Netflix's Sex Education Creator Talks Writing Awkward Sex Scenes

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Anyone who's enjoyed the wonders of the Netflix high school comedy (and sometime drama) Sex Education will know that the show is nothing if not unabashed when it comes to exploring relationships, especially those of a (shocker) sexual nature. While Sex Education does feature plenty of frank conversation about many of the ways that people have sex and reasons for doing the deed, it's also been known to show quite a bit of horizontal time on screen. But, according to creator Laurie Nunn, there's only one way to write those awkward love scenes.

There have been several teen sex scenes on Sex Education, many makeout sessions and even some very mature mornings after for some of the adult characters on the show. A lot of these scenes are awkward in nature, but Laurie Nunn says that even writing them can lead to the same feeling, so she's come up with the perfect way to do it. Write sex scenes that is, not actually having sex...Anyway, here's what Nunn told The Guardian about her best practices when writing about her characters bumping uglies and how she had to learn to say what she meant:

That was the only way I could do it, because it’s really awkward, writing sex scenes. It’s why they have that Bad Sex award! I remember trying to write it in a flowery way, and just going, ‘This is so …’ You just have to be like, ‘What is it?’ And write that.

This makes a ton of sense, doesn't it? What Laurie Nunn means is that, trying to be flowery and genteel when writing sex scenes is way more embarrassing and awkward then just getting on with it and writing what you want to see happen on screen in a very direct way. If you think about it, no one who's not working behind the scenes on Sex Education is going to see how it's written anyway, so it would seem that it wouldn't really help to sugarcoat things. Instead of writing that a character tangled with his turgid rod, it's best to just say he grabbed his penis and move on with your life.

While Sex Education has a habit of being quite explicit for a show about teenagers, it hasn't garnered a lot of outrage from viewers. This might be mostly because people know what they're going to be in for when they tune into a show called Sex Education, but Nunn also believes that the true nature of the show helps to keep audiences from getting riled up about all the naughty stuff.

I think the opening scenes of season one and season two are quite graphic, so if it’s not for you, then you’re probably not going to get to the anal douching bit. At its heart, the show’s about communication and honesty. There’s a sweetness to it. I think you’d have to work quite hard to get really offended.

Again, more great points from Laurie Nunn. If you're icked out by a montage of a teenage boy figuring out how to masturbate in pretty much every situation he finds himself in, then an in depth conversation about anal douching is not going to be for you, and you'll know to get out while the getting's good. Lukcily, Sex Education is more that just the sum of it's dirty parts, so everyone who does stick around is treated to some very sweet feels, as well.

The first two seasons of Sex Education are available on Netflix right now. It was renewed for Season 3, but we don't know when it might air just yet, so while you wait for news on that front, look into our 2020 Netflix premiere guide and see what's coming to the small screen this summer!

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.