Every L Word Sex Scene, Ranked

Which are the best L Word sex scenes? It was only a matter of time before Autostraddle’s fate line would lead us to this moment when we were compelled by a force greater than ourselves to construct a list of every single one of The L Word sex scenes, and rank them. The list ensues below, and I’ve also made you a companion infographic!

Infographic breaking down patterns in L Word Sex Scenes by character, location and attribute.

Title of Infographic: The L Word, All 111 Sex Scenes, By The Numbers
01: L Word Sex Scenes By Character
Shane – 27, Jenny – 26, Bette – 20, Tina – 16
Which Couples had them most L Word Sex Scenes?
Bette & Tina – 10, Jenny & Nikki – 6, Alice & Tasha – 6, Shane & Carmen – 6
02: By Location Which sets got the most action?
1. Shane & Jennys, 2. Bette & Tina’s, 3. Alice’s.
03: By Attribute:
Cheating – 25 Times, Getting Interrupted – 19 Times, One-Night/One-Day Stand – 16 Times, In Public – 16 Times

How We Ranked Them: I assembled a database of every L Word sex scene that involved queer characters in the main cast, and then invited the Autostraddle TV Team (Heather, Kayla, Drew, Natalie and Carmen) to assign each scene a score of 1-5, as well as offer any commentary they felt compelled to offer. Every team member was also permitted to give six (6) L Word sex scenes a ranking of “10.” The below rankings reflect the scored average of each scene.

111. Tonya Can’t Believe She’s Going Down on Dana Fairbanks and Wow, Neither Can We (111: Looking Back)

The scene is played for comedy, but Dana’s lack of consent isn’t actually funny! At all!!!!! Tonya is the worst!!!

110. Jenny Sees The Marina In Tim (104: Lies, Lies, Lies)

Natalie: “The pivot from “Where’d you go?” to resuming sex is so bizarre.”

109. Alice Absolutely MUST Give Lisa a Blow Job (107: L’Ennui)

This is Alice’s first and only sex scene in Season One. Sucks that it involved her pressuring Lisa into getting a blow job!

108. Jenny Soothes Her Marina Pains With Tim Pains (109: Luck, Next Time)

After learning Marina’s had a mean girlfriend named Francesca and is maybe a sex robot with no discernible personality besides low-key chaos energy delivered in a variety of European accents, Jenny returns to solid Tim to watch a Kung Fu movie and then jump his lil bones. Okay, ew!

107. Tim Welcomes His Girlfriend Jenny to Los Angeles (101: Pilot)

Pour one out for all the lesbians who gathered together to watch the first-ever lesbian-focused program on American television and got to see Jenny and Tim have sex not once but twice in the two-hour pilot episode!!

Natalie: Gay panic; Also? Tim seems to have zero rhythm.

106. Kit Guesses She’s Not a Lesbian (411: Literary License to Kill)

Apparently, Kit is SO heterosexual that her clit can tell the difference between a man’s tongue and a woman’s tongue and therefore Papi, the legendary lover of The Chart™, is unable to bring Kit to orgasm. Maybe it was the lighting. Or the fact that Papi, unaware that Kit is an alcoholic, has been unknowingly enabling Kit’s post-Angus-cheating bender.

105. Tina Gets The Man Meat She’s Been Dreaming Of With Henry (309: Lead, Follow, Or Get Out the Way)

Who needs DaddyOf2 when Tina’s got her very own Daddy of Two, Henry, and we get to watch him fuck her up against a wall!

104. Jenny Talks About Lesbian Sex While Having Heterosexual Sex (101: Pilot)

Tim and Jenny have sex

Valerie: One single point because I understand the feeling of being confused by the feelings I was feeling about a woman and mistaking it for general horniness.

103. Mark Watches Real Live Lesbian Porn Starring His Roommate Shane (205: Labyrinth)

mark watching his own L Word sex scene starring Shane

Mark derives immediate gratification from his heinous decision to hang secret cameras all over the apartment he shares with two lesbians, one of whom he is obsessed with.

102. Bette Begrudgingly Buffs Tina’s Beaver To Prep For a Hot Sperm Injection (101: Pilot)

Bette about to go down on Tina who is draped in a hospital gown

Carmen: It really should only be one point, but I gave it an extra bonus point for how SHOCKED I felt when I first watched this scene as a baby gay.

