Welcome back to MAFS, my fellow train-wreck voyeurs! Let’s not delay in getting into the fresh horrors this week is sure to bring.

We kick things off with what’s low-key my favourite part of this show: all the couples gossiping together about what happened at the Commitment Ceremony last night. What can I say, I like to see people bond by being a little bit naughty!

Samantha is somewhat buoyed by the fact that Cameron decided to stay last night. We’re treated to an extended sequence of her cleaning the apartment in preparation for him to move in. She says she’s here to collect a husband that she can take home to her family, to her children, to which I say – really? This is your first choice for that? MAFS?

In his Channel 9-provided bachelor pad, Cam is acknowledging his attraction to Coco but also being like, Oi’ve been cheated on before and that’s hard to take, so Oi don’t wanna hurt Sam and Oi’ve got to stand boi moi morals. How noble a thumb he is.

noble and denuded

Downstairs, Coco is contemplating her wedding ring and definitely not thinking loudly about how much its diameter reminds her of something else.

don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it

Her husband, Sam the Pig, made an embarrassment of himself in front of everyone else last night instead of limiting it to the privacy of their own relationship, and was unsurprisingly roasted for his shitty behaviour by like… everyone there. Including documented dickhead Bryce, who called him a dickhead! It was great. Still, not great enough to convince Coco that it’s a good idea to stick around with him.

“I need to feel appreciated and respected in a relationship, and I love myself enough to not want to be spoken to like that,” she says. “There’s no coming back from this. I’m just done with the relationship.”

Happy International Women’s Day indeed! I fucken love this woman.

Pig Sam is still coming to terms with the fact that everyone thinks he’s a gronk. He wants to try to apologise and smooth things over. Best of luck, fucko!

I’m sorry that YOU got OFFENDED by how COOL AND NICE I AM

Cam has moved back in with Samantha and they’re approaching their relationship with a slightly forced jollity. Cam is saying lots of vaguely positive things about “moving in the right direction” and “taking things one step at a time”. Sam’s pretty guarded but seems encouraged by Cam’s new attitude. Here’s to at least one more week of not being total fuckheads to each other, I guess?

Downstairs, things have got chilly between James and Jo, and Jo just can’t understand why. Could it be because she wrote “Stay (for now)” on her cursed little MAFS chequebook? What’s the big deal about that???


totally fine and normal stuff

Jo reckons James has gone and put walls up, and got more distant. He’s all like, I need to start thinking with my head. As opposed to? Best not to probe too deep there. He feels insecure, he’s not sure if he trusts her, yadda yadda we get it you’ve got issues and you’ve been paired up with someone who has the sensitivity of a fence post. Sorry about it!!

Meanwhile, Bec and Jake have taken a turn for the worse. Bec moved out! Apparently after the intensity of the commitment ceremony, when Bec really needed some comfort and closeness, Jake decided to decompress by going out with the boys.

and acquiring a facial hair situation that is, unfortunately, REALLY doing it for me

Bec’s like, “I want to be warm to Jake,” which is a self-defeating attitude as we have already established that she is a creature of ice and snow, and is at an insurmountable disadvantage in this experiment due to being genetically incapable of giving a shit about human beings. I admire it!

She says that while she recognises that their relationship has got off on the wrong foot, it’s not going to get better without trying, “and Jake’s not trying.” Are you sure packing your things and moving out constitutes trying, sweetie?

avert your eyes and leave me to my peanut butter, hot-blooded heathen

They have a definitely-not-staged conversation where Bec says “the experiment is not about hanging out with the boys” and Jake says he’s sorry for not prioritising her. Bec says the commitment ceremony made her realise that she has been “quite cold”, which is an impressive conclusion for an ice maiden to come to.

He asks for a hug, she acquiesces, and they remain that way until the end of the segment because I assume his human flesh has fused with her frozen body and they must remain so entwined for all eternity.

something something never lick a frozen pole something

Tonight marks the start of the next set of indignities to be visited upon the hapless contestants in this hell show, and this time it’s something called “Intimacy Week”. The sexy sexologist Alessandra is in charge, and she and her boob window are gonna be ratcheting up the physical discomfort to 11.

