Those of you who follow englishrosiee_rinsebeforeuse on Instagram may know that I applied for my actual dream job as Bumble’s Global Connector Bee. Basically, it’s a paid position which allows one person to travel all over the world using the Bumble app to date (make friends and network) while carrying out research into how relationships and such differ from one country to the next. Essentially, it’s what I did for your entertainment (app-lessly) in Kenya, then with my winter sex-capades in London (well, that didn’t quite go to plan as such) and most successfully on my recent trip to ‘Love Island’ aka Mauritius.
Despite having worked with travel-related content for over half a decade, it’s all pretty much been confined to arm chair travel because thanks to the interweb there isn’t so much need to pay someone to jet off to Burkina Faso to find out what the country’s top 10 attractions are because Google is your friend. However, when it comes to the somewhat more intimate subject matters related to dating, sex and relationships things start to get tricky. Sure, there are plenty of people, like yours truly that like shouting their mouth of about their latest conquest but not all cultures would likely approve of such vulgarity, hence the need to do a little investigative journalism.
The Bumble Connector Bee position is obviously not the first instance of someone visiting exotic places to do anthropological studies into different concepts of ‘LOVE’ and the like. Both #zlotybaby and I failed to really get into Elizabeth Gilbert’s (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) book Committed where she travels through South East Asia to reassess the Western notions of commitment and marriage. Sadly, I can’t review the book for y’all because I lost interest quite early on but maybe I’ll give it another shot, sometime. Anyway, moving swiftly onto something that did manage to hold my attention and the actual point of this post – Christiane Amanpour’s Netflix Documentary : Sex and Love Around The World.
Over the course of 6 episodes, CNN journalist, Christiane Amanpour travels around the world talking to local women to provide a fascinating insight into issues related to love, sex and intimacy in vastly different places – namely Tokyo, Delhi, Beirut, Berlin, Accra and Shanghai. I could sit here and dissect each episode for you but we’d be here forever and a day. As you can imagine, each society is incredibly different from the next and the series forces you to see things from various female perspectives and question certain misconceptions you may have. For instance, many would expect Japanese people to have fairly active sex lives considering it is the land of geishas and anime porn, but it turns out that large part of the population have sexless marriages (and they now organise strange events where men have to loudly shout about how much they love their wives as a way of getting their sex lives going). From India, where Amanpour gets acquainted with members of the transgender community and gets an insight into the stigma that comes when living in such conservative societies. And Beirut, where women struggle to get divorced or see their kids without a man’s say so. To the other end of the spectrum, in Berlin where it’s all about getting as much sexual satisfaction as possible but where they are also busy trying to reconcile such norms with those of newly arrived Syrian refugees. Eeek!
While Amanpour does a pretty good job in keeping things light-hearted and focusing on the positive aspects of how women are attempting to drive change in realm of sexual activity all over the world, there are still parts of the documentary that are quite harrowing and will likely cause some frustration. For instance, in Accra she’s reunited with a lady who she inadvertently had a hand in freeing from a life of oppression and sexual slavery. And where she chats to women who openly acknowledge that their husbands ‘cheat’ but truly believe they are still good men because they take care of the family and keep the ladies (plural) satisfied in the bedroom. Sigh!
So all in all, it’s a great little documentary series which provides plenty of food for thought especially to the sorts of people who like reading our blog (yes, you Rinsers). And there is definitely potential for a second season (and third and fourth and fifth). Regardless, you should all keep your fingers crossed that I get that job with Bumble because by pimping myself out and going undercover for y’all I’ll certainly be able to get more and more interesting perspectives on all things sex, dating and romance from exotic places across the globe 😉