The Sally4Ever Premiere Had The Craziest HBO Sex Scene Of The Year

Photo: Courtesy of Sky.
“Bruh, that toe in the butt just took me out,” Refinery29 senior entertainment writer Sesali Bowen sighs a full two minutes after seeing the legitimately wild sex in the premiere of HBO's British import Sally4Ever.
Bowen isn’t wrong. The toe in the butt will take you out, as will watching Emma (creator-director-star Julia Davis) rip out the titular Sally’s (Catherine Shepherd) used tampon with her mouth. Or the sheer number of intercuts between Sally and Emma’s boundary-free hookup and the unsexy, strict nighttime routine of David (Alex Macqueen), Sally's sorta-fiancé. Or, the heavy use of feather dusters as erotic instruments.
All of it will take you out. With 2018 slowly coming to an close, we’ve officially found HBO’s rowdiest sex scene of the year, courtesy of the dark Brit comedy. Yet, the sex scene is also one of the network's most thoughtful.
“I was very inspired by the film Blue Is The Warmest Color,” Emma’s portrayer Julia Davis told Refinery29 ahead of Sally4Ever’s premiere, which begins Sally's journey of choosing an unpredictable Emma over a very dull David. “I really loved the film, and I loved the sensuality of it all, but I also thought it could be very comical.”
That is how we end up at Sally and Emma’s first intimate moment. The pair, who noticed each other on the tube only days earlier, finally fully consummate their mounting attraction while David is out of town. To make things even more awkward, Sally is wearing David’s mom’s ill-fitting wedding dress, which David desperately wants his bride-to-be to wear for their own nuptials, when Emma shows up at Sally’s home. Soon enough, the pair is humping each other on the stairs before taking their hookup to the bedroom. There is a lot of boob-on-boob slapping and some full-frontal nudity. By the end of the sex scene, both Emma's and Sally’s faces are doused with a slick sheen. That previously mentioned red tampon winds up on David’s mum’s white wedding dress.
The whole thing is so silly-sexy, it’s easy to assume the hookup is meant to be a fantasy. But it’s not, as creator Davis confirmed, declaring, “I think it’s real.”
While the entire moment feels like it exists in a heightened reality, it was almost more intense. “In my head initially, there was a lot more [going on]; there were snails and creatures and things,” Davis admitted. “But we sadly didn’t have the time to do all those more artsy ideas.”
The acts that did remain in the premiere were heavily discussed between helmer Davis, her star Catherine Shepherd, and their respective body doubles. Davis and Shepherd only appear in the sex scene montage as “heads and shoulders,” as the “brilliant” body doubles did all the full-nude body work, the director explained.
“I sat with them for ages talking about exactly what would happen, and whether they were okay with it, to make sure [filming] it was going to be comfortable and ultimately fun,” Emma’s portrayer explained. “The fact that [the montage] was done in a comedic way, but also hopefully because they’re being directed as a woman as well, that made it all much easier to do.”
That same type of care for the scene even translates to Sally’s choice to wear that awful, eventually ruined, wedding dress before having sex with Emma. “I just really liked it as a sort of emblem of the trap she was in,” Davis said. “There’s so many things [wrapped up] in it. It was [David’s] mother’s as well. It doesn’t fit properly, and it’s half undone in the back.”
Speaking of David, the woman behind Sally4Ever does hope you’ll find a soft spot for TV’s most bland man. After all, Sally does return from her rave-set hang out with Emma convinced she loves her milquetoast fiancé in some way. “I find that quite a sad moment because I believe there is love there,” Davis admitted, adding she has “sympathy” for the jilted man. “I would hope people might root for David at some point in the series as well. I think there’s something lovable about him.”
Well, unless David can cause viewers to yell “Face glaze, yes!,” as this writer has personally witnessed over the Sally4Ever sex scene, we’ll all hold out hope Sally can settle on a far more compatible partner (because the self-obsessed Emma certainly isn’t one either). Isn’t that what the rest of season 1 is for?
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