geralt in bathtub

Video games do many things well. Intimacy is not one of them. While developers around the planet have perfected the art of using modern technology to render decapitations, headshots, dismemberments, and explosions, in-game love scenes still tend to look like a toddler smashing two Barbie dolls together (there’s totally a game about that, by the way).

Still, every now and then, an in-game love scene travels far beyond the uncanny valley, delivering an experience that’s awkward, gross, hilarious, misguided, or all of the above — kind of like sex itself can be. If you’re looking for evidence that video games are the next great artistic medium, you won’t find it here. If you want to cringe and turn yourself off of sex forever, well, you’re in the right place.

Grand Theft Auto 5—Digitally complicit

Poppy Mitchell

The "Grand Theft Auto" series’ relationship with sex — particularly with regards to women — has been problematic since the very beginning, but for the most part, you can ignore the series’ less savory elements if you so choose. Despite what critics claim, you don’t have to run over prostitutes in your car, or visit the in-game strip clubs, or hack your copy of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" to partake in the shoddy, half-finished, and controversial "Hot Coffee" minigame.

If you want to get 100% in "Grand Theft Auto V," however, you have to complete "The Sex Tape," a mission in which the skeezy paparazzo hires Franklin to film a sex scene between starlet (and alleged Lindsay Lohan doppelganger) Poppy Mitchell and one of her co-stars. Not only does "Grand Theft Auto V" force you to watch a disinterested Poppy do the deed while she plays on her smartphone, but you’ll do so through a camera lens.

It’s an intentionally gross scene—that’s kind of the series’ M.O.—and it’s made much worse by the fact that you’re basically committing a digital sex crime. In the wake of the past few years’ worth of celebrity photo leaks, the mission goes from skeevy to downright cringe-worthy. "Grand Theft Auto V" is a great game, but sometimes it goes too far. Once you get that Platinum Trophy, you’ll be happy that you won’t have to play this quest ever again.

Dragon Age: Inquisition—Too much information

Iron Bull

Iron Bull isn’t actually a bull, but he’s named after one, looks like one, and is um, built like one, and if your Inquisitor manages to strike up a romance with the Qunari mercenary (or just flirts with him enough that he offers you a personal bull ride — yes, seriously), he won’t let you forget it. Before Iron Bull and your Inquisitor do the deed, he’ll offer you a chance to back out, claiming that you don’t know what you’re in for. In Iron Bull’s sex scenes, a black box covers his, ahem, gifts—and if the size of the censor bar is any indication, he’s not all talk, either. In fact, BioWare’s designers actually crafted a detailed set of genitals for Iron Bull, although hackers claim that the model was changed for the final game.

Other characters bring up Iron Bull’s size, too, asking "How can you walk?" after a successful sex scene. During one scene, the Inquisitor’s entire staff wanders into the room while Iron Bull is nude, and they see everything — and are appropriately embarrassed and impressed at the same time. Iron Bull is a great character, and his romance scenes are some of the most interesting (and funniest) in the game, but c’mon. He’s big. We get it.

At least Iron Bull is shameless no matter who he’s sleeping with. If you choose not to pursue an Iron Bull romance, he’ll hook up with the mage, Dorian, and has no qualms telling you all about it. While on missions, he teases Dorian about losing his underwear in Iron Bull’s bedroom. He tells you that Dorian sets things on fire when he gets aroused. Dorian isn’t thrilled about his boyfriend’s candor, and honestly, neither are we. Whatever you do in private is fine, Bull, but not everyone needs to hear about it.

Stick Shift—Caught in the act

Stick Shift play

In Robert Yang’s "Stick Shift," players have to rub a driver’s hand up and down a car’s gear stick (not a euphemism) while cruising through the city streets. As your car gets more and more excited, the engine revs, and you need to switch gears to keep the momentum going. Eventually, the car goes into overdrive, the driver’s eyes start glowing, and—most of the time—the game ends with fluid leaking from the vehicle’s tailpipe.

