These Are The 5 UK TV Shows That Portray Sex As It *Actually* Is

BBC/Two Brothers/Luke Varley

Despite what Hollywood says, sex isn’t always spur-of-the-moment, hot-and-steamy, rip-each-others-clothes-off great. Sometimes it's very premeditated and other times it is all-together a bit of a mess. Your makeup doesn’t stay where it should, sex faces are a bit funny, and changing positions is not as fluid as movies (and porn) would have you think. So, when a TV show comes along that reflects what sex can really be like, it's something that should be celebrated. Here are five UK TV shows with the most realistic sex scenes.

Sometimes it's nice to watch your favourite rom-com characters getting down in the most beautifully choreographed way. Other times it's good to see sex for what it really is — a little bit awkward, messy, and, at times, funny. Seeing perfect sex all of the time, whether that is in mainstream media or in porn, can actually end up piling on the pressure. Funny noises, bodily fluids, and stopping to get a glass of water don’t seem to exist on the flat screen. In real life, it's these moments which make sex all the more intimate but can also leave you feeling really vulnerable. But these five UK TV shows have seriously realistic sex scenes, and I want to shout about them.


‘The Bisexual’

Desiree Akhavan wrote and starred in Channel 4’s The Bisexual. Working alongside Maxine Peake, Akhavan tells the story of Leila, who, for the first time in her life, is embarking on sleeping with men as well as women after she breaks up with a long-term girlfriend. The Bisexual holds nothing back. If you want to see awkward interactions, getting stuck in your clothes, fumbling around under the sheets, and the human body in all its magnificent forms, then it is the show for you.



Series one of Pure aired in Jan. 2019, and it's already been commissioned for a second series, which I'm so happy about — because this the honest, hilarious, and heart-breaking show we did not deserve. The show follows main character Marnie (played by the fantastic Charly Clive) as she escapes to London to work out why she is having such disturbing sexual thoughts. From exploring how it's okay to get up and leave during sex to sleeping with people you really shouldn’t, Pure does not sugar coat anything and it's all the better for it.


‘Sex Education’

Sex Education was the Netflix series that came out of nowhere and took the world by storm. It was all I could talk about for weeks. Horrendously awkward in places, the show reflects what it's like growing up and navigating your sexuality for the first time. Beautifully shot, the show manages to capture what your first sexual encounters can be like — really intimate, but clumsy too.


‘Secret Diary Of A Call Girl’

Secret Diary of a Call Girl was the one show I would try to sneak on the TV after my parents had gone to bed. Billie Piper plays Belle, a call girl with a lot of tales to tale. As well as having a great story line, Secret Diary of a Call Girl does an amazing job at demonstrating the kinks, fetishes, and desires that many people have but few talk openly about. The best part of the show is it isn’t even a little bit judgemental. If you are at all curious about the length and breadth of sexual preferences, this is one for you.



I will praise Fleabag for being a work of utter genius forevermore. Like everything in the rest of the show, sex is in no way glamorised in Fleabag. Exploring topics such as owning your sexuality and rejection, Fleabag also serves some of the most honest sex scenes on TV. Whether she is having a bit of me time while watching Obama give a speech or getting hot and heavy in a confession booth, Fleabag is an icon of sexual honesty.


As well as telling some awesome stories, these five shows demonstrate how varied, vulnerable, and downright fantastic sex can be. Few of us get the privilege of perfect lighting and a makeup team on hand to correct our winged eyeliner, so it's always good to see sex as you know it reflected back at you on screen.