The Steamiest Sex Scenes Of 2018

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Everyone loves a good sex scene. We’re invested in the lives of our TV and movie faves, and we want to see them get it on. Sometimes when we’ve been waiting for characters to get together, a steamy scene between them can feel just as rewarding as IRL sex. And a really good sex scene is basically porn, which is convenient now that we can no longer count on Tumblr for adult content.
2018 was a banner year for on-screen coitus. Shows on streaming platforms gave us steamier and crazier encounters. There were moments that expanded our definition of what a sex scene is, from 18th century queer royalty to sci-fi orgies to a Spanish teen triad, or Lady Gaga applying stick-on eyebrows to Bradley Cooper’s face in a bathtub.
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Lock the door and click on through to watch some of your favorite characters getting physical.
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The Favourite

Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) are best friends, royal co-workers, and secretly lovers — which we discover at the same time as Abigail (Emma Stone) in an intimate scene in the palace library.

Read our review of The Favourite.
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Mary, Queen Of Scots

Lord Darnley (Jack Lowden) goes down on Mary (Saoirse Ronan), and it’s very steamy! We love a powerful woman getting what she wants. Things don’t go so well for their sex life after, so you might even want to stop here!

Read our review of Mary, Queen of Scots.
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A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga have great chemistry as Jackson and Ally Maine, and there is no scene more electric than when the two of them are in the bathtub, and Ally applies makeup and electrical tape eyebrows to Jack’s face. This harkens back to one of the first things he said to her at the bar where they met: “Are those your real eyebrows?”

Read our review of A Star Is Born.
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Widows

Viola Davis and Liam Neeson don’t have a sex scene, but they do passionately make out in bed, which Davis has cited as important representation. “You will not see that,” Davis said at a recent screening in LA. “I don’t care how much people say they’re committed to inclusivity — they’re not committed to that,” she continued. “The opening shot in this movie where you have a dark-skinned woman with a big nose and wide lips and all of that and her natural hair kissing — romantically kissing a white man on-screen.”

Read our review of Widows.
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Sense8

The show’s final episode closed with one large joyous orgy, which Sense8 is known for. And while orgies this graphic are not often depicted on TV, it felt even more groundbreaking to see how happy all the characters are to be having sex with each other. Often, sex scenes are grunty and intense, but this one is light and celebratory — a perfect send-off to a show with a cult following.

Read our recap of the Sense8 finale.
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via Gfycat

Élite

The story of Carla and Polo’s relationship unfolds in a way that makes this threesome scene particularly exciting. At first, Carla appears to seduce Christian while Polo watches (without Christian knowing), and we wonder if Carla might be a little more into that arrangement than anyone else. In this scene, we find out that Polo is all in — and that Christian is game. The three high schoolers decide to give the throuple life a go.

Read our guide to the hot stars of Élite.
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Élite

Omar and Ander are maybe TV’s best new couple. They are both beautiful, good-hearted, and their relationship is a secret, forbidden by Omar’s religious family. They spend a lot of their time together worried about being spotted, which is why this sexy, loving scene is so satisfying. They’re alone at Ander’s place, and they aren’t scared.
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8 of 19
Crazy Rich Asians

It’s historically been rare to see Asian men presented as sexually desirable, so we love this scene where Rachel (Constance Wu), oggles her boyfriend Nick (Henry Golding). If shirtless Henry Golding isn’t enough for you, we suggest checking out the movie’s other thirsty shirtless scenes featuring Michael (Pierre Png) and Colin (Christ Pang).

Read our review of Crazy Rich Asians.
9 of 19
Sorry To Bother You

Cash (Lakeith Stanfield) and Detroit (Tessa Thompson) have sex through a montage of changes in Cash’s apartment as he rakes in money working as a “power caller.” Upward mobility is hot, what can we say? Unfortunately (spoiler alert), it’s about to all come crashing down.

Read our review of Sorry to Bother You.
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Sorry To Bother You

While Cash and Detroit are briefly broken up, Squeeze (Steven Yeun) hooks up with Detroit following her art opening. And who could blame Detroit? Steven Yeun is sexy, especially when he’s helping organize unions.
11 of 19
Disobedience

In another forbidden queer romance scenario, old flames Ronit (Rachel Weisz) and Esti (Rachel McAdams) meet again when Ronit returns to their Orthodox Jewish community following her father’s death. After trying to fight their chemistry, the two finally give in, passionately.

Read our review of Disobedience.
12 of 19
A Simple Favor

Can you believe this is the hottest scene in the movie, and Emily (Blake Lively) isn’t even involved? Of course, in a psychological sense, she is involved. Her character is believed to be dead, and her best friend, Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) and her husband, Sean (Henry Golding) cope with grief, confusion, and a desire to be close to Emily by hooking up.
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13 of 19
Colette

Although the casting of trans character Missy (Denise Gough, a cis actor) caused a small controversy, the scene where Missy is shown topping Colette (Keira Knightley) is still a rush to watch, because it shows a type of queer sex we don’t often see onscreen.

Read our review of Colette.
14 of 19
Jane The Virgin

There were a couple of notable Rafael and Jane sex scenes this year: their first time, which we’ve been waiting for since the show premiered in 2014, and this scene. It’s passionate and sad, because Rafael fears it may be their last time, for reasons you’ll understand if you’ve watched the season 4 finale.

Read about the shocking season 4 finale.
15 of 19
Killing Eve

Eve (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) don’t have sex in this scene, but it feels like a consummation. We’ve watched them play cat and mouse all season as an MI6 agent and international assassin, respectively, and they finally come together to admit that they think about each other all the time (and, in Villanelle’s case, that she has masturbated while thinking about Eve).

Read our review of Killing Eve.
16 of 19
Bodyguard

What’s a girl to do when she’s the Home Secretary of the UK and has a very hot bodyguard? In this scene, Julia (Keeley Hawes) opts to tell David (Richard Madden) that he can touch her because she’s not the queen, and things spiral from there.

Here's what happened at the end of Bodyguard (spoiler alert).
17 of 19
Burning

As previously established, Steven Yeun is very sexy, and in Burning, he is also very scary. Since the movie takes place mostly from the perspective of Lee Jong-su (Ah-In Yoo), we don’t see many of the intimate moments between Ben (Yeun) and Haemi (Jong-seo Jeon). But the scene they do show, of Ben putting makeup on Haemi, is extremely sensual.
18 of 19
Vida

Vida is a big step forward for queer Latinx representation in TV, and if this scene between Emma (Mishel Prada) and Cruz (Maria-Elena Laas) isn’t enough to get you hooked, we don’t know what to say. That bra strap bite? Fetch the smelling salts.

Read our review of Vida.
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Pose

This scene has some rare ingredients — a trans character played by a trans actor; a sex scene with a trans character that is loving and free of trauma; a trans character having sex on network TV — that make it really special. More shows should depict trans characters in a more nuanced way like Pose, but in the meantime, we’re happy to watch Stan (Evan Peters) and Angel (Indya Moore) over and over.

Read our review of Pose.
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