101. Helena’s Children Interrupt Morning Sex (207: Luminous)

Helena and Tina in bed

“It’s perfectly natural!” declares Helena when Tina’s shocked to have their morning foreplay interrupted by two tiny human beings whose interests including fort-building and playing doctor on Tina’s belly. Our feeling about this L Word Sex Scene is…. YIKES!

100. Catherine Rothberg Sticks Actual Cash Money Into Helena’s Vagina (408: Lexington and Concord)

Catherine Rothberg Sticking Money Into Helena's Vagina

There is probably… a lot of germs… on that money?

99. Jenny and Claude and Caviar and Creme Freche and a Whip (401: Legend in the Making)

Claude sitting on top of Jenny in bed

There are probably better ways to handle a breakup with a person who still lives with you than to invite your new lover over and then proceed to have food-related sex on the kitchen floor followed by kinky sex in your bedroom with the door open!

98. Jenny and Dana Give Up (110: Liberally)

As L Word scenes go, this one is basically perfect. The sex — not so much!

96. Shane Gives the Real Estate Agent a Showing (501: LGB Tease)

After Cherie Jaffe, every girlfriend Shane ever had was released from the show with a brutal blow — leaving Carmen at the altar, coldly pushing Molly away on Phyllis’ orders… and, as pictured above, somehow feeling the irrepressible urge to fuck a real estate agent while looking at houses with Paige.

95. Lara Finds a Lump (301: Labia Majora)

Natalie: “It’s six months later and I’m still waiting for it to close.”

94. Shane and Carmen Give Up (307: Lone Star)

Valerie: “Plus points for raw/realness, minus points for sadness.”

93. Mark Sets Shane Up With a Fake Delivery Girl (206: Lagrimas de Oro)

A classic reality TV show move: introducing a sexy stranger to get it on with a lead cast member. Only problem here is that nobody told Shane she was on a reality TV show.

92. Shane Slips Out of the Dance-a-thon to Slip Inside Nikki (607: Last Couple Standing)

Intercutting this L Word sex scene with Bette and Tina’s dance performance was unforgivable.

91. Shane Fucks Bridesmaid #1 (502: Look Out, Here They Come)

Oh Shane.

90. Shane Goes Ahead and Fucks the Mom (502: Look Out, Here They Come)


89. Bette and Tina Honor the Sperm With Pre-Insemination Sex Ritual (102: Let’s Do It)

Bette and Tina having sex

After bowing down to the sperm and honoring its precious monumental importance in the human lifecycle, they get down and dirty to prep Tina’s reproductive system for a little reproductive action!

88. Nikki and Jenny’s Last Showmance (601: Long Night’s Journey Into Day)

Hot sex scene, but Jenny’s also deliberately playing with Nikki’s feelings, which is… less hot.

87. Jenny and Robin Touch Each Other’s Nipples a Lot (113: Limb From Limb)

Jenny unlocks Lesbian Level Two: having successful sex with a woman besides Marina.

86. Shennystraddle (603: LMFAO)

Wow, so weird how everybody on the team is wrong about this scene except me and therefore it ranked really low???

85. Just a Little Lovin Early In the Morning Before Francesca Gets Home (107: L’Ennui)

Perhaps it was the part just afterwards where Jenny wants to set up her writing station in the light and Marina informs her that sorry, her previously unmentioned long-term girlfriend is coming home today!

84. Grace Gives Max Head (411: Literary License to Kill)

Drew: This is a really shitty moment that starts off promising! Grace’s refusal to listen to Max is so disheartening.

83. Tom and Max In the Dark On The Sofa (509: Liquid Heat)

Good for them.

82. Shane Fucks Bridesmaid #2 (502: Look Out, Here They Come)

After they’re done the bridesmaid starts crying and also wants to be seen with Shane to make her ex jealous, which is a real moment for Shane!

81. Helena and Catherine Play Strip Poker (407: Lesson Number One)

Two thin naked women in fancy chairs in a large hotel suite. There you go.

80. Shane Fucks Nikki on the Balustrade of Yamashiro (512: Loyal and True)

And this, ladies and gentlepeople, is how Shane broke Jenny’s heart.

79. Tina Has Soft Core Lesbian Porn Sex (503: Lady of the Lake)

Tina takes a big step by going on one date with somebody who isn’t Bette! But the sex scene is… awkward. For them and for us!

