Every Generation Q Sex Scene, Ranked

After so successfully and accurately ranking every sex scene from The L Word, we of course anticipated one day doing the same for Generation Q, which initially were truly some of the best we’d ever seen, until Season Three when suddenly the sex scene train seemed to have left the station. A blow to the community! Speaking of blows to the community, the show has since been cancelled, which means that the time to rank sex scenes has come for us all.

In our podcast episode for the second season premiere, on the occasion of Sophie and Dani having sex the night before what’d end up being a thwarted wedding, Drew noted, “…the intimacy coordinator of this show is the MVP. The sex scenes on the show, the only time I’ve ever seen sex scenes that are better than the Gen Q sex scenes is Vida. That is the only show I’ve ever seen, or even movie, the sex scenes on Gen Q are so well choreographed, so well done, so specific. I love them.”

So now, as we look back on the best moments of this short-lived series, sex scenes feels like a good place to start. The rankings here are the result of an intense voting process undergone by every Autostraddle TV Team member who’d seen the entire series. Quotes throughout are a mishmash of my own, quotes from the To L and Back podcast, other posts about sex scenes, and from other L Word fans on our team.


34. He Wants to Fuck Her On His Livestream (301: Last Year)

Alice looking back at Teddy

As a comedy scene, Alice’s romp with Gen Z TikToker Teddy hit all the marks, but as a sex scene it apparently was not our favorite!

33. Finley’s Too Drunk To Bang (102: Less Is More)

Rebecca and Finley undressing

Finley and Rebecca: very hot together! Finley having to stop this sex scene almost immediately because her head is spinning and she’s gonna hurl? Not so much!

32. Tess Interrupts Hot Sex To Declare That They Should Fire Finley Or Else They Are Enabling Her (210: Last Call)

Tess on the phone while shane is kissing her back

It’s mid-day. Shane is going down on Tess, then Tess’s legs are on her shoulders and Shane’s fucking her to some terrible house music and Tess is moaning and everybody’s having a nice time and then, for some absolutely inexplicable reason, Tess interrupts this delightful event with a “not to ruin the mood but, if we keep letting Finley work at the bar we’re just enabling her.”

31. Shane Bangs The Wedding Planner (310: Looking Ahead)

Shane banging the wedding planner on a sink

You can always rely on Shane to fuck someone she just met at the wedding, and Kimmy (Jen Tullock) was the lucky girl at Bette and Tina’s.

30. Micah Soothes His Ego With a Hookup (103: Lost Love)

Hassan on top of Micah

Two hot men, one nice couch, and one very sad Micah!

29. Nat Wakes Alice Up For a Little Midnight Surprise (102: Less is More)

Nat fucking Alice in bed

Nice to get it in right before the episode ended, but this sex scene sadly clocked in at a mere 15 seconds.

28. Lena Cheats on Tess With Her New Boss Shane (103: Lost Love)

Shane fucking Lena on the desk in the backroom of Dana's

Lena had her eye on Shane from the jump, and Shane just has eyes. Lena pulls Shane into the backroom and they bang — banging the girlfriend of the manager you just asked to run your lesbian bar is definitely a move. Dawn Denbo would like to salute everybody involved.

27. Shane and The Flight Attendant (101: Let’s Do It Again)

Shane fucking someone on the kitchen counter

Shane finger-blasting a stranger: hello Season One! Perfect, no notes.

26. Finley’s Not Too Drunk To Bang (102: Less Is More)

Finley with her mouth on Rebecca's back

Finley, slightly less drunk now, gives sex with Rebecca another whirl. Unfortunately, we only earned about ten seconds of this one.

25. Alice’s Afternoon Delight (207: Light)

Alice on top of Nat in her car seat

Running into your ex at lunch: awkward. Running into your ex at lunch and then fucking in her car with your head popping out of the sunroof: priceless!

24. Cherie Jaffe Would Go Down on Tess in a Theater The Back Room of Dana’s (205: Lobsters, Too)

Cherie pulling off Tess's underwear

Tess had some questions for Mommi Cherie about the nature of their improbable four-day relationship, but Cherie squashed dissent by putting her face between Tess’s legs.

23. Alice and Tom’s First Time (206: Love Shack)

Tom on top of Alice

At last, this delightful comic duo did the right thing by having sex with each other.

