Mad Men's Ten Sexiest Scenes

With the fourth-season premiere coming, we pause for a highly
charged look back.

Betty Draper and the washing machine


When Mad Men returns for its fourth season next week, pulses will surely quicken — with its cast of knock-outs and pre-sexual-revolution setting, Mad Men might be the most sexually tense show on TV. While it was hard for us to narrow them down, these are the ten sexiest scenes in Mad Men's three seasons so far.

1) Betty picks up a stranger at the bar (Season 2, Episode 13)

Betty Draper is easily the most put-upon character in Mad Men (and that's saying a lot). For years she's put up with Don's philandering (see below), and from what we can tell she's never cheated herself — until the second-season finale, that is. After finding out she's pregnant, Betty does some impulse shopping and gets busy with a random stud at a bar, in a setting charged with the risk of getting caught. Maybe she and Don have more in common than we thought.

2) Joy seduces Don (Season 2, Episode 11)

"Why would you deny yourself something you want?" That's the kick-off to this adventure, and even though Don and Joy don't consummate their — brief, very odd — relationship until later, the sexual attraction between Don and the wealthy bon vivant is readily apparent here. Many of Mad Men's innumerable come-ons have been off-putting and demeaning. But this one — coupled with the indescribably glam image of Joy in movie-star garb in her convertible — encapsulates for Don the irresistable sexiness of escape.

3) Don and Betty roleplay in Rome (Season 3, Episode 8)

Don and Betty are not the ideal married couple. We see this quite clearly. But there are still a few times when we've seen them shine the way they must have before things got bad. Take their trip to Rome, during which Betty — with her working Italian — flirts with two men while Don waits for his moment to steal her away.

4) Peggy shuts down a suitor (Season 2, Episode 2)

Failed seduction — not very sexy, except in this case, when it shows off a newly wised-up Peggy coming into her own. She's willing to seize a little fun for herself, making out at a party, but she knows she's out of this guy's league, and crisply shuts him down when he asks for more. Self-respect is an alluring thing.

5) Betty gropes her washing machine (Season 1, Episode 11)

Much of Mad Men's allure comes from lust bubbling up through rampant sexual repression. And no relationship is as repressed as Betty's relationship with Don. After a run-in with an attractive salesman, Betty then has a close encounter with her washing machine. Admittedly, the washing-machine-as-vibrator thing is a bit of a '60s-sexual-repression cliche. But in this case, it's also sexy as hell.

Commentarium (20 Comments)

Jul 16 10 - 5:22am

totally on the Sal scene. i thought of it instantly when i saw the title of this article

Jul 16 10 - 10:00am

Great list. I also loved the Sal scene. If it were up to me, I'd say more Pete and Peggy and bring back Sal. I'm tired of all the action Don gets; it's the same thing every time.

Jul 16 10 - 10:52am

Let's not get crazy, Don is still far and away the sexiest thing on the show. Sal is kinda strange looking in my opinion.

Jul 16 10 - 1:06pm

Don+Betty+Rome=YES PLZ!

Jul 16 10 - 3:21pm

Betty, the washing machine and Astrud Gilberto's "Agua de Beber" was one of the hottest scenes ever on TV.

Jul 16 10 - 11:51pm

What about the scene where Bobbie tries to blackmail Don, and he pushes her against a table, and sticks a hand up her dress? Hottest scene in mad men history, I'm disappointed you guys missed it! It was on my DVR for weeks ;)

Jul 17 10 - 2:18am

Betty and the washing machine. No one ever acknowledges female masturbation so it was surprising and hot. So hot.

Jul 17 10 - 12:34pm

They refer to that scene in the other Don/Bobbie scene on the list.

Jul 17 10 - 1:55pm

Along the lines of Betty and the washing machine, what about Peggy and the 'stress reduction' device she takes home to try out. Her reaction to turning it on was priceless.

Jul 23 10 - 3:17pm

I love sex...

Jul 24 10 - 8:53am

Betty and Captain Awesome was so hot.

Jul 17 11 - 12:14am
Mr. Awesome

Major props for calling him Captain Awesome.

Oct 19 10 - 12:51am

Don reeks sex. He's a cad and a scoundrel and a seriously damaged little soul, but he just does. something. right.

Nov 06 10 - 3:32pm

What do you think?

Feb 27 12 - 7:27am

very goood

Aug 09 11 - 2:44pm

"Agua de Beber" wasn't even written until 1961, and the Astrud Gilberto version that is playing in this scene wasn't recorded and released until 1965. Sexy as it may be, the bossa movement was a major part of the 60's and definitely didn't hit until the mid-60's and is DEFINITELY an anachronism.

Oct 14 11 - 4:48am

I find Pete Campbell (the character, not so much Kartheiser) insufferably sexy. I would WRECK that bitch.

Jan 02 12 - 1:15pm

How in the hell can you not include the scene where Don asks the hooker to hit him while they are fucking?!?! I'm disappointed.

Mar 14 12 - 5:26pm

That wasn't sexy, that was just pitiful. Don feeling sorry for himself and wanting to be punished.

May 23 12 - 5:33am

i need to have my so long with a senior lady