Bridgerton, Netflix’s new sexed-up period piece about Regency-era England, isn’t afraid of causing a little drama. Its producers have done away with racial divides, inclusively casting Black, brown and white actors to play the hot 1800s aristocrats. Think of it as a more diverse, less insufferable Gossip Girl — but with corsets and cocaine.
Still, Bridgerton is a classic Shonda Rhimes show, and melodrama and decadence tend to supersede a logical storyline. For example, there is simply not enough gay sex in Bridgerton. It’s hard to believe these straights are bold enough to screw at high noon on their estate’s lawn, yet not a single one is scurrying off for some same-sex escapades. How ya gonna do a full-blown orchestral montage to “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift without showing a Regency-era prince get raw-dogged by some repressed “straight” man with bushy sideburns?
In fact, nearly all the sex on the show — with the exception of one informational masturbation scene — is full fantasy. For a bunch of aristocrats worried local gossip (and Substack precursor) Lady Whistledown will catch word of their down-and-dirty doings, these lords and ladies are out here embracing their public-sex kinks: getting head on careening concrete stairs, copulating on rain-drenched patios and screwing behind-the-scenes at boxing matches. (Yes, the ascots stay on, no matter how rough-and-tumble things get.)
The sexual escapes aren’t just grandeur. They’re bad for your back. Even for a show drenched in fantasy, Bridgerton’s disregard of spinal comfort is a bridge too far.
Newly married couple Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page) could learn a thing or two about lumbar support. They spend their honeymoon having sex all over a luxury estate, including on a ladder in the library.
Not good! Janet Brito, founder of the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health in Honolulu, Hawaii, does not recommend ladder sex (and, legally, we cannot recommend library sex at all). “Some folks, especially those that tend to be more flexible, are more likely to pull it off, but I don’t recommend it for folks who have a prior injury, experience back pain, or those afraid of fall risks,” Brito says. Books could fall off nearby shelves vibrating from Basset’s (impressive) thrusts, and Daphne’s butt could slip off the cushioned ladder seat. Romeo and Juliet have nothing on this couple’s taste for deadly lovemaking.
Still, you freaks, worry not. Ladder sex is not entirely off the (reading) table. Simply take after Ariana Grande and switch up the Positions: “If you were to turn around and it’s more doggy style, then depending on what rung of the ladder you’re supporting yourself on, you can actually be getting yourself into a pretty comfortable, controlled spine posture,” says Natalie Sidorkewicz, registered kinesiologist and sex researcher.
Sidorkewicz says compromising sex positions don’t tend to cause back pain — but some angles can exacerbate pre-existing spinal pain. “If you’re someone who has back pain and you’re the one controlling the penetrating movement, then my recommendation is to do as much as you can to use your hips and your knees rather than tilting your pelvis and using your back repetitively, regardless if you’re on a ladder, a concrete floor or the comfort of your bed,” she says.
As for the receiver, she suggests simple adjustments (like a pillow under your back in missionary) or switching to lie on your side to keep your spine in a neutral position.
Regency hots, listen up. Shortly after their wedding, Bridgerton and Basset fuck on a patio. Only a rain-soaked flimsy blanket and pillow separate them from the cold concrete. While heat on the back may alleviate pain temporarily, it’s no a substitute for a comfortable sex position. Sidorkewicz doesn’t recommend screwing on a concrete slab in the rain — no matter how warm the water might be.
“That’s just keeping it interesting for them, but I don’t think it would have an effect,” she says. Lady Whistledown, however, would love to hear that soaking, sordid tale.