Are sex scenes really necessary in films? The answer is more often than not they are there to just attract audience. Having said that, there are sex scenes that are absolutely necessary. They carry the story in the film forward or at least are the turning point in the plot. What ever be the case, what makes sex scenes necessary in movies is the intention. And the intention behind the sex scenes make them hot. These scenes are hot, because they are realistic.
What makes a truly hot movie scene? Is it just two people getting naked and having sex? To my mind, an ideal sensual movie scene should be one that profoundly invokes feelings of raw intimacy and passion rather than just being a mere skin show. The atmosphere should speak for itself and the performances matter a lot in defining the tone of the scene. This makes crafting a sexually intimate scene so challenging and there are a few filmmakers who’ve done that on more than one occasion. So let’s take a look at the list of hottest movie sex scenes of all time.
15. The Reader (2008) – Hanna Seduces Michael
Kate Winslet is one of the most gorgeous women on the planet. And I might seem a bit biased here but I think the scene in ‘The Reader’ where Hanna seduces Michael when they meet in her apartment is one of the most sensual cinematic scenes of all time. The tension in the scene is quite toned down but Winslet slowly envelopes you in a certain warmth with her maternal affection and sternness that bring in a cosy atmosphere to the scene. It’s gorgeously dark, profoundly poignant and strangely hypnotic.
14. Brokeback Mountain (2005) – Ennis and Jack Together After 4 Years
‘Brokeback Mountain’ focuses not on its characters or their gender but on humanity. It makes you feel what it feels like to be human. It is one of the most passionate love stories of all time told with heartbreaking honesty and astonishing intimacy. Ennis and Jack spend their time together in the Wyoming mountains in the summer but go separate ways later on. Ennis goes on to marry his fiance and four years later Jack visits him. Feelings and desires ignite as they passionately kiss while Ennis’ wife watches them. It’s a deeply intimate moment with strong sensual undertones that further intensify the repressed emotions of the characters.
13. Unfaithful (2002) – Connie and Paul Dance
‘Unfaithful’ isn’t anywhere near a great film but it has, like, a ton of sensual scenes. A smoking hot Diane Lane lifts this film from the trenches of mediocrity and infuses the film with a sensual aura that keeps the film from sinking. The scene where she dances with Martinez is so full of passion and raw sensuality. The film is annoyingly predictable right from the start and we pretty much know where things will end up but this scene manages to bring in a kind of tension and excitement that very nearly elevates the film even if that was meant for only a few minutes.
12. American Beauty (1999) – Lester’s Dream
Kevin Spacey’s unforgettably sensual and hilarious dream of his daughter’s best friend sitting naked in a bathtub covered with rose petals in ‘American Beauty’ is one of the most memorable moments in cinema. Lester is a man suffering from mid-life crisis and is now obsessed with his teenage daughter’s schoolmate. What the film brilliantly manages to do is get us into the psyche of Lester. We know the man is so deeply flawed and even creepy at times but for some reason you just love him and that makes his infatuation with Angela weirdly fascinating. This dream sequence is incredibly made and brings in the right amount of sensuality while also managing to be hilarious.
11. Black Swan (2010) – Nina and Lily Get Intimate
I have never been a big fan of Darren Aronofsky. But I’ve always admired his ability to craft such bizarrely creepy atmosphere in his films that makes them so distinctively intriguing. ‘Black Swan’ has a frighteningly sensual scene where Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman get intimate in a an incredibly tense sequence. Aronofsky keeps you on the edge here as the tension builds up while managing to infuse a wildly sensual tone, further elevated by the venomous beauty of Mila Kunis.
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10. Broken Embraces (2009) – Opening Scene
Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar’s cinema is so drenched in a certain emotion that just explodes on to you with a kind of passion wand energy that are just too hard to resist. ‘Broken Embraces’ opens with a gorgeous close up shot of an eye and we are introduced to the main character, Harry Caine who is a blind man. The woman reads out newspaper for him but he begins to flirt with her. He asks her to describe her body parts and after seeing that she is genuinely interested in him, he gets up, caresses her cheeks, kisses her and they make love.
9. When Harry Met Sally (1989) – Kat’z Delicatessen Scene
Probably the funniest on the list. ‘When Harry Met Sally’ apart from its refreshingly funny and realistic take on modern relationships, is most remembered for that famous Deli scene where the couple are having lunch and arguing about a man’s ability to recognise when a woman is faking an orgasm. Harry is confident of himself but Sally challenges him and then “performs” a faked orgasm while the others in the restaurant watch. It’s one of funniest scenes ever captured on-screen but a lot of the credit here goes to Meg Ryan’s acting abilities as she fearlessly displays her lethal seductive side with such charm and confidence.
