The Most Scandalous Network TV Sex Scenes Ever

The creators of Gossip Girl are no strangers to some carefully plotted-out controversy, and the news that an upcoming episode will feature three characters in bed with each other suggests that the show isn't backing off of its mission statement anytime soon. Still, while this hypothetical threesome is certainly eyebrow-raising, it's almost quaint compared to what could currently be found today on basic cable or any of the pay channels.

Therefore, Movieline thought it was time to compile a tribute to some of the most scandalous sex scenes (with video!) that network TV has ever gotten away with. The only criteria for making the list? Well, it's right there in the title: it has to involve actual sex (a controversial kiss is insufficient) and it has to have aired on one of the big broadcast networks. Here are six scenes that came to mind immediately:

Beverly Hills, 90210

Brenda loses her virginity to Dylan

Though the rebooted 90210 premiered last year with a strongly implied blowjob within the first ten minutes, its 90's progenitor was hit with its fair share of controversy simply for scripting an offscreen loss of virginity for Shannen Doherty's Brenda. "Do you know why I'm so lucky?" she cooed to Dylan. "How many girls get to have sex for the first time with someone they love?" What's even more striking is how happy she is after the act (though a pregnancy scare two episodes later would make that afterglow short-lived).

Without a Trace

Teen orgy

In the flashback that cost CBS millions of dollars in fines, a teenage girl remembers a sex party full of underage participants that some overzealous director-of-the-week decided to shoot as though it came straight from an Adrian Lyne film. The message, we think, is that this level of sexual precociousness is a bad thing, but who cares when these eroticized teenage girls are doffing their tops and having sex with two guys at once, am I right? Prompted by complaints from the Parents Television Council and the American Family Association (who may not have even seen the scene in question), the FCC fined CBS for $3.6 million.

General Hospital

Luke rapes Laura

Everyone knows that Luke and Laura's wedding was the biggest ratings event ever on daytime television, but this soap supercouple had a kiiiind of rough start when he, you know, raped her. (He also forced her to disco dance with him just before, adding insult to injury.) Still, audiences seemed so invested in the potential pairing that the two romantically reunited only months after the October 1979 rape. They married in 1981.

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