Ryan Murphy‘s inventive and disturbing anthology show, American Horror Story, has tapped into the collective American nightmare. Re-inventing itself every season and offering some of the most disturbing moments in all of television history, the show has become a must watch for shock-hounds and a staple of watercooler conversations.
Never just about horror, American Horror Story has always been very much about sex. While getting it on and the consequences of it have long been a huge part of the horror genre, Murphy has pushed things to new and disturbing extremes. Touching on a wide variety of taboos from bestiality to necrophilia, getting too comfortable during any kind of intimate moment will likely come back to burn you.
As a result, as hot as any of the hottest moments are — they are often twisted or disturbing. Anything that can fit into conventional attraction will be usurped later on by a horrific twist or even a turnaround within that very scene. Murphy’s horror, more often than not, comes from eliciting arousal in moments or scenes that you’d really rather you didn’t. His horror draws you in with beautiful women and incredible set pieces only to reveal a hidden part of yourself that maybe you didn’t want to face. He makes the audience complicit in what’s happening onscreen and it’s one of the reasons people keep coming back for more.
It should go without saying that some of these entries may be considered spoilers. While none of them really reveal huge plot twists, and will likely not ruin your experience – there is nonetheless a very spoiler sensitive society so consider yourself warned.
15. Moira the Maid, Season 1
All the way back to the innocent days of season one, when we still had no idea how far down this path we would be taken – there was Moira the Maid. Within the “Murder House” Moira is an apparition who acts as the housekeeper for the large cavernous family home. Unaware that she is a spirit, the Harmon family hire her – and the games begin. Moira appears to women as her true form, an elderly one-eyed crone, but to men, she is a very hot red-headed nurse who acts out their every fantasy. Pulsatingly sexual, Moira drives a wedge between man and wife and acts to create conflict and anxiety within the family more and more. A vengeful spirit who wants to take revenge on men who she perceives as cheaters and liars, she does everything she can to entice Ben. There is no single moment that stands out because every single moment of “Young Moira’s” being is entirely devoted to seduction and manipulation – it’s impossible to choose just one.
14. Sister Mary’s Red Lingerie, Season 2
In the first two seasons, the hottest moments were still not THAT disturbing. Wearing Sister Jude’s red lingerie, the more unhinged Sister Mary sings and dances to Don’t Tell Me What to Do. The scene plays out as an attack on both the Asylum and institutional religion and is clearly meant to be a scene of all-out blasphemy. For religious types, perhaps, the scene has a little more impact in terms of offending sensibilities, but most of us get the idea. The scene is pretty hot, especially when Sister Mary reveals her thigh highs and confusingly looks as though she’s going to seduce the cross on the wall before fighting back by throwing the one around her neck on it.
13. Shelley the Nympho, Season 2
You can’t do a season about an Asylum without a nymphomaniac! Invoking, at least tangentially, a classic scene in Shock Corridor – a kind of journalistic exploitation film from the 1960s where the journalist is attacked by a pack of Nymphos, Ryan Murphy created Shelley the Nympho. Played by Chloe Sevigny, who is among our favourite alternative actresses, she embodies the role with nuance and depth. While her story convergences with tragedy and lust, as her actions would hardly be pathologized if she were a man – it’s hard to really pin down the best moment since so much of it is entranced in sadness. We love her “way with words”, especially as she dolls out double entendres such as “Hey, Sister. I have a cucumber in my room but not because I was hungry.” The reason she’s even in the joint is because her cheating husband caught her with two navy officers — which we gotta say, is some hot revenge.
12. Moira’s Hot Swing, Season 1
We’re already back on Moira, the sexy vengeful housekeeper uses a sex swing to seduce a real-estate tycoon. This swing is definitely not for children and is all a part of Moira’s plot to seduce and destroy men. While the scene itself is pretty hot (though it ends pretty disastrously for her intended victim), thought is more conceptually hot than it is in reality. In an interview discussing the difficulty in doing the scene, actress Alexandra Breckenridge said to website Rakkle, “The sex swing was the worst! You have to imagine that you’re in underwear and a red teddy and you’re strapped into this thing. By the way, that swing is the most uncomfortable thing ever! I don’t know how people actually have sex in it. So you put your feet in stirrups, so you feel like you’re at the gynecologist, and I’m swinging towards this man I barely know who is in a Speedo. I’m trying to look sexy and you feel so exposed, so that was one of those moments you go, ‘What am I doing?’ I wish I could get an Emmy for that.”
