What's The Sexiest Setting For A Period Piece?

An experiment in temporal sexology — HBO, call us. 

by Dustin Bird

The period piece is a time-honored cinematic tradition. But no two time periods are created equal, and let's face it, some are just sexier than others. With that in mind, we will now address the predominant issue of our own time: which time period is the sexiest? The answer may surprise you, although we have to imagine the question has also surprised you.

 

13. The 1980s
Notable examples: American Psycho, Wall Street, The Iron Lady, Monster, Rules of Attraction, The Wedding Singer
Reagan. Thatcher. Crack cocaine. AIDS. Huey Lewis. Good luck keeping it hard/moist now. Also, nearly every film on this list features detached/debauched/just plain bad sex. And shoulder pads.

 

12. The 18th Century
Notable Examples: Treasure Island, Casanova, Amadeus, The Duchess, The Patriot, Pirates of the Caribbean
So many powdered wigs. And so, so much syphilis. Oh, and if you're at sea, scurvy. Now, I know what you're thinking: "But the corsets!" Yes, the corsets. You'll enjoy five years, tops, of great cleavage, before your organs are compressed to nothingness or you die of consumption. Probably both. Verrrrrry sexy.

 

11. World War I
Notable Examples: Titanic, Doctor Zhivago, All Quiet on the Western Front, Lawrence of Arabia, Love in the Time of Cholera, Downton Abbey
All of the inequality, death, and disease of a past era, none of the internet, prophylactics, or breathable fabrics of this one. This is one of cinema's "bummer eras:" all entertainment set in this time period suggests that if you weren't diseased or being massacred, you were staring moon-eyed out of a window fretting about your arranged marriage.

 

10. The Middle Ages
Notable Examples: King Arthur, Beowulf, Robin Hood, A Knight's Tale, Game of Thrones
Incest, ogre-sex, The Crusades — this was a rough time to be getting laid. Though Game of Thrones certainly has its steamy moments, and there's a lot of doe-eyed Tristan and Isolde romanticism, I don't know too many people who really wish they were getting laid during a time period whose highlight reel included the Black Plague.

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