Just in time for what could be our sexiest summer ever, Netflix has hit us with yet another steamy project that's horny enough to rival other viral titles like 365 DNi and Gaspar Noe's Love. Original series Sex/Life explores one woman's lasting obsession with her toxic ex-boyfriend to the detriment of her seemingly-perfect marriage, and it's not an understatement to say that this might be Netflix's smuttiest work yet. But don't be fooled by Sex/Life's endless erotic fantasies and back-to-back sex montages — there's actually a real life love story at the heart of this new show.
Sex/Life follows the turbulent love life of Billie (Sarah Shahi), a suburban housewife and mother of two who appears to be living the dream. Despite having it all, Billie is deeply discontent with the current trajectory of her life, and most of the dissatisfaction lies with the lack of passion in her marriage to the well-meaning square Cooper (Mike Vogel). Even as she goes about her daily duties, our protagonist can't help but long for the exhilarating sex she used to have with her ex, Brad (Adam Demos). When Brad coincidentally reappears, he and Billie fall back into their old ways, complicating the boring but peaceful reality that she's she's established and threatening to throw her life completely off-course.
As one might expect from a show titled Sex/Life, the Netflix series doesn't hold back when it comes to depicting every aspect of its characters' active sex lives; be it in a flashback or a present moment in the plot, there isn't an episode without at least one orgasm (or two) resulting from a sexy rendezvous. Scenes between Shahi and Demos are especially sensual, but their obvious chemistry can be chalked up to the fact that art imitates life: the actors are actually dating.
While Shahi and Demos haven't publicly discussed their romance, their respective social media accounts boast multiple posts that pretty much confirm the fact that they're in a relationship. A casual scroll of Shahi's Instagram profile shows that she and Demos made their social media debut on December 31, 2020 — close to the time that Sex/Life wrapped filming in Canada.
"Happy new year," she captioned a selfie with her co-star and possible-boo at the time. "Xo The [rat emoji]."
After that post, Demos appeared on several other photos on Shahi's feed; she dedicated a February 2021 Valentine's Day post to him and even called Demos her "soulmate" in a different selfie. The Australian actor kept the same energy on his Instagram page, sharing various pictures of the two of them on apparent dates.
"Happy bday my baby," Demos captioned a January 2021 photo from an apple-picking outing. "I f*#kin love you. You're everything."
It's unclear exactly when the pair started dating, but their social media pages suggest that things were pretty serious by the time that Shahi had finalised her divorce from Shameless star Steve Howey. Shahi and Howey were married for 11 years but split up in May 2020 (just months before filming for Sex/Life began), and the divorce became official in January 2021. In a recent conversation with UsWeekly, Shahi revealed that the timing of her breakup was very helpful in her preparation to reflect Billie's inner turmoil on camera; after all, the actress and mother of three had hit a similar wall in her personal life.
“I found a lot about Billie that I could relate to," Shahi told UsWeekly. "I’m a mother of three incredible children myself and having been in a long-term relationship in the past, I often found myself questioning some of the things that Billie was questioning — her desire for sort of this sexual freedom and liberation that she was feeling."
“Just that sense of where did that other girl go?" she continued. "It’s like, remember when I used to be fun? Those kinds of questions, like, before the long-term relationship and before the kids...I used to have these wants and desires, but I think we sometimes put those on hold in order to fulfil the roles that society tells us to — be a wife, be a mom or what that looks like.”
It looks like Shahi got her groove back after all. Sex/Life is a steamy project from start to finish, but something about knowing that its main characters got together in real life makes the storyline (and the loves scenes) that much more rewarding.