“We exist, because of sex. It is not something to be afraid of. It’s something to honor, to enjoy.” —Sun, Sense8
Sense8 is the first TV show I’ve ever seen to truly break barriers.
It’s not perfect by any means. A lot of the plot goes over my head. The dialogue can be tedious and cheesy (but falls short of preachy). A lot of the details seems illogical and terribly non-linear, but true to form for the dreaming. How did they all arrive in London in a short amount of time?
But what it offers is so much more.
We bitch about lack of diversity in entertainment. We recoil at Hollywood’s tendency to celebrate the assholes (Mad Men) and cynical Narcissism in general (House Of Cards), while marketing the shit out of Midwestern white values and self-conscious, reality-TV sentiment, cheap laughs, cheap drama, cheap theatrics.
Yet here is a show to address all those concerns, plus it’s in a sci-fi multi-verse. So what does Netflix do? Cancel it after two years, because of money (I’ve read). The Wachowskis film on location in various parts of the world, flying most of its cast there — another inventive first, btw. That’s an easy fix, though. Film in one place, use your imagination. I think the cast and crew are open to whatever fixes are required to make this work.
Whatever works, fix it, do it, so we can see more of this amazing show.
I wish I had a Sense8 growing up in the 1970s-’90s. Maybe this world would be a better place, more compassionate, more peace, love, and understanding, less war, violence, bigotry, and sexual harassment. Maybe I’d be a better person.
One of the best features of Sense8 is its honest look at sexuality. It’s unflinchingly, lovingly, non-judgmentally, bracingly, refreshingly honest. It’s a godsend for repressed people like me, who were taught to hate our bodies, to view sex as a dirty act.
I’ll tell you the truth. I don’t like sex very much. I’m embarrassed, self-conscious, awkward, and stupid around sex. I find much of it to be a chore. Maybe that has more to do with the partners I’ve had in the past, I don’t know. The very idea of putting a man’s dick in my mouth, choking it down, and then, swallowing his jizz, makes me want to puke. It’s disgusting, really. And, licking his balls? I don’t get it.
Having orgasms, on the other hand, is a guilty pleasure, one I prefer to do alone in shame, with my thoughts and a vibrator. I still feel like an ugly, dirty shit doing it.
After I watched the characters of Sense8 openly, happily engage in any physical affection — from making out to oral sex and sexual intercourse — however, I’m starting to change my view from the inside out.
I’m starting to question why we as a society view sex as this ugly, dirty, embarrassing little secret we must keep in the closet. Meanwhile, we don’t have any problem jagging off to spattering blood, breaking bones, and burning flesh in some gory, serial-killing blitzkrieg.
The subject of this dichotomy isn’t a new one. I’ve asked myself why before.
Only, Sense8 answers this question thoroughly by showing me loving couples in loving relationships in and out of the bedroom, after I’ve already fallen madly in love with them. These characters are confident in their sexuality, trusting in the sexuality of others, gay, straight, transgendered, whatever. Even Kala came around with Wolfgang (my favorite couple). It doesn’t matter who the world thinks you are, you need love, and everything that comes with it.
Initially, I flinched a bit at the open love scenes. Not because I’m homophobic. Quite the opposite, I quite enjoyed the sex scenes between Lito and Hernando, when Lito took communion at Hernando’s feet… Jesus!
I’m just not used to seeing so much flesh out in the open. It seemed like porn, not a made-for-primetime TV show on Netflix. Should I bust out my vibrator and turn down the lights like with the Rocco porn star documentary, or what?
After the first few episodes, I got over it. I got over my personal hangups and my brainwashing.
By the time Nomi and Amanita got down in the bedroom and on a grassy knoll in that electric music montage with the others, and that Roman orgy in the pool with Wolfgang (oh my!), I was all in, baby. Most of my inhibitions began to crack, as well.
I also began to believe that the only way for humanity to survive is to go this route, the complete opposite of our walls, labels, and separatist bullshit — everything neat and tidy, clean and polite. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in open communes amongst our own Sense8s? Fully integrated, vibrant, connected, fuck bloodlines, fuck your side and my side? No barriers. No labels. No caste system. Nothing between us.
As I grieve the loss of a one-of-a-kind TV show, one that may never come again, I hope we can grow as Sensates and continue influencing others to follow suit. What a wonderful world we could have then.