78. Road Head (302: Lost Weekend)

Don’t munch and drive, kids!! You might run out of gas just as you’re about to come!

77. Dusty is the New Helena’s Lover (502: Look Out Here They Come)

Cheers to Helena for finding something fun to do in prison!

76. Max and Jenny Fuck In the Heartland (301: Labia Majora)

Jenny finds lust in the heartland with Max (then-presenting as Moira, a butch lesbian) and takes her new pal home with her only to be interrupted by her homophobic parents. YIKES.

75. Carmen and Jenny Fuck In The Bathroom On The Toilet (209: Late, Later, Latent)

Gets points from me for being one of the few distinctly kinky sex scenes on this very long show.

Valerie: I can’t get behind Jenny/Carmen so I can’t get behind this scene. I CAN get behind the way Sarah Shahi talks about it in interviews, though.
Natalie: Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

74. Alice and Lara Come Together in Sadness (312: Left Hand of the Goddess)

Drew: It’s really too bad this is the context Alice and Lara have sex.
Kayla: Sorry to say once again that I like sad sex.

73. Marina and Jenny Fuck In the Bathroom Standing Up (104: Lies, Lies, Lies)

Drew: Gender neutral bathrooms: Better for trans people AND for baby gay drama.
Valerie: Love good sneaky bathroom sex but also maybe just break up with your boyfriend at this point.
Kayla: Sorry I also like bathroom fucks.

72. Shane Kicks Off the Series With a Full Frontal + PoolSex (101: Pilot)

Natalie: Who has sex in someone else’s pool?
Valerie: Again, points for the pilot, and also just because I remember this scene so vividly from the first time I watched it from deep in the closet and under my college bedspread.
Kayla: Controversial, but I like pool sex.

71. Billie Gives Max a BJ in The Office (306: Lifesize)

Drew: Billie is so casually affirming and I find this scene really touching. Every trans person deserves to have sex with Alan Cumming when they’re first figuring things out.
Natalie: You missed Sleater Kinney for this?

70. Post-T-Injection V-Injection (307: Lone Star)

Drew: Jenny is revealing so many red flags, but any trans person will tell you being fetishized doesn’t necessarily make a moment not hot! I hate myself.

69. Dylan Gets Helena On Tape (309: Lead, Follow Or Get Out of the Way)

The potential hotness of this scene is underscored by the creeping awareness that there’s a reason Dylan’s asking Helena to say what she’s asking Helena to say and the choice to record it.

68. Helena Fucks Tina on Furniture in a House She Has Yet To Purchase (208: Loyal)

Carmen: Helena is almost hilariously focused when it comes to her “public sex” kink.
Natalie: Can they ever have sex without being interrupted?

67. Dawn Denbo and Her Lover Cindi Seduce Shane (504: Let’s Get This Party Started)

Shane’s sex strike lasted for almost two entire episodes, but she couldn’t resist the siren song of a threesome with Dawn Denbo and Her Lover Cindy.

66. Nikki Recovers from JimSex with JennySex (509: Liquid Heat)

Listen guys it’s fine, Jenny un-fired the male actor Nikki slept with and it’s okay they love each other and will have sex right on that bed right there on set!

65. Max Gives Billie Counter Service (307: Lone Star)

Drew: Another really tender and affirming sex scene between Max and Billie. Because it gets so bad I sometimes forget how shockingly good some of this early Max stuff is.

64: Claude Has Jenny Lick It Up Like a Cat (312: Left Hand of the Goddess)

Drew: There are so many reasons this scene shouldn’t do it for me, and yet!

63. Captain Stubing Is Happy To See Julie But Also Needs To Throw Up (210: Land Ahoy)

Valerie: Lost points for how it ended but the scene up til then was a delight.

62. Jenny and Carmen Slap Each Other Around (207: Luminous)

Jenny and Carmen discover their first shared interest (besides Shane): rough sex.

61. Nikki and Jenny Broadcast Desire (506: Lights! Camera! Action!)

Not only was this event fun for Nikki and Jenny, it was also fun for the horny PA who heard it all go down on his headset.

60. Dana and Alice Clean Up for Howie (210: Loud and Proud)

Ah, Harry Potter and his dashing maid are at it again! But who’s a-knocking at the castle door? Could it be Howie, the not gay (GAY) brother in town just in time for Pride? Only one way to find out… but don’t forget to bring your feather duster!

