This Is Why the ‘Bridgerton’ Sex Scenes Are So Different From Others (in a Good Way), According To Star Phoebe Dynevor

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Netflix released Bridgerton on Christmas and it was definitely a quick hit on social media. It’s witty and vibrant, in colors and characters. It’s that nice cross between a period piece and a modern one, with classical arrangements of current songs like Ariana Grande hits or Maroon 5 tracks.

And while it did premiere during the holidays, it might not be the best family show with all the sex involved. It has a ton of sex scenes and doesn’t shy away from the subject at all. The point of the show is about marriage, but relationships and intimacy are the real focus.

But what makes Bridgerton’s sex scenes different from any others that you might have seen before? It all comes down to how the dynamics between women and men come across on-screen. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Season 1 of Bridgerton].

‘Bridgerton’ shows the sex scenes from a different gaze than what audiences might be used to 

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Bridgerton is an adaptation of the novels by Julia Quinn, with the first season telling the story of how Daphne — played by Phoebe Dynevor — found her match.

She’s the diamond of the ton’s high season, winning the Queen’s approval early on. But that proves to be an issue thanks to Nigel Berbrooke, a rather unwelcome suitor who takes attention away from her. 

Regardless, she comes up with a plan with the Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset, to fake a courtship, even though they really can’t stand each other. See where this enemies-to-fake-lovers storyline is going? 

The show offers a lot of sex scenes, as stated before, and Dynevor told Glamour UK that a lot of “shots are from the female gaze,” which is a bit of a change from the way typical stories are told. 

“Watching Bond and male-driven films, I’ve seen it so many times, where the man is laid back in bed with his hands behind his head just watching a naked woman and she’s a sexualized object,” the lead said.

That’s how Bridgerton sets its sex scenes apart. It’s not just a reiteration of intimate scenes viewers have seen before.

“In Bridgerton, it is very much Daphne’s perspective of Simon; her looking at his body and her feeling that sexual drive towards him,” Dynevor said. “It’s funny, because until you experience doing it that way, you don’t really realize that it has been the other way for so long.”

Phoebe Dynevor explained how having intimacy coordinators helped make the sex scenes with Regé-Jean Page run smoothly 

Dynevor’s Daphne and Regé-Jean Page’s Simon aren’t the only two characters who are convorting, though. There are several characters who are doing the deed, and as stated before, it’s a big part of the show. At this period in time, sex was a pasttime for men but not for women before marriage in higher ranking. And women didn’t even know how babies came to be in many instances before they were even taken to their marriage bed, which is also seen on the show. 

And this isn’t the first time Dynevor has done intimate scenes in her time as an actor. She told Glamour UK that in the past, it’s sort of been a “do whatever you want” scenario. Which felt “very out of control” to her. But for the Netflix show, they hired intimacy coordinators and it was a well-oiled machine. 

“We’d go through every single scene before we’d shoot it,” she said. “We rehearsed everything like a fight scene, so I knew exactly where Regé was going to put his hand and at what point; it really frees you up, because there isn’t that weird thing of, ‘Oh, what’s he going to do now?’”

‘Bridgerton’ has a lot of sex, with one scene gaining a lot of criticism for being non-consensual 

With a lot of sex comes a lot of responsibility, which some would say Bridgerton wasn’t always up to par with, including a controversial sex scene between Daphne and Simon.

The Duke of Hastings made a vow to his father on his deathbed that he wouldn’t give him any heirs to pay him back for the horrible treatment he gave him growing up. But, of course, he didn’t take into account that he might fall in love with someone, aka Daphne. 

So when he marries her, he banks on her lack of knowledge around babymaking. But when she finds out how women get pregnant, and that Simon is choosing not to have children — not that he physically can’t — she’s infuriated. This leads her to force Simon to stay with her as he finishes.

Fans took issue with the total lack of consent in that scene, and Bridgerton showrunner Chris Van Dusen talked to Entertainment Weekly about it as well.

“We had a lot of conversations around that specific incident in the book,” Van Dusen said.  “I’ve always called this first season of the show, if it had a subtitle, it would be, ‘The Education of Daphne Bridgerton.’ That incident really goes along with that overall — that overarching theme that she starts out as this picture-perfect, wide-eyed, innocent debutante.”

He goes on to say that viewers watch Daphne “grow into this woman” shedding society’s “constraints” and “figures out…what she’s capable of.” 

“It’s a part of her journey,” he said. “And we did discuss it a lot as far as how to approach it and how to handle it.”

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