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You Creator Explains The Significance Of That Female Masturbation Scene

You Creator Explains The Significance Of That Female Masturbation Scene

The creator of Netflix sensation You has explained why she feels the show's female masturbation scene was such an important cultural moment.


The streaming giant's 10-episode psychological thriller series, based on the book by Caroline Kepnes, follows New York bookstore manager Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) as he becomes deeply obsessed with a customer named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail).

Fans instantly fell in love with the thriller, with Netflix revealing that around 40 million households have seen the show, which originally aired on Lifetime.

But there's one particularly memorable scene from the very first episode, which sees Lail's character masturbating when she's left alone on the sofa, unsatisfied by her selfish boyfriend - as Joe creepily watches on.

'You' features a female masturbation scene in the first episode. Credit: Netflix
'You' features a female masturbation scene in the first episode. Credit: Netflix

The show's co-creator Sera Gamble says the scene is an important step in 'fleshing out female characters' in terms of self-pleasure.


"I do think our culture still has some work to do to the reaction of female pleasure in general, and female agency," Gamble told Cosmopolitan UK.

"In general, as someone who makes television and as an artist, I'm interested in fleshing out female characters and being honest about what it is to be an adult woman.

"If there is still a little resistance to that, and if it does still weird people out, that just makes me want to do it more."

In a recent survey, it was revealed that around 78 percent of women in the UK masturbate. Sexual health experts even say it can help release sexual tension, reduce stress and relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension.

Penn Badgley has also spoken out about a particular masturbation scene involving his character Joe, saying he used it as an opportunity to build the 'creepiness' of the role.

"I always wanted to make him creepier," he told Cosmopolitan.

"And they would often say, 'Stop, could you just not do that thing?' Like that scene where Joe is masturbating outside Beck's apartment, they wanted me to close my eyes, and I said, 'No, why?' And they said, 'Because it's too creepy when you have your eyes open.'

"And I said, 'What are we doing? What do you mean, it's too creepy?'"

We already know a second season of You is on its way, and potentially a third.

The second season will be loosely based on the sequel novel Hidden Bodies, with Gamble revealing Joe will relocate to Los Angeles from New York to help to 'put his past behind him'.

"Joe can't stop looking over his shoulder," Gamble told the Hollywood Reporter.

"The problem with hidden bodies is that they don't always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love.

"And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he's more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn't want to hurt his new girlfriend - he wants to be with her forever.

"But if she ever finds out what he's done, he may not have a choice."

We don't have a firm date for the release of season two yet, but Netflix has said it's 'coming soon'.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Entertainment, You, TV Entertainment, Netflix

Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel (yeah, yeah, I know) and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]


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