It’s always a little surprising when we get a scene of unsimulated sex in a mainstream movie. There are so few professional performers willing to “go all the way,” and quite a few studios reluctant to get their big-budget production slapped with an “R” rating. But for those rare times when we do get an up close and personal scene of real bedtime hijinks, that makes it all the sweeter! Here are our picks for steamiest sex scenes in mainstrema cinema history:
Now at no point do the star-crossed kinky couple of Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader have an actual, conventional sex scene. However, they most certainly do engage in the full menu of unsimulated hardcore BDSM action, including bondage, spanking, and humiliation/control scenes. That’s stepping a little above and beyond the call of plain vanilla sex scenes, and the delicious Maggie Gyllenhaal took home multiple awards for her groundbreaking performance.
Don’t Look Now (1973)
While it’s known for being a typical underplayed British thriller, it does have Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland playing a married couple who are shown in bed several times. It’s remembered today as one of the greatest and most realistic portrayals of married sex on film.
The unsimulated oral sex scene is just one of many reasons this smoking British art film by French director Patrice Chéreau won awards at the 2001 Berlin Film Festival. It was one of the defining films of the “French Extremity,” an arthouse film-making wave around the turn of the century.
The Brown Bunny (2003)
Even though it has an unsimulated oral sex scene starring the underrated arthouse actor Vincent Gallo, this film still got rave reviews including from the late respected film critic Roger Ebert. But we can’t mention Vincent Gallo without also pointing you to another film on his resume, the blackest and funniest black comedy of all time, Arizona Dream (1993).
Enter the Void (2009)
Gaspar Noé’s bizarre psychedelic tour-de-force is about a voyeuristic ghost hovering over the neon-lit nightclubs of Tokyo, where he witnesses sex aplenty along with everything else. Not only an erotic film but a weird head trip as well.
9 Songs (2004)
This erotic British arthouse offering tells the love story of a couple brought together by being music concert and festival groupies. They have numerous sex scenes in between footage of great live stage bands of the era.