The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!

#311: The Bridgerton Effect

- Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Netflix series Bridgerton has been hugely popular. This Regency-era romance series has had audiences rivetted by both the slow burn courting as well as the quality sex scenes.

I've been interviewed twice by journalists on the show – one on the romance side, which you can read here, and one on the sex side, which you can read here.

I was more than happy to do the interviews, because even though I found the storyline itself pretty light and trite (spoiler alert – she gets her man!), there are some good takeaways from the show.

Firstly, and traditionally, there is great inspiration in the way the couples court. It is slow and subtle, yet builds up an incredible erotic charge. As I’m quoted saying in the first article:

"Even if it's just a nice kiss on the cheek – you can still do that in an erotic way. I think Bridgerton showed us just how erotic the bare minimum can be, especially when these days people think they have to be naked and doing all sorts of crazy things on the first date. Energetic frisson is incredibly powerful and something we’ve really lost lately. It's the building of anticipation and sexual chemistry without doing anything overt."

Secondly, and more contemporarily, the sex scenes are excellent. To quote myself in the second article:

"We're starting to see sex portrayed differently on TV. Sex as art, sex as love, sex as something meaningful ... it's not porn, which is simply entertainment that can tap into the unresolved issues we have around sex."

The journalist was intrigued by what I meant by meaningful, quality sex. My reply was:

"In a 'bad' example it’s all about the sex and not about the connection. What we see in Bridgerton is a very deep connection between the lovers. We see the progression of the lovemaking, right from the frisson … often in movies they are up against the wall, not even looking at each other. Good sex happens between two sets of eyes, two sets of lips, two entire bodies."

Rather than the standard intense passion quickly moving to intercourse, shows such as this one as well as Outlander and Sense8 are showing better quality sex scenes (I'm sure there are others, those are two that I've seen). These scenes show the intricacies of sexual engagement: the connection between the partners, the lead-up to the genital engagement, a slower build, male partners pleasuring female partners, manual and oral pleasuring not just intercourse. You can see that it’s not just about 'getting off' but much more about tenderness and love and pleasure.

I sometimes get clients saying they want to have sex 'like on Outlander', so I encourage the couple to watch the sex scenes together and describe what it is about what they are seeing that is so erotic and appealing. It can really help a couple convey their sexual desire to each other. Often the subtleties can be hard to explain, often it's about what’s not happening as much as what is, so watching and pointing out what is being experienced is a great way to share and understand….and then practice!


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