The best sex scenes in the history of cinema, like the best sex scenes in series, have to be, above all, sexy .

It’s what keeps the human race alive. But it also has a non-reproductive purpose, and Hollywood thrives on it. And not just Hollywood. The main platforms have also put their batteries, you can check it in our list of the best erotic movies on Amazon Prime Video or the selection of the best erotic movies on Netflix.

Characters in movies seek it out, beg for it, or despair over the lack of it, and yet many of the most famous sex scenes aren’t all that sexy . Something more than nudity is needed to become unforgettable sexual fantasies. Yes, everyone knows about the infamous butter scene in ‘Last Tango in Paris’, but it’s basically rape… what to say? It’s not something we should see as exciting. ‘Eyes Wide Shut’? Crazy. Any Bond movie? Disgusting with an underlying aftertaste of misogyny. ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’? Don’t make us laugh. In fact, it makes us laugh.

Shadow Menace (Nicholas Roeg, 1973)

sex scene in shadow menace

Paramount Pictures

This is, if you’ll excuse the expression, the crème de la crème of movie sex , dazzling in its intimacy and realism, as Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, who play grieving parents over the death of their daughter, find solace in Your marriage. Such is the honesty, affection and passion shown that everyone involved has spent the last 47 years in denial that the couple did it for real. And it is that sparks fly in the scene of this film by Nicholas Roeg.

Brokeback Mountain (The Lee, 2005)

brokeback mountain

Brokeback Mountain

Based on Annie Proulx’s story about the romance between two cowboys, in addition to making one of the best films about gay men in cinema, Ang Lee also gave us a sex scene that worked perfectly, especially because of all the tension sexuality that the protagonists had been accumulating. After a night of drinking whiskey, Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger seek warmth in a tent, away from the world’s censorship.

The empire of the senses (Nagisa Oshima, 1976)

the empire of the senses

The empire of the senses

Nagisa Oshima’s masterpiece – one of the best films of the ’70s – takes the cake when it comes to explicit sex, and it would be very difficult to choose just one of its scenes. The film is basically a succession of sexual encounters between the protagonists , although, if we don’t have to stay with the most striking and iconic of all, we would undoubtedly have to go to the moment in which Sada puts a hard-boiled egg up her vagina.

Atonement, Beyond Passion (Joe Wright, 2007)

james mcavoy and keira knightley in atonement sex scene

Universal Pictures

Sex against the bookshelves might get you kicked out of your local library, but that’s no problem for Keira Knightley and James McAvoy , who spark sparks in Joe Wright’s stunning drama. From Knightley’s initial appearance, to the first lightning kiss and the satin slipping down the bodies, everything is so suffused with unbridled lust that it makes the consequences it unleashes all the more tragic. But we’re not going to tell you, it’s one of the best surprise script twists we’ve ever seen.

Crash (David Cronenberg, 1996)


Against the Current Films

Sex does not always have to be normative, as this jewel by David Cronenberg that ranks among the best films of the 90s showed us. We have to highlight above all its disturbing and groundbreaking moments the scene in which James Spader he rubs Holly Hunter’s scar inside the car in a parking lot, both victims of accidents that communicate through their physical deformations. Memorable.

My Beautiful Laundromat (Stephen Frears, 1985)

my beautiful laundry

Working Title Films

What is glorious about Hanif Kureishi’s drama is that, despite being set against Thatcher-era racism and homophobia, the romance between young British-Pakistani Omar (Gordon Warnecke) and ex-fascist punk Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis) seems completely down to earth, culminating in a date in the back room of Omar’s glamorous foam palace on its opening night. 

Ham ham (Bigas Luna, 1992)

penelope cruz in ham, ham


Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem are now one of the most powerful couples in the Spanish (and international) film industry, with their respective Oscars and world fame, but in those early 90s they were two talented performers making their way. And they did it together in this movie by Bigas Luna , incredibly sexy and funny, and who sneaks into this list for several of his great sexual encounters . Let everyone choose their favorite. Not for nothing is it one of Pedro Almodóvar’s favorite Spanish films.

Ghost (Jerry Zucker, 1990)

ghost, el musical

20th Century Studios

Parodied so often over the past 30 years, it’s easy to forget how fucking sexy it was in the first place: Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze were surely directly responsible for a surge in sales of pottery wheels. There’s nothing remotely subtle about Moore squeezing her clay into a phallic column, while Swayze wraps his biceps around her to get her dirty and dirty, too, but that’s why it stands as one of the hottest moments of the decade. from 1990..

Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

Mulholland Drive kiss Naomi Watts Laura Harring


We are talking about one of the best movies of the 21st century, in which lesbian sex is an integral part of the story instead of just a turn-on for the boys. Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring are beautiful as femme fatales , and their blossoming love, which leads to a soft, sensual physical connection after a gruesome discovery, is a beautiful moment of clarity in a mind-bending plot.

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