Red, White & Royal Blue is the LGBTQ+ romcom that everyone is talking about, thanks in part to its raunchy, no-holds-barred depiction of queer – and safe – sex.
The new film, which has been at the top of Prime Video’s most-watched list since its release on Friday (11 August), tells the story of the relationship between Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the US president, and Prince Henry, a member of the British royal family.
It’s based on Casey McQuiston’s best-selling novel, which was published in 2019. In the few years since, it has acquired such a large fandom that the film easily became one of this year’s most-anticipated releases.
Fans have spent days picking their favourite scenes, be it Alex (The Kissing Booth 2’s Taylor Zakhar Perez) and Henry (Cinderella star Nicholas Galitzine) on their first date in Paris, Alex coming out as bisexual to his mother, or his rendition one of the book’s most famous lines: “History, huh? Bet we could make somе.”
Unanimously, though, the fandom has agreed on one thing: the nearly-nude sex scenes are a highlight.
As the film’s director Matthew López exclusively told PinkNews recently, he wanted to ensure that the chemistry between Alex and Henry was evidently sexual, not just romantic.
“I don’t think you can tell the story of Alex and Henry without talking about their very enjoyable sex life,” he said of the horny duo.
“We need to actually believe that Alex and Henry have really great sex. That, as a queer man, was really important to me to convey.”
Alex (R) and Henry have great sex in Red, White and Royal Blue. (Prime Video)
Fans picked up that in one post-sex scene there are not one but two condom wrappers lying on the bedside table and floor.
Asked to go into why he decided to evidence their safe-sex, López explained that he spent a long time working with the Red, White & Royal Blue intimacy co-ordinator, Robbie Taylor Hunt, on deciding whether Henry could use Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Spot the condom wrappers in Red, White & Royal Blue. (Prime Video)
Ultimately, they decided that Alex and Henry would have to use condoms, because if Henry tried to access PrEP, it could have potentially alerted his family members to his sexuality.
“Robbie and I decided together that the prince is probably not on PrEP, because it would be too dangerous for him to ask for a prescription,” López said.
“So, the prince absolutely uses condoms. And because we couldn’t really effectively answer the PrEP question narratively, we wanted to just tell the story that the prince engages in safe-sex practices and takes his sexual health seriously.”
López and Hunt also spent time working out how Henry and Alex might remain lubricated for the entire, um, ride.
“Once we had passed a certain part in the story, I was like” ‘OK, let’s empty out some of the lube‘,” López said. “Robbie and I were looking at it, [trying to work out] how much they would use!”
While it’s wonderful to see queer sex on screen, and that the two guys practised safe sex, it might be a little too much detail for a 90-minute fantasy romcom.
“There is such a thing as too much world-building,” warned one fan, while another wrote on social media: “I assure you, nobody was asking this. Didn’t cross my mind once.”
A third said: “Ah yes, what every modern fairytale romance that is completely removed from reality needs: a detailed breakdown of how safe the sex is.”
But another viewer went further on educating around safe sex.
“I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you should also be using condoms while you’re on PrEP,” they wrote.
Red, White & Royal Blue is streaming on Prime Video now.