Why Bridgerton's steamiest scenes are causing such a stir
Australia, along with the rest of the world, has been enraptured by the Netflix series Bridgerton.
It has everything it needs to make it the perfect afternoon watch – drama, cattiness, classic woes, but most of all, raunchy sex scenes.
Lovehoney’s psycho-sexologist Chantelle Otten weighed in on what Bridgerton is doing right, and what they could also stop doing to make it the best series possible.
*** A warning for those who haven't yet binged the oh-so-binge-worthy show, there are spoilers ahead – and some of it is a bit on the naughty side. ***
The first sex scene to enter on the screens is the solo one in Episode Three.
The Duke and Daphne have a conversation where he questions her about whether she has touched herself.
He is quickly shocked when he learns she has not, but quickly instructs her to do so anywhere on her body that gives her pleasure when she’s alone until she reaches a “pinnacle”.
The scene finishes when Daphne reaches the “pinnacle” the duke speaks of.
Otten has some very specific views on this scene. “(In 1813) times were very different and pleasure, and especially female pleasure, was not talked about openly or prioritised like it is now, although we still have a long way to go,” says Otten.
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“The scene delicately portrays Daphne exploring her sexuality, however it is important to reinforce that every vulva owner is different … Solo play is a journey and it can take some time and exploration to discover what you enjoy and what works for you.”
In Episode 5 of Bridgerton, there is a hallway "menage a trois".
The second-born Bridgerton son accidentally walks in on Henry Granville having intercourse with another man.
Benedict then goes on to have a particularly steamy session with Granville’s wife and Genevieve Delacroix.
“This scene is hot,” Otten says.
“It feels secretive and like the characters are letting go of their inhibition.”
“As long as exploring sexual experiences with someone outside your relationship is something you have agreed with a partner, exploring sexuality (for example with someone of a different sex) is a great way to take your pleasure to new heights.”
Episode 5 follows with a scene that everyone watching the show has patiently (not so much) been waiting for.
The couple head on their honeymoon and once they get alone time, the sexual tension builds and they give in to desire.
“This scene is beautiful and tender," says Otten. "One thing in particular that sticks out to me is the Duke’s approach to consent.
“As they start to kiss, the Duke asks Daphne, ‘Do you want me to stop?’ Daphne then gives the Duke a visual cue to indicate that she doesn’t.”
Otten goes on to say: “The reality of penetrative sex for the first time is that it can often be a bit awkward, messy and uncomfortable, which is not portrayed in this scene.
“However, I will give the scene kudos for subtly and delicately approaching the topic of consent, which is a topic that comes up again later in the series.
Like with any relationship, open communication is vital and consent must be at the foundation of every sexual encounter.”
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Episode 6 is one you might want to watch by yourself as it is as steamy as it gets!
Daphne and the Duke run outside in the rain to a Secret Garden-like setting where they engage in innocent activities to begin with, but eventually go on to have intercourse.
It is the first time viewers are forced to notice the Duke rolling off of his wife when he’s about to climax.
“While it’s a visually beautiful scene and quite exciting, the main thing this scene gets wrong about sex is that it insinuates that heterosexual sex ends once the man orgasms. It is also telling us that sex lasts around 13 seconds and ends in a mutual climax at the exact same time, which of course we know is not the truth at all,” Otten says.
“It also skips foreplay. We all know the importance of building up to arousal for pleasurable sex through kissing and touching, and now we also have the benefits of things like vibrators and lubricants to enhance pre-penetrative and post-penetrative play.”
A controversial scene also comes up in Episode 6 when Daphne realises the Duke is not infertile and he has been persuading her to believe he is.
Daphne takes matters into her own hands.
“When the Duke propositions her for sex once again, she obliges. However, this time she gets on top and won’t get off, forcing him to climax inside of her. This is defined as non-consensual sex which is sexual assault,” says Otten.
“This scene highlights three very important things when it comes to sex: first and most importantly, is sexual consent and not taking advantage of someone sexually, regardless of the situation. Secondly, is the importance of sexual education and thirdly, communication, and learning how to respectfully communicate sensitive topics with a partner.”
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Episode 7 contains the staircase scene and is one Otten says made her happy.
“I must have had a big smile on my face when I watched this scene, because this male on female oral sex is a depiction we rarely see on screens, especially in such detail,” Otten explained.
In this scene, the Duke performs oral sex on Daphne on a lavish staircase.
“I’m not sure if it’s the beautifully intricate balustrade or the sex that made me more excited. This is where Bridgerton gets it very right. I hope these types of male on female oral action becomes more the norm on our screens,” Otten went on to add.
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