Rated R? That's just the beginning.

By Christopher Luu
Apr 13, 2021 @ 10:40 am
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From Fifty Shades to Eyes Wide Shut, when movies go there with sex, it makes for plenty to talk about. From uproar over explicit content to the fine line between being rated R and the ever-elusive NC-17, movies are always trying to find a sweet spot between showing too much and expressing the artistic vision — and shock — that can come with a steamy sex scene.

According to Esquire, one of the very first movies to be screened for the public was 1896's The Kiss, which featured a full-on kiss and shocked the prim and proper 19th-century mindset. Moviegoers have come a long way since then, especially with the movies on this list, which range from full-on explicit to laugh-out-loud disbelief. With names Amy Schumer involved alongside Tom Cruise, it's no surprise that there really is something for everyone.

Wild Things

One of the '90s most eyebrow-raising movie moments happened when threesomes became part of normal conversation thanks to Denise Richards, Matt Dillon, and Neve Campbell looking to shed their glossy teen-movie personas.

Midsommar

According to Esquire, this unforgettable scene, which involved Jack Reynor, Isabelle Grill, and just about a million extras, took two weeks to film.

Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy

Say what you want about the not-so-vanilla scenes in this much-maligned movie series, the steamy, softcore BDSM sequences between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan got people talking.

Secretary

For another take on BDSM, viewers can check out this cult-favorite 2002 film starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader. Gyllenhaal sauntered in her stockings and heels so Dakota Johnson could bring BDSM to the mainstream.

Showgirls

It's hard to believe that Showgirls is rated NC-17. It does, however, have the honor of being the highest-grossing movie with that rating. Elizabeth Berkley and Kyle MacLachlan star in everyone's favorite worst movie, which comes with a laughable sex scene for good measure.

The Bronze

While not exactly arousing, the gold medal-worthy sex scene between Sebastian Stan and The Big Bang Theory's Melissa Rauch can best be described as "athletic." It's as far from a CBS sitcom as you can get.

Trainwreck

Another scene that was meant to get laughs, John Cena and Amy Schumer reportedly ad-libbed the whole thing for a cringe-worthy moment that involves "there's no I in team," "just do it," and even phrases in Mandarin Chinese.

Basic Instinct 2

The sequel? Really? Even though the first Basic Instinct has some iconic film moments, the second installment included masturbation, an orgy, and a threesome. The threeway had to be cut so the film could avoid a NC-17 rating.

Destination Wedding

If viewers are looking for laughs alongside the love scenes, Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder deliver more on the former than the latter in this rom-com.

Risky Business

What's more iconic? Tom Cruise's underwear-clad dance sequence, his Ray-Bans, or the train scene with Rebecca De Mornay?

Eyes Wide Shut

Of course, Cruise had to be on the list twice. Who could forget this Stanley Kubric classic? Co-starring his then-wife Nicole Kidman, the couple was reportedly pushed to their limits during the production. They'd eventually divorce in 2001.

Boogie Nights

There's more than one unforgettable scene in this movie, but the scene-stealer in every single one might be Mark Wahlberg's enthusiasm — and his prosthetic penis, which was originally a foot long and had to be shortened because it looked too ridiculous.

Black Swan

Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman's on-screen tension comes to a head in one of the award-winning movie's most memorable scenes.

Call Me By Your Name

The movie that launched a million peach memes (and Timothée Chalamet's career) had more than a few steamy scenes.

Girls Trip

OK, while this isn't technically a sex scene, it's an informative educational moment that brings the laughs no matter how many times people have seen it.