‘Euphoria‘, HBO’s new teen drama, has become the talk of the town because of its incredible visuals, stellar performances and most of all, shocking sex scenes. With each episode, the stakes go higher and what starts off with some casual teenage love making scenes, soon evolves into illicit affairs, scandalous hookups and a whole lot of graphic nudity.
Starring Zendaya as a drug addict named Rue, the series explores the lives of a group of teenagers who struggle to come in terms with their addictions, sexuality, self-identity and deep unaddressed insecurities. While some may assume that the show is simply targeted towards a teenage audience, it offers a lot more than a mere teenage drama that can even make an adult reminisce to the painful yet dramatic teenage years of one’s life.
The love-making scenes in ‘Euphoria‘ are indeed boundary-pushing but in one way or the other, all of them hit hard because they can easily be relatable for someone who is actually suffering from anxiety or real addictions. Brimming with self-destructive and self-loathing graphic tales of adolescence, ‘Euphoria’ may easily trigger those who are sensitive towards mature content. But the ones who are able to get through with what it offers will realize that it packs on a lot more emotional depth than it initially portrays.
That being said, since there is so much controversy behind all of the love-making in the series, we have made a list of all such scenes that will take you back to the very essence of its bleak yet didactic themes. All the Euphoria sex scenes mentioned below have been chronologically ranked based on when they appear in the show and also on how much significance they hold in context with the overarching plot.
7. Wrong Impressions (Season 1 Episode 1)
With Zendaya’s hoarse voice in the background, the first episode of ‘Euphoria’ starts off with some flashy trips where she basically introduces herself and describes her journey towards self-destruction. She talks about how she always struggled with obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder, general anxiety and bipolar disorder. To escape, she chose a darker path where her addiction to drugs seemingly made her life easier.
Meanwhile, the other characters of the series are also introduced, two of which are Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) and McKay (Algee Smith). At the beginning of the first episode, McKay expresses his interest in Cassie to his football buddies but his friends dismiss him by claiming that Cassie is not how he thinks she is. They even show him one of her old private videos where she’s hooking up with another guy. This gives McKay the wrong impression and when he later hooks up with Cassie, he tries to choke her and she immediately stops him.
That’s when Rue, Zendaya’s character announces with a voice-over, “I promise you, this does not end in a rape.” This is then followed by several actual clips of graphic porn and in a way, it tries to ridicule how porn normalizes a lot of things. Later in the series, Cassie’s sex tape is addressed upon with a backstory where it is revealed that she always hated being alone when she was younger and that’s when she got herself involved in meaningless relationships where she was not even respected enough. With McKay, she always felt different and even fell in love with him but later in the series, her past starts to surface again and along with her, even McKay is forced to face the consequences of her past actions
6. Acceptance (Season 1 Episode 1)
Later in the first episode itself, Jules (Hunter Schafer) is introduced as a character. After interacting with a man on a dating application, she ends up meeting him at a motel where he commits statutory rape. This scene is very disturbing as it portrays full-frontal nudity and it gets even more unsettling when the man’s true identity is revealed. It is later revealed that Jules is actually a trans woman and the man, Cal, has a fetish for women like her.
What’s even more shocking is that Cal turns out to be the father of a jock who goes to the same school as Jules. Much later in the series, Jules’ past is reflected upon and with a backstory, it is portrayed how she has always struggled with gender identity. At a young age, her own mother had admitted her to a medical facility where she was forced to give up on her delusional ideas of being identified as trans.
But eventually, it was her father who accepted her the way she was and let her be who she wanted to be. Even then, though she took a lot of pride in who she was, she would only be able to meet men who were guilty of being around her. And all of this later led to the events of the motel where she somehow tried to convince herself that, in moments like these, she is not herself but deep inside she knows that she’s seeking nothing but acceptance for who she truly is.
5. Consequences (Season 1 Episode 1)
Euphoria’s pilot is full of scandalous moments that later ripple into becoming much bigger issues. But one sex scene, which seems rather meaningless in the beginning, later turns out to be a major plot point of the show. Maddy, who happens to be Nate’s on and off girlfriend, hooks up with some random college guy named Tyler in a swimming pool. She does this just to get some casual revenge from her boyfriend but, for obvious reasons, all her classmates end up taking videos of the whole public display. She later gets back with Nate and dismisses the whole thing by claiming that Tyler had forced her into it and just because she had almost passed out, she had no clue what was going on.
Much later, when Nate is accused of abusing Maddy, he somehow manages to frame Tyler for the whole event and to Tyler’s dismay, his casual hook up with Maddy turns out to be the biggest mistake of his life.
