TV's Most Shocking Sex Scenes: 41 erotic minutes in ‘Normal People’ will stir up how you lost your virginity

‘Normal People’ carves a new niche with steamy, sweltering, sweaty sex scenes between the lead couple Marianne Sheridan and Connell Waldron packed into '41 minutes and 15 seconds of bedroom action'


                            TV's Most Shocking Sex Scenes: 41 erotic minutes in ‘Normal People’ will stir up how you lost your virginity
(Hulu/BBC)

Sex can mean different things to different people, but what does it mean to two young virgin teenagers? A forbidden fruit, newfound freedom, or perhaps, a deep connection that they never really forget. Portraying all that and more, BBC's 'Normal People' carves a new niche with steamy, sweltering, sweaty sex scenes between the lead couple Marianne Sheridan (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell Waldron (Paul Mescal).

A sweet coming-of-age tale, it is based on Sally Rooney's bestselling 2018 novel of the same name and tells the story of how they fall in-and-out love. For starters, the pair have known each other for quite a bit and are incredibly aware of the fatal attraction. Yet, the nervousness, that embarrassing small talk and the discomfort are beautifully painted in hushed undertones before the raw intimacy unpeels on screen. 

‘Normal People’ (Hulu/BBC)

Crowned as one of TV's raunchiest shows, it has "41 minutes and 15 seconds of bedroom action", inclusive of nudity and passionate lovemaking. The second episode features a nine-minute long scene where every sigh and lullaby reminds viewers of their first sexual intercourse. From those giggles to the awkward "condom" conversation to the excruciating pain, 'Normal People' portrays a rare fare. It has eroticism and it turns you on, but more than that, it makes it believable. 

The scenes are so real, it feels like they could have been shot in your own cramped-up bedroom from college days. And most of all, the scenes make you feel the power of that warmth, the familiarity and the affinity of your first love. More than jerking off to the scenes, it has made many feel empty and crave for a partner in their life.

"I never had a first love, no love affairs, no soul mate, no deep connection, no brains to burn with a bright and potential-filled future ahead of me full of meaning. I couldn't watch the TV show/read the book and not compare it to certain aspects of my own life. It made me regret literally every decision I have made in my life... I fully blame 'Normal People' for making me realize just how run of the mill/useless my life is. Marianne and Connell have this deep connection that nothing can be compared to, their futures are bright, both professionally, socially and romantically. Anyone else feels similarly?" one viewer said after watching the show.

‘Normal People’ (Hulu/BBC)

Another wrote, "I was also 'jealous' of them for a period of time after reading the book but after a lot of contemplation I've realized that I just want a connection, a bond, as strong as theirs. But I—in no way, shape, or form—want a relationship like theirs." It doesn't come as a surprise, does it? The credit goes to Ita O'Brien, the show's intimacy coordinator, who worked with the two actors and directors Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald to create a safe space for them to have fake sex. 

Abrahamson depicted snaps of Nan Goldin as a sort of mood board to elucidate to O'Brien how he wanted it to be "unglamorous, just natural and normal, with open nakedness." Recalling the atmosphere on sets, Edgar-Jones told Vulture, "Filming [sex scenes], you have to be able to have a giggle because it's a strange situation to be in... And Ita just created an environment that was pressure-free."

‘Normal People’ (Hulu/BBC)

Later, in the series, there is full-frontal nudity, where the penis is visible — a scene not many filmmakers or actors are bold enough to show. "That is going to be out there forever," Mescal confessed. "But then to know that the process was going to be in place with Ita and Lenny and Hettie, I felt totally safe and bolstered." Thanks to the sex scenes, the series has been downloaded more than 23 million times and an epic 16 million streams on iPlayer. More than the sexual pleasure, it's the relatability factor that hit the chord with the audience.

As one fan said, "Absolutely, I can definitely relate to it since I’ve never been in a relationship myself despite having been asked out by guys on many occasions. It has hands down made me realize how much I'm missing out on though. I'll probably always compare future relationships to theirs." More than anything, the BBC show should be hailed for making sex look like sex instead of pornography! So, if you haven't watched the show yet, tune into Hulu in the US or stream it on BBC iPlayer in the UK — and watch it not just for those scenes, but for an incredible love story. 

This is a part of a column on TV's Most Shocking Sex Scenes where we take a walk through some of the most intimate scenes that went viral on social media and became a talking point among fans after the show aired

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