11. Kit and Alma, Season 2
In a pretty shocking turn of events, there is actually a sweet scene of lovemaking on American Horror Story. Sure the love doesn’t last all that long before it goes terribly wrong, but it was sweet while it lasted. From season 2, Asylum, Kit and Alma are forced to be married in secret because interracial marriage is not accepted by society. Her relationship with Kit is presented as not only very loving and respectful but incredibly passionate – they are REALLY into each other. As told through flashbacks, though, things don’t last very long and unfortunately, Alma gets abducted by aliens. Unsurprisingly this event is what leads Kit to be institutionalised because it’s a pretty nutso story.
10. Maroon Five Honeymoon, Season 2
The opening of season 2 ranks among the very hottest moments on the show – but it does end in some pretty brutal bloodshed, which is a bit of a mood killer. For many audiences expecting much of the same with season 2 of the show, they were in for a real big shock. Among them was the surprise casting of singer Adam Levine of Maroon 5, who was apparently going to be in the cast. The season starts in the contemporary era where a honeymooning couple, played by Levine and actress Jenna Dewan-Tatum (Channing Tatum‘s wife), are horror fanatics who decide to rent the abandoned Manor after their wedding. The scene of them making love is one of the hottest we’ve ever seen on TV, not least because both of them are very attractive. Something about seeing Levine licking his fingers is unreservedly one of the most ingenious lustful moments we’ve seen on any show. While we can’t say we would jump at the opportunity to get it on in a super creepy abandoned asylum on a medical slab, we appreciate the sentiment.
9. Jimmy and the Tupperware Party, Season 4
Presented first in the pilot of season 4, Freak Show, of American Horror Story – the idea of a very specialized male prostitute is presented. American Horror Story regular, Evan Peters, plays Jimmy Darling, who suffers from ectrodactyly, a deformity characterized by missing and/or fused fingers and toes. A ladies man with or without gloves on, Jimmy makes extra money by entertaining local Tupperware parties – and we don’t mean he sings or dances. Using his hands he literally pleasures the various women and housewives who attend these parties and honestly – just the idea is kinda hot. Jimmy who has a James Dean vibe works with what he got and makes some money on the side – his mostly satisfied clientele isn’t complaining.
8. Vampire Orgy, Season 5
One of the most controversial moments of the whole show, season 5, Hotel featured pop-star Lady Gaga in a prominent role. While many proved apprehensive about having the pop-goddess appear, she actually proved her worth as a sexy vampire you wouldn’t want to cross. With her love played by Matt Bomer, she lures a good looking couple for a night well spent in ecstasy. While everything starts off hot and passionate, it quickly devolves into a very gory scene. As the first appearance of Gaga on the show we gotta give it to her and the showrunners, Lady Gaga certainly made an impression we will not be forgetting anytime soon. The scene itself also speaks to the connection between vampires and lust which we rarely see in such bloody detail. Gaga is a huge horror fan, and told Jimmy Fallon: “I love scary things. Dangerous things in horror relaxes me, it freaks out my friends and my [former] fiance.”
7. Snake Ritual, Season 3
Fire and snakes, what possibly could go wrong? In one of the most passionately charged moments of season 3 – Cordelia, played by series regular Sarah Paulson, sets up an important witchy ritual involving a snake, sex, and fire. Making love in the middle of a circle of fire, hard and full of passion, a snake egg hatches and adds an extra layer of WTF to an already bizarre and fascinating scene. Surprisingly, Paulson doesn’t end up too often in scenes like this on the show, though she has been a staple since almost the very beginning. It’s weird to think that a scene involving an erotic and magical snake also ranks pretty low on the “out there” imagery of the show, really speaking for how boundary-pushing American Horror Story is.
