Sex scenes, we’ve seen a few. The first times that seldom bear resemblance to anyone’s real first time. The quick-my-wife-is-out-of-town humpfests that turn us on and off at the same time. The perfect lighting and unrealistic, synchronized orgasms. They make it all look so easy, don’t they?
Not that we’re complaining. A great cinematic sex scene can really get us going, even if it involves positions straight out of Cirque du Soleil. Who doesn’t feel a little warm when “Take My Breath Away” comes on? Who else believes that Michael Douglas must be able to make a woman (or Matt Damon) orgasm from 10 feet away?
Next time you and bae are looking for a little sexual inspiration, consider consulting one of these steamy scenes. Try not to pull a muscle.
My Summer of Love (2004)
One of Emily Blunt’s earliest films is this drama exploring the budding lesbian relationship between two friends.
Kama Sutra (1997)
You can’t name a film after the quintessential guide to love-making and have it be dull. This Mira Nair film definitely lives up to its sexy name.
300: Rise of an Empire (2014)
As Artemisia and Themistocles, Eva Green and Sullivan Stapleton get very, very rough. Pretty sure we know where he really wants to plant his sword.
On The Road (2012)
If two-on-one make-outs turn you on, take a gander at this threesome situation unfolding between Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, and Sam Riley.
Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett’s characters tiptoe around their relationship for quite some time, but things finally get sexual during a pit stop at a motel room.
A rollercoaster and The Sundays’ cover of “Wild Horses” make Nicole’s (Reese Witherspoon) first sexual experience pretty freaking fantastic. Pity her boyfriend (Mark Wahlberg) is a total monster.
Shakespeare in Love(1998)
Anyone who’s really pored over Shakespeare knows that he loved a good sex joke. Here, the famous scribe (played by Joseph Fiennes) actually gets to enjoy a wee romp in yonder sheets with Gwyneth Paltrow’s cross-dressing Viola.
Pretty Woman (1999)
The poor pianist who had to tickle those ivories the next day could not be reached for comment.
This steamy scene between Keira Knightley and Aaron Taylor-Johnson should make you regret not paying more attention to Tolstoy in school.
Current marrieds Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz didn’t start dating until 15 years after filming this explosive sex scene. Also: How hilarious is the reaction of the other café patrons?
The Roommate (2011)
Technically, Leighton Meester and Danneel Harris are only kissing here, but there’s something so erotic about their lip gloss banter and eagerness to take things to the next level.
American Gigolo (1980)
Richard Gere’s male escort Julian must get paid by the hour, because this is the slowest, most painstakingly choreographed sex we’ve ever witnessed. He and Lauren Hutton are just so pretty, though.
Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez demonstrate the undeniable power of soggy make-up sex.
Our Uber driver would not stand for this. By the way, Vincent Perez’s character also has an affair with Éliane’s (Catherine Deneuve) adopted Vietnamese daughter, Camille. What’s French for super-messy?
A Perfect Murder (1998)
Captain Fantastic, indeed. Anyone else desperate for Viggo Mortensen to help them out with a cappuccino?
Julianne Moore plays a doctor who suspects her husband of having an affair. The only reasonable course of action is to hire a call girl (Amanda Seyfried) to test his faithfulness, and then have sex with her, too.
In which Jude Law and Nia Long copulate on a pool table, conveniently ignoring the fact that she’s his best friend’s girl, and that it’s impossible to walk away from this without a nasty case of felt burn.
Laurel Canyon (2002)
Nothing says awkward (but still kinda hot) like making out in the pool with your future mother-in-law and her boyfriend. Allow Kate Beckinsale, Frances McDormand, and Alessandro Nivola to show you how it’s done.
The Pillow Book (1996)
Guys, this one is really NSFW. Ewan McGregor’s notorious willy has a starring role in his sex scenes with leading lady Vivian Wu. Consider yourself warned… and a little tempted, right?
