Iconic Movie Sex Scenes: The Best Hot On-Film Interactions of All Times

So many movies today feature a sex scene. How many of these do you remember, however? The answer to that question makes the differences between a meh and an iconic sex scene.

The chemistry between the actors, the cinematography and even the approach to expressing intimacy all matter when it comes to creating Hollywood magic.

So, what are some of the hottest and most iconic movie sex scenes of all times? Let’s start the countdown.

Basic Instinct

Why People Love To Hate BASIC INSTINCT | Film Inquiry

You knew this one was coming, didn’t you?


Basic Instinct from 1992 is filled with so many hot scenes that it’s difficult to choose just one that stands out.

The crossing and uncrossing of Sharon Stone’s legs during the interrogation scene is still iconic, almost three decades later. And while there has been some controversy regarding consent and that scene, it still is one of cinema’s defining moments.

The chemistry between Stone and co-star Michael Douglas is also palpable. Coupled with the suspense and the rawness of these interactions, the sex scenes in Basic Instinct are more than convincing – they’re thrilling to watch and they definitely propel the plot forward.

Boys Don’t Cry

Boys Don't Cry 20th Anniversary Screening | Film Studies Center

Hillary Swank won an Oscar for her depiction of Brandon Teena – a transgender man who was brutally murdered. While the movie is a tragedy not known for its erotica, it does produce some really touching sex scenes.

The night that Swank’s character spends with co-star Chloë Sevigny in a field underneath the stars is definitely a turning moment.

The gentleness and the emotionality of the scene contrasts the brutal end of Brandon Teena’s life, which is how good cinema is created.

Y Tu Mama Tambien

How Does 'Y Tu Mamá También' Fit Into Alfonso Cuarón's ...

Alfonso Cuaron’s masterpiece from 2001 features quite a few hot sex scenes among the three co-stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Maribel Verdu.

It’s a coming of age story, depicting the sexual frustrations teens go through and the amazing moments that can be shared in the heat of the moment. The entire movie is focused on teaching us everything we need to know about living life to the fullest (and yes, that does involve sex).

The final sex scene is also iconic as it happens to be a lot slower and more intimate than everything else portrayed in the movie. Needless to say, the same-sex kiss seals the deal.

Brokeback Mountain

The film that makes me cry: Brokeback Mountain | Film | The Guardian

Brokeback Mountain is a revolutionary Hollywood production in more than one way. While the film has had its fair share of criticism and while it’s been completely denounced by the conservative community, it’s still a movie worth seeing.

If you haven’t watched Brokeback Mountain, know that the film focuses on the love between two cowboys portrayed by Jake Gylleenhaal and Heath Ledger. The chemistry between the two is so thick it can be cut with a knife, which obviously leads to some sensual and incredibly erotic scenes.

Sex and the City

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While the focus here falls on the TV series rather than the movies, many of the sex scenes in Sex and the City are so memorable that they deserve to be included among crème de la crème.

Sex and the City is the film that put adult sex toys on the screen at a time when these fun accessories weren’t spoken about all that often.

In addition, Samantha’s sex scenes and the ways she instructs her lovers will remain as a lesson for generations of women interested in female empowerment. We saw her masturbating, we saw Samantha do roleplay, use a sex swing and produce her own sex tape.

It’s difficult to go for just one most iconic scene but if we had to, it would be Samatha’s first time with Smith. If you’re looking for a manual that will teach you some of the greatest sex positions out there, this is the one to turn to.

Gone Girl

What “Gone Girl” Is Really About | The New Yorker

Rosamund Pike’s and Ben Affleck’s sex scenes in Gone Girl aren’t just hot, they also add to the plot of the film and build more understanding of the relationship between the two protagonists.

The film features a couple of other great sex scenes between the leads and their co-stars.

One of the most grueling scenes to film was between Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris, playing her ex-boyfriend. Not only is it shocking in terms of plot development, it also necessitated 36 takes to be filmed exactly the way the director envisioned it to be.

Eyes Wide Shut

The Hidden Messages in “Eyes Wide Shut” (With images) | Eyes wide ...

Anyone looking for a more atypical representation of sex in mainstream Hollywood films should watch Eyes Wide Shut.

The orgy scene in the film is definitely one of the most iconic depictions of sex.

Stanley Kubrick is, needless to say, a genius with his own unique creative vision. The masked ball and orgy scene is considered a masterpiece and it took months of meticulous planning and rehearsals to execute.

Anyone who has ever watched Eyes Wide Shut has been shaken to the core by the concept and the erotica. Like it or hate it, that’s a film that wouldn’t leave anyone indifferent.

Nymphomaniac

Edelstein on Nymphomaniac: Everything You Always Wanted to Know ...

Lars von Trier is another director who can shock and when you hear a movie title like Nymphomaniac, you know there will be dozens of incredible sex scenes in it.

As the character is a nymphomaniac seeking more and more intense stimulation and sensations, the erotic scenes escalate from depictions of regular sex to kinks and fetishes. The S&M scene towards the end of the movie’s second part is both disturbing and hot.

Threesomes, random hookups and even gentle, romantic sex are also depicted in a film about someone in the quest of bigger and better (sometimes – literally)!

Needless to say, there are numerous other amazing films that come with hot and exciting sex scenes. A few honorable mentions would include When Harry Met Sally, Top Gun, Atonement, Ecstasy, Coming Home, Her (with probably one of the only virtual sex depictions in history), Titanic and of course – Blue Is the Warmest Color.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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