Raunchy, delightful, and humorous, Talia Osteen’s ‘Sex Appeal’ is a teen movie that focuses on a studious high school girl’s exploration of sexual pleasure. Avery Hansen-White (Mika Abdalla) is at the top of her academic game but quite clueless about lovemaking. Thus, she decides to develop an app to “get good at sex.”
The Hulu romantic drama sees Avery choosing to practice foreplay with her best friend, Larson (Jake Short). She does this to get ready for her first time with her academically bright boyfriend, Casper (Mason Versaw). However, chaos soon unfurls and Avery finds herself confused about her feelings. So, does she end up with Larson or Casper? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Who Does Avery End Up With: Larson or Casper?
At the beginning of the film, Avery finds out that STEMCON 2022 wants her to develop an app that can solve a personal issue in her life. Then, when her long-distance boyfriend, Casper, tells her that he wants to have sex with her in the near future, Avery panics. She realizes that she knows nothing about lovemaking and so decides to create “Sex Appeal,” an app that will help her with her sex life.
We find out that Avery and Larson are best friends; in fact, they have been friends since childhood, and Avery used to do scientific experiments on him. However, she stopped this at the age of 14, when Larson “grazed her boob” and tried to kiss her. She “friend-zoned” him, but they’re at a point where they can laugh about it. Plus, Larson has a crush on a girl named Lyssa.
Soon, looking for advice, Avery meets the “mysterious sex goddess” named Danica McCollum, who tells her that she needs to find a “fuck buddy.” Avery thus asks Larson to be her test subject again. He seems hesitant at first, particularly because he got friend-zoned before, has a crush, and knows that Avery is seeing Casper.
However, Avery reassures him that their sexual arrangement is fine and in fact necessary for her to succeed academically and romantically. It becomes apparent that Avery doesn’t see Larson as a potential partner only because he doesn’t possess the same intellectual acuity as her. In fact, previously, she had rejected his prom proposal, saying that STEMCON is her only prom and that she isn’t interested in superfluous high school experiences.
Avery and Larson start by kissing and then move on to fondling. Larson is sweet and gentle; he constantly makes sure that Avery is having a good time. He also presents to her the hypothesis that love is necessary for good sex; she rejects it, maintaining her objective worldview. Soon, when things get too steamy between the two friends, Avery rushes back home.
Later, Avery decides to give Larson a handjob. At this point, it’s obvious that both of them are enjoying their practice sessions; plus, Larson seems to be developing feelings for Avery again. After Avery makes him orgasm, Larson asks her if he can return the favor. Avery agrees but becomes embarrassed when she doesn’t know what she likes. Thus, she leaves again.
After another conversation with Danica, Avery decides to masturbate with coconut oil and has phone sex with Larson. It’s apparent that the two friends have great chemistry even though they have separate love interests. However, we realize that Avery too is developing feelings for her best friend. This is because when she comes close to orgasming, the thought of Casper ruins her mood.
Eventually, Avery decides to let Larson finger her. He successfully manages to make her orgasm, and two cuddle happily. However, Avery unknowingly hurts Larson by saying “thanks, buddy.” Larson is thus jerked back to reality, realizing that what’s between them is not real. He tells her that he hasn’t had sex yet because he’s waiting for the right person; Avery dismisses the connection between love and sex. When they start kissing again, Avery stops herself, saying that they need to keep their dynamic professional.
The night before STEMCON, Larson comes to meet Avery with two tickets to the local bioluminescence exhibition. It’s clear that he’s in love with her and wants to take an interest in the things she likes. However, Avery, being self-centered and ignorant, dismisses him because she has already seen the exhibition. Larson gets upset and leaves.
At STEMCON, Avery and Casper finally decide to have sex in his hotel room. She uses the app to make sure things proceed smoothly. However, they clearly have no chemistry and are unaware of each other’s likes and dislikes. Soon, they give up and Avery goes back to her room. Clearly, their relationship is purely based on their shared academic goals. The next day, she withdraws herself from the competition, knowing that her app doesn’t work. Although we don’t see it on screen, we know that Avery and Casper break up because she doesn’t contact him again.
Back at home, Avery tells Larson about her disappointing experience with Casper. However, Larson is hurt by the fact that she experimented on him and not with him. “You don’t seem to feel anything, or care about anyone,” he says, going on to explain that he has feelings for her but doesn’t want to be her “guinea pig” anymore. Avery is unable to vocalize whether her feelings for him have changed.
Later, Kim convinces Avery that she needs to see things from Larson’s perspective and speak honestly to him. Thus, Avery realizes she’s in love with her best friend and tells him the truth after crashing his band practice; she even admits that his hypothesis is right. Then, she also asks him to go to prom with her. However, a sad Larson turns her down, telling her that although he loves her for who she is, he needs to be with people who are like him. It’s clear that Larson doesn’t belong in Avery’s exclusively academic world.
After a conversation with Ms. Carlson, Avery realizes that she needs to think about others instead of herself for a change. Thus, wanting to make Larson happy, she asks Lyssa to take her best friend to prom because he likes her. So, Larson and Lyssa go to prom together and get along well since they are both musicians. Avery watches them; in one scene, the two friends even smile at each other. Avery then dances with her classmates, happy about the fact that she is making others happy.
Thus, Avery ends up with neither Larson nor Casper. It’s clear that she would like to be with Larson because she’s in love with him, but it’s obvious that she has matured enough to respect his decision and feel happy for him. Plus, she is comfortable enough in her own company and thus will enjoy being single. Additionally, it is possible that Larson and Lyssa will officially become a couple. On the other hand, Avery and Larson might continue to stay friends despite her eventual shift to Massachusetts; however, they will maintain healthy boundaries and won’t be as close as before. It is unlikely that Avery will ever go back to Casper.