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People Can't Stop Talking About This Sex Scene In BBC's 'Normal People'

Lucy Devine

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People Can't Stop Talking About This Sex Scene In BBC's 'Normal People'

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Ever since the boxset of TV adaptation, Normal People was released on BBC iPlayer earlier this week, viewers have been talking about one part of the series in particular - the sex scenes.

Often difficult to get right (either they're wildly unrealistic, or uncomfortably cringey) writers of the show seem to have struck gold, with viewers gushing over the accuracy and importantly, their approach to consent.

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If you're yet to watch the series, it's based on the 2018 book of the same name by Sally Rooney. It focuses on the story of two young adults - Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) - and how they navigate their relationship.

Set in Ireland, the two meet at school, but couldn't be more different. Connell is the popular, good looking boy that everyone likes while Marianne is affluent, intelligent and quick witted.

They're an unlikely match but gradually, they begin an intense love affair filled with intimacy, passion and heartache. The series follows their journey from school to college, with viewers watching as the pair drift in and out of each other's lives.

It focuses on the story of two young adults Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) (Credit: BBC)
It focuses on the story of two young adults Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) (Credit: BBC)

Fans of the book have been seriously impressed with the TV adaptation, with many calling it "remarkable" while others claimed it to be better than the original.

One aspect of the book that has been well translated into telly is the frequent sex scenes, which fans have taken particular note of.

In fact, viewers have flocked to praise writers - Sally Rooney, who co-wrote the first six episodes, and Alice Birch - on depicting the scenes in such a realistic and refreshing manner.

In the second episode, Marianne and Connell have sex for the first time. While Marianne is a virgin, Connell is somewhat experienced. So much so that she asks him: "Do you do this a lot? Coming over to girls' houses after school and seducing them?"

Viewers have been praising the 'realistic and refreshing sex scenes' (Credit: BBC)
Viewers have been praising the 'realistic and refreshing sex scenes' (Credit: BBC)

There are so many relatable moments - plenty of nervous laughter and lots of awkward fumbles, including one bit where Marianne's bra gets stuck around her head.

Despite the awkwardness, it's not cringey or unrealistic and as their encounter escalates, the scene tackles some more important issues. Marianne asks Connell if he has a condom and following a quick discussion, consent is addressed.

"if you want to stop at anything, we can obviously stop [..] If it hurts, or, anything, we can stop, it won't be awkward. You can just say," explains Connell.

Speaking about the scene, one viewer tweeted: "The clear consent in the sex scene - 'we can stop at any time if you want to stop - it won't be awkward' this is what we LOVE TO SEE."

Others praised the show for how it addressed consent (Credit: BBC)
Others praised the show for how it addressed consent (Credit: BBC)

While another said: "I don't think I've seen a sex scene like this ever in tv/film. Consent should be normalised just like this. #NormalPeople."

"The sex scene in Normal People season 1 episode 2 THIS IS HOW CONSENT WORKS EVERYONE TAKE NOTES," added another.

Others were impressed at how realistic the sex scenes are, with one tweeting: "I've watched the first two episodes of #NormalPeople and as much as I have small issues it's great, and the first sex scene is one of the truest things I've seen on television."


While another said: "That my friends is how you do a sex scene! Honestly one of the best shows I've seen on tv...EVER! Dare I say better than the book... #NormalPeople."

One added: "That is probably the most honest sex scene I have ever seen. Bravo to everyone involved particularly the actors. Sec is actually about the things you say to each other and Rooney understands that. Really beautifully done."

"I've NEVER seen a tv show/movie capture the essence of a sex scene like #NormalPeople did. I was literally shocked at how well it was produced. Amazing."





If you're yet to watch the show, be warned, some viewers who are isolating with parents have remembered just how mortifying it is to watch sex scenes with your mum and dad.

"Watching Normal People and realising you are never too old to get embarrassed by watching a sex scene with your parents," tweeted one viewer.

You can catch all 12 episodes of Normal People on BBC iPlayer now. We can feel a weekend binge-watch coming on! Just not with our parents...

Topics: Normal People, Entertainment News, TV News, Sex and Relationships, TV Entertainment

Lucy Devine
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