R-rated movies have a lot of pros. The characters can swear. The stunts are better. And, of course, the sex scenes are hotter. As we can see from the best movie sex scenes of all time (which include steamy moments from The Notebook, Fifty Shades of Grey (duh) and more) no romance film is complete without a racy sex scene that will leave you hot and bothered for the next few hours.
And so we present our list of the best sex scenes in movie history, from the moment Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet ripped each other’s clothes off as the Titanic went down to when Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling got down and dirty in The Notebook. Sure, these movies are worth the watch for their plot as well, but we won’t lie that their hot AF sex scenes are a beautiful bonus.
From Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey’s BDSM moments in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise to the straight-out-of-a-fan-fiction lovemaking in the After trilogy, are the movie sex scenes you need to watch now. While in quarantine, be sure to add these classic and modern romances to your binge lists as soon as possible.
Originally published in June 2014.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
Dakota Johnson stars as Anastassia Steele, a college graduate who meets a young business magnate, named Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), and begins a sadomasochistic relationship with him. The movie, based on the book of the same title, is part of smut-filled trilogy for your viewing pleasure.
Based on a Harry Styles fanfiction by Anna Todd, After follows a college student named Tessa (Josephine Langford) who meets a boy named Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes-Tiffen.) Harden is the typical bad boy, and as soon as Tessa him, she knows she’s in trouble.
Demi Moore and the late, great Patrick Swayze accomplish something nearly impossible: They make pottery sexy. Yup, the two get down and dirty while at the pottery wheel.
What’s the only thing better than young love? Young Leonardo DiCaprio, of course! This scene is total proof of that. Not only is Jack and Rose’s forbidden car escapade romantic, but the image of Kate Winslet’s hand sliding down the sweaty car window has become totally iconic.
The Notebook (2004)
In one of the sweetest and most vulnerable sex scenes of all time, Allie (Rachel McAdams) loses her virginity to Noah (Ryan Gosling) in the most romantic of ways. You know the chemistry was real because the two stars dated for years after filming the iconic movie. (We’re still praying they get back together.)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
When this Ang Lee film was released in 2005, it instantly became one of the most groundbreaking movies of all time. The film explores the epic romance between two cowboys, played by Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger. The sex scenes between the two have major passion and are totally worth the watch.
Black Swan (2010)
Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman starring together as ballerinas in a dark and twisted did-it-really-happen sex scene? There’s no way that wasn’t going down as one of the most famous and most-watched scenes of all time.
Original Sin (2001)
What “Original Sin” lacks in critical acclaim, it makes up for in its outrageously steamy sex scene between its stars Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas. This one packed so much heat that it still has people talking about whether or not the sex was simulated!
Spring Breakers (2012)
Talk about good girls gone bad! Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Selena Gomez shed their clothes and their good gal images when they starred in “Spring Breakers.” While the whole film was pretty shocking, it was the late-night underwater threesome featuring Benson, Hudgens and James Franco that really had people talking.
American Pie (1999)
It’s safe to say that when you think of the “American Pie” series, several sex scenes come to mind. The one that made our list, however, stars Jason Biggs and his notorious romp with an apple pie.
40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)
A man, a woman, and some orchids? That’s exactly what went down in the flick about a man (cutie Josh Hartnett) who gives up sex for lent. The scene is downright unconventional and a total must-see!
Basic Instinct (2002)
While the Sharon Stone leg crossing scene in this erotic thriller has become pretty infamous, the sex scenes between her and Michael Douglas are just as raunchy. Definitely one of the more scandalous scenes on the list!
Wild Things (1998)
This erotic thriller gained notoriety for featuring several sex scenes, namely the one in the pool starring Neve Campbell and Denise Richards.
Risky Business (1983)
Having sex on a train is some serious risky business, but that’s what teenage Tom Cruise does in the 1980s hit flick. In our opinion, its the Phil Collins background music that totally makes the scene.
One (long) word: Vandersexxx. If you’ve seen the teen flick, then you know what we mean. If not, check out the part in which one of the film’s characters chances upon a brothel in Amsterdam that’s anything but ordinary.
Black Snake Moan (2006)
The chemistry between Christina Ricci and Justin Timberlake is so strong, we wonder why the two never took the relationship off the big screen and into real life!
Match Point (2006)
Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers having sex in an open field in the pouring rain? Check, check, and check! Check out the undeniable chemistry in this scene between the two in this Woody Allen film.
Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013)
If you’re looking for raw and realistic, take a look at the sex scene in this Palme D’Or–winning film between two women. The scene was taken so seriously that the whole thing apparently took ten days to shoot.
