"Netflix's Sex/Life is appalling television. But at its core is a kernel of truth."

It’s 2021, and as clever, feminist women, we like to think we’re progressive. Yet, for the second time this year, many of us have lost our minds over another good-looking bad boy winking at us from our Netflix home screen. 

I’m not mad at myself. I’m not even disappointed. Because hell, there’s honestly nothing else going on in my #lockdownlife, so bring on the terrible TV. 

Of course, the TV show in question is Sex/Life; the porny and horny new drama that dropped on Netflix last weekend and has quickly made its way to the number one spot. For once, I jumped on a new show early (I’m usually horrifically late to the party) and am completely to blame for this terrible show blowing up every group chat I’m in. 

Are we discussing our careers? Nope. Are we discussing the scary state of the political landscape? Absolutely not. What about even the #FreeBritney saga!? Not even a mention. What’s dominating every group chat is the monster cock that makes a FULL-FRONTAL appearance in this trashtastic new show*.

*For research purposes, it’s episode 3, at the 19:50 mark. You’re welcome.

Watch the trailer for Sex/Life. Post continues after video.

Video via Netflix.

Sex/Life revolves around Billie, who is married to the lovely Cooper, and they live in the suburbs with their two children. Once upon a time, she had fabulous sex with a tall man named Brad, who decides he’d quite like to come back into her life to f*ck sh*t up after seeing her for the first time in eight years. And despite being a very clever lass, Billie lets him. 

That’s the crux, but it’s the sex scenes that are getting the most attention. Probably because it’s literally the porn we continuously ask for, but PornHub doesn’t listen and instead offers us yet another video of a woman who has the athleticism and flexibility of an Olympian bouncing around on a dad-bod. 

But just as I theorised with Bridgerton, I think most of the online commentary around Sex/Life is coming from a certain generation of women. While the 'Zoomers' or Gen Z are busy dancing on TikTok in their crocs and socks, it's the (hetero) women in their 30s and beyond who can't stop thinking about a certain sizeable shlong.


Just like Billie, I think we can all reflect on our misspent youth with rose-tinted nostalgia. Most of us have an ex in our past who gave us the best sex of our lives, and we ALL have memories of times that were far more careful and selfishly wonderful.

It was only three weeks ago that I was driving along Bourke Street and started to cry because 'Innerbloom' by Rufus Du Sol was playing and I couldn’t imagine a time being absolutely cooked and carefree at a festival again. Yes, I cried during a song, but I was crying because, at that moment, I missed a much younger and much more free version of myself. 

While socially and statistically, we’re told that men are more likely to cheat in a long-term, hetero relationship, in my experiences and conversations, women are far more likely to be tempted. It’s women who romanticise their single days and look back on them fondly. It’s women who like to live vicariously through their single friends, demanding date deets as soon as it’s done. It’s women who talk about sex more and giggle together over wine as they reminisce over particularly pretty peens they’ve met. 

Sorry for the ridiculously generalised and sexist portrayal of my life, but my straight male friends just talk about sport and what BBQ they like. 

I KNOW I have too much time on my hands right now, but the characters in this show annoyed me far more than they should have. Brad’s character was put on a pedestal, and the idea that Billie might end up with him was romanticised. Maybe I’m the only one that gauged this, but it made me SO uncomfortable. Brad was a toxic f*ck-boy that relied on ‘daddy issues’ to act like a truly terrible human being. He was also a really boring character whose only positives were his lovely apartment and magical (and completely unbelievable) ability to make Billie orgasm through finger bashing her like a 15-year-old. 


Billie and Brad in Sex/Life. Image: Netflix.

Billie is a brat who thinks she’s special because she had ridiculously good sex with someone once upon a time. Wake up doll, we all have a sexy ex who made our toes curl. For some reason, it’s generally the ex that fits into the tired yet relatable ‘bad boy’ trope. When many of us reminisce of the best sex of our lives, it’s generally not with who we’ve ended up with, or our kind boyfriend in our early 20s. It’s with the person that came into your life and f*cked shit up. They brought drama and danger, which is why the sex was so hot. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but the same man that asks you to squeeze his back blackheads and brings you cups of tea in bed is probably not going to perform a muff dive publicly. 

We love the fantasy of stepping out of our comfortable lives and reflecting on a time when sex was a priority - even when that fantasy is wrapped up in an objectively terrible TV show.  

Feature image: Netflix.

For more from Kelly McCarren, you can follow her on Instagram.