Putting it all out there! After premiering on Netflix in June 2021, Sex/Life has captivated fans with its portrayal of mother and housewife Billie (Sarah Shahi) attempting to find more fulfillment in her life.
The drama follows Billie in her marriage to husband Cooper (Mike Vogel). As Billie struggles to find more meaning in herself, she begins to write about her past relationship with ex-boyfriend Brad (Adam Demos). Through that trip down memory lane, Shahi and Demos offered viewers several iconic sex scenes.
Shahi, who was previously married to Steve Howey from 2009 until 2020 and has since been dating Demos, explained that the role felt very liberating for her when it came to how sex was handled throughout the arc of her story.
“I have always been trying to get into projects like this. I just never got hired,” the actress exclusively told Us Weekly in June 2021. “Everyone was always trying to hire me to be the tough chick and paid me to keep my clothes on. I’ve been wanting to be a bit risky and cry and show emotional vulnerability for a while now.”
The Texas native noted that having so many women working behind the scenes allowed for a more meaningful experience when it came to the show’s main message.
“I think once I found out too that this is a piece that was written by a woman — all the writers are women, [it’s] directed by all women, it was just such an ability to stand for something, to stand for femininity, to be able to be a voice in a way that I felt was really important for women,” she told Us at the time. “You can be a mom and still want to be the sexual goddess at the same time. You don’t have to lose one for the other.”
Vogel, whose character spends season 1 trying to keep his marriage intact, said that the female gaze approach to the show’s sex scenes was “interesting” for him as an actor.
“I can only speak for guys in this instance, but I think that we look at it different. I jokingly said to her [creator Stacy Rukeyser], ‘Use me!’ To have the tables turned for once,” he told Monsters and Critics in June 2021. “I’m a father of two daughters, and to have full voice given to the complications of female desire and passion and motherhood and being a wife and a spouse and all of those things, I’m honored to be a part of something that puts the focal point on those things in any role that I could play to sort of help service that. I was honored to play.”
Scroll through to see all the things the cast members of Sex/Life have said about the steamy scenes in season 1: