Here’s Why You Need To Think Twice Before Rehashing Old Love Island Sex Scenes

After last night's sex pact, many are revisiting the most scandalous sex moments of Love Island - but not all contestants want them remembered.

Graduation scene love island

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

On last night’s episode of Love Island, everyone was shagging. Literally. After four of the girls made a sex pact during the day, each of them decided to ‘graduate’ – as they call it – in the beds next to each other in an episode that still, even with a sex pact, somehow managed to be boring.

In fact, it was the only part of the episode anyone had anything to commentate on, or search for. According to Google ‘Love Island graduation meaning’ was a breakout search term last night as viewers had clearly forgotten the girls' fool-proof code for talking about sex in the form of NVQ qualifications.

If you’re still confused, allow us to explain. The girls rank their sexual activity using the NVQ qualification system – kind of. ‘Entry level NVQ is snogging,’ Faye explained earlier in the season. ‘NVQ1 is a cheeky finger, NVQ2 is oral, NVQ3 is full the full shebang.’

Once the girls reached NVQ3 then, they decided to have a graduation ceremony to symbolise the fact they had finally had sexual intercourse with their partner. Liberty Poole, Faye Winter, Millie Court and Chloe Burrows all received their graduation caps in the form of ‘Rewired’ baseball caps – with Priya Gopaldas officiating the ceremony, you know, as an almost-doctor herself.

While the scene was funny, many viewers expressed their shock at the admissions of sex on television – given that since 2018, Love Island contestants have been much more cautious about openly discussing sex. Of course, those that watched seasons one and two were not shocked at all, namely because the scenes last night were nothing compared to those of the early days.

In the first few seasons of Love Island, contestants would quite often have sex openly next to each other, while others even watched and commentated. Of course, many have gone on to state how much they regret having sex on television due to the intense stigma they experienced afterwards - including Montana Brown, Zara Holland, Zoe Brown and Kem Cetinay.

And that’s the thing we have to bear in mind when rehashing old Love Island sex scenes: many of the contestants you’re talking about would prefer it left in the past. The most notable couple everyone was tweeting about last night was Emma Jane Woodham and Terry Walsh, comparing their decision to have sex on top of the covers with the relatively PG under-cover action we witnessed last night.

But while it’s always fun to remember the most scandalous scenes of Love Island past, this one is particularly tricky. The morning after having sex with Terry, Emma was visibly remorseful and had to be hyped up by Olivia Bowen to understand she had nothing to feel ashamed about. Since leaving the villa, she’s spoken numerous times about regretting that particular scene, admitting that she didn’t think it would air on television because they were over the covers.

Over one year after appearing on the show, Emma told followers that she was still receiving abuse because of that scene.

‘Last year on Love Island I made a mistake, I made a massive, massive mistake and I know that,’ she said in an emotional video. 'The amount of abuse I take, still now, because of it, from strangers that won't let me live down a mistake I have repeatedly apologised for is horrendous.'

At the time, Emma was pregnant with her first child and said she was receiving death threats after announcing her pregnancy a few months after splitting with Terry. ‘People are calling me a s**t and saying there was some sort of overlap. It's not true,’ she said. ‘I just want to say, to put it to bed, I have actually known the dad for seven years almost so it's not just like some random guy or one night stand like people are saying. That's purely rumour.

The hatred of her was so clearly borne in slut-shaming and sexism, a reputation and narrative started merely for being a woman with sexual agency on reality TV.

‘I've had messages saying that my baby should get Down's Syndrome and that I deserve to have my baby kicked out of me,' Emma told her followers. ‘One girl said she hoped I die delivering it so... people don't have to like me, I'm not asking that, all I'm asking is, if you don't like me scroll past.’

What we might see as a scandalous memory of the show, for islanders it can be the source of a lot of pain.

Similarly, Zara Holland has told reporters that having sex on Love Island 'destroyed [her] life' - the former Miss Great Britain lost her title after having sex in the hideaway, and has since warned all islanders off being sexual on-screen.

'I would say to any contestants this series, don't do anything that you would regret later in life,' Zara said in 2018 ahead of the fourth series of the show. 'Sometimes things in the moment never leave you and it can be hard to get over. To put it down to one thing and it is still a fact now; I can't get away from what happened.'

It’s experiences like Zara and Emma’s that should make viewers think twice before tweeting about islanders past sex scenes. Where we might see it as a scandalous memory of the show, for the islanders it can be the source of a lot of pain – and undoubtedly, anytime their scenes are brought up again online will only fuel trolling towards them.

Ultimately, knowing what we do about the mental health impact of being on the early seasons of Love Island – and beyond – we must remember that some storylines need be left in the past if islanders are ever able to move on with their lives.

Read More:

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