TV | January 21, 2021 11:15 am

“Bridgerton” Sex Scenes Aren’t Porn, But They’re Not Too Good for Porn

The stars of the Netflix series are reportedly devastated their sex scenes ended up on porn sites

Bridgerton
"Bridgerton" isn't porn, but that hasn't stopped people from using it like porn.
Netflix

Netflix’s Bridgerton has quickly become one of the buzziest shows of 2021, and one topic in particular has dominated much of the conversation surrounding the hit series: the sex scenes. The Regency-era romance based on a series of novels by Julia Quinn doesn’t skimp on the steaminess, and the show’s sex scenes are apparently so erotic they’ve started popping up on porn sites. Pirated clips from some of the show’s sexiest scenes have reportedly racked up hundreds of thousands of views on adult tube sites, according to the New York Post, prompting Netflix to issue warnings about “misuse of intellectual property” as execs struggle to get the clips pulled from porn platforms.

Meanwhile, it seems the stars of those pirated sex scenes aren’t too happy to see Netflix’s “intellectual property” redistributed as porn either. Bridgerton stars Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor are reportedly “devastated” by the new life their sex scenes have found on porn sites, according to an anonymous “insider” who spoke to the Sun.

Bridgerton’s sex scenes appearing alongside some of the most obscene material the web has to offer has sparked horror and anger,” the source told the outlet. “Raunchy set pieces have contributed to the buzz but it is a prestige drama based on best-selling novels. To peddle scenes as pure smut is beyond the pale.”

Pirating of content is obviously an issue regardless of how sexy it is or what kind of platform it ends up on, and the theft and redistribution of clips made available to stream online for free is an ongoing problem within the porn industry that can greatly affect a performer’s bottom line. But while Page and Dynevor have every right to feel as “distressed” and “exploited” over the theft of their material as the Sun‘s source claims they do, the idea that Bridgerton‘s “prestige drama” status elevates the show’s sex scenes above pornography strikes an elitist, anti-porn tone.

To be fair, Bridgerton is not porn. It is not a product of the porn industry, and its stars are not porn performers or sex industry professionals. But to suggest that the show’s prestige is somehow threatened by the woeful “obscenity” of the porn next door reflects dated, troubling attitudes toward pornography. Bridgerton is not porn, no, but it is not morally or even artistically superior to porn (at least not by default). The show’s precious honor isn’t at risk of being defiled by its accidental shoulder brush with porn. Its sex scenes don’t belong on porn sites because they aren’t porn, not because they’re too good for it.

That said, while Bridgerton‘s sex scenes aren’t a product of the porn industry, porn is, to some extent, in the eye of the beholder. As the saying goes, you know it when you see it, and it seems plenty of Bridgerton fans know and like what they’ve seen. The show may not be porn, but whether or not its sex scenes ended up on porn sites, people were definitely going to use them like porn anyway.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.