The premise isn’t what makes the game’s autoerotic love scenes uncomfortable. "Stick Shift" is weird and funny, but it’s also extremely well-made and surprisingly intense. It’s also grossly unsatisfying about half of the time. In "Stick Shift," there’s a 48% chance that a police car will pull the player over right as the car kicks into high gear, interrupting the action right before the climax.

It’s a jarring and unsettling violation, and that’s entirely by design. According to studies that Yang sites in his artist’s notes, "of the LGBT violence survivors who interacted with police, 48% reported that they had experienced police misconduct." Getting pulled over in "Stick Shift" doesn’t just feel like being walked in on during an intimate moment, either. If the police catch you and give you a ticket — even though you’re not actually doing anything wrong — you won’t be able to play the game for 10 minutes. If you protest by blowing the officers a kiss, the cops will add another 10 minutes onto your sentence.

The game’s police officers don’t just interrupt some good, old-fashioned man-on-car sexytimes. They’re actually physically oppressive. It’s not fun, but it’s not supposed to be — and that’s what makes "Stick Shift" so, so good.

Bachelor Party—That’s not how this works

Almost as long as there have been video games, there have been video games about sex. "Bachelor Party," which came out for the Atari 2600 in 1982, isn’t the earliest game to feature digital lovemaking, but it’s one of the most blatant examples of just how wrong the medium gets, well, everything.

"Bachelor Party" is a fairly basic "Breakout" knock-off, except that the ball is replaced by a naked man and the bricks are naked women. When the man and the woman collide, they have sex. You know this because the man goes from erect to limp, and doesn’t recover until he hits the paddle, which represents a bottle of the all-natural aphrodisiac Spanish Fly (the dude also loses his enthusiasm when he collides with the wall, which makes sense, because ouch).

This is uncomfortable for a few reasons. For one, smashing two bodies violently into each other isn’t exactly how copulation works. For another, even if it was biologically correct, it sounds incredibly painful. There’s also the whole exploitation factor—which, given the game’s primitive graphics, is more embarrassing than titillating—and the fact that, by the way, that much Spanish Fly would literally kill a person.

To top it all off, just think: somewhere out there, there’s bound to be an ’80s kid who learned everything he knows about sex from playing "Bachelor Party." Can you imagine what’d be like once he enters the real world? What happens when he goes to an actual bachelor party? Awkward.

Dante’s Inferno—Seduced by a dead woman

Cleopatra

Cleopatra may not have been as beautiful as Helen of Troy, but she must’ve had her charms. After all, she was able to seduce both Julius Caesar and one of his immediate successors, Marc Antony. From all accounts, any man would’ve been lucky to have her — while she was still alive, at least.

In "Dante’s Inferno," Visceral Games’ take on Dante Alighieri’s "Divine Comedy," the titular poet-turned-soldier finds that out the hard way. While roaming through Hell, Dante runs into the deceased Egyptian queen while exploring the Inferno’s second Circle, Lust. It doesn’t go well for either of them. Cleopatra raises a Carnal Tower to block Dante’s progress, and in response, Dante climbs to the very top and kills Marc Antony, who’s trapped in Hell alongside his one-time lover.

In a last-gasp attempt to save her life, Cleopatra jumps into Dante’s arms and tries to seduce him, running his hand over her chest and moaning seductively. For some reason, Dante doesn’t accept. Maybe it’s Cleopatra’s bloody eye shadow. Maybe it’s the scars around her mouth. Maybe it’s her cold, lifeless flesh, or maybe Dante just isn’t attracted to dead women who just tried to kill him. Whatever the case, Dante thrusts his blade into Cleopatra (phallic much?) and she fades away, moaning the whole time.

God of War: Ghost of Sparta—Where everyone can see you

Kratos helps up

Kratos is a manly man. You know he’s a manly man because he kills things and has sex. Lots and lots of sex. The "God of War" series has rightly received a fair amount of criticism for its sex scenes, which present women as trophies to be won (and, honestly, ones that Kratos doesn’t even have to fight too hard for) and which boil intercourse down to a decidedly unsexy button-pushing minigame.

