Pop Culture Fix: Handmaid’s Tale Season Three Trailer Finds Serena and June At The Pool, S-M-O-K-I-N-G

Welcome to your weekly pop culture fix, where we stop being polite and start getting real… about pop culture.

+ The Handmaid’s Tale Season Three trailer is here! Guess what, it’s gonna be kinda dark, but Serena Joy and June are gonna, at some point, be smoking by a pool together, so.

+ Kristen Stewart told ABC News that she felt a “huge responsibility” to define her sexuality but “sees a shift” in culture that has allowed young people to accept more fluidity in gender and sexuality:

“I felt this huge responsibility, like one that I was really genuinely worried about, if I wasn’t able to say one way or the other, then was I sort of like forsaking a side. The fact that you don’t have to now is like so much more truthful.”

+ Suranne Jones, who plays Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack, hired a lesbian “intimacy expert,” Ita O’Brien, to help her with the lesbian sex scenes, recalling:

“I was quite nervous about the sex scenes we had to do, because I thought they should be approached as sensitively as they could be. One of the great things she brought was an articulacy – we could talk about the scenes. She just started talking about body parts and positions in a matter of fact way, which just liberated us all.”

+ A beautifully scathing indictment: Norman Lear and Rita Moreno on ‘One Day at a Time’ and the Agony of Death By Data at Netflix (Guest Column)

But something is missing if that is the only criterion for survival of a show, the only data point, the only litmus test. Perhaps media has gone the way of managed care — the focus no longer patient and doctor, but bottom line.

+ Entertainment mogul Lena Waithe shares her secret—call back until a black person answers

+ Lesbian musical The Prom lands 7 Tony Awards nominations

+ The Walking Dead finally explain why they killed off two LGBT characters in season 9

+ ‘Boomerang,’ ‘Special,’ ‘Good Trouble’ Bosses Talk State of Queer Representation on TV: An incredible conversation that includes people like Ryan O’Connell, Lauren Morelli, Our Lady J and Joanna Johnson.

+ My Thoughts on Netflix’s ‘Special’ as a Lesbian With Mild Cerebral Palsy

+ Rich Juzwiak talks to Ani DiFranco about her new memoir: Ani DiFranco Is Tired of Talking About Herself (So Here She Goes Again)

+ Musician Clairo Is Getting Comfortable Being ‘Not Straight’: I’m still not really sure what my sexuality is, but I do know that it’s not straight

+ 15 Gayest Moments From “Avengers: Endgame,” Which Was Great But Unfortunately Not Gay

+ Potential Trend Alert: Anne Lister Collected Her Ex-Lovers’ Pubic Hair, Kept Them In Lockets

+ From ‘Batwoman’ to ‘Evil,’ a Look at Pilot Season’s Buzziest Projects

+ Shailene Woodley Starring in Serial Killer Thriller ‘Misanthrope’

+ “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” Season Two Is Even More Hopeful (and Gay)

+ Did you know that we have an L Word podcast now? WELL WE DO and it’s really great, everybody loves it, everybody’s doing it, check it out: “To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 104: Longing

+ Greg Berlanti Says Gay Execs Blocked Him Casting Gay Actors

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3223 articles for us.


  1. If I’d known ”lesbian sex consultant to Suranne Jones” was an actual thing, I’d have applied…

  2. IDK Suranne Jones’ orientation, but i’m always confused when straight actors need consultants to teach them about queer sex, when they could just watch like five episodes of the Crash Pad series and know all they need to know, forever and ever amen?

    • maybe straight people are so used to porn just looking fake (especially lesbian porn) that they don’t stop to consider the possibility of a beauty like Crash Pad existing

      • I doubt anyone in the UK would have heard about Crash Pad without reading Oh Joy Sex Toy ( where I firstheard about it) or Autostraddle

    • I don’t really understand the need to do that. Can you imagine a gay actor saying that about having to do love scenes with the opposite sex? ” I needed an expert”. And it’s not the first time a straight actress has said something like this in regards to playing a lesbian. In the 90s and early 2000s, they used to bend over backwards explaining how they needed coaching or alcoholic beverages beforehand to pull off these scenes. It’s just pretend, sweetie.

    • I see your point (and know you’re half joking), but I do really appreciate when shows use intimacy coaches or consultants to make sure that everything is well-rehearsed and people are comfortable (like they did on Sex Education). And at least a queer woman got paid!

      • Agreed that everything should be well-rehearsed and comfortable and involve professional third parties! What i was reacting to was just this idea that women actors have such little imagination for how queer sex would go they can’t even figure it out by themselves, lol.

    • You make a fair point. But I think I appreciate the efforts to make things seem organic and real. Sometimes when straights act gay there is a lot of unconscious body language, etc. that gets left out. It’s like they haven’t gone all the way through their analysis about how they act and react unconsciously when near the object of their affection in a straight way.

  3. Handmaid’s Tale! Woot! I’m so ready for another season of crying hysterically. LOVE that show.

  4. Someone: where you see yourself in 5 years?

    Me: being a lesbian sex consultant in tv shows

  5. Suranne Jones, who plays Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack, hired a lesbian “intimacy expert,”

    Well you know what they say – proper preparation prevents piss poor performance. Better safe than sorry, I guess.

Comments are closed.