Sit a New Zealander down to talk about sex and you'll get guilt, fear and ignorance-or so the popular mythology goes.
At the time of the series New Zealanders were considered to be anxiety-ridden, unable to express our intimate feelings well, and unable easily to develop our sexual lives in a supportive and supporting environment. But that was the stereotype. In the TVNZ series, as well as the book of the same name with which it is linked, a wide range of New Zealanders showed that our sexuality is a much richer, more varied and complex matter than the two-dimensional self-image we have grown up with allows.
Certainly most men in our society seem to have been forced to define their sexual existence in relation to a dominant macho ethic, and most women in terms of the submissiveness that accompanies it. But one of the strongest themes running through the series is choice. The people interviewed for the project suggest that we have a much greater choice over how to express our sexuality than many others might think.
Learning how to exercise that choice can be very hard, but through all the frustration there are many joys to be found.
Series and book explore those frustrations, and those joys. Men and women-from adolescence to old age, whether singles, couples, heterosexual, lesbian or gay-talk about their sexuality.
The book was written by Alison Gray, and published in 1985 by Reed Methuen.
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