Sometimes, standard documentaries don't cut the mustard. Occasionally, you'll find yourself in the mood to explore a darker, dirtier, or sexier side of life on-screen. That's where Netflix comes in handy. Netflix has some of the dirtiest documentaries around, but they're also incredibly insightful, enlightening, and important in expanding conversations around sex work and sex positivity. Sure, things get explicit and possibly even cheeky to the point of embarrassment in some, but hey, these are documentaries. That means real life is being captured frame by frame. Isn't that what you came for?
While Netflix has a small amount of documentaries, they cover a surprisingly wide range of sexy and sex-related topics. Whether it's a doc all about a porn star getting ready to retire, a closer look at hook-up culture and spring break, or a Rashida Jones-produced look at the niche but in-demand world of amateur porn, Netflix doesn't hold back on the dirty. So, if you find yourself having run down your normal Netflix queue to the point where you're aching for something new, why not try one of these documentaries? They may give you some sexy shivers, or they could push you to think about the world of all things sexual in new and unusual ways.
This 2016 documentary follows Rocco Siffredi, an Italian porn star, as he navigates his last year in front of the camera. The film gives audiences an inside look into the porn industry, and what it really takes to be successful in that world. Fair warning: it features a very NSFW, unapologetic behind-the-scenes look at porn shoots.
2. Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution
Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution examines the modern social constructs around sex, dating, and hooking up through the lens of spring break. Because, what's more sexy than a bunch of college students letting loose on the beach and drinking like there's no tomorrow? Of course, the documentary isn't all about the glossy, carefree glamour of spring break, it's also about the gender roles imposed by the idea of "spring break," and how that can influence sexuality in young adults.
3. Christiane Amanpour: Sex & Love Around The World
Journalism isn't always seen as dirty or sexy, but, Christiane Amanpour's Sex & Love Around The World might be the exception. In this docuseries, Amanpour travels the world to see how sex is celebrated and understood in different countries and cultures.
4. Hot Girls Wanted
Rashida Jones produced Hot Girls Wanted and, in doing so, wanted to expose the amateur porn industry warts and all. The documentary seeks to tear down the negative ways the porn industry can treat its women, causing our own preconceptions about porn to come into question.
5. After Porn Ends
The sometimes light, sometimes sad, and often brutally honest After Porn Ends takes a look at the lives of some of the most famous porn stars of the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Charting their rise to fame and their falls from grace, After Porn Ends is eye-opening.
This very appropriately named docuseries follows the lives of strippers in three of the largest cities in Scotland. The series is only three episodes long, but that's more than enough time to tackle some of the more misogynist and elitist stereotypes often assigned to strippers and exotic dancers.
7. Paris is Burning
Paris Is Burning was recently selected to be included in the Library of Congress, so to say it's an iconic documentary isn't hyperbole. Jennie Livingston's 1990 film chronicled the ball culture of New York City in the 1980s, capturing the beauty, the competition, the fun, and everything that came along with it. A must watch for everyone, but especially fans of Pose.
8. Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On
Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On is a docuseries spinoff to Hot Girls Wanted. This show is all about how the Internet and accessibility to pornography has changed the industry, and the world beyond. It's not exactly a sexy series. The six episode-series covers all kinds of ways technology and sex overlap today, from porn recruitment of young women to an alleged rape livestream.
9. Dream Boat
Dream Boat is a doc from Tristan Ferland Milewski that follows men who go away on a weeklong gay cruise. It's certainly set in a juicy environment, but don't let that fool you. The documentary follows a group of men, most from various European countries and one from India, all of whom approach their sexuality in different ways.
It's about to get all kinds of sexy and dirty all up in your Netflix queue with the documentaries. Trust me: You can't go wrong, no matter which one you choose.
This post was originally published on Feb. 8, 2018. It was updated on June 5, 2019. Additional reporting by Olivia Truffaut-Wong.