‘Bridgerton’ Star Simone Ashley Studied Snail Mating to Prepare for Onscreen Sex Scenes

Slow and steady wins the race to orgasm, according to an intimacy workshop on snails Ashley attended to prep for "Sex Education."
Simone Ashley, Bridgerton red carpet
Simone Ashley

Simone Ashley’s sex education? Learning the sensual secrets gleaned from gastropods.

The “Bridgerton” Season 2 star revealed that during a 2019 intimacy workshop to prepare for her other role on Netflix’s “Sex Education,” she observed how snails mate to prepare for the series’ onscreen sex scenes.

“We explored the movement of different animals to kind of portray different paces or different sexualities or how sensual something could be,” Ashley described during The Los Angeles Times’ “The Envelope” podcast. “For example, we look to how snails mate, and when snails mate, they actually produce a plasma that intertwines.”

She added, “So if it was a really sensual, slow kind of scene, we’d be like, ‘Oh, it’s like the snail.’ And it’s super like the plasma, like falling like honey. So we would make it about that or how dogs mate or chimpanzees mate — it’s very like fast-paced and a different kind of style.”

Ashley portrayed Anthony Bridgerton’s love interest Kate Sharma during Season 2 of the hit Netflix series. Intimacy coordinator Lizzy Talbot previously shared that despite fans being “frustrated” at the lack of steamy sex scenes, the snail-like slow and steady mentality proved to pay off due to “absolute tension” between the two lovers, portrayed by Ashley and Jonathan Bailey.

“I think they nailed it because two things are going on at the same time: You’ve got this building of tension, but you’ve also got so much character development going on,” Talbot said. “If there are two characters that you don’t really know, then the stakes in the intimacy scenes are so much lower. You’re invested in these two after you’ve watched them for six episodes. Finally, they’re doing it and you know them really well. You’re rooting for them. You wanted this all along, and now it happens.”

However, IndieWire’s Kristen Lopez thought the build-up to the bedroom was too slow to really get the fire started. Lopez wrote that the second season’s sex felt “watered down” in an effort to please a wider audience — minus those in the mood for a steamy romance. “Gone is the sexiness in favor of a more chaste series that almost everyone can watch together,” Lopez wrote.

Seems like the sensual snails might be best left in certified snail handler Ben Affleck’s capable hands for “Deep Water.”

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