22. Shane and Quiara Having Sex JK Talking About Divorce and Pregnancy (105: Labels)

Shane on top of Quiara

Shane slips inside Quiara, who gasps, and then Shane goes “I missed you” by which she means “I missed being inside you” and then Shane goes, “I signed those divorce papers” and Quiara’s like “oh sorry about that” and then she’s like “btw I’m pregnant!” Why are Shane’s sex scenes always getting interrupted with admin??

21. Tess and Finley’s Drunken Romp (105: Labels)

Finley on top of Tess in the backroom of Dana's

Tess is relapsing, and Finley is trashed, and they’re both very sad about recent breakdowns — they’re also both very hot though, so :-/

20. Bette Soothes Pippa’s Rejection With Gigi’s Hot Beef Injection (204: Lake House)

Bette breathing heavy into Gigi

Between a song that goes “you’re not the one, but you’re the one right now” and Bette’s somewhat unenthusiastic facial expression for about one second AND knowing Bette’s just using Gigi as a body even though the body she really wants is Pippa’s….

19. Eleven Seconds of Micah Fucking Maribel With a Strap-on (307: Little Boxes)

Micah and Maribel kissing

Drew: The previous sex scene with Micah and Maribel was very tender, which is very nice. We love tender sex. Love it, love it, love it! But this is the first time we’ve been like, oh cool, we’re watching them fuck.

18. Ivy Gets Shane Out of Her Dreams and Into Her Car (304: Last to Know)

shot of Ivy and Shane in the backseat of her car

Drew: Shane and Ivy fucking to a fun cover of “Psychokiller” by the Talking Heads… a real intense choice, but I’m into it. It’s hot, I’m going to say it.
Analyssa: So hot.
Drew: I’m going to be brave and say it’s hot. They’re making out, Shane puts her fingers in-
Analyssa: Fingers in the mouth while kissing.
Drew: That’s always going to get me!

17. Maribel and Micah Seal the Deal! (205: Lobsters, Too)

Micah going down on Maribel

It was a much-anticipated and authentic consummation of a friends-to-lovers pipeline — but as Drew said on the podcast, “I wanted just a little bit more time with this one.”

16. Shane Dreaming of Quiara (104: L.A. Times)

Shane and Quiara fucking in a red-blue-lit room

One thing a lot of Generation Q sex scenes lack is great lighting but luckily Shane’s subconscious summoned this glowing gradient for dream sequence sex with Quiara.

15. Micah and Jose Do It In The Pool (102: Less is More)

Micah and Jose face to face in the pool

Listen it wouldn’t be The L Word without a journey into the popular Los Angeles fantasy of fucking in your backyard swimming pool.

14. Reunion Sex for Bette and Tina (302: Los Angeles Traffic)

Tina removing Bette's shirt

We’ve seen Bette and Tina reunite over stir-fry and in an elevator and in the backroom of a nightclub run by a tyrannical tank top enthusiast, but this time, it was different: They were both single, both grounded, and both ready to slip back into the place they’d always called home — each other’s bodies.

13. Sophie and Finley Get A Little Bit Closer (206: Love Shack)

Sophie kissing Finley

After an unclear amount of time spent holding back and taking space, Finley and Sophie finally caved in to the chemistry after lesbian drama at Karaoke night. They whispered apologies and promises, and reader, we were so hopeful!

12. Shane and Tess’s First Time Doesn’t Stay in Vegas (208: Launch Party)

Tess and Shane un-dressing in the hotel room

What’s important about this sex scene besides the screensaver of the Las Vegas Strip at Night and the absolutely inexcusable house band music is that it is incredibly hot and also incredibly long (the third-longest sex scene in the entire series). This sex scene has everything: Shane surprising Tess by showing up at her hotel room in Las Vegas, friends-to-lovers sexual tension explosion, several position switches, Shane’s signature swoop. RIP #Shess!

11. Sophie and Dani Have Sex With an Ex (Each Other) (204: Lake House)

Sophie and Dani close up kissing

Drew: “Sophie did not drive all the way to that lake house not to have sex with Dani. Like maybe in her head at the time, she didn’t know that that’s what she was doing, she thought she was doing something noble. But I think in a year, when Sophie looks back on this moment, she’s going to go, “Yeah, I knew what I was doing.”

10. Sophie and Dani’s Pre-Wedding Romp (201: Late to the Party)

Dani and Sophie having sex
Sophie and Dani weren’t the best at communicating with each other in words, but they were always very reliably absolutely good at having sex with each other.

