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Our fantasy girls: Lost Girl stars Anna Silk and Zoie Palmer weave a Sapphic spell.

AS A GENRE, fantasy has always attracted lesbian fans--and not just because the costumes are hot! By showcasing same-sex affection so attractively, first as subtext and later more explicitly, series like Xena and Bulb offered us a place to see ourselves on screen, in mainstream culture. The latest (and dare we say greatest?) in this pantheon of lesbian-inclusive fantasy is Lost Girl, now in its third series on Syfy.

This sexy and oh-so-addictive show has taken the concept of queer fantasy and run with it, packing its world with LGBT characters of every gender, shape, size and species. At its center is Bo (Anna Silk), a bisexual succubus and her gorgeous girlfriend Lauren (Zoie Palmer). The relationship, which has taken two nail-biting seasons to develop, is everything we hoped it would be, full of sweetness and sizzling-hot Sapphic sex--in other words, it's our fantasy come true. This due in no small part to the actors who bring this interspecies romance to life. For Curve readers, Anna Silk and Zoie Palmer dish on their chemistry in all those steamy love scenes, their joy in playing strong, sexually empowered women, and why their lesbian fans are the best.

THE SERIES FOLLOWS BO, a succubus--which means she feeds off the sexual energy of others--as she and her best friend, a human girl named Kenzi (Ksenia Solo), investigate crimes in the world of the Fae. Over the course of the first two seasons, Bo has created her own family of choice, which in addition to Kenzi, includes a werewolf named Dyson, her mentor, Trick (tavern owner by day, secret Blood King by night), Hale (a siren cop turned leader of the Light Fae) and Lauren, a brilliant human doctor who works for the Light Fae. Along the way, Bo has learned how to feed without killing, she has defied both the Light and Dark Fae to remain unaligned, and she has defeated a world-destroying monster called the Garuda--an experience that may or may not have unlocked something dark within Bo herself (When asked if that's the case, Silk deftly dodges the question, so we'll just have to watch and see.)

After two seasons of relationship near-misses (the small matter of Lauren's secret girlfriend, who's in a coma, and Bo's brief fling with a Dark Fae), season three kicks off with Bo and Lauren finally making it official--a daring move for a series that has kept the audience on its toes with love triangles and relationships always in flux. Even Silk and Palmer were surprised by the speedy turn of events.

"I remember getting the first episode of the season, getting the script, and being like, 'Wow, OK!" says Silk. " 'I kind of knew that was going to lead to that but wow, this is happening in this episode, OK!' Which was an interesting choice, I think, for the producers.'

Palmer, though surprised as well, was all for the change in pace. "We were both excited to see that they would be together from the first episode, but it was a bold choice and it was a big choice, and in retrospect I think that it was a big choice to get them together right out of the gate."

Silk adds, "I have to admit that I questioned it in the beginning. I did question the speed at which we got together. I wondered about how that would play out, but I think it was a good choice and definitely a bold one."

But the audience is not at all ambivalent about their relationship, responding vocally in favor of the duo. The TV couple has inspired various fan blogs, Tumblrs and YouTube video montages. They even won E!'s 2013. TV's Top Couples poll, beating out Glee's Brittany and Santana. But perhaps most telling of all is that Lauren and Bo have received their own relationship name amalgamation: "Doccubus" (as in doctor plus succubus), an honor Silk and Palmer never dreamed they would receive in their lifetimes. Both actors are incredibly touched and grateful for the, shall we say, spirited response they've received from fans--which has included multiple marriage proposals. "I'm more sure now than I ever have been that we actually do have the best fans in TV history," says Palmer.

For anyone who has seen the two on screen together, it's no surprise that they have earned such a passionate following. The chemistry between Silk and Palmer is incredible--from the first episode in which Palmer's character examines Bo and can barely remain professional, and it's only become more intense as time goes on. Palmer explains how their chemistry has evolved over the years. "What's great about having a history now is that we know each other really well and so there's a comfort there. We're able to kind of explore stuff a little bit now because we're relaxed. The first couple of sex scenes with anyone are hard because you're trying to figure out where everyone is comfortable, and whether they're OK if I do this and are you OK if I do that. So now we can just go for it.'

