Yes, we know sex sells. It always has and always will.
And video games are hardly the only industry that benefits from it. Just put "sex" or "nude" in any headline online and it's bound to get attention. It gives you an idea of the mentality of the masses but hey, it's a sad yet accepted truth.
What worries me is that it seems to be that much more prevalent – and that much more embarrassing – in the video game culture. Most of the time, whenever a new "sex and games" headline shows up, the responses paint a picture of what we all hoped had started to disappear: The repressed, egocentric, childish, and even downright twisted group that is so commonly associated with nerds who live in their parents' basements.
So, of course, the hottest Lara Croft cosplays shoots up to #1 at N4G and gets a ton of attention. It takes virtually no effort to get clicks, despite so many gamers vehemently claiming they don't respond to "click bait," as they call it. They do all the time and they continue to do it, which is why it works. As I said above, this sort of predictability does exist in other industries, but not to the same depressing level (I don't think). This is a big reason why a lot of females still feel discriminated against in the industry: Male gamers seem to always come across as sex-starved, low-IQ idiots.
It's not helping our cause any, I can tell you that.