59. Fucking Horse-Racing Fucking Horse-Racing Fucking (410: Little Boy Blue)

Public sex intercut with horse-racing footage, concluded with an orgasm and a significant monetary loss. Who could ask for anything more?

58. Helena’s Mouth-Wipe Heard Round the Chateau Marmont (207: Luminous)

Natalie: I’d be ranking these Helena scenes higher if they were with anyone but Tina.
Carmen: Gave it a bonus point because damn I love a good post-sex mouth wipe.

57. Tina’s So Excited To Have Sex With Bette (602: Least Likely)

After Bette’s college pal Kelly turns up for one of many weak Season Six storylines, Tina feels suddenly inspired to fuck Bette. No complaints here.

56. Dana and Lara Doing It at the Sleepover (106: Losing It)

Natalie: Extra points for the public nature of it; THAT is how you endear yourself to the friend group.
Valerie: I want to hate this because my college roommate used to have sex with her boyfriend when she thought I was asleep all the time, but also the puppy love aspect of it is too cute to be mad about it.
Kayla: I will just say that something very similar has happened to me

55. Bette Masturbates On Top of Jodi (507: Lesbians Gone Wild)

Nobody does an emotionally complex sex scene like Jennifer Beals.

Carmen: I would’ve given it a three, because it’s sad? But I have Jennifer Beals’ and Marlee Matlin’s face burned into my memory, so.

54. Dana and Lara Fucking and Crying (305: Lifeline)

Kayla: Sorry I like sad sex.

53. Dylan Returns For Extra Helena (306: Lifesize)

Mere hours after informing Helena that she is 100% straight and what happened between them will definitely never happen again, Dylan returns because she obviously wants… everything that happened between them to happen again.

52. Shane and Carmen Have Successful Sex While Dana Dies (310: Losing the Light)

Shane cheated on Carmen, so Carmen went ahead and cheated on Shane, and Carmen would like to start again with a clean slate. The first thing she would like to do on that clean slate is have sex with Shane. A clock in the corner reminds us that SOMEONE else is running out of time.

51. Marina Dismantles Jenny (103: Longing)

Carmen: The “every time I look at you, I feel so dismantled” is a gut punch to anyone who’s ever fallen in love with a woman for the first time.

50. Paige and Shane Fuck Like It’s 1955 (412: Long Time Coming)

Two queer actresses down to get completely naked and fuck in multiple positions: We love to see it. The bizarre intercut fantasy sequence in which Shane looks like a little boy playing dress-up in his Dad’s closet and Paige looks like a unforgivably hot housewife: We feel… fine to see it.

49. Shane and Cherie Christen the Salon Chair (110: Liberally)

Natalie: Short but adventurous.
Kayla: Hair salons are erotic, so.

48. Dylan Pulls a Knife on Helena (608: Last Word)

Valerie: When I first saw Dylan’s name, the first thing I thought of was a knife, so obviously this scene stuck with me.
Kayla: Pretty sure knife-play is my brand.

47. Tim Catches Marina and Jenny In The Throes of Passion (105: Lawfully)

Carmen: Marina’s only shinning 30 seconds of glory is when she shoulder checks Tim on her way out the shed (I lied, she has one other fleeting moment of glory — later in the same season when she tells Tim, “You were there. You know how much it counted.” Boss bitch moves.)
Kayla: In general I don’t think Marina and Jenny have that much chemistry when they’re actually fucking, only like the 10 seconds before?
Valerie: Two points for the sex, two points for Marina no breaking eye contact with Tim as she leaves.

46. Cindi Tells Shane It’s Totally Legal To Fuck (505: Lookin’ At You Kid)

Having full sex on a white leather couch with somebody you’ve just had a threesome with, underneath a gigantic photograph of you and your girlfriend is A MOVE.

45. Nikki and Jenny Do It In the Actual Closet (505: Lookin’ at You Kid)

After five episodes of erratic Boss Bitch Jenny, she softens right up and puts right out after slipping into the closet with Nikki, a giddy ingenue, and together they’re all giggling and moaning and soft hair and naked backs against racks of shirts. Everything feels light and possible.

44. Phyllis Has First Time Lesbian Sex With Alice (404: Layup)

Kayla: Phyllis u go girl.

43. Shane and Molly Are High Art (512: Loyal and True)

Kayla: Always love morning sex scenes.

