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17 Sexy TV Shows for Your (Guilty) Pleasure

outlander
outlander | Showtime
outlander | Showtime

Want to watch something seductive that stays spicy over 10-plus hours of streaming? We're not simply talking nudity, like on Game of Thrones, or sleazier series like Californication and Entourage; nor shows about people who pay for it, like Hung or The Girlfriend Experience; and definitely not anything under the "HBO After Dark" banner. No, sexy is a little bit different.

Since explicit shows like Orange Is the New Black and How to Get Away With Murder are probably old reliables for you by now, we know there's nothing sexier than shaking up your streaming diet every so often. To that end, we present for you a very scientific list of stream-worthy TV shows to get you in the mood.

Want to feature-length sexiness? Check out the sexiest movies on Netflix right now.  

the affair
Showtime

The Affair

This he-said-she-said series is about beautiful people hooking up in secret! What more do you want? Oh, maybe a murder? And a laughable depiction of the publishing industry? Well, you get that, too.
Where to stream: Showtime AnytimeAmazon with Showtime add-onHulu with Showtime add-on

girls hbo
HBO

Girls 

Lena Dunham's hit series never shied away from portraying the full spectrum of sexual experience, from the painfully awkward to the, well, actually sexy. While "sexiness" was never the show's goal, sometimes being able to relate to less-than-perfect characters is what heightens a show's eroticism. 
Where to stream: HBO GO,HBO NOW, Amazon with HBO add-on

gossip girl
The CW

Gossip Girl

Remember this "Every Parent's Nightmare" ad? Or this disgusting poster with Chuck Bass holding a cherry pie? Or Blake Lively and Leighton Meester’s Terry Richardson photo shoot for Rolling Stone? Or that threesome plot with Hilary Duff? Gossip Girl was a little campy, and that's what made it so enjoyable. Just think about how Serena had relationships with three equally perfect blond clones with the preppiest names ever: Nate ArchibaldTrip van der Bilt, and Colin Forrester. See? Campy! But still racy as hell.
Where to stream: Netflix

the l word
Showtime

The L Word

After six seasons, this show racked up a whole lot of love scenes. Pride.com counted 97, to be exact. Some people prefer the Shane scenes. Some people prefer Bette or Alice. What I'm saying is there's a lot here for you, it's always hot, and it was a groundbreaking show for queer representation. So you should just enjoy it. And definitely watch the heat wave episode, "Liquid Heat." You won't be disappointed.
Where to stream: Amazon Prime, Netflix

lip service
BBC

Lip Service

The IMDb description of this show is "lives, loves & lusts of Lipstick Lesbians in Scotland," which makes you wonder why they couldn't make it in Lisbon (they actually live in Glasgow, and probably because The L Word was already taken). Anyway, it follows the everyday lives of a group of lesbians and features some very steamy love scenes. Episode 2 begins with a particularly, ahem, rewarding morning encounter. 
Where to stream: Hulu, Vudu

masters of sex
Showtime

Masters of Sex

When you think of sexiness, "research" likely isn't the first word that comes to mind, but Masters of Sex manages to make the pioneering work of Drs. William Masterson and Virginia Johnson retain some of its inherent sexiness. While lab coats and charts might not turn you on, the willingness to explore is certainly sexy. 
Where to stream: Showtime Anytime, Amazon with Showtime add-on

outlander
Showtime

Outlander

In the Diana Gabaldon books this series is based on, Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) is literally a female fantasy come to life to pleasure his heroine. Adonis might be the right word. His love, Claire (Caitriona Balfe), is equally breathtaking. All this interest in female pleasure makes the love scenes so much more palpable and the romance so much more titillating. Don't just watch the over-the-top wedding episode -- ease into it, so that you can fully enjoy every bite.
Where to stream: NetflixSTARZ

queer folk
Showtime

Queer as Folk

Another groundbreaking addition to the television canon, this show revolves around the lives of gay men. While it tackles serious issues, it's also frank and intimate about the intricacies of hooking up and going to gay clubs. 
Where to stream: Showtime AnytimeAmazon with Showtime add-onHulu with Showtime add-on 

