Sex with Strangers (2002)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Already the subject of another theatrical-release documentary (1999's The Lifestyle), sexually "open" relationships go under the microscope yet again in this feature-length effort from Taxicab Confessions creators Joe and Harry Gantz. Sex With Strangers profiles two couples and one threesome in which each partner has agreed to experiment sexually with others, ideally without emotional attachment. First up are James and Theresa, a middle-aged Oregon husband and wife who seek out action on the Internet, then travel to the site of the willing party in their camper van. Meanwhile in Mississippi, Gerard and Shannon are young marrieds who frequent sex parties, trying to organize their often-separate sexual schedules around caring for their son. Finally, James' younger friend Calvin may think he has it all -- two full-time girlfriends -- but the jealousy and resentment between the two comes to the fore as he tries to decide which woman he's going to legally marry. Sex With Strangers was aired on Showtime before its theatrical run.
Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
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Critic Reviews for Sex with Strangers

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (14)

It's a documentary that says that the alternate sexuality meant to set you free may require so much relationship maintenance that celibacy can start looking good.

Full Review… | October 11, 2002
Boston Globe
Top Critic

As a thoughtful and unflinching examination of an alternative lifestyle, Sex with Strangers is a success.

Full Review… | September 20, 2002
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Couples titillated by the possibility of swinging will probably leave the theater gripping each other's hands a little more tightly.

Full Review… | September 13, 2002
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Finally, a movie for people who just can't get enough Jerry Springer.

August 31, 2002
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

I didn't find much fascination in the swinging. What they're doing is a matter of plumbing arrangements and mind games, of no erotic or sensuous charge. But that they are doing it is thought-provoking.

Full Review… | August 16, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A film that forces you to bring along and confront your own sexual mores, whether you like it or not.

Full Review… | August 15, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sex with Strangers


Basically a "reality TV"-style documentary about a few groups of people with no decent personality. I guess these people couldn't attract anyone to be around them without acting like this. So much pettiness; how could you chose to live like this if minor jealousies set you off? I also learned the difference between wife-swapping and swinging. I wonder if there are attractive-people-only swinger clubs, because some of these were downright horrid looking.


It looked really stupid, but as with most well made documentaries it's more insightful than at first glance. An entire world of polygamy has been opened here for neophytes of the topic, and although I don't think I'll try it, Sex With Strangers leaves one open minded in spite of how even handed it is in bringing up polygamous dilemmas (As in, it's not fully supportive at every corner). The sex is fully explicit; not of the XXX type as I don't think it titillates (or is meant to titillate) and furthermore there's no close up of the sex or active sexual organs. At least three (Might be four - can't remember) couples' swinging lives are shuffled throughout and it's ironic how these are Middle USA white people, ones one typically expects to be fervently religious and sexually conservative in these matters.

Ricardo Craneo
Ricardo Craneo

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