42. Shane and Molly Have Candlelit Sweaty Sex (509: Liquid Heat)

Molly’s breaking all the rules ’cause she doesn’t know any — pointing out that Shane’s wet and has boobs just like her, yammering about Richard’s incorrect opinions on the proportionality of her body, asking if she’s doing it right, getting nervous to try, letting Shane teach her again. In return, Shane is softhearted and amused and along for the ride — until Phyllis shows up, of course.

41. Bette and Candace Grab a Fast Fuck (113: Limb From Limb)

Carmen: Wow it turns out I really am a Bette/Candace fan.
Kayla: Love to fuck on the clock.
Natalie: Bette getting topped is my favorite thing.
Valerie: This got less exciting as time went on.

40. Cherie Wants More Than a Blowout From Shane (109: Luck Next Time)

Cherie Jaffe says she’s looking for something a little more this time and wow, in that moment my entire life changed?

Natalie: The just fucked look definitely works for her.

39. Alice and Tasha Are Compatible Look at this Car Sex (602: Least Likely)

Dan Foxworthy declared them incompatible and so they went straight into the parking garage and fucked. COMPATIBLY, DAN.

38. Molly and Shane Get Hot Tips in the Boat House (510: Lifecycle)

Molly’s ready for her AP test, but Shane’s tent is deemed an inadequate testing environment. Luckily, Molly negotiates their way into a shack of some sort and the scene is quiet — just breathing, no music, and Shane surrendering while not seeming entirely sure why.

37. Alice Feeds Tasha Bananas (408: Lexington and Concord)

Carmen: It’s just really sweet and domestic, ok? IDK, I love it and I love them.

36. Jenny and Nikki Get Some Extended QT In the Trailer (507: Lesbians Gone Wild)

Nikki doesn’t wanna work, she just wants to fuck over lunch all day!

35. Alice Loves Papi’s Circles Circles Papi (402: Livin’ La Vida Loca)

Alice looks for Papi, legendary Chart hub, all over Los Angeles — and is VERY pleased to find her.

Drew: When Alice grabs the seatbelt!

34. Tina and Bette’s Last Romp in the Hay (608: Last Word)

Sadé is on, there is cuddling and candles and the most intense orgasm Tina’s ever had and at some point Bette says she’d like to get married when they get to New York. It is a brief respite from an episode I frequently describe as the worst episode of television I’ve ever seen.

33. Tasha and Alice Have Couch Sex While Jamie Showers (606: Lactose Intolerant)

Carmen: (Full Confession: I actually really like this scene and find it very hot, but I had to subtract a point because they were both thinking about someone else the entire time.)

32. Bette and Jodi Have Some Early Morning Sex (407: Lesson Number One)

The best part of waking up is Jodi telling Bette “I want to be inside you”

31. Dylan and Helena Reunite, Make Love Through the Curtains (605: Litmus Test)

Helena is crying and fucking and everything is too much. She is so lovely and so sad. She says she’s scared. Dylan says she’s scared too. Oddly-chosen furniture obscures our view, similarly oddly-chosen background noise obscures our ears. But they sex on.

30. Bette and Tina Have Sex For the Second Time In One Day (506: Lights! Camera! Action!)

Bette does that thing to Tina, you know? Where you push someone’s hair back and look at them in the eyes and you’re like: “Hey, you. you. oh, you.” Not out loud, but you say it with your eyes. One thing they do say out loud, though? “It doesn’t really compare.”

29. Jenny Takes Her First Dip in Marina’s Lady Pond (101: Pilot)

If you’ve only seen this scene on Netflix and not on the DVDs with the actual original music, you have done your baby gay self a disservice!

Kayla: Sex at book club should happen in like 65% of fanfics.
Valerie: I was into Jenny/Marina in these early episodes an embarrassing amount.

28. Helena Seduces Her Psychiatrist, Which is Inappropriate/Hot (204: Lynch Pin)

Carmen: This is such a boss move and I love Helena for it.
Valerie: I know that technically this is a terrible idea but also I fell pretty hard for (some versions of) Helena.
Kayla: I’m not saying this is technically a porn category I watch, but actually yes that is what I am saying.

27. Bette’s TA Nadia Seduces Bette, Which is Inappropriate/Hot (403: Lassoed)

Carmen: It’s pretty hot for car sex, and I have to hold it down for my Grey’s Anatomy Stans and give a bonus point to the Shane McCutcheon of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital herself, Dr. Arizona Robbins.
Kayla: I’m maybe too into this one.