But even among the franchise’s over-the-top tributes to Kratos’ virility, the orgy scene in "God of War: Ghost of Sparta" stands out. As Kratos strides into Sparta, a bevy of attractive women lure him into a bedroom. He throws two of them onto the bed, and gets to work. With every button press, another woman joins in the action. Before long, they’re arriving in pairs. Eventually, players just mash the circle button as fast as they can, while the game’s audio track devolves into moans and the sound of a creaking bed.

Oh, and by the way, "Ghost of Sparta" launched on the PlayStation Portable. This is a game that was designed to be played in public. If you don’t want the world to know that you’re enjoying a virtual orgy, maybe give "Ghost of Sparta" a pass—or, for the love of Zeus, at least put on a pair of headphones.

The 11th Hour—Consumed by your lover

Monster lady

A traditional date goes something like this: a nice dinner, a movie, and then, if things go well, up to someone’s apartment for some "coffee." In "The 11th Hour," it’s more like: investigate your girlfriend’s disappearance, track her down to a house owned by a demonic toy-maker, sleep with a seductive stranger, and then have your insides grilled and eaten.

"The 11th Hour" is a sequel to the early ’90s adventure game "The 7th Guest," which used the then-brand-new CD-ROM technology to mix puzzles with horror movie-inspired full-motion video. Like its predecessor, "The 11th Hour" asks players to wander around Henry Stauf’s mansion, uncovering the mystery of what exactly happened there in the past. The plot is convoluted and confusing, especially if you haven’t played the first game, but for our purposes, there’s really only one thing that you need to know.

After the protagonist, an investigative reporter named Carl Denning, solves most of the mansion’s mysteries, he’s forced to choose between three women. Samantha, one of Stauf’s victims, promises that she’ll end Stauf’s reign of terror for good. Robin, Carl’s girlfriend, appeals to Carl’s emotions. Marie, who is attractive, offers sex.

Choosing Samantha leads to the "good" ending, but choosing Marie results in the fun one. Marie leads Carl to the bedroom and they start making out, but before they start bumping uglies, Marie transforms into Stauf, rips off his wig, and starts munching on a plate of ribs.As it turns out, the ribs are Carl’s (when exactly they were removed and barbecued isn’t totally clear), and the game ends with Stauf chowing down and laughing.

The Sims—Every action has a consequence

Ghost running away

Sims don’t make love, they make WooHoo. See, when two Sims love each other very much, they’ll retreat to the bedroom for some decidedly PG-13 related shenanigans. Like pretty much everything else in the Sims, the love scenes are cartoony and endearing. It’s what happens afterwards that’s so uncomfortable.

For example, in "The Sims 2," if WooHoo leads to conception, your Sims don’t even have time to roll over and light a cigarette before a special sound plays, signaling a baby’s imminent arrival. Whether you’re trying to get your Sims pregnant or not, it completely kills the mood. Things get worse, too. If you don’t conceive (or just decide that WooHoo is kind of fun), you can make them go at it again. And again. And again. In fact, if you’re not careful, your Sims can die of exhaustion after over-exerting themselves in the bedroom, which isn’t something that most people find all that sexy (if you do, please leave it to yourself).

However, in "The Sims," death isn’t necessarily the end of the line. In a special feature that’s sure to make Dan Aykroyd proud, ghosts in "The Sims 3" can get pregnant, too, and sometimes even give birth to adorable little ghost babies, just to bring everything full-circle.

DmC: Devil May Cry

dmc devil may cry mundus sex

"DmC: Devil May Cry" was a huge departure from the franchise. The game sported a new developer and a new attitude. These changes were controversial for many fans, but plenty of critics agree that the meat of the game (i.e., the action) is stylishly on point. Plus, this black sheep of an entry gave audiences many firsts for the series, including a love scene that’s uncomfortable by design.

Since Dante is as friendly as a cactus in "DmC," the duty of lovemaking falls to the game’s main antagonist, Mundus. After Dante kills Mundus’ succubus — an ugly, foul-mouthed monster who pukes up demonic soda ingredients — the game decides to catch up with Mundus while he’s in the middle of…violent passion.

