Queer as Folk (U.S)

“Queer as Folk (U.S.) is not just one of the ‘steamiest’ TV shows out there, but it is also one that does romance and sex incredibly well. The show follows a group of gay men and women, friends with incredibly different interests and approaches to life, and all of them intricate, believable, and absolutely amazing characters. These people are written in a way that makes it impossible to forget them; their relationships change, some of them ending with terrible breakups, they cheat, they fall out of love, but none of this is hyped up to the extent that it becomes ridiculous. Instead, emotions are presented as something real, valid, and complicated, making all of the relationships, and even friendships and family dynamics, feel raw. Queer as Folk remains a miracle of the TV industry in its sexual diversity and honest approach to both the fun and the seriousness of queer relationships, and it is likely that no show will ever live up to it.” – Yaiza Canopoli

Games of Thrones

“Sex and violence form two pillars that define the indulgent and mature nature of Game of Thrones, but the uncensored nudity has been the source of much controversy due to it often being thought unnecessary and excessive. The term “sexposition” was coined to describe the abundance of sex scenes which act as a backdrop of visual stimulation to keep the audience engaged while expository dialogue is spewed. This is a rather pessimistic view as it suggests that nudity is necessary to make the scene successful and engaging (because of course the audience would otherwise grow bored of dialogue on its own). However, on some occasions, it can work to enhance character development as seen in earlier seasons when we are shown how characters like Tyrion or Theon act in an intimate, private sphere, as well as better revealing how they treat women. Ultimately, excessive sex is just something that we have come to expect, and it can either be appealing or off-putting for a new viewer.” – Joel Shelley

Sherlock

“What list of steamy TV shows could be complete without Sherlock Holmes and John Watson? Since the launch of this BBC juggernaut in 2010, the aspect that’s really sold the show, and what any good adaption of Sherlock needs to focus on even more so than the mysteries, is the chemistry between the two leads. The pairing of Cumberbatch and Freeman instantly clicked but also led to one of the most famous shippings (‘Johnlock’) of recent history with a certain section of the Sherlock fanbase linking the two romantically, and often sexually. Copious amounts of explicit fan art has been produced, and the show often frequently – and usually very self awarely – addresses this underlying homosexuality. The first episode changed the novel’s original title ‘A Study in Scarlet’ to ‘A Study in Pink’, surely a subtle reference to the questions that arise from two men sharing a flat in modern day London. While we never see anything explicit, the fanbase constantly speculate on what happens behind that closed 221B Baker Street door…” – Dan Struthers