13 International Sex Documentaries on Netflix (February 2018)

International documentaries allow an intimate glimpse of other cultures. Each society interprets sexuality and sexual activity in different ways. These international sex documentaries will expand your knowledge of cross-cultural perspectives on love, sexuality, pornography, and sex work.

Here are 13 recommended international sex documentaries streaming on US Netflix as of February 21, 2018. Some are Netflix originals that will stick around, but watch the rest while you can, because content disappears as licensing agreements expire.

1. Whore’s Glory (2011)

Powerful and poignant documentary that examines the daily lives of prostitutes in Thailand, Bangladesh, and Mexico. Presents an unflinching look at the lives of these women without narration or commentary. It’s fascinating to observe differing attitudes towards sex work in each country. For example, the Thai prostitutes seem the most pragmatic and least conflicted about their work. The Bangladeshi scenes, in contrast, are particularly heartbreaking. The soundtrack is a little annoying, but still very much worth a watch.

2. My Online Bride (2014)

Compelling exposé of three British men’s experiences with the mail-order bride industry in Thailand and Ukraine. Utterly absorbing stories portrayed with empathy and humor. My only criticism is that it was so interesting I wish it had been longer!

3. Sex in the Comix (2012)

A short but enjoyable introduction to the international world of erotic comics. This French-produced documentary explores differing cultural takes on sex and sexuality through interviews with some of the leading artists worldwide in this genre.

4. Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On (2017)

This fascinating six-part documentary series about dating, sex and tech is mostly US-focused, but Episode 5 examines an LA cam girl’s close online relationship with a longtime fan in Australia. Cue extreme awkwardness when she travels Down Under to meet him in person.

5. Love Me! (2014)

Engaging documentary about the foreign bride industry in Ukraine, known as the “bride basket of the world.” Compassionately explores the perspectives of both the lonely Western men looking for love and the Ukrainian women and their families hoping for a better life. Does a great job of humanizing both sides.

6. Mostly Sunny (2016)

Tells the remarkable story of Sunny Leone, an Indo-Canadian pornographic actress who successfully transitioned to mainstream Bollywood stardom. The film reveals the contradictions of attitudes towards sexuality in India and in the overseas Indian community. As a result of her work in the adult film industry, Leone experiences conflict with her conservative family and is ostracized by the Indian community in her small Canadian hometown. Meanwhile, in prudish India Leone is hugely popular despite her porn-star past.

7. Strippers (2014)

Channel 4 documentary series that explores the personal and professional lives of strippers in Scotland’s three biggest cities. Fairly superficial but entertaining look at the world of lap-dancing clubs. Engaging interviews with the dancers about their personal histories and motivations for getting into the business. Thirty percent are from overseas, and it was particularly fascinating (and sad) to hear the stories of the foreign dancers. Loved the Scottish location shots and the accents, although I had to turn on subtitles for some of the dialogue, hehe!

8. 40 Year Old Virgins (2013)

Affecting tale of two virgins, a 29-year-old Irish woman and a 40-something British man, who embark on a radical course of sex therapy in the US with professional sex surrogates. Sensitively portrays the subjects’ bravery and determination as they travel across the pond to confront their fears of physical intimacy.

9. Rocco (2016)

Provocative behind-the-scenes account of legendary Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi’s final year in front of the camera. Interesting exploration of the influences of his family history, Catholic religion, and the Italian culture of machismo.

10. Escorts (2015)

Escorts - Netflix sex documentary

Explicit look at the escort scene in Britain, where prostitution is legal. Follows the daily lives of two high-priced call girls working in a posh neighborhood of London, and the effects of their lifestyle on their families. Short and somewhat superficial but worth a watch.

11. Virgin School (2007)

Touching story of a shy 26-year-old British virgin who enrolls in an intimacy program for sexually inexperienced men in Amsterdam. The program sensitively depicts some painfully awkward moments as it follows the young man’s emotional journey and growing confidence with women.

12. Revenge Porn (2015)

This UK documentary investigates the epidemic of online misogyny in the form of revenge porn. Interesting take on a serious subject, but too much focus on the presenter, who leaks her own nude selfies to a revenge porn site to document her experience.

13. Beauties of the Night (2016)

Poignant portrait of the vedettes, former queens of the racy Mexican burlesque scene. A compassionate examination of what the aging process means for women in a profession in which success is predicated on youthful beauty and erotic appeal.

Have more Netflix recommendations? Please share your suggestions in the comments.

All images © Netflix

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