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Getting down and dirty, or at least pretending to, feels like a normal part of the filmmaking process. Here are celebrity sex scenes throughout history.

Celebrity sex scenes that forever changed how we think about sex

Getting down and dirty, or at least pretending to, feels like a normal part of the filmmaking process. Celebrity sex scenes are often times so nonchalant, we don’t even realize if a scene we’re watching is unintentionally making history.

From the first on-screen kiss in 1896, to now, there have been plenty of celebrity sex scenes that have broken the mold. From the first LGBTQ sex scene on film, to the first sex scene featuring real sex, directors have used human sexuality to push the boundaries of filmmaking. Take a trip down sex scene history and revisit these historic celebrity sex scenes. 

Ecstasy (1933)

This is the first documented sex scene in film. While sex has been implied before Ecstasy, this is the first time intercourse was actively shown on film. But more importantly, this was also the first instance of a female orgasm on screen. Newcomer Hedy Lamarr was the lucky woman to partake in the scene.

I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967)

How about the first instance of male frontal nudity on screen? Even today, we’re used to seeing female breasts and even female frontal nudity, but male frontal nudity is still quite rare. So this French film was really pushing the envelope by offering a glimpse at the leading man’s penis. 

The Killing of Sister George (1968)

Right on the tale end of the Hays Code, The Killing of Sister George was the first time American audiences got to see an LGBTQ sex scene on screen thanks to the lead character being a lesbian. While the film did receive an X rating because of the scene, it was a big win for LGBTQ portrayals in film. 

Blue Movie (1969)

Does it really surprise anyone that the first film featuring unsimulated sex was directed by Andy Warhol? The legendary arthouse director was well known for his sexually questionable films, so for him to be the first to feature real sex on camera fits his brand. Of course, plenty of other films have also featured real sex, as you can see in our piece here. 

Fritz the Cat (1972)

Hey, animated sex scenes count too even if it’s just celebrity voice actors. The first animated movie to catch an X rating, it truly stuck to the source material of the raunchy Robert Crumb comic strips. 

Don’t Look Now (1973)

Sure, this scene wasn’t necessarily “groundbreaking” in the sense that it brought something unseen to the table. But to this day, people still rank the scene between Donald Sutherland and Julie Christine as one of the greatest sex scenes of all time. The passion, the magic, it’s all there. Honestly, it’s shocking that this scene wasn’t just real sex.

Blow-Up (1996)

Sure, this is going to seem silly, but Blow-Up is actually the first time pubic hair is featured on camera in an American film. It’s just a quick glance, but you can see Jane Birkin’s pubic hair during one of the sex scenes in the film. 

American Pie (1999)

We think you know why this is on here.

Secretary (2002)

Long before E.L. James even wrote Fifty Shades, Secretary brought the BDSM lifestyle to the big screen with Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader’s sexual relationship. More importantly, it treated their fetishes like normal and with little judgement, which most films about BDSM rarely do. 

Blue Valentine (2010)

Really, this film pushed the boundaries in how the MPAA looks at sex scenes. Initially, Blue Valentine got an NC-17 rating because of the film’s “explicit sex scenes.” But what many believe was the real issue was it was the female receiving the oral sex instead of the man that made it racy. Thankfully, The Weinstein Company appealed the decision and the rating went down to an R. 

Love (2015)

Sure, porn sites are starting to dabble in VR porn, but controversial director Gasper Noe was filming his sex scenes in 3D first. Plus, the sex scenes in Love are unsimulated, so it’s the real thing you’re watching with your 3D glasses on.

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