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‘Never Have I Ever’ stars Lee Rodriguez and Ramona Young open up about season 3 sex

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ASU chapter.

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains minor spoilers for season three of “Never Have I Ever”

It’s not every day that you get to talk to celebrities about sex. But that’s exactly what I did when I sat down with “Never Have I Ever” stars Lee Rodriguez and Ramona Young. 

All 10 episodes of the third season of “Never Have I Ever” debuted Aug. 12 on Netflix. Co-created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, the coming-of-age comedy follows Indian American teenager Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as she navigates drama at home, the pressures of high school and a complicated love life. Supporting her are her two best friends, Fabiola (Rodriguez), a robotics nerd, and Eleanor (Young), an eccentric theater kid. Although the series centers around Devi, season three finds Fabiola and Eleanor taking the next step in their respective romantic relationships — having sex for the first time.

Since season one, episode one, the trio has had one goal in mind to reach before graduating high school: Losing their virginities. “We are glamorous women of color who deserve a sexy high school life,” Devi said. Flash forward to the end of season three, and Fabiola and Eleanor have reached that goal.

In the season three finale, Fabiola casually announces that she “did it” (watch the latest season to find out who with!). She described her first time as “amazing,” saying, “I think they awoke something in me. I’m a sensual person now. I sext.” In the episode prior, Eleanor dramatically loses her virginity with her boyfriend, Trent (Benjamin Norris) — fittingly, in the drama room. She says, “Seriously, at one point we were growling at each other … People say your first time is supposed to be awkward, but we were perfectly in sync like a nude pairs ice skating team.”

Not everyone’s first time is perfect. In fact, it can be far from it. From not knowing what goes where to not being confident or comfortable, losing your virginity can be a very awkward, or even painful, experience. Fabiola and Eleanor’s overwhelmingly positive first times raise the questions: Is “Never Have I Ever” another show that’s setting up unrealistic first time expectations? Or are these positive sexual experiences promoting sex positivity and encouraging women to embrace their sensuality? What does this mean for virgin viewers?

“Everyone’s experience is different,” answered Rodriguez, 22. “For a lot of people, it is very awkward and it’s different and it’s new. I think it’s about who you’re having your first time with.”

Young, 24, echoed these sentiments by explaining how charting into unknown territory can be nerve-wracking, but that who and how well you know the person you’re having sex with contributes to the experience. In this case, “Never Have I Ever” writers ensured that Fabiola and Eleanor were in happy, healthy relationships where both partners were comfortable taking that next step.

“I think there’s something really special about [new character] and Fab’s relationship,” she said. “There’s also something really special and unique about Eleanor and Trent that I think might have influenced their first time in making it really special.”

Rodriguez is especially happy with how season three played out for her character as Fabiola has become more and more comfortable with her sexuality, a stark difference from previous seasons.

After coming out in season one and entering her first lesbian relationship in season two, Fabiola struggled to find her place in life. In the season two finale, she says, “I just thought it would be easier after coming out. But even with the queer girls I feel like I’m constantly trying to fit in … I guess I’m as bad as being a lesbian as I was a closeted straight person.” With Fabiola navigating new relationships and loving sex in season three, it’s clear that she’s much more comfortable being who she is.

“There’s no one way to be queer,” Rodriguez said. “You don’t have to fit into a specific mold. I really like how the writers wrote that … In season two, you saw Fabiola kind of struggling with her identity and struggling as to where she fits in, and essentially she was like, ‘You know what, I can be gay, but also I can love robotics. I don’t have to fit into pop culture.’ And in season three, I feel like she’s more comfortable with who she is and it’s more so about the different relationships she’s in and exploring them.”

Devi doesn’t seem as confident in herself. After learning that her besties both lost their virginity before her, she says, “Oh my god, do you know what this means? I’m the only virg left.” Later adding, “I don’t want to miss out on any milestones with you guys, and I can’t be one of those dusty old nuns who doesn’t lose it until college.”

Although Fabiola and Eleanor comforted Devi, assuring her that it would happen eventually, the very end of season three suggests that Devi wants to cash in the “one free boink” card that she was given earlier in the season by a certain love interest. Could she have been inadvertently peer pressured into doing so?

“I don’t think Fabiola and Eleanor purposefully added pressure like, ‘You gotta lose your virginity,’ but I think that’s something Devi has always wanted to do since the beginning of high school,” Young said.

Will Devi wait for the right person or rush to get her first time over with? Only time will tell.

As for what Rodriguez and Young hope for Devi next season, they said that they want her to heal from the loss of her father and be successful in all aspects of life.

“I want her to have the best sex life ever,” Young said. 

“All of them. All three,” Rodriguez added.

Fans of the show will have to stay tuned for what sexual experiences are in store for Devi, Fabiola and Eleanor in season four, the final season of “Never Have I Ever.” Until then, watch season three of “Never Have I Ever” at  www.netflix.com/neverhaveiever.

Ashlyn Robinette is an Arizona State University and Her Campus ASU alumnus. She received her B.A. in journalism and mass communication with a minor in digital audiences from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Barrett, The Honors College.