The 10 Hottest Movie Sex Scenes Of All Time
From Secretary to X, these steamy film scenes will have you working up a sweat. 🥵
First times tend to be memorable, and that’s true for on-screen sex, too. Whether you grew up sneakily tuning into the HBO pay per view channel when your parents were asleep (uh, too specific?) or had the entire world wide web at your disposal, real on-screen chemistry makes an impact.
For starters, a hot movie sex scene requires so much more than stars taking their clothes off—in fact, neither nudity nor explicit sex are necessary. From a highly-anticipated kiss in Pump Up The Volume to the food play between Kōji Yakusho and Fukumi Kuroda in Tampopo, conventional sex isn’t required to get the blood pumping. What matters most is being able to empathize with the characters—feel their desire and longing—along with the pleasure it leads to.
And steamy films aren’t just useful for early sexual exploration, they can also spark new possibilities at every stage of life (raise your hand if you’ve ever received sex tips from a movie).
Whether you’re having a solo movie night or cuddling up with a partner(s), the right film can set the mood for sexy play, or simply start a conversation about things you’d like to try. After all, it’s a lot less scary to broach the topic of something new with an example to reference. Plus, texting hints about your favorite scenes can be an excellent icebreaker (wink-wink).
Next time you want to get all hot and bothered (or are simply looking for inspo), press play on these 10 best movie sex scenes:
10- Pump Up The Volume (1990)
1990s Christian Slater is reason enough to tune into this film, TBH.
In Pump Up The Volume, the sexiest scene is actually just a kiss—a kiss that almost doesn’t happen. It’s the will they or won’t they tension that makes the scene so tantalizing—it’s equal parts impossible and magical.
9- Raw (2016)
“Sexy” and “cannibalism” don’t often work in the same sentence—maybe not even in the same paragraph. But this French coming-of-age film defies all expectations. The symbolism in the movie isn’t always subtle, but it works. And the curiosity and desire for flesh—both sexual and otherwise—is far more relatable than it should be, thanks to Raw‘s skilled filmmakers.
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8- Belle de Jour (1967)
Directed by Spanish provocateur Luis Buñuel and starring Catherine Deneuve, Belle de Jour follows a housewife who enjoys an intense fantasy life. Upon learning of an upscale brothel from a friend, she goes to investigate and ultimately takes on an afternoon shift at the establishment. Despite the countless ~spicy~ scenes to choose from, this film is best admired for the sum of its parts.
7- Love and Leashes (2022)
This South Korean romantic comedy portrays a lighter, more playful side of BDSM. Kink doesn’t need to include pain or tears, and it’s refreshing to see characters take a tender, more lighthearted approach to it. Even their take on “punishment” shows affection and arousal in a way that will ring true for anyone who keeps a flogger or two by their bed.
6- Sirens (1994)
This lighthearted and whimsical film features a stellar cast including Hugh Grant, Sam Neill, Elle Macpherson, and Portia de Rossi. Based on the life of artist Norman Lindsay, this film pits religious concerns against artistic freedom, with plenty of nude modeling and skinny dipping to make the point. In one scene, the free-spirited art models are determined to show a priest’s wife the pleasures of the flesh. Another, where fingertips lightly graze a character floating in water, is sure to give you chills, too.
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5- Bound (1996)
Three years before The Matrix, the Wachowskis wrote and directed Bound, a film that has achieved cult status in LGBTQ+ communities and beyond. Part of the credit for the sexy realism of the movie’s steamy scenes goes to feminist author and sex educator Susie Bright, who consulted on the film. The first sex scene between Jennifer Tilly’s Violet and Gina Gershon’s Corky will have you gasping and biting your lip right alongside the characters on screen.
4- Don’t Look Now (1973)
Based on a story by Daphne du Maurier, this horror movie stands the test of time. The sex scene between Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland is so hot and realistic that rumors have circulated for decades that the scene was, in fact, real rather than simulated. Whatever the truth is behind its filming, that powerful moment establishes the strength of the characters’ relationship beyond a doubt.
3- The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
This surreal British sci-fi film starring David Bowie defies easy explanation. Musing on everything from capitalism to climate change, it doesn’t shy away from sexual politics, either. One memorable scene late in the film shows Bowie’s character visited by a former lover and finding closure through a sexual escapade that includes repeatedly firing a gun loaded with blanks.
2- Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)
Realistic portrayals of polyamorous relationships are hard to come by in film—especially in mainstream releases—so it’s no surprise that this movie is beloved. The depth of love between the characters is so brilliantly portrayed that even the threesome scene is as tender as much it is titillating.
1- Secretary (2002)
Kinksters always remember the first time they saw Secretary. Based on a short story by Mary Gaitskill, the movie approaches kink and BDSM without judgment—a rarity in mainstream film. The scene you’ll consider hottest will most likely depend on your own personal kinks, but James Spader’s Grey bending Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Holloway over his desk for a spanking is as cathartic for the audience as it is for the characters.
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