The scene from “On All Fours” involved Adam (Adam Driver) and his new girlfriend, Natalia (Shiri Appleby) having rough sex and finished with Adam masturbating semen onto her chest.
Showcase edited very little out of the MA scene but shots of the fluid were excised.
A Showcase spokesperson confirmed to TV Tonight, “It was not allowed by Australian censorship laws.”
Under the MA classification for Pay TV “sexual activity may be implied.” Under the R classification “Sexual activity may be realistically implied. The general rule is, simulation yes, the real thing, no.”
The episode attracted attention in the US for the rough foreplay by Adam towards Natalia, particularly after he asked her to get on all fours and crawl to his bedroom before sex (and she obliged).
As the LA Times notes, This was not a first for cable TV, or the movies. An episode of HBO’s Sex and the City showed fluid but played it for laughs, as did a well-known scene featuring Cameron Diaz in the comedy There’s Something About Mary.
However, this time it was a jarring end to a violent and hard-to-watch scene. Even theatrical movies with sexually explicit material and adult pay-per-view channels typically steer clear of such displays, especially if it’s not for comic relief.
Asked about the scene, an HBO spokeswoman said, “Girls has a raw honesty that viewers appreciate.” In a prepared statement, she added, “This is nothing more than use of props.” She declined to respond to questions about whether there had been any debate at the channel or the show over whether the scene might be going too far.
The Hollywood Reporter noted:
Yes, HBO “went there,” and it’s not like it hasn’t done so before (who can forget that post-blowjob mouth- and chin-wipe that Littlefinger gave the prostitute before he sent her to her next client on last season’s Game of Thrones?), but this sort of ultra-shock moment drowned the bigger message, so why shoehorn it in? And isn’t the suggestion of it enough?
In classification context is everything. The way the characters depict sex whether with fluids, violence or even comedy is crucial to the overall effect of the scene.
It’s arguable that in this scene having the character crawl to Adam’s bedroom before manhandling her was far more questionable than a little bit of fluid. But Natalia was also compliant rather than resisting.
Under MA classifications, “Sexual violence may be implied, if justified by context.”