The Best TV Sex Scenes Of 2017, Ranked By Female Gaze

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
2017 is coming to a close, a blessing that means that you have probably already read your fair share of year-end TV roundups. But this one is different. This one is sexy! And not just sexy, but also feminist. It's a roundup you can enjoy guilt-free with a glass of something nice to escape from the constant barrage of bad news that has been the hallmark of this godforsaken year from hell.
There was a lot of TV this year, which means there was a lot of sex on TV this year. Some of it was good, some of it was bad, and a lot of it was fine. But for the purposes of this slideshow, what makes a sex scene rise above and beyond is how it relates to the female gaze. Does the sex feel empowering to watch? Does it make a point about female representation on TV? Does it give insight into women's experiences? Is it satisfying? Hot? All of the above? These are some of the questions I have asked myself in the process of creating this list.
Of course, good sex, like TV, is pretty subjective, so keep that in mind as you click through. That said, enjoy!
1 of 11
# 11 Riverdale Season 2, Episode 1: Veronica & Archie

To be honest, this scene loses big points for context. I mean, seriously? You're really going to have shower sex while Fred Andrews is possibly dying from a gunshot wound? AND KEEP YOUR PEARLS ON? Not to mention the insane chain of events that leads to the couple walking the dog together as foreplay, with Archie still dressed in the clothes covered in his father's blood.

Still, the fact that Veronica takes the lead in jumping into the shower to comfort Archiekins is a nice change of pace for a teenage drama. Girl wants what she wants when she wants.
2 of 11
#10 Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 7: Daenerys & Jon Snow

I'm including this awkward incest between aunt and nephew only because it would seem odd not to, given how much we all anticipated it. Though, as far as Game of Thrones sex scenes go, it was pretty weak.

But it earns its place on this ranking because for once, rather than focusing on Daenerys' naked body, the creators instead gave us all the gift of Snow's perfect butt. It's the bare (ha) minimum, but progress for a show that once mistook a rape for a regular sex scene.
3 of 11
#9 Jane The Virgin Season 3, Episode 18: Jane & Fabian

Jane the Virgin started off with an accidental insemination, which led to a love triangle, drama, marriage, and finally the loss of said virginity. It's refreshing, therefore, to now get to see Jane enjoying some fun, drama-free sex with Fabian, especially in the aftermath of the Michael's death. Or, as she puts it: "I did it! I had casual sex with Fabian, and I didn't feel guilty about it."

You go, lady.
4 of 11
#8 The Bold Type Season 1, Episode 9: Kat & Adena

The "will they, won't they," is a tried and tested staple of workplace-focused show. The Bold Type put a refreshing and important spin on this trope, casting two women of color as the couple to root for. Their first, and only, night together is a sweet — if tame, this is a FreeForm show — and all-too-rare positive moment for female queer relationships on TV.
5 of 11
#7 Outlander Season 3, Episode 6: Jamie & Claire

Outlander has been championing the female gaze since it's very first season, (wedding scene, anyone?), so its place on this ranking is pretty much guaranteed. Claire and Jamie's reunion after spending 20 years apart gives emotional heft to a scene that would have been sexy to watch regardless.
6 of 11
#6 Game Of Thrones Season 7, Episode 2: Grey Worm & Missandei

My smart colleague Ariana Romero called this encounter Game of Thrones' most feminist sex scene, and with good reason. Missandei and Greyworm enter into this relationship on equal terms, and each get a chance to express consent: Missandei is the one to initiate the actual sex when she undoes her dress, and she and Greyworm have a frank conversation about his discomfort with getting fully naked, given his genital mutilation, before he in turn agrees. This all culminates with a full-on shot of Greyworm giving Missandei what looks like amazing oral sex.
7 of 11
#5 The Deuce Season 1, Episode 5: Candy's Revenge

For a show about the rise of porn in the 1970s, The Deuce was a surprisingly unsexy show. That's because creators David Simon and George Pelecanos took great care to portray the action from the point of view of the women involved. Four out of the eight episodes in the first season were directed by women, and it shows. After seeing her struggle through john after john, it's incredibly satisfying to see Maggie Gyllenhaal's Candy respond to her date's question about whether she's orgasmed by smiling, turning her back to him, and finishing the job herself.
8 of 11
#4 SMILF Season 1, Episode 3: Bridgette's Tribute

Very few shows play with women’s wild, intense, and little-spoken-about sexual fantasies as well as the brand-new Showtime series. There’s no better example of this fact than when Bridgette Bird (Frankie Shaw) lives out a dream many women may not have even realized they had: sitting atop a throne in your comfiest clothes, an impossibly buff, nude man on either side, preparing to choose a single admirer, out of a legion, to “worship your pussy.”
9 of 11
#3 Insecure Season 2: Reader's Choice

The are so many good, female-forward sex scenes on this season of Insecure that I'm hard-pressed to pick just one. So, I won't. It's still all too rare to see women of color owning and enjoying their sexuality on such a wide spectrum in mainstream culture, and Issa Rae nails it (wow) every time.
10 of 11
#2, The Handmaid's Tale, Season 1, Episode 5: Nick & Offred

Most of the sex scenes in this adaptation Margaret Atwood's dystopian classic are actually rape, so this one shines by comparison. But truly, watching Offred (Elisabeth Moss) take charge of her own destiny and desire, and march into Nick's (Max Minghella) room ranks up there as one of the most empowering moments on TV this year. As a bonus, the ensuing sex is HAWT.
11 of 11
# 1 American Gods, Season 1, Episode 1: Bilquis' Killer Vagina

I said it once, and I'll say it again: nothing will turn a bad day around like watching a badass goddess suck men into her vagina. The fact that this goddess is also a Black woman who has been stripped of her powers and reduced to catfishing people on a dating app to get what she needs adds a complex layer of social commentary to what could just have been a fun, quirky scene. Black women's sexuality is still too often portrayed as dangerous, or obscene. Seeing Bilquis (Yetide Badak) own her power, and using it to literally obliterate the men who get in her way, feels like the perfect note to start 2018 on.

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