During the cutscene, Mundus makes love to his "wife" Lilith so violently that his lair shakes, and pictures of him rubbing elbows with politicians and stockbrokers bounce around the walls. But if that’s not uncomfortable enough, Mundus’ mood is ruined by a psychic telegram stating Dante killed the succubus. Players get to see the aftermath of Mundus’ lovemaking: Lilith can’t walk straight, and the act was so rough that her taut face has slipped off its foundations and warped considerably.

Admittedly, the love scene is short, but it is meant to be uncomfortable and gets that message across without lingering on any explicit details. Then again, Lilith assumed that Mundus stopped because he was thinking about his succubus, which implies he might have also done the deed with her. That’s a love scene nobody needs to see.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

witcher 3 wild hunt geralt yennefer unicorn sex

The "Witcher" series has a long and complicated relationship with love scenes. In "The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings," the players — and by extension Geralt — were pretty much limited to Triss Merigold and the occasional prostitute, while in the first title, audiences were encouraged to sleep with as many NPCs as possible to collect nude trading cards. "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" is more like the second game, but with the added bonus of awkward love scenes between Geralt and his original love, Yennefer.

When Geralt finally catches up with Yennefer in "The Witcher 3," they decide to talk about all the ways they could make love to each other…while at a funeral, because not even the dour mood of a graveyard can dampen their libido. And when they finally have time alone, they decide to spend their evening (surprise, surprise) making love to each other. Yennefer suggests they spice it up with an idea that is just as awkward for Geralt as it is for viewers.

If players pick the correct dialogue choices in the game’s prologue, Geralt will mention a stuffed unicorn that they once used as a bed. Judging by his tone, Geralt wasn’t too thrilled Yennefer kept it around, and when he finally makes love to her, we can see why — she wants to commemorate their long-awaited meeting on the unicorn. While Geralt doesn’t like the unorthodox (and uncomfortable) love bed, he goes along with it. The things some people will do for love…and sex.

Far Cry 3

far cry 3 bad ending sex sacrifice

Ubisoft has used "Far Cry 3" as a blueprint for almost a decade. Subsequent entries in the franchise have copied virtually every aspect of the game, from its gunplay to its open world exploration. The only aspect that wasn’t recycled was the binary choice ending, possibly because "Far Cry 3" players had to pick between a heroic rescue and an uncomfortable love scene.

At the end of "Far Cry 3," players are offered a dagger and a choice: save the main character’s friends (i.e., why the protagonist became a gun-toting badass in the first place) or sacrifice them for the "warrior goddess" Citra Talugami. If players decide to kill the friends, the protagonist slits their throats, and the game immediately shifts from that scene to uncomfortably up-close sex.

The sudden love scene unfolds from the protagonist’s perspective, so players are treated to every moment of it; they can even hear the act in visceral detail. The result is disorienting and uncomfortable because it is as in-your-face as Citra’s chest, which has been painted in tribal tattoos for the occasion. And just when you think it’s over, Citra shows her true colors (as if asking someone to kill his friends wasn’t clue enough) and kills the protagonist by shoving the sacrificial dagger into his heart.

You can’t make a love scene more awkward than by ending it with murder.

Heavy Rain

heavy rain ethan madison romance sex

"Heavy Rain" is a narrative-driven title in which players have to pass a series of tests that wouldn’t be out of place in a "Saw" film to save the son of one of the game’s protagonists, Ethan Mars. One such task involves killing a stranger, Brad Silver. Succeed, and Ethan is devastated that he became a murderer to save his son. Fail, and Ethan is distraught because he potentially lost his son. It’s a lose-lose situation for Ethan’s psyche, so what better cure than mood-whiplash love?

Since "Heavy Rain" focuses on player choices, not every character will make it through to the end, including side character Madison Paige. But, if players can keep her alive, she will visit Ethan after his encounter with Brad, and players can kiss her. If they do, one of the most awkward love scenes ever plays out.

What begins as a kiss (during which Ethan and Madison open their mouths almost to the point of dislocating their jaws) evolves into furious lovemaking where they strip each other down. But this isn’t a cutscene. Since "Heavy Rain" is a Quantic Dream title, every scene is an interactive quick time event. In other words, players need to hold down the left and right triggers while moving the analog stick in a semicircle to unlatch Madison’s bra. And if that wasn’t uncomfortable enough, Ethan and Madison breath and moan loudly during the event, as if their voice actors recorded their sounds by kissing their microphones.

