These 16 Shows Gave Us Some of the Best Sex Scenes on TV

Amy Roberts
These 16 Shows Gave Us Some of the Best Sex Scenes on TV
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Photo: Showtime.

It was only about 10 years ago that TV characters couldn’t even say “bitch” or “damn” on-screen, let alone settle in for a graphic romp in the sack. But we’ve come a long way, baby, and TV shows are all about the sex.

Now, it almost feels as though TV shows are competing with each other to see who can push the boundaries of sexual decency the farthest. The creative juices are flowing as series after series comes up with all sorts of sexual positions and acts to show.

TV has also reached a moment in time where homosexual sex is being normalized and portrayed with the same amounts of graphic realism as heterosexual sex. Boundary-pushing sex scenes have also become an intriguing method for sparking debate and showing support.

To prove our point, we’ve rounded up 16 of the best shows that have had the most graphic sex scenes on TV.

 

Originally posted on SheKnows.

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STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Shameless'
'Shameless'

Guy on guy, interracial, heterosexual: Showtime's Shameless has it all—and doesn't hold back in its graphic depictions of sex. Season 1, in particular, is chock-full of scenes with a topless Emmy Rossum. And, yes, Frank Gallagher, played by William H. Macy, has his fair share of romping on the show.

Most graphic sex scene: This might not be the most graphic, but it's hands down the hottest, most ravage scene in Shameless—and it happens in the show's first season. The scene shows Fiona Gallagher and Jimmy (played by Justin Chatwin) go wild in the kitchen. Runner-up hottest sex scene goes to the episode when Fiona and her cop friend, Tony, steam up the inside of his cop car.

Photo: Giphy.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Orange Is the New Black'
'Orange Is the New Black'

Though there’s been plenty of hetero hookups, OITNB is pure fire when it comes to realistic portrayals of lesbian sex.

Most graphic sex scene: We could sit here all day and talk about the many times that Alex and Piper have shaken the grounds of Litchfield with their screeching sex sessions, but it was a postcoital shot of Carrie "Big Boo" Black from Season 3 that was like nothing else on television.

In a flashback showing her recovery from some spectacular-sounding sex with her girlfriend, Boo is content and sweaty, smiling in a strap-on, in a beautifully graphic moment that you couldn't help but applaud.

Photo: Gifer.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'The Affair'
'The Affair'

Featuring graphic sex scenes with a twist, The Affair shows both the male and female perspectives of love affairs, often resulting in the same sex scene being portrayed in two radically different manners.

Most graphic sex scene: Though Season 2 provided the audience with the refreshing display of a male full frontal (yowza), the pilot episode provided us with this: Noah Solloway watching from a distance as Alison, the woman he is about to start an affair with, has sex with her husband over the trunk of their car. Of course, this being Noah's version of events, Alison is staring right back at him with unadulterated pleasure.

Photo: Giphy.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Game of Thrones'
'Game of Thrones'

Renowned for its brazen sexuality and WTF sex scenes, Game of Thrones is graphic and often brutally shocking, to the point where you can barely believe that some scenes managed to make it past the censors.

Most graphic sex scene: All controversial incest-beside-dead-son scenes aside, it's a tossup between the orgy of Season 4 and Ygritte and Jon Snow's memorable sex-in-a-cave scene. The latter might not have been as graphic as some, but it was definitely hot.

Photo: Giphy.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Sons of Anarchy'
'Sons of Anarchy'

It's hardly surprising there was so much sex in this show when you consider that the Sons of Anarchy biker gang conducted a great deal of business with porn stars, pimps and prostitutes.

As a result, though everyone enjoyed their fair share of sweet lovin', it often felt as though barely an episode went by without the viewer being treated to Jax Teller's bare butt bouncing up and down atop a supremely sexy lady.

Most graphic sex scene: In the first season, old flames Jax and Tara murder her abusive boyfriend and proceed to have passionate sex right next to his corpse. Call me old-fashioned, but that's just bad manners.

Photo: Giphy.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Empire'
'Empire'

The sex scenes in Empire are perhaps not always so much graphic as they are intensely hot. This show knows how to create an atmospheric sex scene full of personality.

Most graphic sex scene: If Cookie and Lucious are getting busy, then you can bet it's going to be a scene worth talking about. But can we also take a second to celebrate the steamy, body-positive rooftop love scene between Becky (Gabourney Sidibe) and MC J Poppa (Mo McRae)? Though no sex is actually shown between the two, the foreplay is lit.

Photo: Giphy.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV |
'Weeds'

Quirky, dirty and hilarious, this series could balance jaw-dropping sex alongside high-end hilarity and sometimes even combine the two.

Most graphic sex scene: Mark-Paul Gosselaar (aka Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell, only older and much wiser) has sex with escaped-from-suburbia drug-dealing housewife Nancy in a dirty dive bar. There's belt whipping and ass biting and it's totally insane, but my god, guys it's super hot.