4. The Making of a Jock (Season 1 Episode 2)
Even when it comes to male nudity, ‘Euphoria‘ does not hold itself back at all. Nate, the typical heteronormative macho jock, is properly introduced in the second episode. Living under the shadow of his extremely successful father, As a child, Nate always felt the need to prove his worth and tried to live up to what was expected from him. But one day, he ran into his dad’s video collection which included all of his sex tapes with trans women. This really disturbed Nate and just to compensate for all of his insecurities, he later transformed himself into a jock no one would mess with.
For the most part, he comes off as douchebag who tries to bully the weak and is perceived as a leader by all of his football “bros” but there is a scene that reflects upon what he’s truly going through. The scene portrays a typical high school boy’s locker room where all the other boys walk around naked but Nate somehow feels insecure about being that way. He must be a star on the football field, but being in the locker room turns out to be his biggest nightmare as it makes him question his own image and sexuality. For someone who is not used to a whole lot of nudity, the locker room scene can be very discomforting.
3. Fat Shaming and Webcam Kat’s Road to Glory (Season 1 Episode 3)
Somewhere around the end of episode 2, Kat, who is another angsty teenager dealing with her insecurities, is introduced. Just to prove that she’s not an innocent virgin and also, to get the approval of her friends, Kat ends up sleeping with one of her school mates. But to her dismay, her video is uploaded online and it goes viral.
For a while, Kat gets really depressed about the whole situation and though no one can really prove that she’s in that video, she gets all paranoid about it. When she is later questioned, she somehow manages to smartly get out of the situation by proving that she was not in the video. But later, when she discovers that she’s getting a lot of positive response on her video and there are guys out there who are actually into her, she gets this weird idea of using her online popularity to her own advantage.
This takes us back to her own backstory where she always struggled with body dysmorphia. She would always yearn to be more promiscuous like her friends and would often write online fan fiction which portrayed her own sexual desires. No one really knew who she was online, but she at least got the respect and acceptance that she was seeking. Her flashbacks also depict a trippy artistic version of one of her fan-fiction tales where she ships a sexual relationship between Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson from One Direction.
Since the show’s release, this scene has gained a lot of hype online and even the pop stars portrayed in it have expressed their concern towards it. While the whole fanfic scene is quite shocking, it’s Kat’s journey towards becoming more confident that really brings in some disturbing scenes. There are several scenes where she sexually interacts with grown-up men over a webcam and because of how graphic and discomforting these scenes are, it’s not easy to watch them without flinching.
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2. McKay’s Humiliation (Season 1 Episode 6)
After the first episode, McKay’s character receives little to no attention but as soon as you start forgetting about him, Episode 6 brings light on his past. He was once a promising athlete and showed a lot of potential to become a professional football player. But after joining college and spending several games as a benchwarmer, he realizes that he may not be as good as he always thought he was.
While he starts to lose his sense of purpose, he meets Cassie and falls in love with her. Everything seems to be just fine between the two of them when one day, while they’re making love in the privacy of their bedroom, a bunch of masked seniors budge into their room and humiliate McKay. In this bitter moment, he falls to the ground and starts crying but after reminiscing his father’s words, “Don’t let the doubt creep in”, he tries to have sex with Cassie again and even dominates her.
This sex scene represents how McKay tries to project his own sense of powerlessness over Cassie and in turn, ends up losing his own identity in the moment. Meanwhile, for Cassie, this reminds her of her past boyfriends who did not respect her at all and she soon starts losing it for him.
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1. Jules’ Guilt and Confusion (Season 1 Episode 7)
In the penultimate episode, the relationship between Jules and Rue gets really complicated but neither of the two step-up to address their issues. After finding themselves at crossroads, Jules decides to deal with the problem by escaping it and leaves town to meet her old friend. She then goes to a rave with her friend and instantly starts hitting it off with her roommate. In no time, the two of them start making out and as things start to escalate quickly, they have sex.
But Jules’ visions subtly start to switch between Rue, the girl she’s with and Nate. She is haunted by the memories of Nate and it seems her heart still aches for him. She also feels guilty that she’s not with Rue and even starts picturing her in bed. This whole scene is a cinematic trip with dazzling colors in its palette that are complimented with blazing music club music and flashy visuals. In the end, all the sex and drug scenes that are involved in the series try to depict that there’s something innocent and redeeming about each of the characters. And though they are all labeled with stereotypical names, more than anything else, they’re all humans with their own struggles.
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