In November, Alexia and Christopher Crom snuck away for some alone time. Alexia hadn’t been in the mood much since having thecouple’s 2-year-old. But now that they were finally by themselves, the new mom was feeling it.
After a half-hour romp, the pair put on their silk PJs — and waited for their lovemaking to be judged by strangers.
“When you see the set, you see the box. I thought, ‘I can’t believe we’re going to go through with this. We’re actually going to have sex on national TV,’ ” Alexia, 25, tells The Post.
“Sex Box,” based on a 2013 UK series, premieres Friday at 10 p.m. and takes reality shows to a shocking new level: Couples have sex in a soundproof enclosure, then throw on their robes and, in their post-coital glow, discuss the details with a panel of three “sexperts” in front of a studio audience.
While nobody actually watches the pair have sex, the setup is meant to take advantage of the post-coital release of oxytocin (also referred to as the “cuddle hormone”) that makes couples more trusting.
The lovers are allowed unlimited time in the box, with their on-set trysts lasting anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour.
But first, they discuss their problems with the panel — a psychotherapist, a sex therapist and a pastor/couples counselor, who all offer advice.
“We can’t [usually] be there when [sex] is happening, but with the box, you can,” says sex therapist , one of the show’s three experts. “You’re there when they’re anxious right before and can really map it out, and you’re sitting there when they come out — they’re feeling close, they’re feeling bonded — or the opposite.”
Each of the 11 hourlong episodes covers three relationships, with problems ranging from high school sweethearts whose passion’s flames have gone out after 14 years of marriage and four kids, to an open relationship where one partner wants to introduce S&M.
For the Croms, the show was a last-ditch effort to save their sex life after Alexia’s libido plummeted following the birth of their son.
“The thing that was running through my head was maybe this is what we need to make our sex life work again,” says Christopher, 25. “Before going on [the show] we were worried that we’d pretty much exhausted our options.”
Sasha and Steve Wendell found themselves on “Sex Box” because their baby-making sex — and her anxiety about not being able to get pregnant after six years of marriage — is ruining their intimacy. Used to only doing the deed when she’s ovulating, Sasha, 27, found it erotic to have sex in a public forum.
“We didn’t worry so much about what was going on around us,” she tells The Post. “We knew what we were going in for, so we didn’t really focus on anything else.”
For the Wendells, the more embarrassing part was after, when they emerged from the box dressed in robes, then had to talk about their experience without pausing for hair or makeup retouching.
“It was really awkward for me, because I was sweating really bad,” says Steve, 26.
Sasha agrees: “I’m not used to having an audience after I’m done having sex.”
For some couples, a romp in the Sex Box is all it takes to resolve their issues, Donaghue says, while for others, it was only the start of their rebuilding work — and for a few, it didn’t fix things at all.
Three months after the taping, Sasha is still focused on getting pregnant, but she’s also making time for more spontaneous sex. The Croms, meanwhile, say their sex life is now “great” — and Alexia is pregnant again.
After doing the show, she says, “We’ve been able to communicate what we want sexually, what we need from each other.”