scandal
ABC

Scandal

There are so many moments on Scandal where you think, "I can't believe they showed this on TV." Fitz wants Olivia so bad, but there's just so much at stake! Every time you hear the first notes of their love theme, you know you're in for a wonderful bit of deep, deep desire and some tortured looks. You can basically gauge most of how you're going to feel about this show based on this boot scene
Where to stream: Netflix

sex and the city
HBO

Sex and the City

While it may play like a semi-ridiculous time capsule of late-'90s to early-'00s Manhattanite sensibilities, Sex and the City had an undeniably huge impact on the way an entire generation talked about sex and dating. Sarah Jessica Parker et al weren't afraid to talk about their sex lives, and what's sexier than owning your sexuality? 
Where to stream: HBO GO, HBO NOW, Amazon Prime

shameless
Showtime

Shameless

There’s a character named Lip who is kind of young at first (Jeremy Allen White), so you're not that into it. But then he grows up and makes his way to college and starts hooking up with his teacher, and then it's pretty great. Fiona (Emmy Rossum) has been through so much in this show's nine seasons, but she's also had her fair share of challenging (though sometimes good) relationships. It's a show that's always really raw about all the particulars of sex, but balances all that skin out with some humanity.
Where to stream: NetflixShowtime Anytime, Amazon with Showtime add-onHulu with Showtime add-on 

skins
E4

Skins

This show is literally called Skins and stars a young Nicholas Hoult. What else do you need to know?
Where to stream: Netflix

true blood
HBO

True Blood

For much of its run, the show did what great fantasy shows do: tackle real-life issues through supernatural allegory. But a lot of truly crazy love scenes popped up throughout its seven seasons. Take the one where Bill emerges from the ground terrifyingly and then Sookie has sex with him in Season 1. Evan Rachel Wood's campy vampire queen doesn't even get introduced until Season 2, but boy oh boy, is it an introduction.
Where to stream: Amazon (Seasons 1-6), HBO GO/NOW

the tudors
showtime

The Tudors

There’s nothing about Henry VIII that's inherently arousing (except maybe power). And what he did to Anne Boleyn is still shady as hell. Yet we keep making shows about him! Maybe because it's all so intriguing. And when you cast Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) as Anne and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry, well, you know this show is gonna be the equivalent of a cartoon wolf whistling. I can't speak to if this show is "good" or not, but I do know there's a pretty primal scene in the woods (where he offers her a very anachronistic heads-up) in Episode 10, so… Also, you get to see a young Henry Cavill
Where to stream: NetflixShowtime Anytime, Amazon with Showtime add-onHulu with Showtime add-on

weeds
showtime

Weeds

Before Jenji Kohan was exploring life in prison, she was making a show about something that can get you there: drug dealing. Before Julie Bowen was on Modern Family, she was getting some from Hunter Parrish. After Mark-Paul Gosselaar was Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell, he was reprimanding Mary-Louise Parker. Basically, there's something for everyone here.
Where to stream: NetflixShowtime Anytime, Amazon with Showtime add-on

the vampire diaries
The CW

The Vampire Diaries

You may think of it as a teen show, but it's all about romantic longing. Damon longs for Elena, and each glance, each almost-touch, sends shivers down your spine. If you're not into the foreplay, well, there's a lot of getting it on, too. The cool thing about vampire sex is that they are supernatural, so they can throw each other around really hard. (There's not that much biting, but there are plenty of shirtless men and scantily clad women.) So come for the teen romance, stay for the hookups.
Where to stream: Netflix

you're the worst
FX

You're the Worst

The pilot of this show features the two leads' bare bodies on full display in three different positions within the first five minutes. The theme song trills "You're gonna leave me anyway…" and there's always the fear that these two aren’t gonna make it, but they still manage to have crazy-good sex.
Where to stream: Hulu, FXNOW

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Sarah Caldwell is a New York writer who also wrote about deleting your Netflix history if you'd like to read that next. Follow her on Twitter @sarahccaldwell.