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‘Scheming, seduction and scenes of a sexual desire’ is how Mary & George’s red-band trailer describes the historical psychodrama and, after binging all seven salacious episodes, we’re thrilled to report that, yes, this is the case! What a great day!

The Sky Atlantic series, directed by Queer Palm honoree Oliver Hermanus, stars Academy Award winner (and gay icon) Julianne Moore as Mary Villiers, an ambitious and devious widow who will do just about anything to rise up the Jacobean era’s social and political ranks: that includes forcing her son George (Red, White & Royal Blue’s Nicholas Galitzine) to bone King James VI of Scotland and I of England (Tony Curran) and become his right-hand twink.

From reading headlines – including this one – and checking out screencaps – including the several pictured in this article’s header – you have probably come to the (correct) conclusion that Mary & George is awash with queer sex. Awash! As Moore told us in our interview, in which she also celebrated her status as a “mother” for the gays (very camp, yes), all the characters in the series are of a “fluid nature”. (Great for queer representation, and great for us too, so we can add to this article about the best sex scenes of the decade.)

Read ahead for the eight raunchiest scenes in Mary & George, from Moore’s devilishly wicked anti-hero having a brothel romp to Galitzine’s charming naif proving that he’s the vers king the small-screen needs and deserves.

“Bodies are just bodies”

In the premiere, George is forced by his mother to travel to France, where he is coached by French nobleman Jean (Khalil Gharbia) on learning “the ways of refinement” and how to be a “gentleman” via fencing, dancing, and other so-called “masculine” skills that were deemed valuable in the Jacobean era. One evening, after an unknown amount of time has passed in his training, George approaches Jean’s bedroom door to inform him that he’s “ready to be seen in society”, only to be met with a scantily clad Jean and his nude male lover. After Jean notes that he’s caught George staring at other men, the duo beckon him to join them for a spot of boinking. Although Galitzine’s character initially hesitates, he soon disrobes and joins them for the action, which – sorry about it – takes place off-screen. It’s a rather tame scene when compared to others on this list, but the level of eroticism… high, very high.

“In here, in this room, who’s in charge?”

Sapphics, unite! Queer women will be pleased to hear that George isn’t the only member of the Villiers family waving a rainbow flag in the series. Mother Mary, played by – this bears repeating – gay icon Julianne Moore, forms a romantic connection with Sandie, a charming sex worker who resides in the brothel where Mary conducts her duplicitous meetings with Sir David (Angus Wright). Thankfully, it doesn’t take long for their undeniable chemistry to develop into something spicier when Mary unexpectedly shows up at Sandie’s door where, after being asked if she’s ever been with a woman, repeats Jean’s aforementioned phrase: “Bodies are just bodies”. A steamy back-and-forth, in which Sandie affirms that she’s the one “in charge”, leads to intimacy. The power of two shillings!

“Take me, bury me, I want to forget who I am”

After sustaining an injury horse-riding, caused by the Earl of Somerset (Laurie Davidson), a beaten and bruised George is approached by the king, who requests he fornicate with him so hard that he has amnesia, basically. The exact quote is, “Take me, bury me, I want to forget who I am. I am nothing but your subject.” George is happy to oblige, and proceeds to bend the Scottish monarch over and lube-lessly penetrates his back alley. Even though George is purely seducing the king for social and political status, the scene somehow feels… romantic?

“Every touch is mine, every kiss, every inch of length… me”

Why don’t more showrunners open their television shows with a homosexual orgy? Fix! That! Now! In episode three, the Earl of Somerset surprises a blind-folded King James with the company of four naked gentlemen, while insisting that “every touch, every kiss, every inch of length… is me”. Following their bout of coitus, Somerset slyly coerces the king into confirming that he’s the only man he desires. Unbeknownst to the king, Somerset had forced George to sit there the entire time, playing the cello in disguise. “See? He’s mine,” a rather sour Somerset, who fails to accept that he will soon be replaced, tells his nemesis. These two need to just f**k and get it over with. Oh, wait…

“How many times have you had [sex with] the king?”

…is a question all men want to hear from their mother. Fortunately, George gets to do just that with a lovely little montage that shows him topping the king in two settings: their first time, the one where the king expresses desire for amnesia, and the second in a bright open field. “Unless you count manual,” he adds, as another flashback shows George give him a ferocious handy-j.

“I just wanted, like my mother, to fuck you”

Somerset and his wicked wife Frances Carr (Pearl Chanda) “come undone” in the latter half of episode three when Mary brings their involvement in the death of Sir Thomas Overbury to the king’s attention. George, who has been battling smallpox, is later approached by a desperate Somerset, who pleads with him to “write a letter to the king” and “tell him there’s still time for a pardon”. An unconvinced George is then told by Somerset: “I didn’t ever want to keep you from the king, but the king from you… I love you, since I first saw you.” Heavy breathing and moaning make a sudden appearance as George can be seen riding Somerset, who tells his foe-turned-bottom that his wife “can hang if she has to” as long as he’s pardoned for his crimes. Romantic! It’s the perfect moment for George to enact his revenge as he brutally responds – while he’s still on top of him, by the way: “I just wanted, like my mother, to fuck you, and for it to be the last thing you think of before you hang.” Ouch.

“What’s wrong? My turn, no?”

Episode four introduces viewers to Peter Carr (Dylan Brady), Somerset’s cousin, who claims that his now-imprisoned relative, an “arrogant, selfish c**t who deserves his cell”, “disgraced the nation”. After a somewhat hostile first meeting, the duo head out to an alley-way for a spot of hanky-panky. “What’s wrong, my turn no?” Peter asks his top after the deed. George, who is cautious about the king discovering his infidelity, rebuffs his request to bottom. Later, Peter seduces and then strangles George – and not in the kinky way – citing his involvement in Somerset’s downfall as the reason for his murder attempt. Could’ve been that, or George’s refusal to bottom. Not sure.

Long hair! Another orgy!

The sixth and seventh episodes of Mary & George feature a time jump; Queen Anne (Niamh Algar) has passed and George has long hair – the last bit, very important. After lacking in nudity and sex for a couple episodes, a nude Galitzine makes a comeback in the finale as he’s undressed and worshipped by a collective of naked men, all while King James entertains himself with alcohol in a field. A very healthy and aspirational relationship, I think.

Mary & George is streaming now in the UK on Sky Atlantic.

Watch our interview with Julianne Moore and director Oliver Hermanus here or below.