This January marked the 10th anniversary of The L Word’s history-making premiere on Showtime. At that time we got the idea to honor the series with a few different pieces including an anniversary version of The L Word Cast: Where Are They Now? And an op-ed about why the show, in all of its glory and with all of its often-ridiculous storylines, remains an important benchmark in lesbian representation on television. We also got the brilliant notion – at least it seemed like at the time – to rank all of The L Word’s sex scenes. For one thing, never before had lesbian sex been so unabashedly depicted on the small screen, so there’s some actual value in our decision to painstakingly chronicle all of the scenes. But mostly, we just thought it would be fun to relive all of the series’ sexy times – the good, the bad, and the ugly. And while we maintain that it was fun to revisit them, it has pretty much taken us since January to execute our definitive – not really, but it sounds good - ranking of “All 97 of The L Word Sex Scenes!” Since L Word cast members Leisha Hailey, Kate Moennig, and Laurel Holloman are reuniting at Club Skirt Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs next week, we thought this would be a fitting time to finally post this important project.
We have a few notes before we dive into the rankings. First, we included only those sex scenes that involved at least one major character. We attempted, by and large, to include actual sex scenes, so you won’t see your favorite heavy petting, make-out, or foreplay scenes listed. Although, in cases where it was tough to tell just how far things had gotten in the actual world of the scene, we just included it. When it comes to sex scenes, more is more.
Regarding the rankings – it’s completely arbitrary. One person’s interpretation of what constitutes good sex differs vastly from another, which is why bad sex between two people exists in the world. Essentially, we ranked the ones we found the least sexy, pointless, creepy, sad, odd, or boring toward the lower end of the spectrum. Those that got the most bang for the buck ended up toward the top.
Finally, we fully concede to the L Word aficionados of the world that we may have missed a scene. Watching sex scenes for hours on end is hard, and there could have been a glitch in our process. Perhaps we were distracted by all of the nudity. If we missed or forgot your favorite scene we offer a collective mea culpa.
Now, on to the rankings! And please feel free to comment and share your favorite scenes with us!
Ep. 1.1 - Pilot - Bette Goes Down on Tina in the Doctor's Office to Help with Insemination.
Turn On: It's the first time we see the legend, the Flashdancer Jennifer Beals, in this sort of position.
Turn Off: In the doctor's office, Tina's in the stirrups, it's clinical, and Bette is just plain uptight in the pilot.
Ep. 2.1 Life, Loss, Leaving - Tim's leaving LA and he and Jenny go for it one last icky time.
Turn On: Nothing. This is just sad.
Turn Off: No. Just no. It's over. Go away.
Ep. 4.8 Lexington and Concord - Kit and Papi sad drunk sex.
Turn On: The possibility of Kit trying out the ladies? That's such a stretch.
Turn Off: Kit falling off the wagon and having passed-out lesbian sex.
Ep. 1.9 Luck Next Time - Jenny and Tim have bonus night sex after they've broken up.
Turn On: There isn't much we can say. It's pretty grim.
Turn Off: No one is rooting for this couple to make it like we would for Bette and Tina.
Ep. 2.5 Labyrinth - Roomie Mark shoots a Creepy hidden cam video of Shane's one-night stand.
Turn On: Voyeurism can be sexy but this is just, well, illegal.
Turn Off: Everything.
Ep. 2.6 Lagrimos De Oro - Mark's Creepy cam of Shane with the fake UPS girl. This and the one above are basically a package.
Turn On: We're pairing this with the sex scene above as there's nothing sexy about it, except that the actress playing the fake UPS girl is cute.
Turn Off: Just when we thought Mark could not get any more disgusting he hires a girl to seduce Shane.
Ep. 4.11 Literary License to Kill - Papi wears out her jaw going down on Kit who's just not into it.
Turn On: Kit's willingness to give it the old college try while sober.
Turn Off: The fact that she's not the least bit into it.
Ep. 6.3 LMFAO - Shane and Jenny's morning sex after their first night together
Turn On: It's mercifully short.
Turn Off: Nobody wants to see Shane and Jenny together. It's just wrong. Stop.
Ep. 6.1 Long Night's Journey Into Day - Jenny hate-fucks Nikki after she cheats with Shane at Lez Girls' premiere party.
Turn On: Jenny pulls off an initital sincerity in this scene, making Nikki believe she's forgiven, which is the scariest part.
Turn Off: Our skin crawls throughout the scene wondering when Jenny is going to let loose and skewer Nikki. We just have to say it -- none of the scenes from the entire cynical 6th season do not rank among the best.
Ep. 3.1 Labia Majora - Lara finds a lump on Dana's breast.
Turn On: Dana and Lara are so adorable and sexy together.
Turn Off: She says the words to Dana that nobody wants to hear.
Ep. 1.8 L'Ennui - Alice demands a real penis from her lesbian-identified boyfriend Lisa who prefers to strap it on.
Turn On: It's Leisha Hailey's first L Word sex scene!
Turn Off: Neither wants what the other wants and it's just plain bad sex. What a waste for Alice's first time on screen.
Ep. 2.7 Luminous - Helena's kids interrupt morning sex with Tina.
Turn On: Morning sex with Helena.
Turn Off: Getting caught in the act by Helena's kids.