8. Basic Instinct (1992) – Catherine Tramell Interrogation
Probably the most unsurprising entry on the list. Sharon Stone’s unforgettable turn as Catherine Tramell in ‘Basic Instinct’ is one of the most iconic screen performances of all time. Most of you would recognise the image above because even if you haven’t seen the film, the scene where Tramell is being interrogated by the police remains etched in your memory for very obvious reasons. Tramell displays absolute badassery in the scene as she smokes, sitting cross-legged and provoking the cops trying to question her. It is one of the most memorably sensual moments in cinema.
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7. Lost Highway (1997) – Desert Sex Scene
Sensuality in David Lynch’s films had a nightmarish quality that makes it so bizarrely seductive and cathartic in many ways. ‘Lost Highway’ has one of the best lovemaking scenes ever filmed. When Pete and Alice meet at an empty cabin in the desert, the two begin to make love. Lynch crafts an atmosphere so frightening yet irresistibly seductive as the mood of the scene just intoxicates with a sense of liberation and cathartic madness. And Patricia Arquette is hot as ever!
6. Boogie Nights (1997) – Audition Scene
It’s not just the sex scene but the build up towards the scene that makes this one of the most sensual movie scenes of all time. Of course, it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good as it is if not for Julianne Moore’s stunning looks and astounding acting prowess. Her beauty is unreal. The moment the camera rolls, we are frozen by her deadly seductive abilities and she takes control of the scene and almost single-handedly brings to the scene a kind of seductive madness that is simply intoxicating.
5. Carol (2015) – Carol and Therese Make Love
‘Carol’ is a film that completely caught me off guard when I saw it a couple of years back. And there’s no better feeling for a cinephile than watching a film that comes out of nowhere and manages to sweep you off. The reason why this particular scene made it on to the list is quite simple. It possesses a kind of simplicity that makes it so warm and delicate and lets you feel the long repressed emotions of its characters seeping out. There is nothing showy about the scene. It’s just two people, free from the clutches of societal norms and expectations, making love.
4. Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013) – Adele and Emma Make Love
Sex has rarely felt this emotional, passionate, intimate and liberating. In the famous 6 minute long sex scene between Adele and Emma, Abdellatif Kechiche gave us one of the most erotic movie moments of all time and probably one of the greatest lovemaking scenes ever captured on-screen. It’s directed with such passion that you could almost feel their bodies melting in emotions. It’s not just the sex that’s going on but the raw emotion of it, the kind of sensuality it evokes in you with a seemingly naturalistic atmosphere that makes it a scene like no other.
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3. Mulholland Drive (2001) – Lovemaking Scene
Every time I watch ‘Mulholland Drive’, I begin to experience a profoundly inexplicable sadness that runs through my veins during the lovemaking scene between Betty and Diane. It’s amazing when a film completely changes your perspectives with repeat viewings because the first time I saw the movie, this scene felt incredibly sensual and I couldn’t really go beyond that. Only on my second or third trip through the film, did my thoughts on the film begin to change. Never has a lovemaking scene felt so deeply tragic and profoundly melancholic. Their relationship does not seem to have any kind of romantic overtones but Lynch infuses a sexual tension throughout the film that makes this scene all the more passionate and cathartic in a way.
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2. The Double Life of Veronique (1991) – Kiss in the Rain
Krzyzstof Kieslowski is, to me, the ultimate master of sensuality. He managed to find a rare, hypnotic beauty in lovemaking unlike any other filmmaker. He loved and understood women unlike any other filmmaker and his passion for women reflects in his work. I could well have added ‘The Double Life of Veronique’ in its entirety, to be honest. The entire film has this hauntingly sensual atmosphere that possesses a kind of invigorating madness that blankets you in its seductive warmth. But that would be unfair to the other films on the list. The opening scene of the film has Weronika singing passionately in the rain and then going off to meet her boyfriend as the two share a very intimate moment before going to his apartment to make love. This scene beautifully scene the tone for the entire film. Its is one of the most captivating opening scenes of all time.
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1. Persona (1966) – Beach Scene
Nobody could write a scene like Ingmar Bergman. The kind of raw tension, sensuality and intimacy he poured on to every scene made for such profoundly sensory cinematic experiences. But nothing would ever top the “Beach Scene” in Persona. Alma shares an intimate secret with Elisabeth about a sexual encounter she had with two young boys. The raw tension in the scene builds up for a deeply sensual atmosphere that captivates you in its intensity. Not an ounce of skin is displayed and yet Bergman crafts a moment so deeply intimate, inexplicably sensual and astonishingly human. And that is the mark of an auteur at his very best.
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