I've finally gotten around to watching the first few episodes of what I had hoped would be my favorite new television show, Fox Reality's "Sex Decoy: Love Stings." This show has two great titles, and two great premises- it's sort of a family business reality show mixed with "Cheaters," which is a show I admire very much.
Unfortunately, "Love Stings" stinks.
The show follows a woman called Sandra Hope, who runs a private investigation service called "Mate Check Private Investigations" in Arizona. They specialize in catching cheating husbands/boyfriends by setting up "stings," in which the men are tempted with the prospect of sex with an attractive woman.
The twist is that Sandra uses her own attractive daughters as the "bait."
Ms. Hope seems to have had some kind of premonition that her daughters would either be strippers or detectives (at least two of the three currently work as strippers), because each comes equipped with a name appropriate to either line: Kashmir, Jasmine, and Xanadu.
Then again, maybe those are aliases. If I were a star of this show, I'd probably call myself "Chase" or "Islander," or "Hunky."
The episodes begin with this completely untraditional family doing something banal, such as visiting the putt-putt course, making a cake in the kitchen, or just lounging by the pool, sunbathing. Then they'll get a call from a "client," and Ms. Hope takes the call right there, with cameras rolling.
They're all such bad actors that, somehow, it all feels so staged.
The clients are then met, and the women relay their concerns about their partners. One woman, whose boyfriend is an "artist," caught him grinding up against women in a nightclub- his excuse for this was that he was scouting new models to paint.
Not to be too glib, that is actually a really good excuse, since an artist should be intimately acquainted with his subjects. "You have to see with your hands," is my own artistic motto.
At this point Ms. Hope asks the client if she wants to set up a sting. Because that is the point of the show, the client always wants to set up a sting, so Ms. Hope follows that question by asking the client what type of woman would be most tempting to the man in question.
Touchingly, the answer to this question is often, "Someone who looks like me."
At this point I, as the viewer, should be fighting back tears.
Ms. Hope then has to decide which of her daughters to tart up and send in for the sting. However, if her loins for some reason were unable to produce a daughter with the right look, she will hire another woman. The women she hires- the freelancers- are invariably skilled at what they do, and should probably get their own shows.
The daughters, however, are still learning and aren't always as good at it. In one episode, the youngest, Xanadu, made such a fumbling attempt at seduction that I thought I was watching myself in a blond wig. And she was going after an MMA fighter/singer in a local rock band! Anyone with a pulse should be able to seduce a man like that (and by the way, are the "clients" actually paying for the services depicted on this show- if so, in this case, I would ask for a refund). In another, all Jasmine had to do was promise to let the man use the backdoor.
At this point, Ms. Hope's boyfriend/business partner, Tom goes somewhere they know the men will be. He sets up hidden cameras and they send in the women and wait for the men to behave like men.
This footage is shown to the clients, who are then asked if they want to continue on to the final sting. Since there's a half hour to fill each episode, you can bet they do. More cameras are set up, and the clients watch live in an RV (which somehow seems appropriate) while the man gets stung.
Generally, once the men start kissing the decoys, the women leave the RV for the confrontation. The men are incredulous at the presence of the girlfriend/fiancee and the cameras ("What the heck is this?"), then indignant ("So you paid people to go in our house and put up a camera in our place?" "I'll see you in a couple of days then, then you f*cking come back," "She didn't ask me if I had a fiancee, she asked me if I had a girlfriend").
At this point, the men either accept that they've been "stung," and are ready to move on ("The only problem with Tondra is she is one girl, and not 100 girls") or not ("I'm in a situation where I'm part guilty, but people are antagonizing the situation").
I suppose there is one lesson that can be gleaned from the show (other than "don't watch"): If you're not sexually compatible with someone, don't remain with him/her. In either the first or second episode, a woman whose live-in boyfriend is getting a little too close to her live-in sister has the following exchange with him, after he's been stung:
"I don't have anal sex. I'm not gonna sit up there and have anal sex with you."
"That's a problem that I been tryin' to--"
"Yeah, that's part of the problem, so go ahead and bounce... I'm not gonna have anal sex; it don't feel good to me."
For myself, I always make sure my romantic partners can handle my purple frot habit. It's just common sense. If one of you wants to do something the other doesn't, cheating will inevitably ensue. It might be an interest in certain sexual positions, and it might be an interest in having multiple partners.
So that's the lesson: don't watch.
Bonus: Here is a real Private Investigator's take on the show:
The content of the “Sex Decoy Love Stings reality show” is pure trailer trash with a badge, exaggerated situations, set up “stings” with so-called private investigators entrapping their clients boyfriends with the stripper daughters of the madam PI boss Sandra Hope, absolutely unbelievable.
Funny family portrait pic source.