While we can appreciate that Bo is currently in domestic bliss and playing doctor with her, well, doctor, one of Bo's defining characteristics from the very beginning has been her bisexuality, a sexual identity that has historically gotten a burn rap on TV, depicted as a phase (remember Alice Pieszecki in season one of The L Word?), or bisexuality as a device for titillation (The 0.C., Nip/Tuck, we could go on). However, Lost Girl is bucking this tradition by taking a progressive stance on bisexuality. Over the course of the series, Bo has had two serious relationships, one with a man and now one with Lauren, and each relationship has been given equal weight, both emotionally and physically. All too often, same-sex relationships are treated more chastely than their hetero counterparts on TV; not so on Lost Girl, which gleefully focuses on Bo's sexual conquests regardless of their gender.

In terms of attraction, Bo doesn't favor one gender over the other, and this has remained consistent. And while she is an unapologetically sexual creature, she is also shown to be capable of monogamy--when she wants to be.

Palmer recognizes the importance of bisexual visibility. "Bisexuality, as a sexuality, is often judged kind of harshly. It really is. People really want people to be either gay or straight, and gay people I feel have as much difficulty sometimes understanding bisexuality as straight people have understanding any other sexuality at times." Lost Girl is working hard to change that perception, one steamy gender-flipping episode at a time.

For this enlightened take on Bo's sexuality, we have the show's creator, Michelle Lovretta, to thank. In an interview with The Watercooler, she says, "I also really wanted to defend the bisexual community and counter some sad tropes out there (bisexuals are sluts, can't commit, are just afraid to be gay, yadda yadda), while also valuing and representing female friendships that have nothing sexualized about them at all."

Because of Lovretta, the show has a generally sex-positive attitude. In the same interview she explains that prior to the first season she set down some internal rules with regard to the way sexuality would be portrayed in Lost Girl--there would be no slut shaming, that Bo's partners regardless of gender would be equally visible, and that sexual orientation would not be an issue, ever. It's an attitude that Palmer appreciates, saying, "I think that along with gender, what's great about Lost Girl as a whole is that a lot of issues that people have in the real world, we don't have on our show?'

For Silk, this speaks to a larger culture of acceptance in the Lost Girl universe, which the actor welcomes. "What's great about Lost Girl as a whole is that a lot of issues that people have in the real world, we don't. All kinds of topics, be it sexuality, be it gender [or even disability] ... they're really never mentioned, and personally I've always been proud of our show for those sorts of things. I love that we get to play in this world that I would like to live in?"

Both Palmer and Silk refer to one of those issues, the social consequences women still face in being openly sexual. Thanks to Lovretta's stance on slut shaming, Bo is not only able to be a fully realized sexual being, but she is even able derive power from it (both figuratively and literally).

"[Bo's approach to sexuality is] unapologetic. I love that what was such a source of shame for her growing up has become her greatest source of power," says Silk. "I think there's such an amazing message behind that. She is who she is and there's no judgment on it. An interviewer asked me once about whether or not I was afraid of religious groups coming after me for portraying this character and honestly it had never occurred to me. I'm sure there's people who would not like this character but I don't really hear from them. For the most part it's just been completely embraced."

Lost Girl isn't afraid to explore all different sorts of relationships, from casual dating to monogamy and everything in between, and in season three the show is tackling polyamory. Though Bo and Lauren are committed to their relationship, the amount of sexual energy Bo needs to take in would be fatal to a human, so in a very literal sense she cannot get everything she needs from her partner Lauren. The two are negotiating the challenges of opening up a relationship for the first time, setting rules and boundaries, and all the emotional processing that goes along with it. Silk wonders what her audience thinks of the storyline. "I imagine that one half of some couple looks to the other one and says, 'Could you ever do that? Could you ever let me go off' and sleep with other people?' I mean, their relationship looks so kind of traditional in some ways, and it's so amazingly not that in other ways, in that Lauren can't give Bo what she needs. And that conversation of 'I can't give you enough and you need to go and essentially have sex with other people' must have brought stuff up for people, for couples who're watching the show?"

Equality in all its forms is a major, if unspoken, moral value in the Lost Girl universe. Both men and women bold positions of power: The Light Fae are lead by a man, and the Dark Fae take their marching orders from the very sexy and very female Morrigan (Emmanuelle Vaugier). One of the joys of the series is its multitude of strong and nuanced women, a fact that hasn't escaped Silk. "There's no real female character on our show that is sort of this victim character. I think all the women on our show are strong. They might have various backgrounds--they might have been victimized in the past--but they're not portrayed that way. I am proud to be part of something that has such strong women."

