Bridgerton’s steamy sex scenes, as reviewed by a sexologist
It’s the series that has captured Australia and the rest of the world with its binge-worthy, Gossip Girl-esque take on life in the 1800s. And one thing that Bridgerton is not missing is steamy sex scenes. Lovehoney’s resident psycho-sexologist Chantelle Otten ranks each one.
To celebrate everyone’s latest Netflix obsession, global sexual wellness brand Lovehoney’s resident psycho-sexologist Chantelle Otten weighs in on what Bridgerton gets right and wrong in its key sex scenes. Covering topics including consent, threesomes, and climaxing, just how accurate is the series’ portrayal of sexual encounters?
1. Episode 3: Solo sex
Ahead of this sexy solo play scene, the Duke and Daphne have a conversation where the Duke questions Daphne about whether she has touched herself. He is shocked to learn she has not as she doesn’t appear to know what he’s talking about. The Duke then instructs Daphne to “touch herself” anywhere on her body that gives her pleasure when she’s alone until she reaches a “pinnacle”.
Curiosity gets the better of Daphne and she spends time getting to know herself and what pleasures her. The scene finishes with Daphne reaching the “pinnacle” the Duke talks of.
“[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.”
2. Episode 5: Hallway threesome
In this racy scene, Benedict, the second-born Bridgerton, attends a party where he walks in on Henry Granville getting down and dirty with another man. Benedict then partakes in a threesome involving Granville’s wife and Genevieve Delacroix.
“This scene is hot. It feels secretive and like the characters are letting go of their inhibitions,” Otten says.
“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.”
3. Episode 5: Wedding night sex
The moment we had all been waiting for. After the wedding, the couple head on their honeymoon. When they get some alone time, you can almost feel the sexual tension between the two of them release as their first night of passion unfolds.
“This scene is beautiful and tender. 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,” observes Otten.
“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.”
She adds: “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.”
4. Episode 6: Rain sex
Episode six is the magical episode that you don’t want to be watching with your family as it’s full of explosive sex scenes. The first steamy scene is when Daphne and the Duke run outside in the rain to a Secret Garden-like setting where they frolic happily, laughing and engaging in some vigorous kissing.
This is the first scene where we see the couple have sex from start to finish. Once they find some shelter, the Duke gets on top and they have sex. It lasts just over 10 seconds and he rolls off her when he’s about to climax.
“Whilst 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,” says Otten.
“It also skips foreplay. We all know the importance of building up to arousal for pleasurable sex through kissing touching, and now we also have the benefits of things like vibrators and lubricants to enhance pre-penetrative and post-penetrative play.
5. Episode 6: Conception attempt sex
This is the controversial scene everyone is talking about and it’s clear why. The scene starts out with Daphne realising that the Duke may not be infertile as he has insinuated or Daphne has believed to be true this whole time. Daphne appears extremely hurt as she feels betrayed and 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.”
6. Episode 7: Staircase sex
“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,” says Otten.
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.”