From the moment Sex/Life dropped to Netflix on June 25, horny people everywhere have been blind to the fact that it’s problematic because, you know, there’s a lot of sex in it. Pool sex! Car sex! Elevator (almost) sex! Even though you can see nipples and giant penises in every porn on the internet (seriously, what was going on with Brad’s huge d*ck in episode 3?), seeing it on Netflix is shocking, I guess?
Quick recap, in case you were too busy clicking through speeds on your vibrator to follow the “storyline”: Billie (Sarah Shahi) is married to Cooper (Mike Vogel), and the couple has two children (one of whom is a very annoying little kid who honestly needs to learn boundaries). Since having children, Cooper seems uninterested in sex, so Billie starts writing in her journal (which is just a Word doc on her unlocked computer) about her past relationship with bad boy Brad (Adam Demos).
While the plot itself is not great (so not great, in fact, that it’s actually kinda f*cked-up), there are a lot of other really strange things going on that make absolutely no sense. You might not have caught them because you were too busy orgasming on your couch, but luckily, I’m a fantastic multi-tasker. Cartoonishly big schlongs aside, here are a few Sex/Life elements I quite literally cannot wrap my head around.
1. Billie Doesn’t Use Lube
Now I’m not lube-free-sex-shaming, but the sheer lack of lube in the show is sus. I’m not even 30, and I’ve never had kids, but I basically use a whole bottle before even thinking about penetration. Blame it on hormone-zapping birth control or just plain getting older, but I’ve been on the lube train for quite a while. Maybe Billie is the wettest b*tch there ever was (which like, respect). But come on… for someone so apparently sex-positive, it just seems kinda ridic that she’s having amazing penetration after about five seconds of foreplay without a little help.
2. Billie Gets Turned On By A Random FaceTime Of Brad’s D*ck
Personally, I find few things to be less arousing than opening my phone and randomly being greeted by a surprise penis. I’d quite literally rather have a yeast infection than have to unexpectedly see a picture or video of a peen and then have to respond to whichever insecure guy thought this was a good idea. It’s exhausting to even think about. First of all, just to be the party police, unsolicited d*ck pics are considered harassment (and illegal, in some states), not to mention they’re just awkward. I’ve never seen an image of a d*ck and thought, “Wow, I really want to get me some of that.” Ever. Ever! Not even on a good day, and not even with a good d*ck.
Granted, in Billie’s situation, she accepted Brad’s FaceTime, but when he started revealing his junk, she wasn’t like, “Woah man, I’m married” or even like, “Oh my God, are we gonna get flirty?” Instead, she literally GOT TURNED ON by unexpectedly seeing her ex’s pubes on her iPhone. He’s just sitting there flashing his penis and expecting you to fawn over it? No, girl. I’m calling bullsh*t.
3. And She Watched Her Friend F*ck Brad via FaceTime
Speaking of nonconsensual sexting, how about that time Brad FaceTimed Billie and propped up the phone so she could secretly watch him and her best friend, Sasha (Margaret Odette), have sex against a doorframe? And after Billie watched and masturbated, she told Sasha, who acted like it was NBD that, not only did the guy she was hooking up with film her having sex without her knowledge, but her best friend watched it live — and jerked it — again, without her knowledge. Who are these people? Does no one have boundaries or sh*tty wifi? If I told my bestie I watched her f*ck my ex without her knowledge, I’m sure I would be the proud new recipient of a restraining order and a lawsuit, friendship aside.
4. Billie Consistently Gets Off In Missionary
The last I checked, it’s hard for most women to get off by penetration alone. In fact, only 18% find it sufficient to warrant an orgasm. It seems, however, Billie is part of that lucky group. Sure, in her defense, she credits this to Brad’s proficiency in the Coital Alignment Technique (CAT). “There are whole books written on the subject, which either Brad read or never needed to,” Billie says. “But when done right, it provides the ultimate connection, both physical and emotional. I felt closer to him than I had to anyone.”
In reality, the CAT is just a modified version of missionary where the guy is positioned higher up so the base of his penis rubs against her clitoris. But that’s not the only type of missionary sex they’re having. So, even when Brad’s not practicing the (very hard to master) technique, Billie still gets off in mere seconds from penetration? Checks out.