Despite intentions to the contrary, the love scene in "Heavy Rain" comes across as the world’s worst ASMR video and is probably a good argument for getting rid of Madison as soon as possible.

Wolfenstein: The New Colossus

Sigrun singing

In the world of "Wolfenstein," fighting Nazis isn’t just a full-time job; it’s a family business. Throughout the "Wolfenstein" reboot series, players catch William "B.J." Blazkowicz and Anya Oliwa in the act, and the fruits of their labor take centerstage in the somewhat contentious "Wolfenstein: Youngblood." However, Anya and B.J. aren’t the only ones to let love bloom on the battlefield.

In "Wolfenstein: The New Order," Blazkowicz relies on a small team of allies that grows in the sequel, "The New Colossus." One of the sequel’s new members, Sigrun Engel, is the daughter of the game’s primary antagonist. Because Sigrun is connected with the Nazi war machine’s upper echelons by blood, only B.J. trusts her at first, but eventually other allies come around to Sigrun, most notably Bombate. He develops a relationship with Sigrun behind the scenes, which culminates in the cinematic that kicks off the New Orleans mission.

Since the city is surrounded by an impenetrable wall on one side and a forest of undersea mines on the other, the characters decide to sneak in via minisub — but when they are about to embark, they notice the sub rocking to and fro. The cause, of course, is Bombate and Sigrun making love. They are too busy to notice everyone staring at them at first, but when they do, it’s an awkward moment for everybody.

To be fair, this love scene is short and uncomfortable by design, but it demonstrates that even though the game’s characters make a booming business out of Nazi-killing, they understand that the sins of the mother are not the sins of the daughter.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

Battle with underpants gnomes

Usually, love scenes are relegated to cutscenes, but the brains behind "South Park" figured out how to turn one into an uncomfortable — and hilarious — boss battle.

Part way through the campaign of "South Park: The Stick of Truth," the main character catches a troupe of underpants gnomes doing what they do best: stealing underpants. So, they shrink the protagonist down to their size and take the fight to his parent’s bedroom, who are in the middle of raucous lovemaking. Not only are players forced to watch the protagonist’s parents flop around in the throes of passionate (and intentionally overblown) sex, but since the main character is the size of an underpants gnome, the sounds of the act thunder and echo throughout the fight. But the game isn’t done yet.

"South Park: The Stick of Truth" caps off the sequence with a boss battle against the gnome warlock on the parents’ bed…while they are still having sex. Players basically have to fight their way through the mission while dodging their parents’ various unmentionables. The entire segment is as uncomfortable as it sounds, but it’s so intentionally over the top that you can’t stop yourself from laughing at the vulgarity of it all.

Ride to Hell: Retribution

ride to hell retribution lady

"GTA" ripoff "Ride to Hell: Retribution" is a very bad game. Heck, it would probably be the worst video game of all time if "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" for the Atari 2600 didn’t already own that crown. And of course it shoehorns in equally horrendous love scenes.

Now, for those who never heard of "Ride to Hell: Retribution," the game revolves around Jake Conway, a Vietnam veteran-turned biker who wages a one-man war on the motorcycle gang that killed his brother. Occasionally, Jake takes time out of his bloody warpath to save women from hasslers – and they reward him with sex.

Each love scene is as jarring as they are sudden. Jake and these random women start bumping into each other with all the grace and emotion of Barbie dolls. The characters always make love with their clothes on, resulting in horrible clipping issues, and are accompanied by bizarre music. Sometimes, the characters even do the deed on furniture that Jake covered in biker blood not five seconds earlier. However, most egregious of all, these love scenes are just plain offensive. Women only exist in "Ride to Hell: Retribution" to act as damsels in distress who happily bump uglies with the first man who rescues them.

Not only is "Ride to Hell: Retribution" a serious contender for the worst game of all time, it is also a contender for having the worst and most offensive love scenes in any video game, both for its execution and deplorable depiction of women.