Is there anything sexier than a foreign accent? Sure, America has sexy shows like True Blood and the UK fights back with the high-class likes of Footballers' Wives, but if you want the added allure of someone speaking the language of love, you might want to venture further afield. And you could probably do worse than trying these series:
1. Maison Close (France)
Maison Close, which aired two series in France on Canal+, is a drama about three women working in a luxury 1870s brothel in Paris.
The Sun dubbed it "one of the raunchiest dramas ever" – raving about sexy outfits and a "steamy lesbian clinch" – and the show certainly served up sex scenes and nudity in each episode. Seriously: one scene sees someone pop out of a birthday cake naked before getting involved in an orgy.
Oh, and it also just so happens to star Indian Summer's Jemima West. But be warned: it might not be as erotic as you expect, dealing as it does with the dark reality of prostitution.
2. Versailles (France)
Anything that riles the Daily Mail up is bound to get us tuning in.
The tabloids screamed about "the most graphic sex scenes ever on British TV" and teased promisingly that we'd be treated to "gay sex, a cross-dressing prince and a queen with a penchant for dwarves". Plus, obviously, the king "burying his head between his mistress's thighs". Sign us up. Series two featured "a five in a bed sex scene" and "30 sex scenes in just ten episodes", according to the more excitable newspapers.
3. The Neighbours (Netherlands)
Well, let's be honest: you can't get much sexier than a foursome, can you? This Dutch series focuses on a young couple who move into a new home and get very close to their neighbours. Like, very close.
Unfortunately, they soon discover that their neighbours are "corrupt swingers", which might make things complicated. But once again, The Neighbours isn't all about sex… get ready for things to get dark.
4. Magnifica 70 (Brazil)
One of Brazil's biggest-ever series, Magnifica 70 follows a censor called Vicente who falls for the adult film star from one of the movies he has to ban. Thanks to her, he soon starts making his own "pornochanchada" (a "sexploitation" film)… It's an HBO show, too, so you know you can expect it to be high-quality stuff.
5. Pigalle, La Nuit (France)
Ooh, another show that sounds sexy, but has some dark undertones. This French drama, which aired in 2009, is set in Paris's red-light district Pigalle, which automatically makes things a bit raunchy.
It's all about Thomas, who works in London but comes to Paris for a visit and discovers that his sister is the star in a striptease show. But shortly afterwards she disappears without a trace. So if you like your sexy TV shows with a thriller plot, this might be the one for you.
6. Heartless (Denmark)
We all know that vampire shows are inextricably linked with sex – hello, True Blood – and Danish drama Heartless is no exception. This "18 certificate Twilight Saga" follows two cursed twins (not exactly vampires) who end up going to boarding school. Which seems like a bad idea.
Teenagers in a boarding school with lots of talk about sucking of souls and the like? Yeah, that's a recipe for raunch. One blog described the show as "smutty and feverishly naughty" – right up our street.
7. El Negocio (Brazil)
El Negocio is another drama about escorts – but in this one, it's the women who are in control. They decide to launch a high-class prostitution ring, and study business and marketing during the day to maximise their profits. Basically, it's all about them bringing the world's oldest profession bang up to date. It's another HBO production too, so don't expect this show to hold back… Phew, anyone need a cold shower?
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