“The next phase of the experiment is about increasing your trust with your partner, strengthening your understanding of romance, intimacy and sexual compatibility,” reads Belinda with the cadence of someone reading their own death sentence, and Brett makes the face we are all making inside our hearts.

I thought my contract specifically stated ‘no porn’

Jason is like, “I’m gonna kill it this week,” and considering how enthusiastically Alana reported on his orgasmic prowess then like… yeah mate. You probably are.

cummies for all!

We open with a segment of all the contestants’ pre-show Zoom interviews with Alessandra, who asks them things like “How adventurous are you, sexually?” and “How would you describe yourself as a lover?” I can feel every orifice clamping shut in sympathy.

Based on these responses, Alessandra has tailor-made a bunch of exercises to help the couples “improve their intimacy”. You’re not fooling me, you well-coiffed demon. Look, here she comes to visit her specific brand of sexual terrorism on poor sweet nerds Patrick and Belinda.

your virgin ass is mine, puta

Belinda is very nervous, as she’s not super experienced with this whole…. intimacy thing. Alessandra gets them to do “eye gazing”, a “loving, gentle, taking the person in” kind of prolonged eye contact with your partner. She encourages them to “caress each other’s earlobes”, which is deeply upsetting in a way I find difficult to articulate and very distracting. It doesn’t go well. Belinda finds it very uncomfortable, and for once the sea witch and I are in exact alignment.

you dare to gaze upon the divine visage?!

Now they’re doing something called “the melted hug”, which I always thought was the move where you have to latch on to someone to prevent yourself tumbling down the pub steps. Apparently in this scenario, it’s just pressing your bodies together. “Get your groins a little closer together,” trills Alessandra, while the tension emanating from the two dorks is so powerful it’s physically pressing me into the couch cushions.

Alessandra’s last-ditch effort at manufacturing nerd-on-nerd eroticism is just a straight-out ten-minute make-out session. This sounds like hell on earth. At least she says she’ll leave them alone while they attempt to mash faces for an entire play-through of Free Bird.

Try it, I dare you.

In Bryce and Melissa’s apartment, Liss is naturally feeling a little nervous about the impending tasks considering the casual disregard for her feelings that Bryce has evidenced in past situations – remember all the times he’s reiterated how much she fails to adhere to his “type”, physically? They receive an iPad with a recording of Alessandra commanding them to do the eye-gazing exercise. Liss is like “The fact that he’s never really liked my eye colour… this should be a very interesting task,” and I crush my wine glass in my fist because the NERVE of that TOENAIL of a man to CRITICISE my favourite alien on her EYE COLOUR – which is a very beautiful and quite unusual clear jade green – has bypassed my cerebral cortex and activated KILL MODE.

say the word, my intergalactic queen, and his throat will feel the caress of my bat’leth

The pair cosy up on the floor, nose-to-nose, and stare into each other’s eyes while caressing each other, just as Alessandra said. It quickly devolves into making out. He still doesn’t deserve her but I’m begrudgingly happy that Alessandra’s sexy mumbo-jumbo is paying off for some people.

Oh god, except he’s gone and cocked it up, obviously. “You actually have really nice eyes,” says Bryce. “Regardless of the colour.” Shut up?!?! HONESTLY, who gives that much of a shit about eye colour? I grew up consuming a strict diet of insanely horny fantasy romance books and I’m not going around bitching because none of my partners have had violet eyes! Where does this prick get OFF.

Meanwhile Coco is blowing up Cam’s phone, just to like… check in on how he’s going with Sam. Totally innocent. No funny business.

where’s mummy’s thumby

Cam reckons he wants to be respectful to his woife but he still heads over for a debrief with Coco. If nothing else we respect a guy who is always down for a bitch sesh. “I know who you are. You know who you are,” he says. “You’re strong. You’re confident. So it shouldn’t matter what he says about you.” Correct! They move on to talking about him and Samantha.

“Why did you write stay?” Coco asks, clearly feeling out the landscape around his whole, like, being married to someone else thing. He says some bullshit about wanting to experience the experiment for what it is, which I’m pretty sure is code for “a producer threatened to castrate me with a knife from the catering table unless I agreed to stick around”.