Risky Business (1983)
If you could not follow Rebecca De Mornay and Tom Cruise’s lead on the G train during rush hour, that’d be great.
Taking Lives (2004)
Look away, Brad. Watching Ethan Hawke force Angelina Jolie to suck on his fingers might be a little unsettling.
This extramarital tryst between Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston soon goes very, very badly. Still, there’s something about the wet hair and soggy shirts that makes their foreplay fun to watch.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
Though there’s no shortage of sex scenes in this film adaptation of Milan Kundera’s novel, it’s this interaction between Juliette Binoche and Lena Olin (as Tereza and Sabina, respectively) that feels the most intimate and sensual.
When your stalker accidentally drops the L word during swimming pool sex… and you already have a lovely girlfriend. Awkward. Take it away, Erika Christensen and Jesse Bradford.
This otherwise heart-wrenching drama includes this saucy striptease, which proves that inviting someone over for fish fingers is hotter than it sounds. Alas, you only get a snippet of the action between Michelle Williams and Ewan McGregor in this clip.
Think Taylor Swift will watch Tom Hiddleston’s spicy sex scene (complete with a bare bum) with Mia Wasikowska in this gothic thriller and wonder where things went wrong? The action gets underway at about the 4-minute mark.
Kill Your Darlings (2013)
As one YouTube commenter hilariously noted, “10 points to Gryffindor.” Former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe plays Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in this drama featuring one pretty intense love scene.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander basically jumps Mikael Blomkvist’s (Daniel Craig) bones in this saucy scene. Let’s hear it for girls on top.
Also known as Contracorriente, this Peruvian film captures the clandestine relationship between a married fisherman with a baby on the way and the dreamy artist he can’t resist.
When Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams talk about two rounds, they’re not really talking about boxing. Hot.
Nina Takes a Lover(1994)
Ladder sex can be risky. Then again, so is cheating on your husband with a tall, dark, and handsome photographer.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) say it best when they say nothing at all.
Out of Sight (1998)
If you like your conversation with a little more action, you’ll love this sex scene between bank robber Jack (George Clooney) and U.S. Marshal Karen (Jennifer Lopez).
Revolutionary Road (2008)
When they’re not squabbling and bemoaning their suburban existence, Frank and April Wheeler (dynamic duo Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) manage to squeeze in some hot sex on the kitchen counter.
Out of Time (2003)
Denzel Washington and Sanaa Lathan prove that you don’t have to take your clothes off to have a good time (oh no). You just need a strong back and a willingness to suffer a splinter or two.
Legends of the Fall (1994)
The hair. The bum. The name Tristan. Just overlook the fact that Julia Ormond (Susannah) went on to play Brad Pitt’s daughter in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
We definitely would have paid more attention in world history class if we’d known how steamy Marie Antoinette’s (Kirsten Dunst) sex life was. And yes, Jamie Dornan’s Axel von Fersen is infinitely sexier than Christian Grey.
There’s a thin line between love and hate. Briseis’ (Rose Byrne) attempt to kill Achilles (Brad Pitt) results in the two making sweet, gentle love.
In the 1995 documentary The Celluloid Closet, Susan Sarandon said the script originally called for her character to be drunk before having sex with Catherine Deneuve’s character. But, being Sarandon, she asked to have the script changed so she would only drink one glass of wine beforehand.
“You wouldn’t have to get drunk to bed Catherine Deneuve,” Sarandon says, in the doc. Clearly.
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
The sex scene between Daniel Day-Lewis and Gordon Warnecke is both comical — given the unsuspecting presence of the latter’s uncle — and erotic.
Top Gun (1986)
It’s cheesy, perhaps, but the sex scene between Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis still makes us weak in the knees. You can’t beat electric-blue lighting and synth beats.
The Lover (1992)
The sex scenes between Jane March (as the Young Girl) and Tony Leung Ka-fai (as the Chinese Man) were rumored to have been real, rather than simulated. March later dismissed the claims, but that doesn’t take away from their steaminess.
