Why The 'Jessica Jones' Sex Scenes Are Empowering

Of all the scary, uncomfortable, sometimes embarrassing things actors get asked to do... sex scenes have to be among the worst. Such an intimate moment being broadcast to millions of viewers doesn't sound like anything I'd ever want to happen to me. But, fortunately for actor Krysten Ritter, the sex scenes in Jessica Jones aren't your typical Hollywood sex scenes, which she says made them a lot less scary to do. Speaking at a Peabody Awards discussion, Ritter opens up about filming those intimate moments with Luke Cage actor Mike Colter, and the one important reason that she felt safe doing them: The scenes were written by a woman.

According to Ritter, creator Melissa Rosenberg made her feel comfortable talking about what was going to happen. "I think Mel writes with the kind of integrity for this character that I don't think you would find from a bunch of dudes," Ritter tells the audience. "I don't really want to talk about that scene with a dude that's like my dad's age. I just don't. So, with Mel it's like ... I can be as raw and vulnerable and talk to Mel like she is my friend and my partner in this. There's a comfortability there."

Ritter says that Rosenberg's involvement in developing the scenes meant that the moments also weren't gratuitous or slanted towards the male-gaze. "I tend to not really like [sex scenes] because they always rely so heavily on the girl to be like super sexy and orgasmic and awful," Ritter says. "I've always felt like the sex scenes on this show never felt awful and scary, because they were so specific to Jessica's character ... they were, like, normal."

And, though Jessica and Luke are people with super abilities, that scene did have a regular human authenticity to it not often seen in shows or movies when people have sex. It wasn't about the act of sex or gratuitous nudity, it was about the characters and their connection, and, ultimately, making Ritter and Colter feel safe enough to do such a vulnerable scene.

Images: Netflix; Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Peabody