6. Forest Nymph, Season 6
We gotta say we were a little disappointed when it looked as though Lady Gaga was not making a return to American Horror Story after her showstopping appearance on Hotel. Lots of weird stuff is happening in the woods in American Horror Story: Roanoke, well – mostly hillbillies and pigs but we still have a few episodes to go. Recent addition to the AHS family, Cuba Gooding Jr. as Matt, gets lost in the woods and lured into a bizarre sexual altercation with a mythological forest nymph played by Lady Gaga. The scene manages to be really hot even though there are some creepy rednecks pleasuring themselves as the whole thing is going down. It kinda works against itself, but I guess that’s the point.
5. Minotaur Love, Season 3
So bear with us here – this scene is hot but we’re kinda ashamed and a little confused why. Ryan Murphy really likes to mess around with an audience, and to make a scene so alluring about a Minotaur (does it count as bestiality?) and carnage seems a bit far. In American Horror Story: Coven, lots of weird stuff is going on (as per usual), among them, a former slave turned presumably immortal Minotaur. Even as a guy, you gotta admit that actor Ameer Baraka has an incredibly hot body and always dripped in sweat he looks extra ahem, alluring. While the scene ends in death (and again, we’re still a little confused if this is bestiality or not, so this is all a little uncomfortable for all of us), when he ends up mounting Queenie, it’s actually like… really really hot. We’re not sure if it’s the sweaty atmosphere or the confusing sense of the forbidden, but we like it.
4. Kit and Grace in the Kitchen, Season 2
Evan Peters has, on the stealth, been the sexiest guy in the American Horror Story franchise. Whether a freak, an inmate or the undead – he always seems to get in on a lot of action. Also, unlike basically anyone else on the show – he actually gets to have sweet and tender intimate encounters, offering a change of pace to the rest of the show that borders on bad taste. In this scene from “I Am Anne Frank Part 1”, Kit and fellow inmate Grace get it on in the kitchen. While the whole thing is pretty unsanitary (we’ll never look at bread rolls the same way), it is a surprisingly sweet moment. Especially in light of Kit’s tragic story of lost love, seeing him reconnect with someone who might actually be a good person (jury’s still out on it) was a breath of fresh air. Also, since the scene didn’t involve animals, blood or death – it gets a bit more of a boost.
3. Elsa’s Past, Season 4
One of the very best things about American Horror Story is how it has renewed Jessica Lange‘s career. Once upon a time one of the most sought after actresses in Hollywood, it seemed like her career was dead in the dust just because she had reached “a certain age.” We don’t think we’re really going out on a limb by saying that Lange still is incredibly hot, and one of her best moments on the show comes in season 4, Freak Show. Her past is presented in a flashback reminiscent of old stag tapes as a bizarre fetish film featuring German soldiers. Wearing a mask and some high boots, she teases these men before being tied up herself… and that’s when things get a whole lot less sexy. This wasn’t going to be a fetish film as promised, but a snuff one and we learn the pretty horrific reason why she has no legs. Still, the lead up got us hot around the collar which is often all you can ask for from American Horror Story.
2. Rubber Man, Season 1
The story of the Rubber Man might be the precise moment when American Horror Story took a dark turn for most audiences. While anyone with any familiarity with Ryan Murphy was sure to know that there was no way this show about a haunted house was going to go the usual route, the presence of a latex clad gimp was likely the tipping point. The Rubber Man makes a number of appearances, some far more horrific than scary. The scene we’re talking about though is when Rubber Man makes love with Vivien in her bedroom, which was far hotter than any scene involving a Rubber Man should be. Maybe we’re harboring more fetishistic desires than we thought, maybe we just really like Connie Britton but it works for us.
1. Lesbian Spirits, Season 1
American Horror Story season 1 was weird but it wasn’t so weird that we didn’t feel too uncomfortable about being turned on. We gotta say, while Moira has made her presence really known on this list it is with reason. Of all the moments though that really captured our attention, it was when she brought in a spirit friend, The Black Dahlia, when she was really upping her seduction game. As little as we were privileged to see, it was enough to get us hot and bothered for many seasons to come. Honestly, we gotta give it to Ben Harmon – the fact he was able to resist Moira makes him a much stronger man than we are.