How far would you go for mind-blowing, toe-curling sex?
The real-life couples on “Sex, Love & Goop” — a new Netflix docu-series from Goop queen Gwyneth Paltrow, out Thursday, Oct. 21 — are brave enough to air their dirty laundry (and lingerie) in order to fix their physical connections with their partners. The lovers are paired with intimacy and sexuality coaches who help them get in touch with their bodies and express their deepest desires in the bedroom.
Among the sexperts is Jaiya, a svelte, silver-haired sex therapist based in Boulder, Colo. The somatic sexologist — which she describes as “someone who works not just with the mental aspects of sexuality, but actually works with the body as well” — helps couples overcome the blind spots and hang-ups that are holding them back from sexual bliss.
“Oftentimes, people come to see me because there’s some kind of discrepancy in the relationship,” Jaiya, 44, told The Post. “One of them wants more sex than the other one, they think that they’re on different pages, but a lot of it is just not communicating about sex.”
On the show, Jaiya teams up with Erika and Damon, a married couple who have been together for six years, and whose uneven sex drives are starting to threaten their connection. The attraction is there — “The first time I met her, I think I fell in love with her,” Damon, an artist, tells the camera — but Erika is less interested in getting it on than her lusty, and more experienced, husband.
That’s where Jaiya steps in. She introduces the couple to her theory of five “erotic blueprints” — like love languages, but for turn-ons.
There’s the sensual (someone who likes all of their senses, from sight to smell, stimulated in bed), the kinky (a person who gets hot and bothered by things that are considered taboo), the sexual (someone who is into looking at, and touching, naked bodies) and the shape-shifter (someone who is genuinely aroused by it all, depending on the moment).
There’s also the energetic — a person who is seduced by teasing, rather than direct touch, and the sensation of yearning that follows.
Jaiya told The Post it was an encounter with an energetic many years ago that allowed her to draft her blueprints for the first time: “I’ll never forget the day — it hit me like lightning! I was working with a couple, [the guy] was on the table … and I just started hovering my hands, not touching him and his body started to quiver and respond. Then, his eyes popped open, and he looked at me he was like, ‘What’s happening? That feels so good!’”
On the show, Jaiya gives Erika and Damon a quiz, then brings out some props — including blindfolds, fuzzy toys and sharp metal claws — to help them both figure out what they like. Much to their surprise, Erika and Damon both prove to be energetic, allowing them to find that elusive, tantalizing common ground — and leading to one of the most memorable moments of the show’s six episodes: a contactless orgasm.
Jaiya introduces her partner, Ian, to demonstrate all of the sizzling potential of energetic play. First, she lays down blindfolded on a table while Ian manipulates the air around her head and her pelvis while she writhes. Next, the pair sit face to face, getting increasingly hot and heavy, even though their lips and bodies never touch.
Jaiya said that these activities are all about teasing. “[It’s like] the energy before the anticipation of a kiss. In the anticipation, there’s a lot of arousal and turn-on that happens, and essentially that’s what we’re playing with, we’re playing with not touching.” (She adds that Ian found this all very “woo woo” at first, but now he’s into it.)
All of the show’s sexperts promote body positivity and open communication, helping duos such as Camille and Shandra — a lesbian couple overcoming shame and conservative religious programming — find more comfort with their bodies. Even superstar Paltrow, who hosts the show along with her friend and intimacy coach Michaela Boehm, admits she struggles with negative body image. “I feel like the next phase of work in my life has to be around real acceptance, because I drive myself really hard to not age and to not be disappointed in the way I look, and I’m still disappointed in the way I look.”
For Jaiya — who told The Post that as “a little girl, I wanted to be Dr. Ruth when I grew up” — the secret to sexual satisfaction is getting real with yourself and your partner about what you like, and not being shy on the road to figuring it out.
Her advice to curious couples? “Start to experiment and play,” she said. “I think we forget the play so much, we make it so serious and we’re so afraid to make a mistake, or so afraid to be criticized.” But it doesn’t have to be that way: “Get out some fur, get out some forks from your kitchen — find some things around the house and start to play! Create a safe space for where [you] can mess up and discover.”