Every Time Outlander Proved It Shows The Best Sex On TV

It happened on Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire's (Caitriona Balfe) wedding night – the moment I knew Outlander was unequivocally the sexiest show on television. On their first evening together, Jamie and Claire come together in a way that's sweet and intimate, but also absolutely a bodice-ripping romance novel come to life. Unlike other "sexy" shows on TV, which are sexy in the sense that women walked around naked (cough, Game of Thrones), Outlander was exactly what I wanted to see, kilts, cunnilingus, and all.

How did Outlander create a show that so expertly catered to women's tastes? A show in which the woman steered the sexual encounter, based on her own preferences? A show where men uttered sexily arrogant lines such as, “I said I was a virgin, not a monk. If I need guidance, I’ll ask?" By having women in the writing room, of course, who can argue and refine each scene based on their own preferences.

“We’re so used to seeing women being objectified, as objects of desire of men, but it’s rare when you see a woman owning her sexuality, directing it, orchestrating the sequence of events," Balfe, who plays Claire, told Vulture.

As a result of the women in the writers room and the women on screen dictating what they want, fans of Outlander have received some incredible sex scenes. Here are our favorites.

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Jamie has healing sex.
Season 2, Episode 3: "Useful Occupations and Deceptions"

After Jamie and Claire's wrenching separation, Jamie seeks comfort with a woman named Mary McNab (Emma Campbell-Jones) in a cave, a la Jon Snow. By the time Mary approaches him, he'd been separated from Claire for seven years.

"I saw your lady and how it was between the two of you. It's not in my mind to make you feel you betrayed that. What I want is to share something different, something less mayhap, but something we both need. Something to keep us whole as we move forward in this life," Mary tells him. He assents.
Jamie & Geneva
Season 3, Episode 4

When depicting the sex scene between Jamie and Geneva (Hannah James), the Showtime show deviated from the book in a pretty major way. To set the scene: Lady Geneva uses her knowledge that Jamie is a Jacobite rebel to blackmail him into having sex, so she can lose her virginity to someone who's not her fiance. When they finally get down to it in the Diana Gabaldon novel Voyager, Jamie pushes past Geneva's objections. The sex in the show is far more consensual.

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Jamie and Claire get hitched.
Season 1, Episode 7: "The Wedding."

Roxane Gay said it best in her recap. The scene was "perfect, poignant, and perfect." In addition to being all of those things (yes — double perfect), the prolonged encounter was a remarkable way to show Jamie's sexual growth, and Claire and Jamie' relationship's progressing from a marriage of convenience to a love match.

Jamie begins their long night with only the vaguest conception of sex. "I didn't realize ye did it face to face," Jamie told Claire. "[I thought ye did it] like horses [from behind], ye ken." He learns more as the night progresses.

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Claire and Jamie make a modern marriage (through light S&M).
Season 1, Episode 8: "The Reckoning"

If we thought Jamie was the perfect husband in Episode 7, then this episode reminded us that he's still a 17th-century Scotsman, with 17th-century conceptions of how a wife should obey her husband. Jamie thinks he has to "punish" Claire for putting everyone in danger, so he beats her with his belt. She responds by withholding sex. After a while of this, Jamie's so thirsty that he almost cheats on Claire with Laoghaire (Nell Hudson), who'd been crushing on Jamie for ages.

It's at that moment that Jamie knows he has to go back to Claire. When he does, she has her own punishment. “If you ever raise a hand to me again, James Fraser,” Claire said while on top of him, “I will cut your heart out and have it for breakfast."

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