Bridgerton Season 1 was radical. Its revolutionary take on a diverse period piece and massive budget on a romance aimed at women were hugely progressive. Additionally, its attitude toward sex, putting it all out there without shame, was also a challenge to the status quo. But it also made Season 2’s choice to pull back to almost no onscreen sex a major eyebrow-raiser. It turns out, Bridgerton Season 2 *did* have more sex scenes, but they were cut.
Part of the reason for the lack of sex in Season 2 was the changes in the way the series played out Kate and Anthony’s relationship. The thrill of a regency romance comes from the highly formalized way men and women were forced to interact, the illicitness of something as small as seeing a woman’s ankle. Readers love the slow burn desire that explodes once the couple is alone together for the first time after their wedding ceremony.
The all-important need to get married to have sex means many Regency romances have the wedding early in the story. Both The Duke and I and The Viscount Who Loved Me, the books Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2 are based on, respectively, follow this format. But Season 2 moved Anthony and Kate’s wedding to the end of the season, giving the show less space for love scenes.
Even so, the season initially planned for more raunch. As the show’s intimacy coordinator, Lizzy Talbot, explained in a recent interview with Glamour, when it comes to the sex scenes, “We always do more than we need to, so there are many options in the edit.”
Talbot went on to add: “It was the same in Season 1. There were loads of scenes that didn't make it. I know people have been frustrated that there haven't been more, but part of it is that we want to give our absolute best.”
Talbot also explained that — like the sex scenes in romance novels — the ones that stay in the show have to be part of the narrative. It’s all about “making sure that the choices we are showing fit how the narrative is moving,” according to Talbot. “So it's not necessarily that one might be much higher quality than the other. It's just that one might tell the story in the way they're looking for.”
Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix.