Breaking Down Each Episode of Gwyneth Paltrow's Sex, Love and goop

Gwyneth Paltrow Sex, Love and goop takes Netflix viewers on a wild ride of radical acceptance, shame and joy, painting a new picture of what it means to be sexually pleased.

By Cydney Contreras Oct 24, 2021 1:00 AMTags

Gwyneth Paltrow has done it again.

The goop founder returns to Netflix with another unflinching look at the human anatomy in Sex, Love and goop. It's a six-episode series that centers on couples as they navigate obstacles in their relationship, whether it's sexual or emotional. 

For this, Gwyneth places each couple with an expert that can help them get to the root of their problem. Because, on the surface, they may think it's a matter of chemistry, but the issue could be much deeper.

Suffice to say there are moments of incredible discomfort, like when the couples are pretending to be animals and sniffing each other's butts, a practice that most of the experts ask them to do. There's also some nudity, though it's actually quite tasteful since this is largely instructional and not produced by an adult entertainment company. 

And though Gwyneth doesn't partake in any of the couples' practices, she thoughtfully guides the participants in a group discussion about the societal expectations that are placed on men and women. 

Gwyneth Paltrow's Romantic History

Nonetheless, if you want to know what you're getting into when you sit down to watch Sex, Love and goop, check out the summaries below! Spoiler: It's not as bad as you might expect...

A Show About Sex

Episode one centers on Erika and Damon, who have an "erotic mismatch," according to somatic sexologist Jaiya. To get to the root of each person's sexual desires, Jaya has Damon try out different techniques, like whips, oils and bondage, on Erika. Through this, Erika realizes that she and Damon haven't actually tried to please each other in new ways. 

There's also Felicitas and Rama, a couple struggling in the bedroom. To combat this problem, expert Michaela Boehm makes them touch each other all over their body to understand why they're not turning each other on and if there are any sexual hangups. The consensus is Rama wants to please Felicitas too much, with Michaela calling it a "little boy/mommy dynamic."

Overall, this is an educational episode that isn't too racy. Is it comfortable enough to watch with children in the room? No. But it's lighter than the others.

What just happened to me?

Damon has his turn on the table and gets emotional when he nearly orgasms as Erika lightly touches him. We're not kidding, his eyes roll back in his head when she grazes his chest hair. And then Damon cries afterwards, saying, "Oh my gosh, what just happened to me?"

Meanwhile, Rama becomes King Rama in his and Felicita's quest for sexual excitement and Felicitas learns how to give positive feedback so King Rama feels comfortable being naughty. They do some breathing and aerobics exercises while blindfolded, then do a little role playing as King and servant. 

Jaya and her partner then do a demonstration, which is definitely NSFW and can't necessarily be described. All Damon could say was, "Well, s--t."

This episode is definitely a bit saucier and will for sure cause some nervous giggles, but is also a reminder that it's okay to be uncomfortable, at least, in the privacy of your own home. 

Your mom can't watch this.

Camille and Shandra turn to Darshana Avila for help as they both struggle with feeling confident in the bedroom. To aid them, Darshana gives them vibrators and other tools to use during sex. But Camille realizes that it's not the sex that's keeping her from enjoying it. Rather, it's her insecurities about the appearance of her body.

Joie and Mike meet with intimacy coach Amina Peterson, who helps them with their "mismatched erotic desire," first by making them pretend to be animals. At some point, they even smell each other's butts while roleplaying as animals. In the process, Mike learns to be more intimate, rather than sexual. In other words, the couple learns to stop imitating porn and lean into what they actually enjoy. 

This episode is the least uncomfortable. It's a true look at what societal standards have taught people, especially women, about their own bodies, and can be emotional if you're struggling to feel comfortable in your own skin.

Would you do that?

Each couple returns to the table to focus on finding pleasure in sexual acts.

As Erika and Damon resume their practice, Erika begins crying because she realizes she has a negative attachment to sex. Like Erika, Shandra has similar issues with intimacy and shame, causing her to tense up during penetration. 

Darshana and Jaiya then guide their respective couples through stimulation, making Shandra and Erika very emotional as they realize their fear was keeping them from enjoyment.

Though there are more sexual acts performed in this episode, the goop team approaches the subject with delicacy and respect. Again, it's NSFW, but is worth watching to learn about the impact of shame.

Thank the past.

Sera and Dash are one of the few couples without sex issues. They shared that they actually thrive in the bedroom, but tend to abandon relationships when it gets too hard.

Katarina "Kato" Wittich is a family constellations facilitator who brings together Sera, Dash and other individuals to participate in a rare type of therapy, which was created by Bert Hellinger, who studied the Zulu tribe in Africa. 

In general, this episode was one of the more confusing ones. It's like when you tell a story and someone doesn't understand it, so all you can say is, "You had to be there." 


Camille and Shandra, and Erika and Damon start to put what they've learned into practice. While Camilla learns to be more authoritative and give instructions, Shandra starts to feel comfortable acting on her own impulses. As a result, they each experience the "fireworks" they'd been wanting to have, even though that wasn't the end goal. The intended purpose was simply living in the moment. 

The finale is a good conclusion to a thought-provoking series, with Gwyneth herself saying that the six episodes expose the "deeply entrenched shame and negativity towards ourselves and our bodies." So, while all the episodes weren't comfortable to watch, it's still worth it.

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