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How 'Game of Thrones' Invaded Our Sex Lives

From parody porn to a real-life Littlefinger's brothel, ever since 'Game of Thrones' first aired, businesses and websites have been racing to make viewers' fantasies real.
June 15, 2016, 4:30pm

One of many candlelit sex scenes from 'Game of Thrones.' Image via HBO

This post originally appeared on VICE UK.

Once upon a time, having sex to a backdrop of dragons and swords and humanoid ice creatures was something that happened within the pages of a paperback you'd never admit to reading. But ever since HBO's Game of Thrones entered our lives in 2011, millions of people around the world have been regularly exposed to just that: men and women in medieval armor and natty beige rags fucking by candlelight.

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Considering the unprecedented mainstream appetite for what is most definitely a fantasy show, the idea that Game of Thrones "has made nerds of us all" is one that stands up. But what about its effect on our own fantasies? In the same way that Fifty Shades of Gray brought BDSM to the masses, andTwilight inspired reams of fan-fic about sexually awakened wolves, has GoT given us permission to get off to "tits and dragons"?

A rudimentary Google search for "Game of Thrones sex" would point to the answer: yes, absolutely. You need only count the number of reputable media outlets offering montages of every sex scene from every single season. Also telling is what's going on over at PornHub: Recent stats revealed that the site saw a steady rise in GoT-related searches in the days before the season six premiere, peaking at a 370 percent increase the day the first episode aired. During that hour-long episode, however, there was a 4 percent dip in traffic—which might seem like a drop in the ocean, but considering PornHub has 60 million daily users, that's more than just a handful of off-duty onanists.

Now, HBO is taking legal action against PornHub for breach of copyright, after it transpired that clips from the show had been uploaded to the site.

A scene from the 'Game of Thrones' porn parody 'This Ain't Game of Thrones XXX.' Image via Hustler

But fear not: There is much more GoT-related porn to be found elsewhere; given the success and content of GoT, porn parodies abound. However, none are as sophisticated and dedicated to detail as Storm of Kings XXX Parodyfrom Brazzers. True, some of the acting is as wooden as the props, and it's filmed in Hereford, England, but with a good eight to ten minutes given over to storyline in each of the four episodes, there's no doubt Brazzers is taking the fantasy world seriously.

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"I think we were all a little hesitant about making a Game of Thrones parody at first," explains writer and director Dick Bush (yes, yes) over email. "There had been some versions before, and I think we all decided if we were going to make one it had to have an epic feel to it."

What, then, does Bush feel is so compelling about the sex in Game of Thrones?

"The sexuality in GoT is relatively new to the TV world, and I think it's definitely brought it into the mainstream—but that's only because of how good the writing, acting, and production is," he says. "Without that, it would probably remain being seen as 'nerdy.' In a similar way, if we can make a porn series that stands out above the rest, then maybe we can bring porn into a mainstream, too. I think we're in the middle of a huge revolution in that area."

A scene from 'Storm of Kings XXX Parody.' Image via Brazzers

Question is: Is our appetite for Westeros-inspired shagging strong enough to make us shut down our laptops, pull our hands out of our pants, and try out some of these role-plays for real?

There's no doubt the UK's cosplay scene is in ruder health than ever before, with more and more Comic Cons popping up all over the country. Gary Burns, the European PR for MCM Expo Group, estimates that around 75 to 80 percent of visitors who attend the MCM Comic Con events are in costume. However, that's not to say cosplayers are finding a quiet corner of the expo center and ripping one another's Etsy-bought costumes off. At least, not all of them—it's a family event, after all.

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"There probably are some inappropriate costumes," says Burns. "I suppose it's similar to Glastonbury in that sense—parents have to be a bit sensible. The bigger our show gets, the more like a festival it gets. There's certainly weird and wonderful behavior, but, on the whole, they play very nicely together."

In Nevada, meanwhile, Denis Hof—the owner of legal brothel the Bunny Ranch—has come up with what can only be described as an absolute no-brainer.

"Every Sunday, I invite the girls to my house for a Game of Thrones watching party, and the storylines often end up carrying over into our bedroom activities," he said in a press release. "We enjoy having our own afterparty, and I want to share that experience with the clients of my brothels who also happen to be fans of the show."

So there you go: Littlefinger's bordello will soon exist IRL, complete with role-play, a BDSM dungeon, and "walks of shame."

But despite the proliferation of Game of Thrones–themed sex toys and paraphernalia available—dragon dildos, his 'n' hers chainmail loin cloths, an Iron Throne made of silicon dicks—it appears that any fantasy fun in the UK is still taking place behind closed doors.

"I go to a lot of events, and I haven't seen any outfits looking any more particularly medieval than before," says Alex, organizer of London fetish night Camden Crunch. "There's been a lot of new blood in the last ten years on the fetish scene, and I think things like the film Secretary and Fifty Shades of Gray have had far more influence than something like GoT or any other TV shows."

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Historically, popular culture has long helped lubricate people's imaginations when it comes to exploring their sexuality. "It's always been the way—look at Marlon Brando and his original use of butter; that had a huge impact on audiences in the 1970s," says Daniel Sevitt, chief communications officer for Whiplr, an app that connects people with the same fetishes and kinks. "I think, throughout modern culture, we've seen things that have started on film and sparked people's curiosity. From a role-pay perspective, there's a lot in GoT to love and like and bring into the world. But I'm not sure it's the way into kink. It's not going to get you very far in the club."

So people might not (yet) be heading to Torture Garden trussed up in medieval garb, but what the show has encouraged is a conversation around sex that —in the UK and elsewhere—we're consistently terrible at having. For all the controversial instances of gratuitous and unnecessary sexual violence, the show also offers depictions of sexuality rarely seen on a primetime TV show.

"I'm always pleased to see more sex on telly, because I think we're so crap at talking about it," says sex blogger Girl on the Net. "As a society, we're still kind of stuck in this idea that sex is either dirty or hilarious. Actually, it's just a fun thing that most of us do, and we should be more grown-up in talking about it.

"I suspect GoT is, especially for younger people today, what [the BBC's adaptation of the novel] Moll Flanders was to me back in the 1990s: the first time you've really seen boobs or sex on telly. There are definitely people who will watch it and go, 'Yeah, this is inspiring.' Whether or not the mainstream is getting dressed up as one of the Unsullied, I'm not sure. But the more sex—especially the more varied sex—we get on telly, the more we can have those conversations, and if you like something, then try and recreate it."

Follow Olivia Marks on Twitter.