She asks if he’s planning on moving back in with Sam, and he’s like Oh I’ve already moved back in! Coco says, “Well… well, well… that’ll be interesting!” with the expression of someone who’d like to know the fastest route to the catering table.

so no thumby cummies

Coco says she’s completely checked out of her relationship. “It’s hard. Like we’ve said, you and I do get along well,” she says. Cam is trying very hard to be like, Oi’m a married man, Oi want to respect moi woife, but they are pretty much openly acknowledging their chemistry and mutual attraction.

Coco tells the camera that she doesn’t want to be a contributing factor in the disintegration of their relationship, but now that Cam and Sam are moved in together, who knows what will happen? It might fix things, it might dissolve them faster than ever. She’s playing the long game and I have nothing but respect for a strategic, plausible-deniability-leveraging queen. Slightly ethically suspect? Yes. Excellent television? Also yes.

In Booka and Brett’s apartment, Booka is talking about wanting their intimacy week activities to involve stupid costumes, while Brett is getting way ahead of her.

stupid costumes? not really my bag

Booka’s like, “I’d really love to dress up as a schoolgirl who keeps getting held back in her last year of school.”

“Oh, like a naughty schoolgirl,” nods Brett.

“I never said naughty,” says Booka. “She’s trying, but she’s not quite getting the grades.”

“Oh like a disadvantaged schoolgirl,” says Brett, while I draft an email to Channel 9 petitioning them to get this couple their own sketch comedy platform IMMEDIATELY.

Meanwhile, Bec is demanding the end of Jake’s handlebar moustache. I cannot support this movement but at least we get some topless shots of our favourite himbo with heart.

still fused to the ice maiden, Bronson?

Somewhere else in the building, Sam the Pig is sporting his worst look to date and mumbling a lot about wanting to apologise to Coco. He reckons he’s going in with the best intentions. Sure.

nothin but net

It’s a masterclass in non-apologising, but I can sort of see that he’s trying? The poor little piglet simply doesn’t have the emotional tools required for genuine reflection on his behaviour. He’s all like, “I know sometimes I’ve been short, but never tried to make you feel uncomfortable. I always felt like I’ve tried to be a gentleman.” Coco says that he speaks to her with contempt, which is absolutely accurate. He says that he comes on “pretty hot” sometimes and that maybe last night he could have been a bit more cool about things. You reckon?

“I’d like to apologise if I have ever come across aggressive in our chats, so…” he trails off. Hot tip for anyone needing to apologise for something: excise the word “if” from your vocabulary. Christ’s sake, have we really done the whole #metoo cycle without anyone learning a god damn thing? (Yes.)

“The fact that you somewhat take ownership, like I admire you for that, I admire you for coming down here,” says Coco, while assuming the posture of someone absolutely defeated by her opponent’s density.

there’s the body language of a happy woman!

Sam’s ready to put it all behind him and move forward. Coco says “Yeah sure” with the exact same tones that I use when being asked if I’ve got time to sort through the recycling later. She remains both completely checked out of her “relationship” and the savviest person on this show by far.

“The problem with Sam is that he’s not remorseful or really reflective on his actions or how he speaks to people,” she says to the camera. “I don’t think he’s really learned anything from what the experts said.” Give! Her! A talk show!!! She says she respects him for apologising and that maybe they can get back to a friendlier space. We shall see about that.

Back in the Nerd Neurosis Aggravation Zone, Belinda and Patrick are about to try out some of Alessandra’s exercises. Not the makeout one! Just the staring and hugging. Belinda is about as excited about this as she was about leaving her underwater kingdom in the first place.

this mortal realm is more tiresome than I ever could have imagined

They attempt to intertwine legs, and end up in a position that I can only describe as “original”, as in I’m not sure any humans have ever sat like this before in the history of the species.

this would be much easier in my many-tentacled form

They are tentatively caressing one another. Belinda is feeling awkward. Memories of that cursed bath from the honeymoon are resurfacing. I’m reaching for a curly straw with which to suck down the sweet numbing juice of my boxed wine more efficiently. It sucks. I hated it. They both hated it. Let them progress at their own pace, MAFS demons!!

