14 February 2022
The sexpert speaks: Bradley R Daniels on Sex in Afrikaans
New Showmax Original Sex in Afrikaans is bound to have some people hot under the collar. The series features interviews with sex shop owners, dominatixes, prostitutes, swingers, a dungeon master, people who dress up like babies and more of what seems to be an interesting, endless list of what some of you, your quiet neighbours and your colleagues probably get up to behind closed doors.
Guiding us on this journey is clinical psychologist Bradley R Daniels and his studio guests, four Afrikaans couples and two singles who are ready to have an open discussion about their sex lives and in the process discover there’s way more to sex than they thought.
We chatted to Bradley about the show, and his passion for helping couples have a healthier sex life.
Watch the trailer
You hold a master’s degree in clinical psychology from New York University. What made you choose to study sexology?
I’ve always been interested in people, was a bookworm as a child and still read a lot. As a teenager I really liked to learned about genetics, sex and gender. My parents were very open-minded and always supported and encouraged intellectual pursuit. My first degree was in law at Wits, after which I studied applied psychology and started working in various fields, such as human resources, marketing, media, broadcasting, radio and TV. I’ve always wanted to do my masters overseas and the opportunity came around in 2006.
What more is there for you to learn in this field?
A friend who studied with me at NYU always told me “I did not discover this level, it discovered me” so it was almost sort of a magical thing to come from these studies.
I’m currently very involved with the South African Sexual Health Association, as well as the World Association for Sexual Health. You learn something new every day, especially with Sex in Afrikaans – it was a wonderful feeling to be able to see how well what I’ve always read in textbooks came together in practice in this exciting new project. As if the textbooks came to life before my very eyes.
My ambition is to write the European Committee of Sexual Medicine exam in the coming year, after which I will be a registered sexual health practitioner at the ECSM. Then I would also like to complete my PhD.
Do you think there are more extreme sexual activities happening behind closed doors among conservative Afrikaners than they would like to admit?
I think it’s the same in all communities that are conservative. Nobody really talks about sex; it’s a very sensitive topic. Even people who consider themselves liberals struggle to talk about sex because many people do not have good language for sex and sexual practices. Part of the sexual health practitioner’s job is to give people the necessary language. There are definitely more extreme sexual activities going on behind all closed doors.
Sex is still a taboo subject in South Africa and it has a lot to do with shame and judgement, especially from the religious community. What do you think?
I agree, sex is still a taboo subject in South Africa, especially when it comes to religious circles. Although many people do not necessarily consider themselves very religious, it is true that our unconscious socialisation still remains within us. If you grew up in a strictly religious household, it remains in the unconscious mind and people struggle with the integration of religion and sexuality.
If faith is out of the picture, people might be more open about sex, but not necessarily. It might just make it a bit easier to feel less guilty and to embrace their sexuality. However, there’s no need to choose between religion and sexuality – it’s part of being human. I think a lot of people need help to be able to integrate the two.
Why is a programme like Sex in Afrikaans so important to South Africa? What will this series accomplish?
Sex in Afrikaans is definitely going to be groundbreaking! During filming, we saw that there are so many questions that are answered about how people view sex, how many people understand or do not understand sex, alternative sex practices, fetishes, pornography, swinging, BDSM and so many more.
For me, the most important thing about my involvement with Sex in Afrikaans was to be able to do great education so that people can understand more about sex and sexuality and the diverse ways in which sex can be explored. I think the audience will definitely benefit because we have a lot of fun, but I am also a serious person so it’s also very educational. It’s definitely going to be a big hit! I can’t wait to see how people are going to react to it.
Give me two other slang words or terms for the word naai.
I’ve always thought naai is a descriptive word but it can be harsh in the wrong context. Some other fun terms are nail; come hammer me; come change my oil; I want to dance on the ceiling tonight and I want to sing on the mic tonight, which refers to a blow job.