The inclusion of a sex scene in Mass Effect led to some controversy and inaccurate rumours of the game being pornographic in nature. An additional message that can be found in Asteroid X57's pirate radio shack (in the PC version of Bring Down the Sky) may be a "response" to this controversy.
Mass Effect was banned in Singapore for a short time before it was lifted with an M18 rating.
Completing the romance subplot unlocks the Paramour Achievement.
If Shepard helps the asari consort Sha'ira to stop Septimus from spreading lies and subsequently proving her innocence to Xeltan, Sha'ira will offer a reward of words upon returning to the Consort's Chambers, "an affirmation of who you are and who you will become".
If the Commander expresses dissatisfaction with the offered reward, Sha'ira will initiate a sexual encounter with Shepard.
However, pursuing this action will not grant the Paramour Achievement.
The conditions for importing a love interest, however, are seemingly arbitrary as consummation is not necessary, and apparent rejection of a love interest may not prevent it.
It is not possible to break up with a romance interest that has carried over.
If a romance interest is carried over, a picture of Shepard's romantic interest from the original Mass Effect is visible on the desk in the Commander's quarters near the private terminal.
Commander Shepard has the option to pursue heterosexual romantic involvement with a human squad member — male Shepard with Ashley Williams, female Shepard with Kaidan Alenko — or xenophilic romance for either gender with the asari squad member, Liara T'Soni.
Regardless of gender, Shepard can also have a sexual encounter with Sha'ira, an asari consort.