The 7 Types of Gay TV Sex Scenes

We live in a truly wonderful time for television. The writing is better, storylines are growing more diverse… and Two and a Half Men is finally petering out. One of the best things for gay viewers about this small screen rennaissance — more gay sex scenes. These days the gays are hooking up all over the place, to the point where curious newcomers might be overwhelmed by the sheer mass of homoerotic energy.

Do you want to seek out this new, progressive programming but have no idea where to start? Never fear! You have before you a definitive list of the seven types of gay hookups on TV. We’ve named them, ordered from least to most sexy and given you some memorable examples. Enjoy!


#1 The “Afterglow”


Two sweaty men wake up in bed together. Or maybe they exit the bathroom of a private plane adjusting their bow ties, if the show has a decent production budget. At any rate, the “Afterglow” is all about the implication of a hookup that has already occurred. It’s mostly a disappointing byproduct of network censorship, but sometimes it can be just as sexy and surprising as the real thing.

As Seen On:

Thirtysomething (Russell & Peter in  “Strangers”)

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Dennis and Random Stranger in episode 1.01 “The Gang Gets Racist”)


The Comeback (Mickey & Juan in “Valerie Faces the Critics”)

Smash (Kyle and Tom in “The Phenomenon”)




#2 The “Look Ma, No Hands”


There’s nothing wrong with a good kiss. Especially the first time, a simple kiss can be even more electric than anything that follows. So let’s try not to look down on the participants in the “Look Ma, No Hands” for refusing to take things any further than a frenzied liplock. It can be a perfect dollop of allure for younger or less libidinous viewers.

As Seen On:

Shameless (Ian and Mickey in “Order Room Service”)

Teen Wolf  (Danny & Ethan in “Motel California”)


The Wire (Omar & Dante in “Hot Shots”)

Torchwood (Ianto and Jack in “To the Last Man”)




#3 The “Cut to Commercial”


We all know the pain of the “Cut to Commercial.” Two hunks are making eyes at each other and move in to kiss. Maybe they even make it to the bed for some chaste nuzzling. But just as things start to heat up, the dreaded Fade to Black engulfs the screen. Your screams and wails drown out the Proactiv commercials, but there’s nothing you can do to resurrect that fleeting, insubstantial moment.

As Seen On:

As the World Turns (Luke & Noah in “January 12, 2009”)

Glee (Kurt & Blaine in “My First Time”)



Weeds (Roy & Phil in “Yes I Can”)

Days of Our Lives (Will & Sonny in “November 14, 2012”)



Next page… “Thunder Down Under” and “TV-MAs”

#4 “Thunder Down Under”


Like a bolt from the blue,”Thunder Down Under” strikes when you least expect it. Appearing suddenly in the middle of a seemingly innocuous scene, this hookup blasts you with sheer sexual energy, then vanishes as quickly as it appeared.

As Seen On:

Game of Thrones (Renly & Loras in “The Wolf and the Lion”)

How to Get Away with Murder (Connor & Pax in “Let’s Get to Scooping”)

Jack Falahee shirtless in "How to Get Away with Murder"(Source)

Mad Men (Sal & The Bellhop in “Out of Town”)

Penny Dreadful (DorianEthan in “Demimonde”)




#5  The TV-MAs


Parental Guideline codes appear at the beginning of most TV shows — “TV-MA” means the show is supposed to be for “Mature Audiences Only” and whenever there’s going to be a particularly steamy gay sex scene you’re sure to see one of those. TV-MA hookups push the envelope, stretching the limits of onscreen sensuality.

As Seen On:

Spartacus: Blood and Sand (Barca & Pietros in “The Thing in the Pit”)

Looking (Patrick & Kevin in “Looking Top to Bottom”)


Queer as Folk (Brian & Justin in “Episode 1.01”)

Noah’s Arc (Noah and Wade in “My One Temptation, Part 2”)



Last page… The “Dicky Menage” and “American Horror Story. “

#6 The “Dicky Menage”


Now we’re getting somewhere. The “Dicky Menage,” known to laymen as a gay threeway, is one of the hottest and most elusive TV hookups. With a trio in the fray, things get steamier than the showers at the Y (which are, incidentally, a common location for the “Dicky Menage.”).

As Seen On:

Six Feet Under (Keith & David & Sarge in “Tears, Bones, and Desire”)


United States of Tara (Marshall & Lionel & Noah in “Wheels”)

Looking (Agustín & Frank & CJ in “Looking in the Mirror” / Agustín & Frank & Scotty in “Looking for Now”)




#7 The “American Horror Story”


This is the hookup that makes you say, “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I think I like it.”

As Seen On: American Horror Story: Freak Show (Stanley & Dell in “Tupperware Party Massacre”)

American Horror Story: Freak Show (Stanley & The Viking in “Edward Mordrake (Part One)”)



Glee (Kurt & Santa in “Previously Unaired Christmas”)

True Blood (Jason & Warlow in “At Last”)



What great scenes did we miss? And in which category would they fall?

Brennan Klein grew up in Anaheim, California. Living so close to Disneyland, he found comfort in the arms of horror movies, synthpop, camp TV and offbeat musicals.