26. Candace and Bette Have a Rendez-Vous at a B&B (113: Limb From Limb)

Natalie: Bette getting topped is everything I never knew I always wanted.
Kayla: Cheating is bad… Bette getting topped is good.

25. Shane with Carmen in the DJ Booth WHERE’S HAIR (201: Life, Loss, Leaving)

Natalie: You know what never leads to sex? Conversations about how your dad died.
Valerie: I don’t care what anyone says, I love this scene so much, even though the dialogue barely makes sense and the music is just saying their names and the word “fucking” over and over. This scene might have been the very moment I realized that there was no escaping how gay I was.

24. Shane and Paige Did The Time So They’re Gonna Do the Crime (407: Lesson Number One)

The moment — that moment where the buildup reaches capacity and those proverbial sparks explode into something you can feel in your fingertips — that first moment we’re all banking on when we chase something we’re not certain we can have — that is a moment in which you are perhaps at your most alive, your most alert, when the air between you becomes smaller and smaller, the future inevitable but still undetermined. That’s the moment in which Shane leans (Jordan Catalano leans on things, Shane leans into girls), and then they start to kiss, and then they’re FUCKING ON THE DINING ROOM TABLE HELL YEAH.

23. Bette Picks Up a Girl at a Bar (204: Lynch Pin)

Drew: Imagine Bette Porter picking you up in a bar. Imagine Bette Porter bringing you back to her hotel room. Imagine Bette Porter kissing you, flashing a smile, turning you around, and — okay I’m gonna stop.
Natalie: “It’ll do.”

22. Helena and Tina Pregnant Poolsex (206: Lagrimas De Oro)

Kayla: I like pool sex and I like pregnancy!!!!!!

21. Bette and Tina Beat Lesbian Bed Death With Post-Thwarted-Threesome Hot Sex (101: Pilot)

Kayla: The emotions at play here feel very real.

20. Bette and Tina OMFG Sex (209: Late, Later, Latent)

After everything — after the carpenter, despite Helena — their hands find each other’s mouths and Bette’s mouth finds Tina’s stomach and they find the familiar ways they used to fuck but now it’s different, now Tina is in her body. “She didn’t feel like mine anymore,” Bette tells her therapist later, and that’s maybe her first step towards making sex like that possible forever.

19. Bette Fingers Alice At The Opera in a  Flashback (307: Lone Star)

Drew: Bette and Alice is my dream ship and while my dreams never fully came true in the original series, we did get this one beautiful moment.
Valerie: One point for the location/boldness of it, one point for Jennifer Beals in general, zero points for the pairing.

18. Tina + Bette #AngrySex (113: Limb from Limb)

Some viewers (like me) consider this one of the rawest, most authentic sex scenes ever on television — what Tina conceives as possible has just been blown open by betrayal and uncertainty, and what Bette conceives as possible has just been blown open by the possibility of Tina leaving. We know that feeling, that violence and despair, as Tina’s hysteria becomes a kind of spastic beauty and they fuck like they’re killing each other. Bette tears Tina’s dress open, Tina shoves Bette’s hand inside her. But it’s a controversial scene, too — some viewers see it as absolutely non-consensual and violent in the worst way possible. Maybe what it banks on is what it reminds us of, of the assumptions we’ve made about their sexual relationship up until this moment. Both viewings are valid as fuck, in one of a few L Word episodes one could adequately describe as “art.”

17. Carmen and Shane Play “Too Hot” (203: Loneliest Number)

Carmen: I almost gave it a ten but upon rewatching this scene recently it wasn’t quite as hot as I remembered (blasphemy, I know).
Natalie: I’m a sucker for Sarah Shahi in her “Supa-Lova Costume.”

16. Jodi Takes Bette’s Eyes Off Of her (501: LGB Tease)

Drew: Bette should’ve stayed with Jodi.

Carmen: X2.

15. Alice Has Sex With a Vampire (305: Lifeline)

Drew: This scene is so good because of Leisha Hailey. Yes, the circumstances of the scene are equal parts hot and ridiculous, but it’s really Leisha who sells the sexiness and the humor.

14. Helena and Dylan Have Sunset Sex (308: Late Comer)

“I’ve never done this before,” Dylan says, self-consciously, as Helena fingers the waist of her low-rise flare pants and the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean behind them. Later, in the dark, Helena comes while panting, “Are you sure you’ve never done this?” She still has her watch on, so maybe she’s aware that this scene clocks in at around four minutes, which’s QUITE long for an L Word sex scene!

