing the way we view our sexual natures.
“Original Sin” began airing July 10, 2016, on the National Geographic Channel and can also be viewed on the National Geographic Channel website. The series will be broadcast globally in 171 countries and 45 languages.