In Samantha and Cameron’s own prison of awkwardness, Alessandra is paying another personal visit. Cameron is feeling reticent about participating because the last time they were intimate everything blew up (because, it must be said, of his ham-fisted response to Sam’s queries about their emotional connection). Alessandra and her boob window aren’t here to force them to be sexual with each other though – they’re here to make them laugh!

u r jokin

She gets them to fake-laugh at each other for three minutes, with the goal of having it turn into a genuine laugh and therefore a means of breaking the ongoing tension between them. It kinda works! Considering how serious things have been, the relief of a good shared chuckle is palpable.

Now Alessandra’s making them do the “melted hug”, where they press their bodies aaaalllllll the way together for far too bloody long. Neither of them seem stoked on it but let’s give them props for giving it a genuine crack, and it seems to really have an effect. Am I going to be forced to acknowledge the validity of Alessandra’s sexy Latin hocus-pocus?

look into my boob window and despair

Booka and Brett don’t get an in-person visit from the Mammary Aperture – instead, they get something called an “intimacy box”, which appears to contain the leftovers from a low-end Rockhampton hen’s night.

hot

The MAFS producers are doing their best to squeeze some drama out of these two but the truth is they are mad keen on each other and no amount of quick-cut editing and uneasy music can change my mind about that. Booka doesn’t like sucking on Brett’s fingers while being filmed (so weird?!) but she does like emerging from the bedroom looking so good it should be ILLEGAL.

hurt me

She does this whole Russian domme thing where she handcuffs Brett and gives him a massage, and while this kind of smut absolutely should not be broadcast on my television into my very own living room it IS delightful and I do love it unreservedly.

actually wait hurt him

Still basking in the afterglow of Alessandra’s Boob Window to Love, Sam and Cam are sharing a bed for the first time since the honeymoon and appear to be in generally good spirits. But upstairs, Bryce is still being a berk about Melissa’s eye colour. Someone gag this man.

“I’m warming to her eye colour,” he says, as though he has any right. “The green eyes aren’t that bad.”

Melissa is like, “They’re not a dealbreaker, are they?” And he goes, “I don’t think so…”

CINEPHILES, INC. — WHEN SOMEONE WON'T STOP TALKING WHILE YOU'RE...

To camera, Melissa rolls her eyes while saying, “At least I know he likes me for my personality and not my looks.”

I just want to take a minute to say: there’s nothing inherently wrong with Bryce preferring blue eyes, as stupid as I think it is. Lots of people have stupid preferences. What’s wrong with this whole scenario is that he won’t SHUT UP about it. What is he gaining from reminding Liss that her eyes are the “wrong” colour? Why is he visiting upon her this casually-administered death by a thousand cuts? WHY WON’T HE STOP TALKING?

“I think Bryce doesn’t realise that what he’s saying can be hurtful to me,” says Melissa. “But I also don’t speak up. And that’s definitely something I need to work on, because the insensitive comments are starting to build up and I’m kind of over it.” Ya! No shit!

I’ll have you know that on my home planet I was VERY popular

Back in Belinda and Patrick’s own personal circle of hell, the awkward tension is at an all-time high. Patrick is brooding on the balcony, which is a bad look for him if I’m being perfectly honest.

am I pensive or am I questioning the wisdom of embarking on a romantic journey with a thousand-year-old oceanic deity

They decide to take the radical approach of… talking about it! Pat says he feels rejected when he doesn’t get affection from Belinda. Belinda says she wants the chance to initiate things herself, and she’s grateful that Pat’s been so patient with her. They revisit the eye-staring exercise. Belinda has really found her light, she looks awesome.

drop the skincare routine bich

They have a nice little hug and a pash. Unfortunately I see someone’s tongue entering someone else’s mouth so I’ve died of vicarious embarrassment and will have to dictate the rest of this recap by ouija board. Happy for them though! Love to see my fellow nerds in love!

We finish the ep with Coco very restrainedly acknowledging that she has a bit of a crush on Cam, but that they’re in a situation that goes against both of their morals and she won’t be stepping over that line. Downstairs, Cam and Sam are waking up in the friendzone together. Cam reckons he’s been thinking about Coco a lot. Can’t see anything going wrong there!

And that, friends, is the end of the first bit of “Intimacy Week”. We didn’t see anything from resident bonk-bunnies Alana and Jason, but if the previews are anything to go by we will be getting an uncomfortably close look at their particular brand of intimacy next ep. Until then: take it sleazy!