It's Time For "Bridgerton" to Lean Into Its Queerness

For three seasons now, "Bridgerton" has given the viewers horny sex scenes, scandalous secrets, and drama galore. But there's one thing they have yet to give us: queer love.

Seasons one and two of "Bridgerton" had everything set up for queer plot lines. There was insane chemistry between Benedict Bridgerton (played by Luke Thompson) and Henry Granville (Julian Ovenden), and even Eloise Bridgerton's (Claudia Jessie) detest for society seemed to be a queer act in itself. Yet even after the ending of season two, I found myself asking, "Where are all the queer relationships and sex scenes?"

Sure, there was queer love in "Bridgerton"'s prequel "Queen Charlotte" — Brimsley (Sam Clemmett) and Reynolds (Freddie Dennis) were truthfully one of the cutest subplots of the entire series thus far. But I have yet to see anything queer in "Bridgerton" itself until the most recent season.

For the queers religiously watching the show like myself, I'm sure we all had a little feeling about Benedict not being entirely straight. Maybe it was the whole art school thing, his interest in London's underground party scene, or his adversity to "settling down" and getting married. Whatever it was, the show led us right to that conclusion in season three when he found himself confronted with a side of himself he had yet to explore: his sexuality.

After an evening at Lady Tilley Arnold's (Hannah New) apartment, Benedict discovered she was also sexually involved with Paul Suarez (Lucas Aurelio). Benedict and Paul spent the evening making subtle glances at one another before Lady Tilley slyly suggested they all go to her bedroom together. Paul, having been involved with men before, obliged. Benedict, however, abruptly declined before storming out of the dinner, confused and scared to confront his desires. It wasn't until Lady Tilley shared her open-minded wisdom with Benedict a few days later that he decided to engage in the dynamic. Finally, a sexy season for the gays, I thought.

Where are all the queer relationships and sex scenes?

I was excited until I realized we never actually got to witness the threesome in full action. Instead, the sex scene was a mere 10-second makeout session with some light cuddles between the trio. It was not the same Bridgerton-level of passion and lust all the other couples in the show received.

After watching the intense build-ups between straight couples on "Bridgerton," to say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I had such high hopes for a substantial portrayal of queer intimacy, and yet it felt like a missed opportunity. In the scene itself, the throuple didn't even get to second base. It's almost as if the show was scared to fully lean into its queer storyline, despite having an intimacy coordinator on hand.

Now I do understand that Benedict was not a main character this season, and Lady Whistledown was on the brink of being discovered. One could argue that there were more important things going on in the show than Benedict's queer sex scene. However, "Bridgerton" has had the chance to develop its queer plot lines a few times already and failed. I had expected Benedict to lean into his sexuality last season, especially having the chance at various underground gatherings he went to. Yet, the show has still given nothing, and the time we did get a glimpse of a queer sex scene, it was underwhelming.

Luckily, the next season may be more promising. At the end of season three, it was alluded that Francesca Bridgerton (Hannah Dodd) may begin to have a thing for Michaela Stirling (Masali Baduza). This hint toward queer representation will hopefully lead to more LBGTQ+ narratives in season four. With now two potential queer characters and plenty of leverage to give us the love we're asking for, the show has no excuse not to bring them to center stage or, better yet, the bedroom.

I'm personally ready to see not only more queer sex scenes but longer ones. Why not some lesbian kisses in a garden, which every couple in this show seems to have? Or an outdoor hookup like Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate Sharma (Simon Ashley) had in season two? Season four should be filled with less hesitancy and more unique love pairings. Although it looks like I may have to wait two years until the next season, I have a feeling it will be worth it.

Jillian Angelini (she/her) is a sexual wellness and lifestyle journalist with words in PS, Bustle, Betches, MindBodyGreen, and more. She runs the queer advice column "The B Spot" on and specifically enjoys writing about sex, relationships, and anything involving the queer experience.