Typically when you think of pop culture being used to help the set the mood (yeah, you know the one), it’s done with some get-it-on music (namely, Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”) and/or movies you “watch” with your partner (ahem, Out of Sight). But hey, you know what else can help lay the groundwork for some seriously sexy sexytimes? Television! And while, thanks to sex-friendly cable, there are the obvious choices like Game of Thrones and Mad Men, don’t be surprised at how much primetime television can do the trick. (Turns out, you can do that on television.) Here are 15 moments and episodes of TV that will get you in the mood.
Mad Men – Don and Joan’s Verbal Tango in “Christmas Waltz”
For a show that often cuts to the chase and gets right down to it, it’s strong suit is actually just when it oozes sexuality. (See: Megan’s slinky rendition of “Zou Bisou Bisou” in season five.) In fact, Mad Men‘s sexiest scene to date had no sex at all. During “Christmas Waltz”, sexy people Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) talk to one another at the bar, shooting glances and exchanges that could kill. Now, on paper, these two hooking up would be smoking, but it’s this flirtatious verbal tennis match that’s really hot. Their chemistry and sexual tension is palpable, but a Don and Joan hook-up is never going to happen – nor should it. But hey, just because they can’t doesn’t mean you can’t. Watch the episode on Netflix and iTunes.
Game of Thrones – Snow Knows in “Kissed By Fire”
Like Mad Men, there’s an infinite amount of scenes to choose from with this series (except with way more nudity and curse words), like Loras and Renley’s union in season one or Robb and Talisa’s incredible sex scene in season two’s “The Prince of Winterfell.” (It’s a little hard to enjoy watching that scene now knowing what unfolds at the Red Wedding. Bit of a mood killer, really.) Instead, may we suggest Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ygritte’s (Rose Leslie) very soft core porn-y frolic in a cave during season three’s “Kissed By Fire.” Turns out that Jon Snow knows some things after all. Watch the episode on HBO Go, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and Google Play.
Orange is the New Black – Splish Splash in “I Wasn’t Ready”
Can’t wait to get down to the action? Neither could Orange is the New Black. The series premiere of the acclaimed Netflix series has not one, but two shower sex scenes. The first happens within – we’re not kidding here – the first 25 seconds when we see a flashback to former lovers Piper (Taylor Schilling) and Alex (Laura Prepon) hooking up in a shower. Later in the episode Piper catches her fellow inmates Nicky (Natasha Lyonne) and Lorna (Yael Stone) getting it on in, you guessed it, the shower. You can watch the full episode on, where else, Netflix.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Buffy and Spike Bring Down the House in “Smashed”
Looking to have sex that will, quite literally, bring the house down? Then look no further than Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Spike’s (James Marsters) foundation-rattling hook-up.You can watch the episode on Netflix, Hulu, iTunes.
Masters of Sex - She Blinded Him With Science in “All Together Now”
Who says clinical sex can’t be sexy? In this season one episode, Dr. Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) and his co-worker Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) throw themselves into their sex study, quite literally, and fornicate – for science! Granted, they are hooked up to electrodes in a cold, sterile office and are technically doing it for work, but their obvious feelings for one another are what is really worth analyzing. Watch the episode on iTunes.
Ally McBeal - Talkin’ Bout the Car Wash, Yeah in “Car Wash”
If you and your significant other have ever fantasized about getting it on in a car wash, but don’t want to run the risk of turtle wax in godforsaken places and, you know, getting a stern talking to from the car wash staff, then let Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart) and a sexy mystery man live that out for you – glossy lighting and all – in the season three episode titled, easily enough, “Car Wash.” Have an A-1 day, Ally! Watch the episode on Netflix and Hulu.
Lost – Despite All Their Rage, They Are Still Just Two Hotties in a Cage in “I Do”
This one just hits all the marks, doesn’t it? Two hyper-attractive people? Check. (That would be Kate and Sawyer, played by bona fide hotties Evangeline Lilly and Josh Holloway.) “Sexy” setting? Check. (A prison cage! In a sweltering jungle!) Voyeurism? Check. (To be fair, they didn’t know they were on camera, so sort of unintentional voyeurism.) Long-time yearning culminating in some hot-and-heavy action? Check. Plenty happened in “I Do”, but ask any fan what happened in that episode and they’ll unanimously tell you: that’s the one where Kate and Sawyer did it in a cage. Watch the episode on Hulu, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and Netflix.
Girls - Another Man’s Treasure in “One Man’s Trash”
There’s plenty of sex on Girls, but never had it been as sexy than when Hannah (Lena Dunham) hooked up with a handsome stranger named Joshua (Patrick Wilson). They hook up on a kitchen counter, on a ping pong table – hell, they pretty much do it all over his dreamy Brooklyn brownstone. These two connect on every level during their short-lived, whirlwind courtship and its just as blissful and sexy for them as it is for viewers. Watch the episode on HBO Go and iTunes.
Queer as Folk - Feels Like the Very First Time in “Premiere”
Brian (Gale Harold) and Justin (Randy Harrison) make the first time look so good during their first hook-up (and Justin’s first time ever) in the first episode of Queer as Folk. Not only is it an intimate and thrilling scene, but it’s the only one on this list in which characters are actually seen using any kind of protection. Smart and hot. Watch the episode on Netflix, YouTube.
The Good Wife – Love in an Elevator in “Closing Arguments”
Yes, the love in an elevator trope is used far too much in pop culture, but when it’s as good as Will (Josh Charles) and Alicia’s (Julianna Margulies) passionate, long-awaited make-out session in season two’s finale, it’s allowed. After watching this scene, including the flirtatious pre-elevator bar banter between these two and the post-elevator destination, you and your partner will probably be tempted to give the elevator in your building a visit. Watch the episode on Hulu Plus, iTunes, and Amazon Prime.
True Blood – Can’t Fight the Moonlight in “I Wish I Was the Moon”
True Blood fans had waited an awful long time for Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) to hook up (four seasons, to be exact) but they made it worth their wait. But if you and your significant other don’t have the time to binge watch all the sex that takes place on True Blood (because, boy, is there plenty) you can cut to the chase and watch Sookie and Eric do it in the woods under the moonlight in this Season 4 episode. You can watch the full episode on HBO Go and iTunes.
Moonlighting – Heart of Glass in “I Am Curious…Maddie”
Outta the way, glass table! David (Bruce Willis) and Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) are finally going at it! The gold standard of will-they-won’t-they courtships, the table-flipping, rolling-around-on-the-floor hook-up between these two in the classic season three episode of Moonlighting should be able to turn any sexual tension into action. Maybe just don’t watch it in your living room. Those glass tables can get kind of expensive. You can watch the scene here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORarKBSplwI.
Grey’s Anatomy – Hellloooo, Doctor in “Losing My Religion”
Word to the wise: watch and only watch Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey’s) exam room nookie session in the season two episode. Everything after their hook-up in that episode is monumentally depressing, but their hot and heavy reunion during the prom (it makes sense in the context of the episode, we assure you) is just what the doctor – well, you get it. Watch the episode on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Google Play