Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
4 minute read
14 Feb 2022
3:33 pm

‘I thought I’d heard and seen it all’: Rian van Heerden on ‘Sex in Afrikaans’

Renate Engelbrecht

Rian van Heerden talks about the new documentary ‘Sex in Afrikaans’ and says he didn’t think anything could still shock him.

'Sex In Afrikaans'. Image: Supplied

Launching on Showmax today, the ground-breaking 18SNLV documentary series Sex in Afrikaans is undoubtedly bringing a whole new twist to what we traditionally know as Valentine’s Day.

Sex In Afrikaans interview
‘Sex In Afrikaans’ is set to give another twist to the traditional Valentine’s Day. Image: Supplied

In the series, four Afrikaans couples and two singles, with the help of clinical psychologist Bradley R Daniels, will speak openly for the first time about their sex lives and in the process discover that there is much more fun to be had.

Says narrator Rian van Heerden: “I didn’t think anything could still shock or surprise me. But I can tell you while we were filming the series, we could hardly believe what we were hearing!”

Van Heerden is also the show’s producer through Provoco and openly admits: “I honestly didn’t think I was conservative and then I realised that I was actually still a little conservative.”

He says that after doing all those series of Voorblad and Skuur back in the day, he thought he’d heard and seen it all, “but apparently not”.

He was shocked to realise that we have never had anything like this documentary on South African television. Something that “focuses on sex and calls a spade a spade”.

Two years ago, he had the idea of exploring the sex lives of Afrikaans people. “It’s uncharted territory. Why have we never talked about these things in Afrikaans? For me, this is a massive problem. I look at my own life and how conservative I grew up and I feel deprived of so much pleasure because these topics were considered dirty and we were not allowed to talk about it.”

South Africa is said to have over 40,000 registered swingers and according to the documentary, “Afrikaans people and the adult industry go hand-in-hand”.

Still, Van Heerden says it was “quite a process” to find people who were willing to talk about sex so openly and on television. “And, because of people with alternative sexual needs being judged so harshly in the Afrikaans community, you can imagine how difficult it was to get Afrikaans people to openly talk about sex. I think that every person who participated is a pioneer and is very brave indeed.”

Van Heerden also says that the series includes a whole episode on swinging alone, “which is a big Afrikaans thing”. “Swinging is a big, big thing, especially in the estates. I’ve talked to dozens and dozens of couples who swing, but that episode was our hardest one in terms of getting people to talk about it on TV.”

Sex in Afrikaans will feature interviews with sex workers, adult shop owners, a unicorn, swingers, dominatrixes, a crossdresser, a dungeon master, people who dress up like babies and others who prefer full body latex suits.

These interviews not only left Rian stunned, but will also surprise many a viewer with information about the industry and the people in it. Interviewees share their experiences, commenting about the koeksister tannies – “the ones ordering the biggest vibrators,” and saying that “sex is just sex, it’s an animal need”.

In one of the episodes, an interviewee shares without shame: “I am your biggest fantasy and your biggest nightmare.”

Interview for Sex in Afrikaans
One of the many interviews in the documentary, ‘Sex in Afrikaans.’ Image: Supplied

The controversial television series is said to be an eye-opening tour of what your neighbours and your co-workers get up to behind closed doors and the media is all abuzz about it, with IOL dubbing it “SA’s most controversial TV series to date” and Saturday Star calling it “jaw-dropping”.

Ring for Sex
Ring for Sex. Image: Supplied

READ: Binge-watch ‘Troukoors’ on Showmax this December

From sex worker “Amanda” who shares what the ooms ask of her when they visit her, to BDSM and people becoming human dolls, Sex in Afrikaans is likely to shock you out of your socks. “Why was I shocked?” asks Rian. “When you talk to these people, they are 100% normal people and they just get kicks from other things than for example you and me. And so what?”

According to Van Heerden, Sex in Afrikaans is the most controversial series that has ever been produced in South Africa and he says that if there is a second season in the pipeline, he would like to explore the world of nudism.