If you’re one of the many people who were thrilled to read Vulture’s summer oral history of the classic HBO show Real Sex, you’re in luck: We’ve learned that HBO is developing a new take on the documentary series, which debuted in 1990 and faithfully chronicled the gamut of human sexuality (from swingers to female masturbation to Real Dolls) until its last episode aired in 2008. Helmed by Me @ the Zoo director Chris Moukarbel, the show, titled Sex/Now, will broadcast its half-hour pilot episode on January 2 at 11 p.m, with more potentially to come.
“Like lots of young people growing up, I learned a lot about sex by watching Real Sex,” Moukarbel told Vulture. “It was also my porn! It was hot for me as a kid, and the more I talked about it with people, the more I realized that this was a common experience that a lot of people had with the show.”
Though Sex/Now retains the classic Real Sex format of two or three documentary shorts and a “man-on-the-street” segment hosted by internet personality LisaTV, a lot has changed since Real Sex bowed in 1990: Now so much of the startling sexuality that Real Sex offered up on a regular basis can be found in one click thanks to the Internet. “Human desire is a technological engine in a lot of ways,” explained Moukarbel, whose first episode focuses on the cam girl phenomenon and also profiles young marrieds Emma and Eddie Lovett, who’ve monetized their sex life by broadcasting it online. “On the show, we want to explore sex culture and we want people to be turned on, but we’re also interested in these other questions about how people find sexual fulfillment through the Internet.”
Should Sex/Now be picked up for more episodes, Moukarbel hopes to touch on apps like Grindr and Tinder, two more examples of how the Internet has transformed our relationship to sex. “In the past five years, things have changed a lot,” he said. “At the very least, there’s an openness to have a conversation about things that used to be taboo. Anal sex in the nineties was a complete taboo; a blow job in the eighties was still considered really wild behavior. The more that people are exposed to, the more they’re open to something that’s different.”
* This article initially used the word “reboot” to refer to HBO’s new show. While Sex/Now follows the same format as Real Sex, HBO is not calling it a “reboot.”