Whatever your opinion about sex in videogames, the simple fact is this: games won’t really be taken seriously as an art form until they can get certain things right, and one of those things is sex. It’s an essential component of film, music, books, paintings and even television, and yet gaming lags sadly behind.
Part of this is because games still haven’t quite shaken their kiddie-toys stigma, but mostly it’s because the rare games that try to get sex right almost never do. The results of their endless efforts tend to range from mildly off-putting to outright mortifying, with varying levels of ugliness and hilarity in between. Maybe someday, we’ll see an in-game love scene that doesn’t make us recoil in horror – but in the meantime, here are 13 that did.
Above: We’re just going to leave out Custer’s Revenge, because that thing is even more over-referenced than our first entry. We’re also ignoring Leisure Suit Larry entirely, because on the rare occasions those games feature actual sex, they’re not really “horrifying” so much as they are “unfunny comedy”
NOTE: While we did our best to keep the images in this article safe for work, some of the videos (naturally) aren’t. Consider yourself warned.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Hot Coffee set the bar for horrendous in-game sex sequences, so we might as well start here. While not officially included as part of San Andreas, a modder found it buried in the code after release, yada yada yada. Unless you were completely ignoring videogame-related controversies five years ago, you already know about Hot Coffee and the political shitstorm its discovery ignited.
Above: The current US secretary of state was particularly alarmed by the revelation
To be fair, Hot Coffee is an unfinished minigame that was never intended for public viewing. But knowing that does nothing to diminish the raw, jaw-dropping ugliness of Carl “CJ” Johnson robotically humping his generic, thong-clad girlfriend.
About as sexy as:
Omikron: The Nomad Soul
Developer Quantic Dream has something of a knack for horrible (but optional!) sex scenes. Apparently, the studio feels compelled to include them in every game it makes, but there’s always something… wrong about them. That’s especially true in the case of its first game, Omikron, and while we’ll cover the more infamous examples in a bit, it’s best to start at the beginning.
While Omikron was a pretty slick adventure game (for 11 years ago, anyway) that featured roughly 100 percent more David Bowie than every other game, its early-3D visuals were kind of hard on the eyes. And nowhere were they harder than in the “love scene” hero Kay’l can share with his horrible, vacant-eyed bikini-elf early in the game.
About as sexy as:
Dragon Age: Origins
We’re not so naïve as to pretend that nobody else has written an article like this before, and we can’t help but notice that a few other sites have picked on Dragon Age for featuring (among other potential in-game hookups) a man-on-man-elf love scene – apparently because “eww, dudes.” To hell with that attitude. We’re not prudes, and we’re not about to declare something gross just because two guys are rubbing against each other suggestively.
No, we’re going to declare all of Dragon Age’s sex scenes gross, because that’s what they are.
Above: Yes, even this one
As you’re going to see a lot in the following entries, sex scenes in games are kind of hamstrung by the idea that showing sex AND nudity is grounds for a sales-killing AO rating. But rather than just using, say, some clever camera angles to hide nudity (like Mass Effect does), Dragon Age falls back on the baffling trope of making its characters bone in their faintly hideous medieval-fantasy underwear. Add some overdramatic singing and some arty cuts to second-base activities, and this scene is practically guaranteed to be the exact moment a parent or significant other barges into the room to see what you’re up to.
Above: We’re still singling out this one, though, just for the “Is there something in your tent that needs… assassinating?” line
About as sexy as:
Torrente 3: The Protector
There’s a good reason the Torrente games only made it out of Europe once: in addition to being based on a semi-obscure series of profane Spanish action-comedies, they’re fucking horrible. Imagine the worst GTA clone you’ve ever played, and then add unclear objectives, farting and masturbation minigames and an idiotic license system that restricts you to stealing mopeds in a version of Madrid where cars are everywhere. Then make it about a toadlike, fascist ex-cop who poops his pants if you don’t walk him into the bathroom to take a dump every so often.
Above: No, really
If its trailer is anything to go by, the game contains at least one sex scene involving the odious Torrente himself. As much as we’d all love to see a repugnant butterball get his rocks off, though, there’s no way in hell I’m playing through this execrable mess long enough to find and capture it on video. So instead, here’s a moment of staggering eroticism that can be discovered within the game’s first five minutes:
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