I didn’t care for season #1 of The White Lotus because of the shallow or otherwise odious characters, the general atmosphere of greed, indifference and insensitivity, and especially the focus on men’s anuses — Murray Bartlett‘s Armond performing anilingus on Lukas Gage‘s Dillon, and Armond later defecating into a suitcase owned by Jake Lacy‘s Shane.

What I mean is that early on I inhaled the perverse or otherwise depraved imaginings of series creator Mike White, and I didn’t care for the odor.

After season #1, I swore to myself that I will never again watch a sex scene imagined or directed by White — I don’t want the term “sexual behavior”and Mike White to ever again cross paths in my head. And I’ll certainly never watch another Mike White scene in which a drunken guy takes a dump in another guy’s suitcase. I’m sorry but that’s a hard and fast rule.

Alas, some more Mike White sexuality slithered through the gate in last night’s White Lotus episode…episode #5, season 2, set in Sicily. It involves Quentin (Tom Hollander), an older gay guy who lives in Palermo, and his supposed nephew Jack (Leo Woodall) and Tanya McQuoid-Hunt (Jennifer Coolidge).

First Quentin, Jack and Tanya attend an opera, and then they all drive back to Quentin’s lavish Palermo villa. Late at night Tanya peeks her head into one of the rooms and is surprised to find Jack engaged in incest with Quentin, ass-pumping his uncle with extra vigor.

You know what I keep getting from White and his sex scenes? A little touch of Pier Paolo Pasolini and particularly a Salo vibe. There was a lot of anal in that 1975 film, I can tell you. Salo was Pasolini’s metaphor for the brutal degradations of fascism; it was also about his enjoyment of young curly-haired men with tight buns. White has been indulging his own predilections in The White Lotus, trust me.

White: “There’s a pleasure to me as a guy who is gay-ish to make gay sex transgressive again. It’s dirty…men are having sex and you have this ‘Psycho’ music underneath. I just think transgressive sex is sexier. I guess I’m old school. There’s this Gothic vibe of walking through a haunted hotel or haunted house and people are having sex behind closed doors.”

Hollander has spoken to Variety‘s Ethan Shanfeld about pretending to be fucked in the ass in a way that looks and sounds convincing.

“It’s more technical than anything else when you’re actually doing it,” Hollander says. “You know, ‘Is this the right angle? Does this look right?’ But there was a mutually respectful energy between us, too. And on the set, the production was very tender around those moments. It certainly was around that one. We just wanted to do it right.

“There is fantasy, and you’re going through your head going, ‘I hope I look good.’ But when they say action, in a way that goes, and you actually just find yourself thinking, ‘I want this to be a true representation of an intimate moment between two people.’ You just want to do it right,” Hollander said.”

This is HE’s least favorite all-time quote by an actor about performing a sex scene.