9. Sophie and Finley’s Sexathon (207: Light)

Finley and Sophie tearing each other's clothes off

Sophie and Finley spent an inconsistent amount of time wanting to fuck but not fucking, so now they are going to do the right thing and fuck as much as they possibly fucking can immediately all the time.

8. Gigi and Dani’s First Time (208: Launch Party)

Gigi licking Dani's neck

Were I to make a list of all the reasons Dani should knock on Gigi’s door, take her clothes off, and stick her face between Gigi’s thighs, “she’s mad at Bette Porter” would not be anywhere on that list! But we’d waited all of our lives, I think, for this relationship to be consummated. The things Gigi can do with her mouth — the hunger, the biting and laughing and kissing? Very yes.

7. Nat and Gigi Break the Rules, Maybe (107: Lose it All)

Nat and Gigi having sex collage

Analyssa: Look, I’m not happy about this sex scene eventually leading to the demise of the throuple. Let’s just get that out of the way now. But! The way these two look at each other between kisses. The way everything they do feels urgent without being frantic or sloppy. The fingers in mouths and the hands around necks and the gripped thighs! These are two very hot people who have missed each other for a very long time and would like to have very hot sex about it. I love that for them, and for me! Sorry Alice.

6. Shane Cannot Resist Ivy and Honestly Who Could It’s Kehlani (303: Quiz Show)

Kehlani and shane fucking in the basement

Normally we’d not forgive the show for writing a scene so inconsistent with who we know Shane to be or for refusing to let Shane change or even flesh out her impetus to cheat besides that she is “Shane” but also… Kehlani?

Drew: Shane does not seem even a little bit concerned about the fact that she’s in a committed relationship. I feel like in the original, when she would do this, there would be a lot more tortured whatever. She’s like, “I know who I am and who I am is bending Ivy over and fingering her from behind.”
Riese: And God bless it. Bless them.
Analyssa: Bless them.
Riese: I thought this was a fantastic sex scene.
Drew: I enjoyed it.
Riese: Two thumbs up to everyone involved. Congrats to everyone. Sorry, Tess.
Analyssa: Sorry to Tess!

5. Sophie and Dani Get The Show Started With Period Sex (101: Let’s Do it Again)

Dani going down on Sophie first thing in the morning

This was the very first scene of The L Word: Generation Q, and it broadcast a certain type of sex we’d be seeing and who would be having it, and from this alone we felt pretty fucking hopeful about what Generation Q would be giving.

4. Art Museum Sex with Bette and Pippa (207: Light)

Collage of Bette and Pippa having sex on an art exhibit

Carmen: When I look back on Generation Q, there will be a lot a remember. There will always be the Aloce show! Finley and Sophie riding their bicycle together in season one! But more than anything, there will always be Bette and Pippa! Hot! Black! Having Sex in the Middle of an Art Instillation! You Will Always Be Famous!

3. Bette and Gigi Meet Their Match (202: Lean on Me)

Bette and Gigi hooking up on a couch

Drew: This was the best sex scene ever.
Riese: Tell us more.
Drew: I can just read my notes on this scene — so basically I just have in all caps, “GIGI LICKING BETTE’S BOOBS.” Then, new note, all caps, “GIGI SAYING, ‘WAIT.’ New note, all caps, “TOP OFF.”
Riese: Top off!
Drew: New note, “Bette biting her tongue.” I say in all caps “OGM” but I think I meant to write “OMG.”
Riese: You were just all mixed up inside?
Drew: Yeah. New note, “I literally screamed in this hotel room,” which is true. I was in the hotel in Ohio and…

2. Finley and Sophie’s First Time (108: Lapse in Judgment)

Series of shots from Finley and Sophie's sex scene

This is my personal favorite sex scene from the entire L Word franchise. So much happens in this scene — so much character work, even! — which is messy and intense and resonant and complicated and beautiful and even hot. Finley is sober and vulnerable in a way we rarely saw with her. Sophie is being reckless and grasping for an escape route and somebody who she feels like she can be her full self around. This scene captures the joy of having sex for the first time with someone you’re already friends with, someone you’ve already been metaphorically naked with, and now you’re unwrapping a whole new layer of that. The music of this scene reminded me of how adept the original series was at matching songs to sex scenes — so much was lost when Gen Q shifted to its house band. But anyhow: this scene was Generation Q at its best.

