Sex, lies and a videotape: The best real sex in movies
Every now and then a movie comes along that makes you pause and ponder: “Holy crap, are they bone surfing for real?” While most of the time the answer to that question will be a disappointing no, there’s been enough real sex in movies that at least some of the time the answer will be a scorching hot yes.
Often such scenes are less erotic than they actually sound, and sometimes they’ll even be more cringe-inducing than hot, but they’re almost always entertaining and definitely conversation worthy. Here are ten of the most divisive, interesting, and best real-life sex scenes in movie history. Spoiler alert!
The Brown Bunny (2003)
Director Vincent Gallo’s aimless road-trip movie The Brown Bunny was once called “the worst film in the history” of Cannes by Roger Ebert. While most audiences have likely forgotten the majority of the film, they won’t have forgotten its finale in which co-star Chloë Sevigny performs unsimulated oral sex on Gallo. The actor has since revealed she has no regrets about the scene. “Everyone says ‘what do you regret?’ and I know that they want me to say The Brown Bunny, but I won’t.”
Stranger by the Lake (2013)
Set entirely on a picturesque beach in Southern France, Stranger by the Lake centers around the sensual romance between two men (Pierre Deladonchamps & Christophe Paou) and the anonymous sexual encounters they enjoy with other guys. There’s plenty of cock on show and a whole lot of sexual encounters which are clearly happening for real.
Pink Flamingos (1972)
John Waters earned his title as the “Pope of Trash” with this movie in which his larger-than-life drag queen muse Divine eats an actual dog turd and also gives an enthusiastic, unsimulated onscreen blow job to a character who’s supposed to be her son, no less. Unsurprisingly, Pink Flamingos was banned in numerous countries as a result, and Waters began his glorious reign as an unstoppable auteur of filth.
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)
A year before Waters was encouraging Divine to go the extra mile, Melvin Van Peebles utilized his power as director to enjoy unsimulated sex scenes on screen with his actors. This blaxploitation flick was, perhaps unsurprisingly, funded out of Van Peebles own pocket because no studio wanted anything to do with it.
As a result of performing his own “stunts” on the movie, Van Peebles reportedly contracted gonorrhea and applied for compensation from the Directors Guild because he got “hurt on the job”. You’ve got to admire his moxie on that one.
Loaded with explicit violence, lucid sex scenes, and a threadbare plot, Baise-moi is notorious for being controversial. Featuring porn performers in leading roles, Baise-moi follows two women who go on a relentless crime-spree after being gang-raped, and is considered to be one of the early precursors of the New French Extremity movement.
9 Songs (2004)
With bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Dandy Warhols soundtracking an onslaught of very real and very kinky sex scenes, 9 Songs is what porn would look like if the NME branched out into sex. If that’s the sort of thing you crave from a movie then Michael Winterbottom’s musical odyssey into love, fetish, and guitar bands in skinny jeans is something you need to explore.
Otto; or, Up with Dead People (2008)
Subversive filmmaker Bruce LaBruce is hardly known for his subtlety, as proven with bold, wonderful finesse in this horny zombie flick. Featuring a hot, young zombie on a literal and erotic hunt for flesh, Otto (Jey Crisfar) has a voracious appetite fulfilled in some extremely X-rated and unsimulated ways. LaBruce’s 2010 follow up, L.A. Zombie, pushed even more boundaries with bigger and bolder sex scenes and even more sexy-undead action.
An erotic drama full of turbulent romance and graphic sex scenes, Gaspar Noé’s first film after a five year hiatus is a pounding riot of flesh-on-flesh pleasures. Shot in 3D with a graphic threesome as its centerpiece, Love is so explicit you’ll want to give your eyeballs a bath as soon as it ends.
Lars von Trier’s domestic horror wastes no time in unsettling the audience by beginning the movie with a slow-motion unsimulated sex scene featuring the biggest pair of balls in movie history. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg had body doubles perform the scenes, which is something of a blessing. As much as we all love Dafoe, we don’t need to see such intense close-ups of his crack & sack anytime soon.
Don’t Look Now (1973)
Nicolas Roeg’s horror masterpiece features one of the greatest, and most devastating sex scenes of all time between a couple grieving the death of their daughter. Played by Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, the scene is so graphic, it continues to inspire rumors the two totally did it for real.
Former Variety editor Peter Bart once claimed in his 2011 book Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, the Mob, (and Sex) that he was on set when the scene was filmed and verified it was for real. Sutherland, however, continues to deny the story, calling Bart’s claim “mendacious”.
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