In a world still reeling from the #MeToo movement, it’s perhaps unsurprising that so many women have come forward to praise Normal People for its unflinching portrayal of sex and consent.
“The sex in Normal People is better than any sex,” tweeted one viewer.
“Safe, consensual and communicative sex should be included so much more in film and TV!” said another.
One more said: “I’m in awe of Normal People so far. It’s absolutely stunning and true to the book. And I also want to call out an actual sex scene on TV that involves a condom and doesn’t turn it into a joke either… they’re just practicing safe sex.”
Another agreed, adding: “This show is so good at showing consent and safe sex! And it’s still sexy and intimate! Yes!!!”
“The consent shown in this scene is just [perfect]… it’s so believable and well done. This is how sex scenes should be,” tweeted another.
One pleasantly surprised viewer tweeted: “Marianne and Connell doing a sex scene better than 98% of full time porn actors and actresses. Take a seat, Pornhub.”
Another insisted the show’s “depiction of safe sex and consent in episode two should be mandatory viewing for all teenagers.”
Still one more said: “I don’t think I’ve seen a sex scene like this ever in tv/film. Consent should be normalised just like this.”
The one we feel sums it up best, though?
“Whole lotta shagging for a Sunday morning but I am SO LOVING how much more consent and checking in with each other is being shown in young people’s sex scenes.”
It is worth remembering that every sex scene in the BBC’s Normal People was carefully choreographed by Ita O’Brien, an “intimacy coordinator” who makes sure actors are comfortable while filming scenes of a sexual nature.
Speaking to The Guardian about her role, O’Brien reminded viewers that Rooney herself has likened sex scenes to just another form of dialogue.
As such, the sex in Normal People “isn’t just there to show us sex – those scenes chart the delicacy, the beauty, the openness of this incredible, something-other relationship.”
“It was crucial for me to honour Sally’s writing,” she says. “There is nothing gratuitous. But there is also a lot of sex.”
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