1. The Throuple (104: L.A. Times)

collage of Nat / Gigi / Alice having sex

Kayla: The best thing about this threesome is that it’s absolutely a bad idea. These three are not in a communicative or stable enough place to really think of how this might impact their dynamics and relationships with each other, but they’re acting on horny impulse, and you know what? That’s just how sex is sometimes. It’s of-the-moment and messy and not the best idea! It’s about to change shit for them! There’s nothing necessarily special about it, but it’s still chaos, and that makes it immersive and fun. This threesome is hot because of its flourishes (the cinematography and the music) but it’s also just hot because it’s real — a real bad idea!

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Riese

Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3200 articles for us.

29 Comments

  1. #1 and #2 are correctly placed (also arguably better than anything on the original show?) and any arguments claiming otherwise are illegal. In my humble opinion, #25 would be higher because of the comedic value of Alice’s head popping out of the sunroof and #20 would be higher because Gigi, but this is a very good list!

    • tysm, i was pleased to find this collage on my hard drive, a gift to 2023 riese from 2020 riese !!! (i think i made it for the roundtable we did about sex scenes after season one!)

  2. I still adore that the series opened with the Dani/Sophie period sex scene, which was long! Seeing the evidence so clearly laid out reminding me of Gen Q’s season 3 abstinence really makes me wish for an ill-advised podcast interview with someone from the show/writers room dishing on what, why, and how that happened.

    On another note, I know it’s not going to happen but I would love if A League of Their Own got a bit more sexy and specific in their final episodes (what do they have to lose at that point!). I would love to see Jess and/or Lupe rocking their status as desirable and available, Max and Esther on the road, Jo with a new girlfriend, fraught Carson/Greta sex with your ex when they reunite for a new season, etc.

  3. Awfully problematic the first one. I actually never got off to any except Shane fucking a flight attendant And the dyke from severance. That golden lab Finley is simp switch not a top

  4. perhaps it is the mission of this show (and subsequently, its reboot) to always make the last season a distorted version of its former self.

    #1 is the defining sex scene of this show to me. now I want to watch the reboot from episode 1…and ending with the season 2 finale.

    but I also am newly committed to watching Vida! didn’t hear much about it when it was airing

    • umm hello i haven’t seen Gen Q but i sure have seen Vida! multiple times!!! THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. wow, a brush with greatness on the internet today.

      do you want to do an autostraddle interview????? i am just a reader but i think that would be AMAZINGGGGG!!!!

      • Thank you that’s really sweet! I actually did an interview with autostraddle a couple of years ago for the last season of Vida, and little did I know it would be the last thing I ever did before the world shut down a few days later, and then Vida dropped its least season very quietly while the world and autostraddle were consumed with all of the generation defining real world events of the summer of 2020, so I always assumed the interview just got lost in the shuffle. Or possibly I just wasn’t very good at interviewing! But I always loved and appreciated how much autostraddle has supported so many of the shows I’ve worked on.

        • omg that was me who dropped that ball, i remember now i interviewed you the day before i flew to ohio and when i got there the pandemic started and then i came back and um, it got lost in the shuffle. but you were a great interview!!

          • Thanks!! It was honestly really fun just to grab brunch and chat with you, especially right before everything went to hell in a hand basket!

    • Totally a celebrity moment!! I loved Vida and Gen Q, the sex scenes on both being standouts. I too would love to read (a new! or old!) interview about your work, and Vida and Gen Q specifically.

  5. I think I’m the only one who thinks this, but I think Bette and Tina’s should be higher. Sure, it’s not as traditionally hot and unexpected as the top ones, but there’s something beautiful about the tenderness of their reunion and it’s obvious how well they still know each others’ bodies. As Jennifer Beals says, each love/sex scene has a beginning, middle and end and helps tell a story. And I think both Laurel and Jennifer use that perspective especially in this scene to tell a story of intense desire after both of them have hurt each other over the years. They show the caution in the beginning, knowing what has transpired since they last had sex, but also the healing that both of them have done, making the sex scene even more special given there is a level of trust that wasn’t there before. They know what each other like physically so well but now there’s also that healing and trust that wasn’t there before, so their unity and understanding is at multiple levels. I think that’s a pretty damn special sex scene.

  6. Yes that s1 Sinley sex scene!! You articulated it beautifully Riese – the L Word sex scenes have always been hot, but that one went so much further, in terms of conveying all that a sex scene can convey on an emotional layer! It’s my favorite sex scene of all time I think

    (The throuple is obviously so hot but had to shout out my girlies since I’m never seeing them have sex again *sobs*)

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