The Sexiest Streaming Shows for Your (Guilty) Pleasure

It's getting steamy!

sarah shahi in sex/life
'Sex/Life' | Netflix
'Sex/Life' | Netflix

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 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? Also check out the sexiest movies on Netflix right now.

the affair

The Affair (2014–2019)

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? AND a future look at a climate-destroyed Hamptons? Well, you get that, too.—Sarah Caldwell
Where to stream: Amazon PrimeShowtime AnytimeHulu with Showtime add-on

rege jean page in bridgerton

Bridgerton (2020– )

Bridgerton, the first of Netflix's shows produced by Shonda Rhimes after her headline-making exclusive deal with the company, is set in the early-1800s Regency period, during the Austen-Brontë stretch of time when English society's structure was rigid, corsets were tight, and marriage was the Number One priority of any woman considered of age. In other words, it's about hot characters doing scandalous things, just what Shondaland fans have come to expect.
Where to stream: Netflix

orlando bloom in easy
Patrick Wymore/Netflix

Easy (2016–2019)

Mumblecore icon Joe Swanberg's Netflix anthology is legitimately all about sex and love—BDSM experimentation, first time threesomes, polyamorous marriages, sex with your ex, Tinder, etc, etc. The Chicago-set show plays out like a handful of brief short films, each starring familiar faces that show off Swanberg's indie cred like Aubrey Plaza, Dave Franco, Hannibal Buress, Judy Greer, Zazie Beetz, and many others. It more so crawls under the sheets to realistically look at relationships and intimacy and all of their vulnerable, uncomfortable quirks, but realism can be seriously sexy, too.
Where to stream: Netflix

elite netflix
Manuel Fernandez-Valdes/Netflix

Elite (2018– )

This teen drama centered on a wealthy private high school from Spain was a surprise hit when it first dropped on Netflix in 2018, and it's easy to see why: a juicy murder mystery that runs through the entire season, obscene displays of wealth, and lots and lots of sex. On top of being a soapy whodunit, Elite's issues-based side plots, dealing with topics like class inequality, xenophobia, and the stigma of HIV, are the running undercurrents that truly keep this show afloat. Even with subtitles, you'll have binged through this series before you know it.
Where to stream: Netflix

eva longoria in desperate housewives
Disney–ABC Domestic Television

Desperate Housewives (2004–2012)

You know how it goes in the suburbs: Nothing is quite as picture-perfect as those landscaped lawns and white picket fences appear to be. This long-running network hit dives into the private lives of the woman living on Wisteria Lane after their neighbor mysteriously dies by suicide. Of course, the neighborhood is abundant in crime, affairs, marital spats, and personal troubles, all rife with great clichés to keep you fantasizing—including some spicy infidelity with the chiseled gardener. Hands down the sexiest soap to grace our small screens.
Where to stream: HuluIMDb TV on Amazon Prime

adam driver in girls

Girls (2012–2017)

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.—SC
Where to stream: HBO Max

chuck and blair in Gossip Girl
The CW

Gossip Girl (2007–2012)

Remember this "Every Parent's Nightmare" ad? 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 Archibald, Trip van der Bilt, and Colin Forrester. See? Campy! But still racy as hell.—SC
Where to stream:HBO Max

the l word

The L Word (2004–2009)

After six seasons, this show racked up a whole lot of love scenes. 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.—SC
Where to stream: Amazon Prime with Showtime add-onHulu, Showtime Anytime

lip service

Lip Service (2010–2012)

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.—SC
Where to stream: Apple TV+Tubi

lizzy caplan in masters of sex

Masters of Sex (2013–2016)

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.—SC
Where to stream: Showtime Anytime

paul mescal in normal people

Normal People (2020)

Based on the book of the same name by the queen of the millennial narrative, Sally Rooney (who adapted the book for Hulu with the playwright Alice Birch), this miniseries captures the intense intimacy that develops between Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal), two high schoolers from a small Irish town. The series closely dissects their affair, as their relationship evolves as they grow older and their social statuses change. It actually got a great deal of praise for its sex scenes specifically, but expect no series will to leave you feeling as lustful and heartbroken as this one.
Where to stream:Hulu


Outlander (2014– )

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.—SC
Where to stream: NetflixSTARZ

queer folk

Queer as Folk (2000–2005)

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.—SC
Where to stream: Amazon with Showtime add-onHulu with Showtime add-onShowtime Anytime

kerry washington in scandal

Scandal (2012–2018)

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.—SC
Where to stream: Hulu

kim cattrall in sex and the city

Sex and the City (1998–2004)

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, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, and especially Kim Cattrall weren't afraid to talk about their sex lives, and what's sexier than owning your sexuality?—SC
Where to stream:HBO Max

sarah shahi in sex/life

Sex/Life (2021– )

Sex/Life: It's right there in the title! This critically-derided series might not be good by any means, but maybe prestige TV isn't what's on your mind if you're strictly looking for some hot and heavy bingeing (and it does feature some much-discussed full-frontal male nudity). Based on BB Easton's erotic novel 44 Chapters About 4 Men, the show follows a suburban mother played by Sarah Shahi who's desperate for more pleasure in her marriage, which leads her to start journaling about a past bad boy ex… which turns into a wild affair in the present. The absurd characters and trashy melodrama may drive you crazy, but so will the series' raciness in a totally different way.
Where to stream: Netflix

emmy rossum in shameless

Shameless (2011–2021)

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 throughout the series, 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.—SC
Where to stream: NetflixShowtime Anytime, Amazon with Showtime add-onHulu with Showtime add-on 

anthony ramos in she's gotta have it
David Lee/Netflix

She's Gotta Have It (2017–2019)

Nola Darling is an artist, an activist, a Brooklynite, and a sex-positive polyamorous pansexual with three emotionally volatile boyfriends. But who is she? Spike Lee made his directorial debut with 1986's She's Gotta Have It, and 30 years later, expands the character study into his first TV series, a rhythmic exploration of sex, Brooklyn, and Black life. Lee's signature, syncopated style—bright colors, up-close-and-personal confessionals, jolts of pop music and album art, Bruce Hornsby's melancholy piano filling the gaps—is intact, tracking Nola through the gentrifying brownstone labyrinth of Fort Greene. The joy of the series is in the updated casting, DeWanda Wise's Nola beams with wisdom, fear, artistic knowledge, and carnal desire, while the men and women in her life are fleshed out and… fleshed out, allowing the many sex scenes to play to the senses while reaching for something deeper. 
Where to stream: Netflix

nicholaus holt in skins

Skins (2007–2013)

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

anna paquin in true blood

True Blood (2008–2014)

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.—SC
Where to stream:HBO Max

the tudors

The Tudors (2007–2010)

There’s nothing about Henry VIII that's inherently arousing, 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. It's hard to say if this show is "good" or not, but 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!—SC
Where to stream: Showtime Anytime, Amazon with Showtime add-onHulu with Showtime add-on


Weeds (2005–2012)

Before Jenji Kohan was exploring life in prison on Orange Is the New Black, 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.—SC
Where to stream: HuluPeacockShowtime Anytime

damon and elena in vampire diaries
The CW

The Vampire Diaries (2009–2017)

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.—SC
Where to stream: Netflix

you're the worst

You're the Worst (2014–2019)

The pilot of this show features the leads Chris Geere and Aya Cash's 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 along the way, You're the Worst goes surprisingly deep on mental health issues like depression and PTSD. Plus, Geere and Cash's characters still manage to have crazy-good sex.—SC
Where to stream: Hulu

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