Set It Off (1996)
If you want to be more than friends, follow Jada Pinkett-Smith and Blair Underwood’s lead and bust out the full-body massage complete with oil and a chain necklace.
Stealing Beauty (1996)
What’s lovely about this scene is its sheer coming-of-age quality. Innocence is contrasted with desire, and Mazzy Star hums dreamily in the background.
Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon have two memorable sex scenes in this noir-style thriller. Pity Joe Pantoliano has to interrupt one of them.
Dangerous Beauty (1998)
Rufus Sewell and Catherine McCormack’s love scenes in this obscure historical drama about a courtesan and her lover still hold up nearly 20 years later.
A Walk on the Moon (1999)
God bless Viggo Mortensen and his commitment to performing cunnilingus on-screen.
Cruel Intentions (1999)
Making love to the tune of Counting Crows? Sounds weird, but it is actually perfect and a totally romantic soundtrack for those quiet, quick, afternoon delights.
Love & Basketball (2000)
Everyone should lose their virginity with Maxwell playing in the background. Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan perfectly capture those first-time jitters and still keep it sensual.
Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
This is both the plot’s literal and figurative climax. The tension between Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna peaks thanks to their mutual attraction to the effortlessly sensual Maribel Verdú. Sex, in this case, is a tool for personal growth rather than primal instinct. Get a hold of the full movie to enjoy; this scene is too hot for YouTube to handle.
Mulholland Drive (2001)
The problem with a straight man filming a lesbian sex scene is that it often feels exploitative. But Naomi Watts and Laura Harring’s chemistry is both tender and incredibly erotic. There is love, but also a whole helluva lot of lust.
Sex and Lucia(2001)
This very NSFW clip brings new meaning to the term “mud mask.” Go and rent the whole film; half of this Spanish drama starring Paz Vega is devoted to seriously steamy sex scenes.
8 Mile (2002)
This isn’t a sexy movie. But the in-your-face, raw desire between Eminem and Brittany Murphy is still hot as hell.
The Dreamers (2003)
If we could, we’d embed the entire movie here, because it’s one big sex scene. Instead, here’s a compilation of the most important moments in a movie of self-discovery through sex.
This brief moment is enough to doom the characters’ lives. Briony’s nosiness, jealousy, and naivety ruin the passion that’s been building between Cecilia and Robbie. Their entire relationship thrives off this scene. It’s their rock as much as it’s their demise. Despite all of this, the intensity of their desire is palpable.
Keira Knightley’s Duchess of Devonshire is only accustomed to the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am overtures of her husband. Lady Bess Foster (Hayley Atwell), who happens to be sleeping with the Duke, convinces the Duchess to take on a lover of her own by showing her just how sensual intercourse can be. What are friends for?
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
The threesome scene gets all the glory, but Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem’s frantic kissing is just as hypnotic. Just try to forget that Woody Allen was in the room.
Black Swan (2010)
Fun fact: This scene comes on an hour and nine minutes — a.k.a. 69 minutes — into the film. Aside from that, just uttering the phrase “Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis in bed together” brings to mind the naughtiest of thoughts. Sex and danger make for perilous but exciting partners; this scene is a testament to that.
Blue Valentine (2010)
Though this movie is anything but romantic, the sexual chemistry (when applicable) is on fire. It’s unfortunate that couldn’t save their relationship, but it is a testament to the incredible talents of Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling.
Free Fall (2013)
These two German cops can’t resist getting it on, even though one of them is living with his pregnant girlfriend. Warning: may inspire you to take up running.
The Spectacular Now (2013)
Forget that Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley now play brother and sister. As first-time lovers, they toe the line between awkwardness and intimacy in a beautiful, realistic-feeling way.
The Danish Girl(2015)
Before Einar (Eddie Redmayne) transitions into Lili, his lovemaking with wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander) sensually explores gender roles in the bedroom.
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