Jemima Kirke Talks Daytime Sex, Polyamory, and Putting Out on the First Date_freckle removal laser treatment


Jemima Kirke Talks Daytime Sex, Polyamory, and Putting Out on the First Date

Jenny Singer·8 min readIn this article:
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  • Mother's DayMother's Day
  • Jemima KirkeJemima KirkeBritish-American artist and actress

Ten years ago Jemima Kirke—star of the new Conversations With Friendson Hulu—swaggered her way into stardom in HBO’s Girls. Her hair was perfect, her character polarizing, her confidence magnetic. A profile of Kirke in The Wall Street Journalat the time described her this way:

“In the first episode, Ms. Kirke's character, Jessa, is referred to as ‘a vision,’ ‘hauntingly beautiful’ and ‘so hip I could puke.’ By the third episode, she's pulling a stranger into a bar bathroom.

“But in reality, Ms. Kirke, as of last year, is a mother.”

A mother. A creature somehow both sexless and used! A woman whose adventures are behind her, and servitude ahead. In actual reality, Kirke’s roles since Girlshave all been provocations. She has stepped carefully between darkly funny indie movies and prestige series—she was a seducer of nuns in the 2017 comedy The Little Hours, an unrequited crush in the 2018 miniseries Maniac, a principal determined to prevent teens from accessing sex education in the recent season of Sex Education.Kirke’s work runs generally contrary to the idea that women are either sexual or maternal, never both.

In Conversations With Friends, a BBC-Hulu adaptation of the book by Normal Peoplewriter Sally Rooney, Kirke plays Melissa, a successful artist in a lust quadrangle with her husband, Nick (Joe Alwyn), and two undergraduates (Sasha Lane as Bobbi and Alison Oliver as Frances). Avoiding spoilers, the show implies that Melissa’s elegant sexuality propels each character’s erotic choices—her husband feels inferior, and the younger women are transfixed. They both want to be with her, though their methods are different.

Kirke and Joe Alwyn in Conversations With Friends

Jemima Kirke in 'Conversations with Friends'

Kirke and Joe Alwyn in Conversations With FriendsEnda Bowe

This theme proceeded throughout our Zoom interview, in which Kirke smoked, producing rings so perfect and penny-like they looked as if they were being added live through CGI. Her two cats, Hank and Homer, wandered by. She said the word loverswith a straight face. It felt, in the best way, like Jemima Kirke doing a performance of Jemima Kirke. On the receiving end of her dry, drawling commentary about sex, it was hard not to feel like a breathless acolyte, leaning in close to absorb as much as possible. For the latest edition of Glamour’s Inappropriate Questions, she told us about her love of daytime sex, why every text from your partner should be “a gift,” and her belief that monogamy is devastatingly, absurdly romantic.


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