Helen and Red, married 71 years, relax in their bed as she talks about sex.
Margie explains she left her husband for Linda, her soul mate. Leon talks about being “polyamorous,” and Blanca, snuggling into him, talks about being monogamous.
Seven more couples are featured in Philippa Robinson’s “Americans in Bed,” airing Monday, Aug. 12, on HBO. It’s an interesting look at people talking about their relationships, love and sex all from the privacy of their beds.
Incidentally, no sex is shown; it’s far more intimate than that.
Everyone faces the camera, on his or her side of the bed, and answers questions that are not heard on-screen. The film is careful to cover a range of ethnicities, ages and sexual orientations.
There’s an honesty that comes from people talking in the comfort of their beds. And it’s pretty evident that a few women say more than their husbands would have preferred.
Fatima talks about going through Kevin’s cellphone, which she usually did not do, and finding evidence of an affair.
George and Farid have married and had twins through a surrogate, a life that could not have been led by a gay couple before.
Yasmin and Mohamed are shy newlyweds who followed religious and cultural mores and did not have physical contact before marriage.
Antonio and Roberta talk about how they were having an affair while he was married, and she since became his fourth wife.
Joe and Patty acknowledge their first attraction was physical, but sustaining a marriage and caring for three kids has altered the nature of their relationship.
The film begins with an information card about how 70 percent of Americans say they believe in love at first sight. The U.S. has one of the world’s highest marriage rates yet the third highest divorce rate, with half of all unions failing.
But to see one union that thrived – and seven decades of marriage is a gold standard – look to Helen and Red on their bed, in assisted living.
“Did I ever say no to you?” Helen says to Red. “I never had a headache. I never refused him sex – never.”