For Bo being strong means kicking all manner of supernatural booty (in head to toe leather, by the way). But for Lauren, that strength comes from her intellect. This, along with her unique skill set, makes her an indispensable ally, but it can also make for some tricky pillow talk. "There are times where it's bard for me to get through a scene because, you know, we'll have a sex scene," laughs Palmer, "and I'll burst into science, medical jargon, and I'm like, 'Who does this? Who would ever say this line, in this moment, but Lauren Lewis? God bless her, she takes the opportunity to [apply] science whenever she possibly can. And we kind of all love her for it."

Silk chimes in. "Smart is sexy, and Zoie really does it so well. It really looks like she knows what she's talking about," she laughs. "I think one of my favorite things happened in first season where Zoie had a stethoscope on and she's listening to this woman's chest and she's saying how it doesn't look good and we're filming. It's so serious and she does it so well, and you really believe that she's a doctor and she's in control of the situation--and she didn't have the stethoscope in her ears! But, you know, she makes it work."

"I commit!" laughs Palmer. "You know, I sometimes have to just break my lines up into just syllables. Like just say all the syllables in the right order, because I have abso-lutely no idea what I'm saying. Not a clue."

All joking aside, if there is one thing both Silk and Palmer take seriously it's their responsibility to their lesbian and female audiences, a responsibility both to represent and entertain them. As we ended our interview with Silk and Palmer, each of the women had a message for their audience:

"I've always seen Bo as a really great role model. I mean, she's been a great role model to me," laughs Silk. "I've gotten letters that say, like, 'Thanks for making me brave: and that really means a lot to me, and I think that Bo definitely has made me more brave, too. Anytime that you can portray a character on TV that's a female character who's found her way to empowerment I just think that's so, so important, and I'm glad it resonates the way that it does because it's resonated with me that way."

Palmer adds, "We have a very big lesbian audience, and I think it's great that there is a couple that's on television that is represented as respectfully and as well as this couple is. But even bigger than this, I think that what I want people to take from the show is that people are people, and we're all a little bit different, and it's something to really celebrate and to not be ashamed of--whatever you are, whoever you are, whoever you love, whatever your size and color and all of those things. It's not just OK but it's fantastic."

"[BO'S APPROACH TO SEXUALITY IS] UNAPOLOGETIC I LOVE THAT. WHAT WAS SUCH A SOURCE OF SHAME FOR HER GROWING UP HAS BECOME HER GREATEST SOURCE OF POWER."

Prodigy is responsible for the critically acclaimed television series Lost Girl, which is currently airing its third season on Showcase in Canada and Silly in the U.S. Founded in 2006 by Jay Firestone and later joined by Producer Vanessa Piazza, Prodigy Pictures leads the way in the production of quality film, television and cross-platform media.

RELATED ARTICLE: CAT TAILS

ANNA SILK AND ZOIE PALMER TELL US HOW THEY MET THEIR FURRY FRIENDS.

SILK: We have three cats--one I got as a kitten in the Humane Society, one I found on the streets of Chinatown in Toronto ...

PALMER: You just plucked her off the street?

SILK: No, she was on the street and she came running over and these students were sitting outside and they were like, "She's a stray, you should take her;' and I was like, "No, no I can't. I have a cat at home." And I couldn't stop thinking about her, so I went back a week later with a cage and some food and she was there. I took her. And Seth found our youngest cat. She was left in a Hollywood parking garage, and ended up in the pound, so we named her Holly.

PALMER: Better than Wood. [(Laughs] Well, I have a cat, too. Her name is Clover. Her nickname is Cloverblob because she sort of has a couple extra pounds on her. [Laughs] She'll literally eat anything that's in front of her, and I mean literally eat anything that's in front of her. We have to be careful what is in front of her because she'll eat it. It's incredible. I feed her popcorn on occasion and she just eats it. I don't know another cat that will eat popcorn. But anyway, yeah, she's great, she has a Twitter account, she's a little sassy. Talking about celebrating your sexuality, she does that, she gets around. And I'm pretty sure she's bisexual. She's a rescue cat as well. I've had two cats in my life, both are rescue cats. But yeah, she's the best.
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Author:Shatto, Rachel
Publication:Curve
Date:Apr 1, 2013
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