Could Love Island 2024 Become The Sexiest Series Yet?

After it was revealed that Joey Essex has been engaging in some x-rated antics, we wonder if the rest of the cast will follow suit.

Could Love Island 2024 Become The Sexiest Series Yet?

by Daisy Hall |
Published on

Despite Joey Essex’s claims in last night’s episode of Love Island that he and bombshell Grace Jackson won’t be getting too steamy in the brand-new hideaway, it’s been claimed that their antics during their night away in the second villa were so X-rated that ITV made the decision to cut them.

An insider told The Sun, ‘It’s been a long time since we’ve seen chemistry like this on Love Island. We always wanted to bring sex back to the villa but didn’t expect this kind of tension so soon.

‘There was genuinely so much footage of Joey and Grace at it in Casa Amor, bosses were spoilt for choice and some scenes had to be left out of the edit. Because they knew each other before, their entire relationship is on fast forward and it’s steamy stuff. Joey can’t keep his hands off her.’

Joey Essex and Grace Jackson
Joey Essex and Grace Jackson ©ITV

An established reality TV star, Joey Essex’s arrival in the Love Island villa has seen a return to the carefree attitudes of the earlier series which saw contestants regularly get freaky in the bedroom, with seemingly little regard for the cameras. Back in series one and two contestants regularly got intimate in the bedroom - as well as a cupboard at one point, but gradually more and more Islanders have decided to hold off on having sex until they leave the villa.

A major factor in that decision might be all the public shaming that has previously surrounded previous contestants’ decisions to engage in sexual activity on camera.

Indeed, series two star Kady McDermott faced a barrage of abuse when she was asked to turn on the Christmas lights at Welwyn Garden City in 2017, with multiple individuals signing a petition to oppose her role claiming that she had set a bad example to their children. Eventually Kady’s appearance was cancelled.

It will be interesting to see if the example that Joey has set will continue. After all, Joey’s career won’t find itself in jeopardy as a result of his antics. Not only because he’s been in the entertainment industry for years – 13 in fact – but because he’s a man. Lest we forget when Alex Bowen and Zara Holland were intimate after their date in the Love Island villa back in 2016. Zara was stripped of her Miss GB title for her antics and left the show, whilst Alex was largely left uncriticised.

Zara Holland and Alex Bowen
Zara Holland and Alex Bowen ©ITV

As well as the slut-shaming that comes with having sex on TV, Love Island contestants have certainly become much more conscious of how they are portrayed on the show because of how it will affect their potential post-villa career. Whether it’s right or wrong, brand deals perhaps become more likely if you don't put a foot wrong on camera.

Eventually in 2018, ITV made the decision to stop showing out-and-out sex scenes in order to protect their stars, although they do still regularly hint at what’s going on.

Amanda Stavri - the show’s commissioning editor – defended that decision saying, ‘It’s what makes the headlines, but that’s a shame, because it’s only a tiny part of the bigger story. We don’t want Love Island to be a grubby show. Yes, we include some sex scenes, but the truth is, sex is part of relationships and part of every couple’s journey. We’re not interested in the act itself, more why the couple have decided to take their relationship to the next stage and how it might impact the rest of the group.’

As much as viewers are keen to see the intimacies of each relationship and there are clamours each year for a return to the action of series one and two, it’s undeniably necessary to protect the contestants and respect their boundaries. After all, this footage of them will be available for years to come.

It has been hinted by one former Islander, however, that Love Island contestants apparently haven’t started having less sex, ITV have just started airing it less.

Series three contestant Montana Brown admitted in an interview with Grazia, ‘People are having sex everywhere – like genuinely everywhere – all the time. In the day, in the night, upstairs, downstairs. It is hilarious, because you know they can't really put it on camera. I remember at the start, everyone is so aware of the fact that you are literally five centimetres away from the next couple in a bed, with like 12 different couples, but everyone just gets so comfortable.’

Despite that, Montana has admitted in the past that she would advise future contestants not to have sex in the villa, saying in an interview, 'In hindsight, having sex on TV wasn’t the best idea. My advice to the new hopefuls is not to do it. If I could have done it differently, I wouldn’t have had sex.’

Ultimately ITV has a responsibility to protect the Islanders – they decide what gets shown. Whilst their decision to cut the Joey and Grace’s x-rated antics is likely gutting to some viewers, ultimately it's the most respectful one.

Daisy Hall is a News and Entertainment writer on Grazia, specialising in TV and film meaning that you can count on Daisy for the latest (and best) recommendations.

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