The Sex On Screen Awards 2021
Celebrating the best - and worst - representations of sex in 2020 film and television
We are pleased to announce the nominees and the winners of our inaugural annual Sex On Screen Awards, highlighting the most and least authentic depictions of sex in last year’s film and television.
We asked our 170,000 users to submit and vote on scenes from film and television for inclusion in the categories of most authentic and least realistic representations of sex in the past year of film and TV.
The four most-voted-for scenes in each category made up the shortlists of nominees, from which our team of sexual therapists and sexual media content experts has picked a winner.
As an honourable mention, our team of experts has also chosen the scene which they consider to be the most female-empowering sex scene in the past year of film and TV.
Best Depiction of Sex on Screen
Mr Hendrick and Miss Sands | Sex Education
Season 2, Episode 2, released 17 January 2020 on Netflix
Starring: Jim Howick, and Rakhee Thakrar
Director: Sophie Goodhart
Marianne and Héloïse | Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Released in the UK 28 February 2020
Starring: Noémie Merlant, and Adèle Haenel
Director: Céline Sciamma
Marianne and Connell | Normal People
Episode 2, released 26 April 2020 on BBC Three
Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, and Paul Mescal
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Daphne and Simon | Bridgerton
Episode 3, released 25 December 2020 on Netflix
Starring: Phoebe Dynevor, and Regé-Jean Page
Director: Tom Verica
Worst Depiction of Sex on Screen
Catherine and Peter | The Great
Episode 1, released 18 June 2020 on Hulu
Starring: Elle Fanning, and Nicholas Hoult
Director: Matt Shakman
Homelander and Stormfront | The Boys
Season 2, Episode 5, released 18 September 2020 on Amazon Prime
Starring: Antony Starr, and Aya Cash
Director: Batan Silva
Spenser and Cissy | Spenser Confidential
Released 6 March 2020 on Netflix
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, and Iliza Shlesinger
Director: Peter Berg
Marianne and Lukas | Normal People
Episode 9, released 26 April 2020 on BBC Three
Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, and Lancelot Ncube
Director: Hettie Macdonald
The nomination and decision-making
Emjoy users’ suggestion of scenes for the nominees shortlists, and the subsequent selection of winners by Emjoy’s experts, was not based on judging of cinematographic factors - such as production techniques or quality of acting. Rather, it considered the authenticity of the depictions of sex within the scenes.
The nominees and winners in each category were chosen based on the following criteria and considerations:
- Does this scene depict a realistic and relatable version of sexual activity (or not, for the ‘Worst’ category)?
- Is the behaviour of the characters believable emotionally (or not)?
- Are the physical experiences and/or reactions of the characters believable biologically / physiologically (or not)?