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Sex scenes on television is a pretty tricky thing. We’re going to look at some of the best sex scenes on television in recent years.

The best sex scenes to actually air on prime-time television

Sex scenes on television is a pretty tricky thing. There’s standards and practices, the FCC guidelines, it varies from network to cable to streaming just what can be shown on television series. Now we won’t get into the history of it right now, but it’s definitely an interesting area of study all things considered. Or, at least, interesting if you find that sort of subject matter interesting.

So we’re going to look at some of most memorable sex scenes on television in recent years. Showing sex scenes on television, in a grand scheme of the world, is a relatively recent move in the US. Since streaming services can get away with more in their sex scenes, we’ll be sticking to shows that are on network television series for this list.


The season two episode of Pose that focused solely on Pray Tell (Billy Porter) was something truly amazing from start to finish. Pray Tell and Ricky (Dyllon Burnside) start a sexual relationship with each other, which breaks a cardinal rule on the ballroom scene. 

The sex scene where they consummate the relationship was something of a watershed for Pose producers: two black, gay, HIV positive men finding joy and beauty in each when they world says that something is “wrong” with them. Porter said of the scene, “[T]o be turning 50 on September 21, and having a very loving, connected sex scene is sort of blowing my mind.”


Technically, the sex scene that makes the list here isn’t the steamiest one to come out of Empire. But it is pretty hot and shows that you don’t need sex to be sexy in a sex scene, sometimes foreplay is equally great. This rooftop moment is between Becky (Gabourney Sidibe) and MC J Poppa (Mo McRae). And it is hot.

More importantly, this Empire scene shows that a fat woman could be beautiful, sexy, and desirable as well. It’s not something we see a lot on television. So, yes, more of these kinds of sex scenes in the future, please, and thanks.

American Horror Story: Hotel 

Lady Gaga and Matt Bomer in a sex scene together? That alone would make us swoon enough to put this on the list. It’s a lot of pretty. Yet this orgy scene in American Horror Story: Hotel is super sexy. In a series where there are quite a few sex scenes over the year, Hotel continues to have the very best in that regard. 

Just be sure to fan yourself after watching it. 


Outlander has several disturbing rape scenes within the show, and they feel more like a disturbing shock value at times. Still the scenes of consensual sex are extremely sexy sex scenes. There’s a good reason why Outlander has been crowned “the sexiest series on television” by everyone. 

Of course, the large majority of these scenes are between Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are at the top of the list. Pick any one that takes place after these two have fallen in love and it’s electric.

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