Photo: Oh No They Didn't.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Masters of Sex'
'Masters of Sex'

Focusing on two pioneering human sexuality researchers, Masters of Sex was a bold revelation that was educational and fun. And just as good as the graphic sex scenes were the repeated moments of intense, distanced passion between Virginia (Lizzy Caplan) and Bill (Michael Sheen).

Most graphic sex scene: After some seriously drawn-out sexual tension had built up between them, Libby and Robert finally made their feelings clear for each other (and Libby finally got laid).

Photo: Giphy.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'American Horror Story'
'American Horror Story'

Sometimes sexy, sometimes horrifying and generally always at least a little controversial, American Horror Story has shown some pretty out-there sex scenes in its time.

In the past, the show was criticized for its exploitative and violent portrayals of sexual assault (most notably in Season 1, Murder House, and Season 5, Hotel), but when AHS gets the vibe right, the consensual sex scenes it features feel fresh, daring and powerful.

Most graphic sex scene: All other sex scenes can go home, because Lady Gaga and Matt Bomer had a bold, sensual foursome in Hotel that was eye-popping, brazen and erotic—that is, right up until the two vampires exposed their true nature and slaughtered their newly found sex pals to bathe in their blood.

Photo: Giphy.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Queer as Folk'
'Queer as Folk'

Based on the groundbreaking UK show of the same name, Queer as Folk was the first US series to show simulated gay sex, and it did so in a way that still deserves celebrating.

Most graphic sex scene: As the first gay male sex scene ever televised in the U.S., the pilot episode's rendezvous between Brian (Gale Harold) and Justin (Randy Harrison) remains a memorable and trailblazing moment.

Photo: Gifer.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Outlander'
'Outlander'

Featuring sex scenes as titillating as they can be deeply emotional, Outlander proves that time traveling can be supremely sexy.

Most graphic sex scene: Claire and Jamie's wedding night, which basically gave us an entire episode's worth of empowering erotica in the Highlands.

Photo: Giphy.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Sex and the City'
'Sex and the City'

SATC was pioneering for women who had yet to see their female friendships and sexuality portrayed on TV in a way that felt both real and completely fantastical. And though Miranda, Carrie and Charlotte gave us sex scenes that we could relate to, Samantha gave us daring fantasy fulfillment scenes that could be both erotic and hilarious.

Most graphic sex scene: Basically, whenever and wherever Samantha found herself a man to love, you could depend on the subsequent sex scenes to leave little to the imagination. Specific props go to the time that she discovered and explored all the sexual creativity that could be had in a sex swing and the time she decided to play out her fireman fantasies by sleeping with one in full uniform while he was on shift at the firehouse.

Photo: Giphy.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'True Blood'
'True Blood'

Basically a hot, televisual orgy of supernatural, beautiful beings with wonderfully fluid sexualities, True Blood was wildly sexy and so graphic that it was practically a cartoon.

Most graphic sex scene: Barely an episode of True Blood went by without there being a sex scene of jaw-dropping proportions involved, but let's get real: Things certainly got steamier, bolder and edgier whenever Nordic vampire god Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) was at the helm of a sex scene.

Photo: Gfycat.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Girls'
'Girls'

Unafraid to push boundaries, the Lena Dunham show was one of the most sexually adventurous on TV, engaging its audience in stirring debates around consent, sexual experimentation and body positivity.

Most graphic sex scene: It's impossible to forget the scene where Marnie (Alison Williams) is bent over a kitchen sink while boyfriend Desi gives her the rimming of a lifetime. That's a sexual act that you definitely don't see on TV too often.

Photo: Gfycat.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'How to Get Away With Murder'
'How to Get Away With Murder'

When you find yourself in the sort of high-pressure legal tangles that many of the HTGAWM gang do, it seems only sensible to destress and live for the moment with as many steamy encounters as you can get, and that's definitely the case in this superb Shonda Rhimes show.

Most graphic sex scene: Whether it's Nate and Annalise, Laurel and Frank or Connor and Oliver, HTGAWM isn't shy in presenting a diverse mixture of sexuality in an equally hot manner. But it was the third episode of Season 2, in which Connor and Oliver finally get to be intimate with each other after weeks of having to wait, that provided us with a sex scene full of unbridled kinetic passion and intrigue.

Photo: Giphy.
STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Californication'
'Californication'

Californication was filled with so many sex scenes people have actually made lists of the worst sex scenes in the show. I guess we have the show's womanizing protagonist, Hank, to thank for that one.

Most graphic sex scene: An MMF threesome featuring Hank, his friend Charlie and a woman they meet at the gym is, shall we say, pretty bold.

Photo: Giphy.
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Shameless'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Orange Is the New Black'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'The Affair'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Game of Thrones'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Sons of Anarchy'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Empire'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV |
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Masters of Sex'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'American Horror Story'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Queer as Folk'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Outlander'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Sex and the City'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'True Blood'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Girls'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'How to Get Away With Murder'
  • STYLECASTER | Best Sex Scenes on TV | 'Californication'
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