Remember that year we all read Fifty Shades of Grey on the beach, just to know what the hype was about? I also used to steal my mother’s Mills & Boons, or even better, her Judith McNaught novels and read about some hunky guy (usually a count or a lord or an earl) with a few narcissistic tendencies, cosying up to the female lead – it was bliss!

But now we are older and wiser, and our tastes have matured too. Which is why you should give Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience a go. It has all the makings of a hit series: a beautiful female lead, some steamy sex scenes and a sleek, sophisticated impression, all fit together in an enticing storyline of betrayal, romance, technology and lust.

Steven Soderbergh… I know that guy!

This talented producer and director from Georgia is best known for several of our favourite films from the last two or more decades. From the award-winning Erin Brokovich, to more commercial favourites like the Oceans series, Traffic and Magic Mike, he is known to push the boundaries a bit when it comes to taking a look at the sexualised human body.

The Girlfriend Experience series is based on a film by the same name, released by Soderbergh in 2009. The film was quite harshly judged by critics and this second attempt at the story of a high-end escort really hits the nail on the head. Pushing the boundaries even further, his female lead is a manipulative, selfish character that loves sex, not something often seen, especially on the small screen.

So how much sex are we talking about here?

Quite a lot. The intimacies take on different shapes and roles and the audience can expect a good amount of fellatio, heteronormative sex, as well as threesomes and non-heteronormative sex.

For the prude or easily shocked, it will be easy to dismiss the series as “merely” pornography, or “just” erotica, or “mainly” prurient, and may lead to them missing out on the clever parallel dialogues that this manner of focusing on the sexual brings to the front. In the end, the series does not take a stance as to whether sexual work is right or wrong, it leaves the audience to be the judge.

Where can I have a look?

The Girlfriend Experience started streaming earlier this month on Showmax. Both season one and two are available already, making it the perfect weekend binge with your girlfriends or snuggling up next to bae for some steamy watching.

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Free State-girl, living in Stellenbosch. Love to explore small towns, read in Afrikaans and everything pop-culture. My favourite yoga move is 'The Pigeon' and one day I'd like to own my own vintage cinema.

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