Considering that The Americans airs on FX rather than some other premium channel you still watch with your parents' login, there's an awful lot of sex (and other adult things) you might not expect to see on basic cable. While the premise of Russian spies parading as normal residents of a suburb of Washington, D.C., no longer seems all that far-fetched, Elizabeth and Philip Jennings are probably the only Russians in our nation's capital that we'd actually want to see naked.
Before we get too deeply involved in any other stories about Russian ties and possible nude videos, here are the 10 most unforgettable sex scenes from The Americans. Spoilers follow.
The best sex scenes in The Americans tend to go down at the most strenuous times. In this instance, Elizabeth knows that Philip is feeling all sorts of stressed out due to his entanglements with should-be-dead-any-minute (right?) Martha, so she decides to take his mind off his issues in the most carnal of ways. Getting it on with the alias "Clark Westerfeld" has to be better than the usual Philip Jennings.
Among all of the marital and extramarital sex scenes on The Americans, arguably the most memorable and surprising one was only a few seconds long and had little actual drama. Packed into a bloodbath of an episode, the audience (and daughter Paige) get an eyeful of our two favorite spies partaking in a little mutual oral action. Forget about when the last time you saw two people 69 on basic cable (you haven't), but try to think of the last time you saw it on film at all without having to delete your browser history after.
Sex doesn't always end well for both parties, but on The Americans it has a tendency to occasionally lead to a rather unpleasant death. That was the case for Carl, a somewhat bland congressional assistant with a bit of a heroin issue who fell for Lucia, Elizabeth's Sandinista mentee. Not long after bending her over his boss's desk (and immediately telling her he wanted to further their relationship), Carl ends up getting poisoned by the young revolutionary, and so ends his brief stint on the show.
One of the biggest ongoing themes throughout The Americans is Elizabeth and Philip's very open marriage. Part of the job of being a spy means sleeping with your enemies to get what you need, and Philip seems much more comfortable with a lot of it than Elizabeth is. In the season three premiere, Philip (or Clark, in this case) reminds us just how much of the Kama Sutra he's gone through with Martha, as they nail some stuff you definitely shouldn't try at home (at least without stretching first).
Speaking of Elizabeth's feelings about Philip/Clark's sexual endeavors with Martha, when the protagonists' marriage seems to be in a bit of a downward spiral, Mrs. Jennings asks her husband to treat her like he would under his alias. Although the sex is certainly more intense, it ultimately leads Elizabeth down a dark rabbit hole of memories that might've been better left alone.
Blonde on Blonde
Aside from sex, espionage, and murder, The Americans is a fantastic show if you're a fan of wigs. With so many aliases and disguises going at any given time, wigs play a crucial role for Elizabeth and Philip, and no wig is better than Elizabeth's blonde hair. Considering that she uses it basically just for the art of seduction, every scene it's featured in deserves a spot on this list.
Alright, so there's not technically any sex in this scene, but Elizabeth's backside gets an awful lot of air time. Post-shower scenes are pretty much always hot, right?
In one of those scenes that goes a little further than people really thought you could get away with on cable, Elizabeth allows an information source to spank her with a belt. Although it goes a little too far for her liking, Elizabeth gets what she needs and leaves the creepy old man without a tinge of suspicion. Given the consequences of sex elsewhere in the show, a little bruising isn't too bad for a covert spy mission.
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Sex, Stranglers, and Suitcases
What's (arguably) worse than being strangled to death mid-coitus? Having your dead body contorted and shoved into a suitcase so tightly that it sounds like a Rice Krispie teat fighting some bubble wrap. That's the unfortunate end of Annelise during and after a lusty encounter with Yousaf. The sex itself might not be that memorable, but no fan of The Americans has ever been able to look at a suitcase the same way since.
Larrick's Little Love
Although there's pretty much nothing shown and it only happens on the rarest of occasions, The Americans occasionally does feature a little man-on-man action. The now-deceased Andrew Larrick is essentially introduced through a alleyway sex scene outside of a gay club, and his homosexuality is used as potential blackmail against him for the rest of his life. Hey, just because you're a member of the KGB doesn't mean you shouldn't be allowed to be in a same-sex relationship.