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Bridgerton star Simone Ashley watched snails mate to prepare for sex scenes

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Simone Ashley's preparation process for intimate TV scenes involves slimy gastropods.

The star of Bridgerton and Sex Education, two of Netflix's horniest shows, revealed that and more during an interview with the Los Angeles Times podcast The Envelope posted Tuesday. In the episode, Ashley opened up about the sexual intimacy workshops she participated in to help break the ice on set and said she observed how snails mate to better understand the mechanisms of stimulated scenes.

"In Sex Education, we had like a sex intimacy workshop where we completely broke the ice, and you know, anything that was said, it was the most embarrassing or the most vulnerable, but it was a safe, intimate space," the actress said. "And we explored the movement of different animals to kind of portray different paces or different sexualities or how sensual something could be. For example, we look to how snails mate, and when snails mate, they actually produce a plasma that intertwines."

Simone Ashley on 'Sex Education'
Simone Ashley on 'Sex Education'

Netflix Simone Ashley on 'Sex Education'

She continued: "So if it was a really sensual, slow kind of scene, we'd be like, 'Oh, it's like the snail.' And it's super like the plasma, like falling like honey. So we would make it about that or how dogs mate or chimpanzees mate. It's very fast-paced and a different kind of style. So this kind of scene, we're going to make it very funny and quirky and just silly, and let's think of like, this animal."

Sex scenes are treated "like a dance," Ashley said, adding that Sex Education had "amazing" intimacy coordinators who helped portray those "awkward, embarrassing, but also very normal" teenage spaces.

"You're making sure that you're protected and feel safe," she said. "You're doing the same for whoever you're working with, and your costar and you really have to trust one another. And I definitely found that within Bridgerton."

Ashley and costar Jonathan Bailey were "very heard and taken care of" on the Bridgerton set, she said, which led to a safe and comfortable environment.

Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey on 'Bridgerton'
Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey on 'Bridgerton'

Liam Daniel/Netflix Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey on 'Bridgerton'

Snails appear to be having an erotic moment in Hollywood. The shelled creatures also made a memorable appearance in Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas' erotic thriller Deep Water. In one scene, a pair of snails mate while entwined on Affleck's hand. Max Anton, the film's snail wrangler, previously told EW that the gastropods mate fairly reliably.

"Any time I get two or three together and put them in the same jar, first they eat every smaller snail in there, and then they mate," Anton said. "They do these two things pretty reliably. So when [the production asked], 'Can you make them mate?' I said, 'We'll see what happens.' These animals, you can't train them. They don't really have brains as we know them. And so before each scene, I'd step off for a minute and I'd pray about it. And I'd say, 'Look, Lord, these are your animals.'"

Anton added, "I just kind of gave it up to Him, and they performed better than I could have possibly predicted."

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