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The Best Smutty TV to Watch Right Now

Photo-Illustration: The Cut. Photos: Starz; Netflix; Hulu

If the pandemic has taught us anything about television, it’s that some shows are better watched alone in your room. And why is that? They’re a lot sexier than they used to be. Now everyday shows are also erotic masterpieces that range across time periods, countries, and languages. Here are some classics if you’re new to the genre (or looking for something to revisit).

1. Bridgerton (2020–present)

Photo: Netflix

Inspired by Julia Quinn’s historical-romance novels, the series follows the eight aristocratic Bridgerton siblings as they try to find love in 1800s London high society. The first season follows the eldest daughter, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), and her love story with none other than the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). Plenty of castle sex ensues. Stream on Netflix.

2. Normal People (2020)

Photo: Enda Bowe/Hulu

The BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best seller left viewers weak and obsessed. It follows Irish couple Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) as they weave in and out of each other’s lives from high school through college and touches on topics of abuse, mental illness, and class. Stream on Hulu.

3. P-Valley (2020–present)

Photo: Tina Rowden/Starz

If you liked Hustlers or Zola, this is the show for you. Adapted from a play by Katori Hall, the show revolves around a Mississippi strip club called the Pynk and the workers who make a living there. The first season highlights Black artists and destigmatizes sex work, all while remaining sexy. Stream on Starz.

4. Vida (2018–20)

Photo: Kat Marcinowski/Starz

Two Mexican American sisters (Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera) return home after the death of their mother only to find out that she was married to a woman. Directed and produced by a Latinx cast, the show is an earnest portrayal of queer identity and relationships. Stream on Hulu.

5. Sex/Life (2021–present)

Photo: Netflix

Suburban mom Billie (Sarah Shahi) starts daydreaming and journaling about her steamy ex while her husband and child linger over her shoulder and her conscience. Filled with plenty of steamy scenes, the show focuses on female desire. Stream on Netflix.

6. Outlander (2014–present)

Photo: Robert Wilson/Starz

A historical drama that has been compared to Game of Thrones, this show follows a woman who’s transported back in time in Scotland from 1945 to 1743. Forced to adapt, she marries and falls in love with a rebel warrior. Stream on Netflix.

7. Elite (2018–present)

Photo: Netflix

In this Spanish spin on Gossip Girl, a trio of working-class teenagers enroll in a prestigious private school in Madrid and have their lives turned upside down. Featuring mystery, some throuples, and lots of sex, the show does everything right. Stream on Netflix.

8. Industry (2020–present)

Photo: HBO

A group of recent college graduates begin their jobs in a prestigious investment bank in London. Their new lives are full of pressure, but they certainly know how to blow off some steam. Stream on HBO Max.

9. Virgin River (2019–present)

Photo: Netflix

Looking for a fresh start, a nurse (Alexandra Breckenridge) moves to North Carolina to become a midwife. While adapting to small-town life, she’s challenged to forget her past and find new love. Stream on Netflix.

10. The Cook of Castamar (2021)

Photo: Netflix

In this sexy period drama, a widowed Spanish Duke finally remarries, only to fall in love with his chef. Originally from Spain, the show has the very thing we love the most: forbidden love. Stream on Netflix.

11. Fleabag (2016–19)

Photo: HBO

Phoebe Waller-Bridge rose to fame with her raunchy comedy about a woman on a journey of love, sex, and self-discovery, all while breaking the fourth wall. Did we mention that there is a hot priest? Stream on Amazon Prime.

12. The L Word: Generation Q (2019–present)

Photo: Showtime

Set ten years after the original series, this sequel follows a group of lesbian and bisexual women in Los Angeles. With some reprised roles and plenty of new characters, it explores relationships and love within the LGBTQ+ community. Stream on Hulu.

12 Sexiest TV Shows to Watch Right Now