5. Billie’s Husband Goes On A Double Date With Brad
Going on a double date with most people is torture (the small talk, the discussion of splitting the check, the awkward seating arrangements), but going on one with your wife’s ex who she keeps fantasizing about, and her best friend who’s now f*cking said ex? In what world? It’s honestly sadistic. Out of four adults, one person would have to be like, “Yeah, this isn’t going to go well, let’s not do this” and put their foot down. But no! Everyone goes, and surprise! Things don’t go well. Honestly, I’d love to fake invite my husband to that dinner, just to see his reaction. Or maybe I wouldn’t, because that’s grounds for divorce IMO.
6. The Subway Track Scene
I don’t care how hot someone is, if they pulled me down onto a train track, as a train is coming toward me, I would 1000% be seeing their ass in court. I don’t know what for, but I would sue that MFer. What if a piece of metal was jutting out of the side? What if Billie didn’t get to the little nook in time? What if they stumbled while making out as the speeding train whizzed by? While I get there’s a level of hotness to danger, that’s reserved for like, riding a Vespa or wearing white on your period, not for nearly getting squashed by a train to make out with a guy who will literally have sex with you anytime, anywhere.
7. Billie And Cooper Didn’t Discuss Rules Before Going To The Sex Club
At first, it seemed like their friends sprung the whole sex party thing on Billie and Cooper, but during a later fight, it’s brought up that they both agreed to go. What it doesn’t sound like, however, is that they had any sort of conversation before stepping into the new situation. 101 for that kind of thing is talking before attending. It’s obvious they didn’t have any rules laid out and then just didn’t communicate while they were there. I’m sorry, having sex in front of people in that situation is pretty standard, but not wanting to do that is cool. Getting sucked off by your wife’s friend while she watches and cries isn’t as standard.
Also! The show making it seem like that’s what happens at sex clubs is low-key f*cked-up. For 99% of people, it’s something they choose to do together, but go on, Netflix! Let’s add another layer of insecurities for people who are having normal and consensual non-monogamous sex. Le sigh.
8. Cooper Just Keeps Reading Billie’s Journal
Sure, fool me twice, shame on me. But like, not really, because Brad is literally violating his wife’s privacy. Regardless, after reading Billie’s
Word doc journal, he freaks TF and plays the victim, even though uh, you snooped, sir. Yes, it’s unsettling to see your wife is writing about her old relationship, but she actually didn’t do anything wrong in that regard.
That aside, whatever. People snoop, that’s not so far-fetched. What is unrealistic, however, is the fact that Cooper not only reads Billie’s journal, but she knows he’s reading it, and he knows she knows he’s reading it, and he just keeps reading it, and she just keeps writing in it. This is just straight-up masochistic. Yes, he should be cut loose for snooping, but I’d also maybe stop writing scandy things (at least in the same place) if I knew my S.O. was being a little lurking b*tch, but that’s just me.
9. Billie Doesn’t Have A F*cking Lock On Her Computer
Cooper’s snooping brings me to the most unrealistic, absurd element of the entire show: Billie’s “journal.” This smart woman is writing her feelings down in a simple word document she leaves up on her computer. Her computer that doesn’t have a lock screen. And the same computer she just leaves lying on the counter for anyone to open and use.
Billie’s a professional. What professional doesn’t have a lock on their computer? What non-professional doesn’t? You have sensitive emails and bank statements and in her case, musings about your ex on there! And after her hubs snooped, you’d think she’d spend one second to go into settings and whip up a password based on her childhood pet, but nope! Billie just keeps writing in her little doc on her computer that she leaves out and expects her insecure husband not to snoop. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE AND HOW IS SHE GIVING LECTURES?
What it all comes down to is this: Sex/Life is no Bridgerton, and if these people lived in the world of Lady Whistledown, it wouldn’t have taken an entire season for their relationship to crumble. And honestly? They’d probably be having a hell of a lot better sex, too.
Images: COURTESY OF NETFLIX (2)
Every single day I wake up, open Instagram before my eyelids are even operating at full functionality, and am cursed to find yet another Reel of a millennial in tie-dye sweatpants comparing the TikTok famous dance moves for “Savage” to the routine from N*Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye” to demonstrate just how different teens are now than they were back in the early 2000s. It’s not much, but it’s honest work.
