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When sex was included in TV, it was pretty much straight, vanilla sex only. Here are our picks for the best queer sex scenes on TV.

Here are the very best most queer sex scenes from TV ever

What makes a sex scene good? When we watch other people get it on in the movies or on TV, we expect it to be hot, or at least give us a good story. We want to see a steamy romance blossom. We want orgasms for some voyeuristic reason in our human nature. 

When sex was included in TV, it was pretty much straight, vanilla sex only. As society generally became more accepting of queer people, queer couples started having sex in movies and TV. To creators, actors, and audiences, the inclusion bolsters representation of healthy (sometimes unhealthy) relationships that aren’t limited to straight people. 

The scenes we picked help to develop character, normalize diverse, consenting relationships, and explore broader themes of what it means to be queer. Here are our picks for the best queer sex scenes on TV. 

Special, S1Ep3 “Free Scones”

When Ryan (Ryan O’Connell) loses his virginity to a sex worker, Shea (Brian Jordan Alvarez), it’s full of moments that reflect actual experiences. Ryan is nervous because he’s never had sex before. Shea listens to him, walks him through the process, and puts on a condom before engaging Ryan in the missionary position. 

Netflix show creator Ryan O’Connell revealed that his first time was also with a sex worker, and he included a dog who wouldn’t leave the room as a nod to his first experience. While O’Connell and episode director Anna Dokoza didn’t rehearse the scene before shooting, the lack of rehearsal added a level of unforgettable realness. 

Queer as Folk (UK), S1Ep1 “Thursday”

In the UK version of Queer as Folk, an almost-sex scene between Nathan (Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy) and Stuart (Aidan Gillen from Game of Thrones) deserves a mention, The couple engages in some heavy kissing while discussing how to cover up some letters. 

Nathan concludes that Stuart would get him to take care of the letters, “not by askin’”. Stuart all but confirms this when he reaches for Nathan’s pants. Nathan pushes Stuart’s hands away and storms out. It’s not a sex scene per se, the drama that’s carried out gets an honorable mention. Plus, seeing young Littlefinger and Jackson together is a bonus. 

Looking, S1Ep8 “Looking Glass”

When Patrick (Hamilton’s Jonathan Groff) and Kevin (Russel Tovey) finally have sex, it’s a steamy moment you don’t want to miss. Shot for the season one finale of the short-lived HBO show, the first season built their love to a satisfying conclusion you won’t want to miss. 

While the show was short-lived, Jonathan Groff said he was grateful for his time on it. He revealed that it opened people’s eyes to what gay sex was really like in ways that aren’t widely discussed, widening representation. 

True Blood, S3Ep8 “Night on the Sun”

Granted, this only happens so Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) can get revenge for his family and stake the man responsible boyfriend (Theo Alexander), but that doesn’t make the scene any less intense. That doesn’t take away from the intensity. Plus, seeing Eric Northman’s abs is always great. 

The L Word S5Ep9 “Liquid Heat”

It’s hard for us to pick from the ninety-seven sex scenes in this HBO show. We’ll have to go with the episode when Bette (Jennifer Beals) and Tina (Laurel Holloman) have elevator sex. Stuck in an elevator when the power goes out, we see this couple being beautifully honest and caring with each other, making the act more satisfying to watch. 

Shameless, S1Ep7 “Loving Husband, Devoted Father”

Right after Ian (Cameron Monaghan) kisses Mickey (Noel Fisher), Mickey becomes angry and threatens Ian before engaging in sex. Having a raunchy sex scene that is the first indication a character is gay is a ballsy move (pun intended), and highlights from the start how conflicted Mickey is about his sexuality through the first few seasons. 

Orange is the New Black, S1Ep1 “I Wasn’t Ready”

Take your pick from any of the steamy sex scenes on this Netflix show. Our favorite is the two-way tie in the pilot. First, the scene where Alex (Laura Prepon) asks Piper (Taylor Schilling) to come to Bali with her. She answers yes. 

Alex and Piper get it on in a luxurious room with the curtains drawn. By contrast, later in the episode, we’re treated to Nichols going down on Morello in the shower. It’s loud, there’s no privacy, and it stands against the cushy, secluded encounters Piper is used to as she enters the women’s correctional facility.

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