I’m going to be real with you guys: When I pitched this idea, I thought that I would have a long list of sexually open female characters to choose from. But when I actually started to cumulate a list of awesome female characters who were shamelessly open about their sexuality, I realized that my list was…small. Like, embarrassingly small.
The fact is that we’re only slowly starting to be even the tiniest bit nuanced with the way we respond to female sexuality. By that I mean that people are slowly starting to wise up to the fact that a woman’s worth doesn’t lie in her sexual prowess, how many partners she has, etc. The double standards of male sexuality (totally cool) versus female sexuality (BOO! SLUT CENTRAL) are becoming a little less acceptable, and now it’s time for TV to really provide us with female characters who have sexual agency without apologizing. Still, at least these 14 female characters who shamelessly love sex stand out. Now, let’s cross our fingers that there will be even more representations in the near future.
Brittany From GleeGirls, guys, whatever, Brittany was into 'em, and she didn't seem to think this was a problem. And that's good, because she shouldn't have! High school centric shows love throwing around the "school slut" trope and turning it into a source of shame. Brittany subverted that by being pretty chill with the fact that she, admittedly, has hooked up with loads of people and didn't beat herself up about it.
Hannah From GirlsListen, whether you love Girls to pieces or can't wait until it's finally off the air, there's no sense in denying the fact that it has managed to show sides of women's sexuality--from urges to dysfunction--in ways that most television shows have shied away from. We've seen Hannah explore her sexuality in casual hook ups and long-term relationships, and from her love handles to her awkwardness, her character's approach to sexuality is just...incredibly real. Maybe even a little too real at times.
Ilana From Broad CityIlana's openness with her sexuality is absolutely hilarious without making her look like the butt of a joke. Whether it's going on and on about white dudes with "pink penises" to getting super turned on by a woman who looks remarkably like her (not-related-twincest...is that a thing?), Ilana's sexual explorations are such a joy to watch.
Alisha From MisfitsAlisha loves sex, and she's not afraid to let everyone know...including people she just met. It's often played up for laughs, but it's still pretty refreshing. But Alisha's sexuality and sex appeal is such an important aspect of her character that she ended up with a superpower that made people want to have sex with her by just touching her skin. Uh, yikes. In Misfits, many characters developed super powers based on their insecurities or personality flaws, so this might be a shady way to shame Alisha for her sexual prowess.
Chloe From Don't Trust The B In Apartment 23Chloe from the short-lived and much loved show Don't Trust The B is a prime example of a sexually liberated female character. She enjoys casual sex and--gasp--doesn't apologize for it! I wish this was less noteworthy, but the fact remains that we are inundated with cis-gender male characters who get around and are seen as lovable, while female characters who do the same thing are regularly demonized. Chloe's character happily gives that BS a big F you.
Samantha From Sex And The CityIf you haven't watched Sex And The City, you've probably at the very least run into some sort of hilarious Samantha quote or GIF on the internet. Samantha was super open about how much she loved sex and masturbation. I mean, there was an iconic scene in which she got a phone call in the middle of using a vibrator, leading her to bark, ""I'm masturbating. I told you I'd be doing that all day today." Then, naturally, she got right back to masturbating her day away. Whether she was talking openly about blow jobs or penis size, Samantha's hot takes on sex and sexuality were definitely new territory for television when SATC first aired in the late '90s, and it remains noteworthy to this day.
Faith From BuffyOh, Faith. One of the most sardonic and loved characters definitely didn't hide the fact that she was definitely into hooking up. For more drama-free results, she probably should have ventured more outside of her immediate circle, but hey. Unfortunately, Faith's thirst led to a lot of slut shaming thrown her way. Maybe a character like her would be more accepted now than in the late '90s and early '00s.
Vod From Fresh MeatVod rules because she is a sharp tongued oddball with an eccentric taste in clothing and doesn't fit the mold of a traditionally sexually alluring woman (white, long hair, bubbly, etc). But yo...she still gets it in. Like, a lot. She is all about the casual sex game and might just give hope to other weirdos out there that they, too, can explore their sexual prowess without shame.
Jessica From Jessica JonesEven if you haven't seen Jessica Jones, you might have heard (or seen GIFs that prove) that it's a great show with a whole lot of sex. Like...a lot of it. But what sets it apart from being just another show about sex is that Jessica's sexuality is coupled with a survivor narrative that explores a world of sex and intimacy after sexual assault. Most TV shows have a really clumsy approach to rape to begin with, let alone giving rape victims sexual agency after the fact. Jessica Jones manages to set itself apart from the herd.
Blanche From Golden GirlsBlanche is the thirstiest old lady we've ever seen on television, and the way that she owns her thirst is absolutely--pardon the pun--golden. Fun fact: This show aired during the '80s, the height of paranoia and misinformation about HIV/AIDS. There was a Blanche centric episode during the calamity of it all that focused on the importance of having safe sex, even in your older years. Woop! Sex positivity is at its best when it's actually informing people about making safe sexual decisions.
Lynn From GirlfriendsIt's upsettingly hard to find media representations of free spirited black women who are open with their sexuality and aren't reduced to "hoes." Lynn from Girlfriends beat the misogynistic odds. Despite being known as the promiscuous one in her group of friends, she was never embarrassed about the fact that she enjoyed casual sex, nor the fact that she found sex liberating AF. No shame in her game, as it should be.
Tina From Bob's BurgersOkay, so Tina Belcher isn't out there having casual sex, but she's definitely sexually aware, shamelessly thirsty, and loves all things male, despite being awkward AF. Yeah, you don't have to be drop dead gorgeous to want some, and Tina embodies that in a way that loads of us can relate to.
Liv From SkinsOut of all the Skins characters out there, Liv is probably the most carefree about sex of the lot. Of course, her casual approach eventually landed her in some serious drama (pro-tip: don't sleep with your BFF's boyfriend, no matter how mad you are at them). Nevertheless, Liv's IDGAF approach to life definitely fit well with her sex life, and it's a shame that love triangle BS took away from that.
Kalinda From The Good WifeAs an investigator, Kalinda often used sex to her advantage to manipulate both men and women. Understandably, some might believe that Kalinda helps perpetuate negative stereotypes about bisexual people, but she's still one of the most celebrated bi characters on television and was amazingly well written. The actress who portrays her actually ended up leaving the show because Kalinda's forward approach to sex started affecting the way the actress performed in other roles. Damn.
What other characters should be on this list? Do you think that we need more sexually liberated female characters in the media, or do we have enough already? Tell us in the comments!