What is Sex/Life and why has the show got so many people talking?

There’s a new show generating plenty of talk – and let’s just say it’s not for the fine acting or clever writing. So what’s the big deal about Sex/Life?

OK, OK, what is Sex/Life? I’m so glad you asked! Sex/Life is a Netflix show that dropped on June 25, about a bored stay-at-home mother named Billie (Sarah Shahi) who yearns for the wild, hot sex-filled party days of her youth, particularly her time with bad boy record exec Brad (Australia’s own Adam Demos). She starts writing about her experiences on her laptop, and when her husband (Mike Vogel) discovers what she’s written, he uses it as an instruction manual to spice up their sex life. If you haven’t already guessed, it’s rated R.

Sarah Shahi, left, plays Billie, an increasingly unsatisfied stay-at-home mum in Sex/Life.Credit:Netflix

Sounds like there are a lot of sex scenes, then. Yes, more than one per episode. The plot is just an excuse to get to the sex scenes, really – and they’re pretty full-on.And Demos bares all in episode three, during a shower scene.

Did I need to know that? You absolutely did.

Kind of sounds like soft porn. Yeaaah, it’s basically soft porn nestled within a plot, which means it’s drawing comparisons with 365 Days, the erotic film that took over Netflix’s top 10 for weeks on end last year.

Oh! I watched that. Of course you did. Everyone did.

Billie’s husband Cooper, left, played by Mike Vogel, goes to extreme lengths to keep Billie happy. Credit:Netflix

So is Sex/Life similar? Short answer: yes. They both involve bored women and toxic men having lots and lots of sex. The tones are similar, in that you’re not quite sure how seriously you’re meant to be taking any of it, or how seriously anyone involved is actually taking it. The acting and dialogue are on par in each – maybe slightly better in Sex/Life. The sex scenes in Sex/Life are better, but still not particularly hot – although that’s all rather subjective. Whatever floats your boat, ya know.

Netflix is really leaning into the soft porn thing, huh? It’s one of the many genres they seem to be exploring, yes. Between 365 Days, Bridgerton, and now Sex/Life, it’s certainly working out for them.

Wait, so are a lot of people watching Sex/Life? Do you really need to ask this question? OF COURSE THEY ARE. As of Monday night, Sex/Life is the number one show on Netflix Australia, and many people are talking about it on social media. There’s also a lot of chatter, and many media articles, about Demos’ nude shower scene.

Speaking of Adam Demos – where have I seen him before? Well, if you watched Home and Away back in 2009, you might have seen him then. Otherwise he had a recurring role on Janet King in 2017 before making it big in the US on UnREAL (which is how he got the gig on Sex/Life: the showrunner Stacy Rukeyser also worked on UnREAL). You might also know Demos from another Netflix title: the cheesy, New Zealand-set romcom Falling Inn Love.

Australian actor Adam Demos, right, plays Billie’s ex Brad in Sex/Life – and the pair have fallen in love in real life, too. Credit:Netflix.

Is this his biggest role to date, then? It’s certainly the one with the most potential to put him on the map, career-wise. And it’s changed his life in other ways: he’s now dating his co-star, Sarah Shahi, who describes him as her soulmate. And there’s more real-life goss: the show is inspired by a true story, based on a memoir by B. B. Easton, called 44 Chapters About 4 Men.

Alright, sounds… interesting. But is it actually worth watching? It’s worth watching in the same way 365 Days was. Take from that what you will, and enter at your own risk.

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