Sex/Life: How Netflix’s new hit series makes Bridgerton sex scenes seem prudish by comparison

Cast have praised showrunners for ensuring sex scenes are used only to ‘drive the story and the characters’

Roisin O'Connor@Roisin_OConnor
Thursday 01 July 2021 10:04
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Sex/Life on Netflix: Official Trailer

Netlix’s series Sex/Life is proving to be one of the streaming service’s most popular new shows.

Set around New York and inspired by BB Easton’s 2016 book 44 Chapters About 4 Men, it follows married mother of two Billie Connelly (Sarah Shahi), who finds herself reminiscing about her former lover, Brad Simon (Adam Demos).

After running into him again, Billie becomes entangled in a love triangle with Brad and her husband, Cooper (Mike Vogel) as she struggles to forget her wild past.

On social media, fans have been discussing the show’s unapologetic use of full-frontal nudity and frequent sex scenes, which some have joked make Netflix’s “steamy” period romance series Bridgertonseem almost prudish by comparison.

Australian actor Demos, 35, confirmed that he does not use a body double for his Sex/Life nude scenes, telling Entertainment Weekly: “I was OK with [the nude scenes] because you read the script and know what you’re getting yourself into from the start, so I don’t think you would sign on to a show after reading the scripts and then say no last minute.”

He added: “That doesn’t mean you can’t have discussions about comfort level, which they allowed us to have – and with the intimacy coordinator, so it felt a lot safer.”

He said the nude scenes were there “for a reason, because they drive the story and the characters”.

Showrunner Stacy Rukeyser recently told Collider that Demos’s full-frontal scene was “not just for titillation’s sake” but to demonstrate just how “obsessed” Billie’s husband, Cooper, has become with her past life.

Meanwhile, Shahi told Refinery29 that she had to have “so much sex on this show”.

“We have a sex montage where I had almost a different actor each day,” she said. “Sometimes there were multiple actors a day whom I had to fake sex with.”

Shahi said the show was also heavily invested in promoting sex positivity for women, citing its many scenes of oral sex for her character.

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“Oral is a big part of our stimulation,” she said. “It’s sex represented by women for women.”

She credited the show’s intimacy coordinator, Casey Hudecki, for making sure the cast and crew had proper discussions about even the most minute details of each sex scene.

Sex/Life is available to stream now on Netflix. You can find out everything that is leaving the service this month here, and everything arriving in July here.

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