While I understand that those who were forced to face their middle school years armed with nothing more than a chunky layer of Maybelline’s Dream Matte Mousse foundation feel they are entitled to compensation, I am begging you to stop taking your millennial anger out on choreography. I’m pleased to share that there’s a new place to direct that rage, and no, it’s not at Olivia Rodrigo for committing the unforgivable crime of *checks notes* writing a complete banger of an album too many years after you graduated high school. Let me introduce you to a show called Cruel Summer.
Cruel Summer is Freeform’s latest teen thriller. Produced by Jessica Biel, it’s centered on the mystery a fictional small town in Texas faces when Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt), the most popular girl in school goes missing, and Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia), your stereotypical “just got her braces off” baddie, seemingly takes her place. Despite the fact that this show is oddly addictive, you need to pay attention to it because Cruel Summer is coming for the sanctity of the decade you can’t stop reviving.
Set across the years 1993, 1994, and 1995, Cruel Summer is about as authentically ‘90s as the faux-vintage Friends merchandise that has been licensed to every major retailer as of late. And the fact that this ‘90s drama is extremely un-’90s is even glaringly obvious to me, a person who had not yet lost a single baby tooth by the turn of the millennium. Sure, each episode begins with a note explicitly telling you that the episode takes place on a specific date in the years 1993, 1994, and 1995… but that’s about as much effort as went into it. Whereas recent throwback shows like Stranger Things, Pen15, and Derry Girls clearly went to painstaking lengths to ensure not a single gel pen or rollerblade would expose the fact that the series was actually created after the dawn of the iPhone, Cruel Summer basically just crimped a few strands of hair and called it a day. With a soundtrack full of covers of songs that are widely accepted as ‘90s classics, but weren’t necessarily released in the years in which the scenes takes place (shout-out to “Wonderwall,” which came out in 1995 but appeared in a scene set in 1993), it’s seems like Cruel Summer’s research budget pales in comparison to what the average individual shelled out for unused streaming subscriptions to boutique fitness cults companies throughout the pandemic.
The music could maybe be overlooked (how many of us know the exact year a song came out without having to Google it), but there are even more glaring issues. As Reddit users have pointed out, the use of technology is inconsistent with what high schoolers would have experienced during the decade. Unlike what we see on the show, teens didn’t really have their own computers in their bedrooms (the computer room erasure…) and weren’t yet fully obsessed with checking email or instant messaging. FYI, AIM didn’t roll out until 1997, and even though there were earlier instant messaging platforms, the dramatic away messages are really what encapsulated the era of virtual chat.
It’s just pretty bizarre that a show whose entire personality rests on taking place in the early ‘90s does such a bad job of… taking place in the early ‘90s. The home interiors are suspiciously neutral; I simply refuse to believe that any kid who had their own bathroom in 1993 didn’t also have a fish-themed shower curtain. How am I supposed to be transported back to the past if the bathroom doesn’t look like something an independently wealthy young couple on Fixer Upper would immediately gut? I simply cannot. I’d believe you if you told me that the wardrobe department solely sourced everything from Charlotte Russe’s 2017 collection—you know, that year in which we all wore clothes covered in checkered prints and embroidered roses. A few black velvet chokers and oversized flannels does not a genuine vintage outfit make!
Besides the dodgy attempt at creating a period drama, there are also plenty of other things that simply make no sense in Cruel Summer. Admittedly, my knowledge of Texas stops at The Real Housewives of Dallas and Sandy Cheeks from Spongebob Squarepants, but it does seem peculiar that only like, one character (Kate’s mother) bothers to speak with a Southern twang. I won’t throw any major spoilers at you, but there are also some pretty huge red flags in regards to the way the media covers a court case that are used to drive plot but are just straight-up illegal and would never happen IRL… outside of maybe Fox News, that is.
With that said, Cruel Summer is still definitely worth a watch if you’re into dramatic thrillers full of plot twists—just don’t expect it to accurately reflect your childhood or adolescence. If you’re looking for epic Levis and iconic Calvin Klein dresses, just rewatch Friends or Full House. But if you’re down for a cheesy mess that’s inexplicably binge-worthy, Cruel Summer is where it’s at.
Image: Freeform/Bill Matlock (2)