A History of Violence (2005)
Finding out her husband has a murderous past sure has a strange effect on Maria Bello‘s character Edie. Unable to control themselves, Edie and her husband Tom (Viggo Mortensen) have sex in the stairwell of their home. Now that’s spontaneity!
There’s no doubt tons of people have fantasized about being in bed with Jon Hamm, though this wild, slightly uncomfortable sex scene with Kristen Wiig is more disastrous than hilarious.
This one gives a whole new meaning to NSFW. The movie stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as, you guessed it, a secretary who engages in some pretty kinky sex with her boss, played by James Spader.
Team America: World Police (2004)
By far the most unorthodox scene on the list, this one involves puppets engaging in just about every imaginable sexual position and act. (Yes, you read that right— puppets.)
Dirty Dancing (1987)
In Patrick Swayze’s second appearance on the list, he stars as dance instructor Johnny Castle, who falls in love with Baby (Jennifer Grey). In one of the most classic scenes of all time, the two start out dancing and end up doing something a bit more, well, dirty.
So far, this list has included a staircase and an office, so why not add a bathroom? That’s where Connie (Diane Lane) partakes in a lunchtime quickie with Paul (Oliver Martinez) whilst her friends unknowingly wait outside.
9 1/2 Weeks (1986)
While this film was a major flop in the US, it was a mega-hit elsewhere around the world. We’re guessing it has something to do with the super-explicit scenes starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke.
Friends With Benefits (2011)
Mila Kunis is a total boss in this scene! When Jamie (Kunis) and Dylan (Justin Timberlake) decide to have sex just as friends, their first time is totally hilarious. They let each other know what they do and do not like, and they are definitely not shy, making for an awesome sex scene.
American Psycho (2000)
Christian Bale stars as the infamous Patrick Bateman in this scene, in which he seems more into himself than the prostitutes he is having sex with. The movie was made in 2000, but it’s set in the 1980s, as evidenced by the Phil Collins in the background (marking his second appearance on this list!)
Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Boys Don’t Cry tells the inspiring story of a non-operative transgendered man played by Hillary Swank (she won her first Oscar for the role!). The sex scene involves Swank and her on-screen love interest, played by Chloe Sevigny, who is known for having her fair share of onscreen love scenes, as well.
Cruel Intentions (1999)
This scene between Ryan Philippe’s devious Sebastian and Reese Witherspoon’s good girl Annette is totally chill-inducing, starting from the moment The Counting Crow’s Colorblind begins to play (yes, it was the late ’90s.) It’s worth noting that though it didn’t last, these two got married after this film was released.
Monster’s Ball (2002)
While slightly painful to watch, this movie nabbed Halle Berry a Best Actress Oscar. During its infamous sex scene—both disturbing and sexy—Berry goes full frontal while getting it on with Billy Bob Thornton, a prison guard.
David Cronenberg’s film delves into some uncharted territory: car crash fetishes. Particular scenes in the film have been considered so erotic that there have been campaigns to ban the film in England!
Out Of Sight (1998)
George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez in a beautiful hotel room as snow falls outside? If you’re a romantic at heart, this one is unmissable.
Pretty Woman (1990)
When wealthy businessman Richard Gere and prostitute Julia Roberts finally sleep together in this modern Cinderella story, it’s not just about sex—they’ve started to fall for each other, and that just makes it even hotter.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Even though Glenn Close and Michael Douglas’ romance takes a turn for the (terrifying) worse, the sex scene that sets up the rest of the movie is epic: After a buildup of sexual tension and flirtation, married Michael Douglas finally acts on his attraction to Glenn Close, and the heat between them helps (sort of) explain why she becomes so obsessed with him.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
Real talk: This is a mediocre action flick. But it’s also the film during which Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt fell for one another, leading to the demise of his marriage to Jennifer Aniston. So it’s no shocker that the sex scene between the two, who play married assassins, goes beyond basic acting—they definitely weren’t pretending to be mega-attracted to each other in this steamy scene.
Last Night (2010)
Why is it that scenes depicting forbidden sex always seem to be the hottest? In this romantic drama, coworkers Eva Mendes and Sam Worthington consummate a burning attraction that’s been slowly building up—in spite of the fact that Worthington plays a man who’s happily married to Kiera Knightly. The strip-tease pool scene is just a primer for what goes down in the hotel room afterward.
Die Another Day (2002)
James Bond films are known for having some of the best sex scenes in movies—not least because they tend to feature ridiculously attractive stars. When Pierce Brosnan seduces Halle Berry, who plays an NSA agent, you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from the screen.