No sex please, we're British; Cinema's most memorable sex scenes

Blame it on Hollywood if you will but we're no longer the prudes that we once were. As soon as some skin overcomes the film industry's standards, the scenes come paired with scandals of their own. In many cases, the increased exposition jump starts or ends the actors' and actresses' careers on the way to worldwide celebrity. We collected some of the raunchiest scenes in recent memory for you to delight on the finest examples of on-screen sexiness.

A History of Violence

This thriller, directed by David Cronenberg, offers two magnificent sex scenes for the price of one. The first one occurs when Edie and Tom Stall, represented by María Bello and Viggo Mortensen, take advantage of their children being away to let their passion loose on each other. She surprises him by dressing up in her former cheerleader outfit, and they lock themselves in the attic to have a full-blown high-school-style moment. The second one happens when Edie finds out that her husband isn't called Tom Stall at all, that his name is in fact Joey Cusack, a hit-man from Philadephia. She flees in tears from him and tries to hide away in their home's top floor. When Tom/Joey grabs her by the arm to try to explain himself, she slaps him across the face and they both fall over and start struggling on the staircase. Their fighting turns into an ardent love-making session that will forever be remembered by anyone who witnessed it.


You've probably seen the famous moment of passion between Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in "Ghost". In that scene, Molly, personified by Moore, is shaping a vase of clay on a wheel, when Sam (Swayze) enters the room and sits behind her. As she shows him how to work the clay, the Righteous Brother's "Unchained Melody" picks up in volume and the actors start kissing passionately. The combination of clay, music and romance turned out to be a total hit. Film critics generally agree that this is one of the best romantic scenes in the history of cinema, and the overwhelming number of the movie's fans, even more than 20 years after the film's premier date, wholeheartedly confirm it.

Basic Instinct

The brief moment when Sharon Stone crossed and uncrossed her legs on "Basic Instinct" was enough to launch her to worldwide stardom and place her amongst Hollywood most desired actresses. That was not, however, the only action Stone's crotch saw in the film. Another scene we are very fond of, perhaps less remembered but not a single degree colder, was the one where Catherine Tramell, Stone's character, became intimately acquainted with Nick Curran, the agent Michael Douglas represented. More than any other aspect of the scene, we will forever linger on how she tied his hands and dripped hot candle wax on his chest while they were getting it on.

The Postman Always Rings Twice

This one stands out for how early on the film the action starts. Struggle, infidelity, two magnificent actors and sex in the kitchen. This scene mixed foolproof ingredients and managed to acquire a place among the most fondly remembered scenes in the history of cinema. Gossip about backstage drama run rampant. Some sources suggest that Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange really had intercourse during the shooting. But, if you want to be sure about anything, you should make sure to watch the film yourself.

Wild Things

"Wild Things" offered two very juicy moments. In the first one, Matt Dillon, Denise Richards and Neve Campbell hide in a cabin in the woods and surrender to their passion while spraying each other with champagne. Then, when Kelly Lanier Van Ryan and Suzie Marie Toller, personified respectively by Richards and Campbell, start fighting in the pool ... and their fighting turns into kissing and desperate fondling. We witness all this through the eyes of an incredulous police agent, Kevin Bacon, who tries to solve a police investigation no one really cared about in the first place. It might not be the best example of script-writing or acting skills in cinema, nor much less. But the nude scenes of three of the hottest film stars of their time makes it all worth enduring.

Y tu Mamá También

Another threesome that captured the fancy of millions around the world is the one Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna took part in. The famous scene was recognised as the most sensual in the history of cinema by the British Empire magazine. In the lead up to the scene, the characters have some drinks in a derelict tavern in an almost deserted town. Verdú invites the two young men to dance, and they start fondling one another while the remaining customers watch in awe. After the cut, we see both men kissing and caressing Verdú, who then starts giving them oral sex, all while they continue to kiss her devotionally. The scene's magic lies not in the depiction of the act itself, but rather on the sexual tension the actors managed to develop between their characters, which in turn lead up to that scene. Definitely, this scene is among the hottest of the lot.

Mulholland Drive

"Have you ever done this before?" is the memorable question Betty Elms, represented by Naomi Watts, poses Rita (Laura Harring), during this exquisite scene. David Lynch plays, as always, with the viewers' most intimate feelings. In this famous lesbian scene, the most sensual and also unexpected in the film, the characters manage to hypnotise the viewer, drawing him totally into the screen. The nervousness Betty shows when embracing Rita makes the scene seem real. "If you require logic, see something else. 'Mulholland Drive' works directly on the emotions." said the famous American film critic, Roger Ebert.

9 1/2 Weeks

It's impossible not to think of Kim Basinger strip-teasing behind Venetian blinds when listening to Joe Cocker's "You can leave your hat on". The tension she and her co-star, a then good-looking Mickey Rourke, built up along the film turned this song into one of the most easily recognisable hits of all times. That is, however, not the hottest scene in the movie. In another one, Rourke and Basinger have fun eating directly from the refrigerator, creating one of the most erotic gastronomic experiences in cinema. Strawberries, cherries, jelly, paprika and even cough syrup parade sensually from Rourke's hand to Basinger's mouth, all while she keeps her eyes shut tight. Only after having soaked Basinger in milk, soda and honey, do the characters seem ready to get on with it.

Carlito’s Way

This film by Brian De Palma is among the best gangster movies of all times. In spite of the overwhelming drama, tension and suspense, the film still manages to make room for sensuality. At the start of this scene, the camera catches up with Carlito, Al Pacino's character, on the entrance to Gale's (Miller) apartment, on the small hours of the night. She barely opens the door, still latched with the chain, and after he asks her to let him in, she taunts him: "What are you gonna do? Are you gonna bust the chain, chase me around the apartment? Get me naked? Take me on the floor?" To which Pacino answers: "I'm too old for that." And she retorts: "That's too bad. If you can't get in, you don't get in." She then turns around and starts walking towards her bed to the rythm of Joe Cocker's "You are so beautiful", while slowly letting her night-gown slip down her back, making sure that Pacino can still see her reflection on a strategically placed mirror on the wall. Gathering all his lust, Pacino busts down the door and catches up with her in the bedroom's entrance, where they kiss passionately.

From Dusk till Dawn

We've already gone through at least a couple of films that feature strip-tease scenes with some of the most beautiful women in the entertainment industry. And there are still plenty more, like Jessica Alba in "Sin City" or Jamie Lee Curtis in "True Lies". Salma Hayek's spectacular dance routine in "From Dusk till Dawn", however, trumps them all. No one would have expected for a filthy biker tavern to host such beauty and Hayek's curves make everybody's jaws drop. Her provocative dance, which includes a cream coloured python coiling around her, overflows with sensuality, lets her keep her bikini on and leaves every viewer craving a little more.

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About the Author

Soy Periodista y me especializo en deportes, aunque también me apasiona el cine, la literatura y el estudio de la cultura.Tengo 28 años, por ahora vivo en Buenos Aires. Estudié algunos años Sociología en la UBA y luego cambié a Periodismo, en la Universidad de Palermo. Terminé mis estudios a finales del 2011 y desde entonces me sigo especializando en temas diréctamente relacionados a la Comunicación y el Periodismo. Actualmente estoy haciendo un curso virtual de Community Managment y Social Media en la UTN.