13. Carmen Gives Shane a Dance (302: Lost Weekend)

Drew: The specific way Shane’s tank top is see-through is a nice touch.
Kayla: Everyone is being extra hot in this scene.
Valerie: Carmen and Shane! Are you sensing a theme from me?

12. Shane and Paige Read Stories In The Car (408: Lexington and Concord)

The brand-new couple arrives a little early to the show and instead of picking up a six-pack and some Charleston Chews at the 7-11 to pass the time, they fuck. And fuck and fuck and fuck and fuck. This girl and I must have watched this scene ten thousand times. How you get to see Paige’s whole body in a way we rarely saw not-stick-thin bodies back then. How hungry they are, how well-fed they become.

11. Bette and Candace Have… Verbal Sex? In Jail (112: Locked Up)

Drew: I’ve never cheated on a partner and I hope to never cheat on a partner, but God does The L Word make cheating on a partner seem like the best thing ever. While, sure, Bette and Candace don’t touch, it doesn’t really matter. The line has been crossed. And it’s so devastatingly hot. Watching Jennifer Beals consumed with desire? Yes, please.
Carmen: For my money the hottest sex scene in all of Season One, even though they don’t touch each other at all. I WISH I COULD’VE GIVEN IT A TEN! Gahh! Why are rules so hard!
Kayla: Thanks, I hate it.

10. Shane and Carmen Have a Nice Date (213: Lacuna)

Natalie: This grade is for the sex, not the music, right?
Valerie: I love the magnet pull between Shane and Carmen, and I love the moment between two people when they stop resisting the pull and smash together.

9. Tasha and Alice Survive The Blackout With Ice Sex (509: Liquid Heat)

It is very hot in here but Alice has ice, and Tasha has the world’s best laugh, and nobody has to go to work today so there’s never been a better time for Alice to get between those thighs.

8. Bette and Tina Survive The Blackout With Elevator Sex (509: Liquid Heat)

Carmen: To be honest, my top Bette/Tina vote getter is a toss up between Bettina Elevator sex and Bettina stir fry sex and there are no real losers in that situation.

7. Tasha Comes Home To Her War Bride Alice (501: LGB Tease)

Between finding out WHY Tasha’s been sent home from active duty and Tasha returning home unexpectedly, we get this ode to fucking on the floor in the hallway, because they cannot possibly progress more than three steps down it without jumping each other’s bones. A perfect L Word sex scene.

6. Bette and Tina #StirFry Sex (506: Lights! Camera! Action!)

Drew: An objectively good sex scene, but as a Jodi stan it makes me sad.
Carmen: Would’ve given it ten if I could have!

5. Shane and Her Strap-On At Cherie’s Pool (305: Lifeline)

Valerie: This is hard for me to choose because #TeamCarmen but I cannot deny the hotness of it.
Kayla: I like pool sex and I like strap-ons, what can I say.

4. Jenny and Nikki Have Strap-On Sex in a Luxury Tent (510: Lifecycle)

Nikki is the director now but that doesn’t stop Jenny from advising, “take off your pants, that’s the only way you’re gonna get your actors to listen to you!” Just Like Heaven plays, Nikki wears cute glasses and a button-up shirt, Jenny brought a strap-on, they’re alternately talking dirty and saying “you’re beautiful” and “I love you.” It’s everything a mainstream lesbian sex scene should be. Except for Adele creeping outside???!!

3. Bette and Jodi Have Sex On Art (406: Luck be a Lady)

Drew: What do you want me to say? I like people opening themselves up to vulnerability and I like art.
Valerie: Welcome to one of my other top ships of this show.
Carmen: X2.
Kayla: I have rewatched this scene……often.

2. Alice and Dana Have Sex For Hours and Hours (205: Labyrinth)

Finally! The L Word Sex scene we were all waiting for!

Kayla: Food! Is! Involved! We love a sex marathon.

1. Alice and Tasha Just Wanna Fuck Each Other! (408: Lexington & Concord)

Carmen: I C O N I C

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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 3198 articles for us.


  1. I’m just here to gush specifically about this Alice and Dana whip cream and strawberries on the kitchen floor screencap, which taught baby me the very important lesson that sex is Stupid and Fun.

