Admit it. At some point recently, as you’ve been scanning the TV listings, a particular show’s title has jumped out at you. It isn’t just that the name of TLC’s Sex Sent Me to the ER is eye-catching… it’s that it’s so, well, direct. If you haven’t taken the plunge and actually tuned in for an episode, what you’ve been missing is the ultimate guilty pleasure.
The show features actors reenacting the sexual circumstances that led up to an ER visit, with commentary sometimes provided by the real people and sometimes by real doctors. Far less gruesome than the network’s Untold Stories of the ER, it rates high on both the intentional and unintentional comedy scales. Of course, the real draw is the situations themselves. Having to go to the emergency room and admit that you were hurt during sex has to rank extremely high on the embarrassment meter. On the opposite end of the spectrum, getting to sit at home and watch others suffer through the indignity — even if it is just bad actors portraying the events — is cathartic. It’s okay to laugh at someone else’s pain in this case because even the people involved realize that a sex related injury is funny… even if it was extremely painful.
The circumstances go from curious to cringe-inducing. There’s the woman that had an orgasm that wouldn’t stop for three hours. The guy that broke his manhood during a threesome and the ensuing catfight that broke out in the ER over it. The 400-pound man that accidentally knocked his girlfriend’s head through a wall and rendered her unconscious during his first sexual encounter. The list goes on and on.
Part of the fun, in the segments where the real people help tell their own story, is getting to compare whether the actors that are cast were actually a good fit. It can range from pretty close to not even a little, but the opportunity to second guess a casting director makes for an added bonus. On the same token, the acting itself is about what you would expect… but what makes it hilarious is watching the actors/extras on the periphery trying to keep a straight face at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. The facial expressions across the board are priceless.
TLC just ordered an additional 35 episodes of Sex Sent Me to the ER, and based on the show’s message boards, there’s no shortage of people waiting to share their story of being injured during sex. In fact, most of them just pitch their story right there. Sure, TLC tries to interject some actual knowledge by using pop-up balloons to dispense facts and figures related to the injuries or conditions, but anyone gaining any true medical insight from the show is completely secondary. Laughing at other people’s sexual misfortune is pretty good medicine in and of itself.