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How Spicy Is SBS On Demand's 'Erotic Stories'? An Episode-by-Episode Ranking

The new drama anthology from SBS On Demand tells eight spicy stories set in modern Australia.
By Alec Jones
November 03, 2023
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By Alec Jones
November 03, 2023
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Sex: we all know what it is. If you don't, stop right here because this isn't the article for you. Sex on-screen has become commonplace. TV and films frequently include spicy scenes for many different reasons, but as perceptions about sexuality rapidly evolve off-screen, the on-screen representations have to keep up.

In 2023, the wide and wonderful world of romance and sex is bigger and more inclusive than ever. A TV series that has embraced that fact is Erotic Stories, a brand-new drama anthology from SBS On Demand, it's the latest addition to a fantastic range of drama programs available on the platform, all of which are completely free. Across eight episodes, Erotic Stories tells stories of love and intimacy in modern Australia with on-screen protagonists that aren't always written as sexual leads. We've watched it, and we're here to rank all eight episodes from least to most spicy.

First, a quick disclaimer: this article contains mild spoilers, but it isn't a review of Erotic Stories. This is a ranking of how 'spicy' we believe the episodes to be. Spiciness and sexuality are subjective to every individual, so we strongly encourage watching the series and deciding for yourself.

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VANILLA: EPISODE 6 — 'IMPERFECT PAW PAW'

What happens?
'Imperfect Paw Paw' star Zahra Newman (Thirteen Lives) as Leila, a woman from Sydney who works in marketing for a vitamins company; she's overworked and dealing with significant stress in her personal life. When she heads to the Gold Coast on a work trip, she has a chance encounter with a group of locals, including an attractive surfer who encourages her to abandon her commitments to join them on a free-spirited night out.

Watch this episode if you like: stories about seizing the moment and embracing spontaneity.

Why the rating?
Spice in this episode is minimal. The majority of spice is built up through sexual tension over the course of the night out. When the spice kicks in, it's short but hot.

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SEASONED: EPISODE 1 — 'PHILIA'

What happens?
'Philia' stars Catherine McClements (The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart) as Sam, a single mother of a teenage girl who works in digital publishing. With her job on the line against a fellow writer, she is assigned an advertorial story — a review of a new smart sex toy for couples. With no partner to help her review the male side of the remotely operated machines, she turns to George, a longtime family friend, for help. One problem: he's a married father of two.

Watch this episode if you like: a side of comedy with your spice.

Why the rating?
Spice is definitely present in 'Philia', offering an insight into modern sex tech, but it isn't overtly explicit and isn't the key focus of the episode.

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BIT OF A KICK: EPISODE 5 — 'WALKING GAMBIT'

What happens?
'Walking Gambit' stars Yuchen Wang (Safe Home) as Patrick, a man out for an after-dark walk with his beloved staffy Gambit. He arrives at a secluded bushland park where men gather at night, in secret, to hook up. After enjoying the company of another attendee of the park, Patrick returns to Gambit to find him missing without a trace. With the help of his new companion, Patrick searches for his dog while dealing with a previously hidden grief.

Watch this episode if you like: stories about the complexities of grief and the unconditional love of dogs.

Why the rating?
'Walking Gambit' gets spicy early on and, while short, it's more explicit than our previously ranked episodes. The rest of the episode is spice-free.

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SPICY: EPISODE 4 — 'POWERFUL OWL'

What happens?
'Powerful Owl' stars Rarriwuy Hick (Wentworth Prison) as Kiarra and Googoorewon Knox (Black Snow) as Drew, a First Nations couple living in Sydney. Kiarra has a challenging but successful legal career, while George travels around Australia on contract work. After remarking their connection to the lifetime bond of the native Aussie powerful owl, Kiarra and George find their relationship on the rocks when faced with the complications and temptations of long-distance intimacy.

Watch this episode if you like: stories about true love.

Why the rating?
'Powerful Owl' keeps the spiciness consistent throughout the episode, but at different levels of explicitness over the course of the story.

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SMOKING: EPISODE 2 — 'THE DELUGE'

What happens?
'The Deluge' stars Kate Box (Rake) as Cara, who shares most of her life with her best friend Ginger (Danielle Cormack, Wentworth Prison). Together, they practice shibari, a Japanese style of bondage, for Ginger's photography career, while Ginger encourages Cara to break her sexual drought. Once Cara turns to dating apps to find a new partner, she has a passionate encounter with a younger woman, but that passion quickly leads to unexpected ramifications for everyone involved.

Watch this episode if you like: stories about meaningful connections.

Why the rating?
'The Deluge' is spicy throughout, with some very intimate and descriptive scenes spread throughout the episode. Ultimately, though, that's not the main focus of the episode.

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RED HOT: EPISODE 8 — 'MASC UP'

What happens?
'Masc Up' stars Bernie Van Tiel (Jade of Death) as non-binary lesbian Cal and their new partner Mish as the two join Cal's friends on an annual New Year's holiday to a luxurious homestay. All the members of the group are extremely close, challenging Mish to find her place among them. Cal faces a challenge of their own when the talent they pride themselves on, making partners climax, is much harder than usual with Mish — testing their relationship and forcing Cal to face long-buried insecurities.

Watch this episode if you like: stories about overcoming self doubt.

Why the rating?
With 'Masc Up', Erotic Stories enters its top three spiciest episodes. This episode is very spicy, thanks to explicit scenes and dialogue throughout.

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BURNING: EPISODE 3 — 'BOUND'

What happens?
'Bound' stars Joel Lago as CJ, a gay man living with disability that impedes his mobility and who has a preference for less-than-ergonomic positions during sex. While travelling from a doctor's appointment, CJ is sexually propositioned by an older man, who invites him to an exclusive and spicy nightclub. What happens that night challenges CJ to confront the intersections of disability, sex and self-respect.

Watch this episode if you like: stories about knowing your own worth.

Why the rating?
The spicy elements of 'Bound' revolve around sexual kinks, consent and objectification, and feature lots of bondage.

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DEADLY: EPISODE 7 — 'COME AS YOU ARE'

What happens?
'Come As You Are' stars Frances Ann O'Conner (The End) as Annabel, a woman who holds a senior role in a corporate office. She lives a life of routine and deals with trauma from a past relationship, but all that changes after a chance encounter with an intern named Florian. His confidence and free-spirited nature opens up a new world of sexuality for Annabel, but forces her to decide where she draws the line and how she can maintain control of her own desires.

Watch this episode if you like: stories about sexual exploration and self-confidence.

Why the rating?
'Come As You Are' is the spiciest episode of Erotic Stories since the spiciness involves both sexual tension and outright steamy scenes throughout the episode.

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All eight episodes of 'Erotic Stories' are streaming now for free alongside other great drama series on SBS On Demand.

Images: SBS On Demand.

Published on November 03, 2023 by Alec Jones
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