Although there’s a lot of go-to scenes I have, throughout various permutations of glossy smut – on my hard drive, my busted external HD or my Disks of Wonderâ„¢ – there is also quite a lot to be said for the quick snatches of sex, implied or otherwise, that you’ll find in more mainstream media.

Sex and the City isn’t a good example.

Anyway, here’s what I mean – something ostensibly mainstream (if a little cult-ish), definitely not softcore porn, but hot nonetheless. An example, if you will.

Appearance: Dead Like Me, Series 1: “Rest in Peace” (2003)
Characters: Mason & Goth Girl

In before anyone trying to tell me that it’s actually requiescet in pace. “Rest in Peace” is the name of the episode. Look, shut up, I can only go on what IMDb tells me.

We don’t get Dead Like Me over here in the UK, and as far as I’m aware, it’s never been shown on UK TV (although it seems like a programme that E4 might pick up) – a Bryan Fuller comedy-drama series focusing on George (Ellen Muth), who dies early on in the pilot episode, becoming a reaper, one of a team who guide the souls of the dead towards the afterlife. A bit like watching Last of the Summer Wine, really.

Mason in pain. Can reapers feel pain?
“Ow! Bloody ‘ell! You motherf…”

Anyway, the scene I’m going to focus on features British reaper Mason (Callum Blue, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Princess Diaries 2, Smallville), who – as far as I can tell, since I haven’t actually watched the show – is incredibly British, on account of the fact he says “bloody hell!” in this scene. After getting slapped in the face by a little kid in a video store (hence the aforementioned profanity), a sexy goth girl (Jewel Staite, who has also starred in Firefly, which I’ve never been interested in) appears, holding something Mason dropped.

DIALOGUE!

A very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, attractive girl
I love her style, and I love her smile!

Goth Girl: “You dropped this.”
Mason: “Yeah.”
Goth Girl: “What’s ETD?”
Mason: “Estimated Time of Death…”
Goth Girl: “What is this? Whose Estimated Time of Death? Who are you?”
Mason: “I’m Mason! Can I have this back, please?”
Goth Girl: “What are you, some kind of grim reaper?”
Mason: “…yes?”

And that’s it. That’s all we need to set up some impromptu sex. Porn doesn’t even do that. We’ve got Mason and the unnamed goth girl circling each other, and some very clever camera work (which is, apparently, a motif of the series) involving a quick pan accompanied by an electric guitar slide, and then sex! Fantastic!

Hey, those are nice boots!
I noticed this, so of course I took a screenshot. Now you know.

So, yes. Mason and the goth girl have rough, dirty sex inside a listening booth (or possibly a janitor’s closet… or both…) in the store itself. We can tell they’re having sex because the production team saw fit for the goth girl’s Dennis the Menace-patterned knickers to be around one of her boots, but to be fair, we could have worked that out without the shot. Nice touch, though.

The sex is quick (as I said, this isn’t porn), but hot and energetic. It’s the kind of instant sex fuelled by nothing except lust (and maybe a little fascination with death in her case). There’s a lamp swinging back and forth, occasionally throwing them into shade and occasionally sharp relief. Oh, and Mason is hot and Jewel is hot, and she’s wearing a very attractive goth outfit and she’s very clearly in control here.

I love this stuff.

Maybe they're singing opera?
“I’M A REAPER!”. Yes, we get it.

The thing that drives this scene is the dialogue that continues throughout the sex. The goth girl, who’s quite clearly fixated on a certain aspect of Mason, grabs him and elicits him to “tell me what you are!” a couple of times, quite forcefully (well, wouldn’t you?). After timidly realising that “I’m a… I’m a reaper?” gets her going, Mason picks up the pace, shouting “I’M A REAPER!” so loudly the whole shop can hear it.

Probably should have checked that the booth was actually soundproof. Get it together, shop owning guys.

Scandalised public… and it isn’t even Britain!

Even the way they exit the booth is clever (again with some good camera work). Jewel seems unconcerned and cool as a box of frozen cucumbers; Mason, on the other hand, is dishevelled AF, and without a word… he gets slapped again.

Usually I’d mention scenery (it’s good here), music (metal here, which is appropriate), characterisation (no context, so I’ve no idea), and relevance to the plot (…again…). But this is different. Dead Like Me is a programme with a production budget. You’d expect it to look good, sound good and have good actors in it. I can’t comment on the rest of the series, but at least for these eighty seconds, those are there in spades.

And so they should be.

Clearly in a state of disarray
Goth Girl doesn’t seem to be fazed by any of this. I can’t quite say the same for Mason.

The point I’m trying to make, convoluted as it may be, is that it doesn’t need to be a sex show to have sex. Lots of people have sex for all sorts of different reasons. I’m fairly certain that being dragged off to a side room by a goth girl for a quick shag doesn’t happen a lot in real life (it’s certainly never happened to me), but then again, I’m also fairly certain that dead people don’t get appointed as a gang of reapers, so I can forgive the slight ridiculousness of the set-up.

And, apart from anything else, this does make me laugh.