Back in high school I used make-out scenes from the O.C. as self-loving material. Yes, fine, I’m a little ashamed. I’d like to think my current list is slightly more sophisticated. Maybe? You decide…
- True Blood. Forget team Jacob and Edward, when it comes to vampire sex, it’s all about True Blood. Vampires basically represent the ravishment fantasy and the darker side of sex — which is why they only come out at night, duh. Bill’s sex scene with his adversary, Lorena, is about anything but love — it’s hateful and rough, but it’s also filled with rapture. Top that, pasty Pattinson!
- Mad Men. No matter your sexual preference, it’s impossible to ignore Don Draper’s sex appeal. Plus, his new inclination towards roughness in the bedroom — like requesting a slap in the face in one season — only adds to the intrigue of his character. And possibly a richer direction for upcoming sex scenes? Oh, if only it was on HBO or Showtime; AMC simply keeps us wanting more.
- The L Word. If you’re into soft-core lesbian scenes (and come on, who isn’t?), look no further than The L Word — it’s chock-full of inspiration for a great night in by yourself. Oh Shane, you wife-beater-wearing heartbreaker! And the sex on this show can be appealingly realistic, too, like when Dana and Alice slept together for the first time — they were so eager and nervous that they struggled to take each other’s clothes off, getting stuck on buttoned jeans. Sex that feels really real = really hot.
- Tudors. Once you get past the historical inadequacies (hate to break it to you, but King Henry was not that much of a babe) you can start to appreciate the sex scenes — this show is famous for them. Can we just take a moment to remember that up-against-a-tree moment in particular? In the midst of their alfresco moaning glory, Anne Boleyn — teasing her partner just like all the sex manuals tell you to — pushes King Henry off her, right before he climaxes. Damn!
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Remember those Buffy and Spike scenes? That bleach-blond gel mold on his head wouldn’t fly anymore, but you can’t deny the kind of earth-shattering sex that causes a house to fall down around you (hint: season 6, epiosde 9.)
- Six Feet Under. The pilot alone offers us the chance to vicariously live out one of the more popular fantasies of meeting a stranger and doing it in the airport’s supply closet (that is a popular fantasy, right? not just me?). We also have Brenda’s secret stranger sex, including sex parties; David and Keith’s gay interracial threesomes and open relationship; and Claire’s teenage exploration with sexuality. Sure, the show is not as graphic as some of the others on this list, but the ideas and insinuations were groundbreaking for an award-winning show. Yes, readers, it is possible to get off on an insinuation.
- Nip/Tuck. Christian’s sex life is one for the books. I guess being a surgeon, you have to know your way around the body. One memorable scene: Christian and Kit reenact the time he was attacked and, as she says, “fight through the pain” with sex, until his other lover catches them in the act, and — to the audience’s surprise — joins in. In this show the music always orchestrates the sex scenes, the same way it does the surgical operations, turning them both into scenes of pure art.
- American Horror Story. Sometimes I’m not entirely sure what this show is actually about, but I do know that it’s sexy. There is a mysterious latex man who likes to seduce married women. There is a maid whose sexual appeal only appears to weak husbands. Do I need to go on, or did I have you at “mysterious latex man”?
- Game of Thrones. If you’re into brutal but consensual (okay, occasionally consensual!) sex scenes, this is the show for you. If you’re into exhibitionism, little people sex, lesbian sex and incest, then it’s definitely the show for you.