Sex and culture are never far apart from each other, especially in the west, and especially in Hollywood. From Rudolph Valentino to Marilyn Monroe right up to Brad Pitt, Hollywood loves sex and it loves to sell sex. But which movies actually revealed, celebrated, or damned sex better than the rest? Any horror or teen flick can show flesh and blood, but sometimes the sex in a movie is the defining moment of a film, and certainly the most remembered. Here are scenes that went far beyond simple titillation and actually made the most out of sex in cinema.
The scenario is as old as marriage itself; mildly successful middle-aged man can’t satisfy his young nubile wife, but luckily the young, robust young man he just hired can. We all know it’s coming and we all aren’t surprised when it does, but HOW it’s done is violent, loud, intense, and unapologetic. Jack chases Jessica around a kitchen table fiercely grabbing at her until Jessica pulls away and with one small smile, sweeps the table clean and yells at Jack to “Come on then.” Which he does. According to Hollywood legend Jack and Jessica were very much attracted to each other and in this scene they “consummated” their attraction on camera and that is what appears in the final cut. To this day, neither has bothered to deny this.
Donald Sutherland & Julie Christie
A married couple is getting dressed to go out, and neither one seems to be that fashionable or that excited about wherever they have to be. But suddenly we are shown the lovemaking that just took place, and we know exactly where they shine as a couple. Blending the mundane with the exciting, this scene shows how sex connects two people in ways that nothing else in their lives does, especially after such a tragedy.
Jude Law & Rachel Weisz
Even in war, looking death straight in the face, we humans desperately want to live. Surrounded by wounded and dying soldiers, barely alive themselves, Jude Law and Rachel Weisz need what they can give each other more than ever. Holding each other tightly and moving slowly but deeply, their desire for each other and the sex becomes the one true weapon they have against the horrors surrounding them.
Michael Douglas & Sharon Stone
Sharon Stone uncrossing her legs may be the most famous scene from this infamous movie, but the sex between her and Douglas is intense and erotic in a way most movies wish they were. Femme Fatale has never been so fatal, and instead of just using sexuality and feminine wiles to lure men to their demise, Stone kills her men while actually having sex. After seeing what she can do with her body (as well as an icepick) it’s not hard to see why Douglas takes the risk again and again.
Tom Cruise & Rebecca De Mornay
I’m not a big fan of trains, but after this scene I sure was. The anticipation starts the moment a voice says “She wanted to make love on a real train”, and next thing we know, they are on a train, strictly for the purpose of rocking each others world. The humor and frustration that comes with waiting for the lone person still on the train with them to leave builds and builds until Cruise (and us) can no longer take it and, after getting rid of the one last obstacle, Cruise and De Mornay go for the ride of their lives, and we go with them.
Diego Luna & Gael Garcia Bernal & Ana López Mercado
Spending the entire movie living their own fantasy, Luna and Bernal rarely take the time to deal with the reality of their lives and the responsibilities they will soon have. Ana becomes their teacher, knowing they desire her and expect nothing more than a great time, she uses her experience both in and out of the bedroom to get them to grow up, while they in turn help Ana rediscover herself as an independent person. In the final sex scene, at their journey’s end, the three of them are changed people and give in to the love they all have for each other.
Billy Zane & Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman and her husband Sam Neill take off on in their sailboat for a jaunt around the tropics but soon run into Zane adrift on a deserted and sinking schooner. After taking Zane aboard he takes over their boat, abandons Sam Neill to the schooner, reveals that he killed the crew and is a wanted murderer, then sails away with Nicole Kidman as his captive. Thus begins one of the most terrifying and sexy thrillers of all time. Nicole Kidman’s wide-eyed innocence to Zane’s muscle and danger makes each scene they have together a sexually charged struggle for domination. Kidman uses her sexuality to entice, confuse, and distract Zane, who uses his charm and strength to keep Kidman on edge. When it all comes a head and Kidman realizes that she can’t escape him, it’s the most disturbing but exciting scene of sex ever captured on film. Fear and desire has never been so much fun to watch, and terrifying.
by Keith Watabayashi