'Too Hot To Handle' producers dish out why they set $6,000 penalty for oral sex and $20,000 for intercourse

There were long discussions to work out what was the right amount to be a penalty but not enough to make them not interact at all, say executive producers Jonno Richards and Viki Kolar


                            'Too Hot To Handle' producers dish out why they set $6,000 penalty for oral sex and $20,000 for intercourse
(Netflix)

Netflix's show 'Too Hot To Handle' has an unbelievable premise. Ten "hotties" sent to a resort for a month with nothing to do except each other — only they’re not allowed to have sex. Every time they have sex they lose a bit more of the $100,000 prize money pot. The further they go, the more money they lose.

Across the eight-episode first season, we learned that every intimate move came with a price to pay. While a little lip service cost the group $3,000, going all the way set back the group by $20,000, while $6,000 was taken away from the winning amount courtesy an oral sex session.

In a recent chat with a media outlet, executive producers Viki Kolar and Jonno Richards reveal how they decided the price tags on each amorous activity that happened on their show which didn't have the penalties up on the wall like a bar tab notifying participants about the prices. 

"There were these sort of long discussions to work out what was the right amount to be a penalty when they got it, but people could still work with that, it wasn’t like there was a bar tab up on the wall saying, 'this is what x costs, this is what y costs'," said Jonno.

Viki admitted that the price was set too high for intercourse but $6000 was cheap. "We wanted to make it acceptable to break the rules so that we would have a show, but we also didn’t want to be too much about the money."

"We felt that $20,000 for sex was big enough, but it was those middle ground things that were a big debate. We eventually settled on $6,000 [for oral sex], but I think that was a bit cheap, as well," Viki added.

"It was an ongoing discussion, lots of debate," added Jonno. "Conversations you never thought you’d be having."

The show deviated from the format followed by most reality shows where the audiences decide the fate of the contestants every week. This show was based out of Lana's house and ran on her rules — a supposedly artificially intelligent robot who looks like a cross between an Alexa and an air freshener. 

Both Jonno and Viki admitted that there was no set plan coming in for what exactly would happen when on the show. The idea was that the producers, sorry — Lana would watch what the contestants were doing and decide the course of action.

"We've tried to make the format true to the process and what was happening," Jonno said. "We didn’t want it to have it be like, now there's eviction and someone else leaves and now someone new comes in. We wanted to throw twists and turns… The whole thing was kind of reactive to what was happening."

The show was not as harsh as it sounds on the participants. One of the biggest twists in the show came four episodes into the show. Smartwatches were introduced and when they lit up green, it meant temporary interlude from chastity and contestants could cop a kiss as a reward for forming "genuine connections".

"This also meant a clear digression from the 'no sexual contact of any kind' premise."

“We had the idea that the watches would exist [from the beginning], but we actually were going to be a bit meaner," Viki said. "Eventually, we decided that they should be rewarded and the watches would serve as a nice counterbalance to losing the money."

"So it was kind of a carrot and a stick scenario. Every tool that we used was based on this particular group of people."

While it's hard to say if the contestants were able to look past sexual impulses and form deeper relationships but Viki hopes that the show makes viewers think a bit harder about the way they form connections with other people. 

"Of course there's the twists and the characters and Lana, but I think that, actually, it’s the workshops and that idea that slowing down might be the way forward, which is different in the world we’re living in right now," she mentioned. 

However, it doesn't mean that one has to sit down in silence and engage in prolonged eye contact to form meaningful relationships, shared Jonno. "It's a very funny show, a fun show, a light show," he said. "You should watch it and laugh. You should hopefully connect with some of the characters and have a good time."

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