    But also, is the rest of the website gonna get to do this fun sounding survey??

  2. This was a bit more sex scenes than I remember, but I also blocked out the last 2-3 seasons. Wasn’t there a sex scene with Alice and some goth lady? Also, didn’t the show use she/her pronouns for Lisa?

    • The show never used she/her pronouns for Lisa, but I do! haha

      And yeah Alice has sex with Uta Refson, possible vampire, definite hottie. Ranked #15 here, #2 in my heart.

    • Vampire lady, not just goth but fanged goth and had the suspension system of my teen BDSM dreams.

      I think I remember Lisa wanting to use she/her pronouns but it being treated as ridiculous :(

      • Young me didn’t fully understand it, but sort of for the first time saw myself on TV. Took me years to realize how bad Lisa was treated.

        • I couldn’t even watch all of Lisa’s scenes because I may not of had the vocab or what at the time to ID what was so UNFUNNY and horrible but I knew intimately what it was like to be subject of ridicule and how weird it feels to feel physically misplaced.

          Might have delayed any heavy gender thoughts/explorations from just the one episode I tried to watch with Lisa in it. The ridicule of strangers is like whatever but the ridicule of a lover was just unbearable to watch or consider.

  3. That Bette/Candace jail scene is TO THIS DAY one of the hottest things I have ever seen in my whole life!!!!!!!!

  4. So uh did anyone else find 102 (the beaver buffing before insemination scene) to be kinda of cute?

    Like it’s all awkward yeah but it’s such a “couple moment” life, love, and laughter together etc.

  5. I must admit that I blanked on about half of these, while I can tell you the titles to the songs played in about a dozen. Feist‘s „Honey“ is still on my playlist and there’s a physical Broken Social Scene and Mr.Airplane Man album somewhere in my apartment.Also, L Word was the first but certainly not the last time I heard Portishead outlining love making on TV.
    Aside from the musical aspect, I didn’t realize how well the sex scenes were crafted and shot until this list.
    I mean, it’s been a while and I still distinctly remember that entire A-Frame hugging and kissing discussion on the rare interfemale interactions we got on TV back in the day.
    So, just skipping through the lovingly (ahem) crafted lighting and the original choreography has been a joy.
    Btw, #6 was my root for never being able to chill during a sex scene involving a kitchen and food ever again. Pretty sure they never turned off that stove.

  6. “Drew: Billie is so casually affirming and I find this scene really touching. Every trans person deserves to have sex with Alan Cumming when they’re first figuring things out.”

    This is my favorite thing ever written on AS. lol

    My favorite scenes are 7 and 13. 13 is burned into my brain forever and it pisses me off to no end that it was interrupted by Jenny

  7. Bette/Candace/jail will do things to me for the rest of my life but how ANYONE can say it wasn’t cheating is beyond me.

  8. An infographic of statistics from L Word sex scenes may be the most truly Peak Riese thing ever published here

  9. See I know 5 was supposed to be hot when I saw, but if you’ve ever lain on a hard surface with zero give and been ground into/onto and remember how quick the back to tailbone came after you came it 100% ruins the scene.
    FYI the feeling of ow hit my head and shoulder pain comes the next day.

  10. dear autostraddle guys, i hoped you would review the scene with phoebe sparkle and the woman from betty, in land ahoy from season 2 ,ep 10.not hat i an a fan of that sparkle person (goddess beware ,what a ridicilous character) but i found it important, cause it was the ONLY sex scene with a FAT woman in it at l word .
    it is unfortunately not well made but written and shot as it was played for laughs.
    i would be happy if you would review it. i think it s very important cause you see rarely fat women in love scenes, and seeing all these perfect slender figures with not one flaw in the l word love making scenes ,i, i was happy to see a representation of a fat woman. unfortunately the prejustices against fat people runs deep as even in the otherwise hilarious land ahoy commentary as erin ,leisha, and katherine esp made dismissive comments on her body (on her breasts etc) and also what at least i hear as disgust or at least refusal when jenny and that butch womann flirt across the room at the dinner on the boat . i would like to hear if anyone else of the commenters had the same impression?

  11. “Carmen: BETTE GETTING TOPPED WILL ALWAYS GET A FIVE FROM ME! Those are the rules!”


    Also every time I heard JB/Bette say “It’ll do” it made me so very tingly. I may have watched that scene and the Candace scene a few 100 times.

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