Sex scenes are nearly as old as movies themselves. In fact, one of the first films to be screened for the public debuted in 1896 and was called The Kiss. It was quite steamy for its time, featuring a full-on brushing of the lips, which, let us tell you, really riled up the modest-minded folks of the late 19th century. But these days, a movie sex scene has to accomplish a lot more to be memorable.
"Crazy" can be broadly interpreted in the realm of onscreen sex. There's the hot stuff that begs for repeated rewatchings. There are downright hilarious sexual interactions that involve comedic timing, musical numbers, awkward improv, and/or puppets. There are scenes from horror movies that make us recoil in disgust and boundary-pushing scenes that inspire a trove of thought pieces. There's most of what Micky Rourke touched in the '80s. Here's a selection of 50 such movie sex scenes, from the classics to recent releases, each one seemingly crazier than the next.
Released: 2016 Directed by: Park Chan-wook Actors: Kim Tae-Ri and Kim Min-hee Fun fact: To shoot the lesbian sex scene in a way that made his leads feel comfortable, Park gave the male crew members the day off, hired a female boom operator, and filmed the encounter with a remote-controlled camera. Call Me By Your Name
Released: 2017 Directed by: Luca Guadagnino Actors: Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer Fun fact: In the first and only rehearsal for this film, Guadagnino had his actors immediately act out the scene where they make out furiously. (This is also the film that launched a thousand peach memes.) Monster's Ball
Released: 2001 Directed by: Marc Forster Actors: Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton Fun Fact: Halle Berry became the first Black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for this movie. Twenty years later, she remains the only Black woman to have won it. In the Realm of Senses
Released: 1976 Directed by: Nagisa Ōshima Actors: Eiko Matsuda and Tatsuya Fuji Fun fact: This erotic film featured unsimulated (a.k.a. very real) sex scenes between its actors, and thus kicked up a lot of controversy in 1976. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Released: 2008 Directed by: Nicholas Stroller Actors: Jason Segel, Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Russell Brand Fun fact: To promote the film, billboards were placed around big cities attacking the fictional Sarah Marshall. That bothered some real-life Sarah Marshalls. Hancock
Released: 2008 Directed by: Peter Berg Actors: Will Smith and Hayley Marie Norman Fun fact: Hancock, an alcoholic superhero stuck in the modern day with severe amnesia and sexual frustrations, is supposedly the Greek god Zeus, and his love interest/sister, played by Charlize Theron, is supposedly the Greek goddess Hera. Midsommar Released: 2019 Directed by: Ari Aster Actors: Jack Reynor, Isabelle Grill, and a lot of extras Fun fact: It took two grueling weeks to film this nudity-filled, crazy-yet-terrifying ritualistic sex scene. King Cobra
Released: 2016 Directed by: Justin Kelly Actors: Garrett Clayton, Christian Slater, Keegan Allen, and James Franco Fun fact: This film was based on a real-life murder plot within the gay porn industry.
Released: 1987 Directed by: Alan Parker Actors: Lisa Bonet and Mickey Rourke Fun fact: A combination of rough sex, spurting blood, and Rourke's buttocks got this horror movie an X rating before the scene was trimmed to appeal to the MPAA. Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy
Released: 2015-2018 Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson; James Foley Actors: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan Fun fact: This soft-core take on BDSM pulled in over $1 billion at the box office across all three movies. The books they were based on were actually fan-fic for the Twilight tween series.
Released: 2015 Directed by: Bryan Buckley Actors: Melissa Rauch and Sebastian Stan Fun fact: Rauch used a body double for this movie's acrobatic sex scene, but Stan did not. That's flexibility.
Released: 2009 Directed by: James Cameron Actors: Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana Fun fact: Cameron is planning to make four Avatar sequels. No word yet if any will feature CGI tail sex, though. Sorry to Bother You
Released: 2018 Directed by: Boots Riley Actors: Lakeith Stanfield and Armie Hammer Fun fact: It wouldn't be a movie about soulless corporate ladder-climbing without coke-fueled orgies. Stanfield said he wanted to go nude, but his character's nudity was eventually cut from the script. Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
Released: 1983 Directed by: Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam Actor: John Cleese Fun fact: The Monty Python troupe wrote a rousing musical number called "Every Sperm Is Sacred," along with this live sex ed demonstration. Jason's Lyric
Released: 1993 Directed by: Doug McHenry Actors: Jada Pinkett Smith and Allen Payne Fun fact: The sex scenes in this movie had to be cut down to avoid an NC-17 rating. Barbarella
Released: 1968 Directed by: Roger Vadim Actors: Jane Fonda Fun fact: The evil scientist Durand-Durand who puts Barbarella through the Excessive Machine was the inspiration behind the band Duran Duran's name. Destination Wedding
Released: 2018 Directed by: Victor Levin Actors: Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves Fun fact: The non-stop, high-velocity banter between Ryder and Reeves throughout Destination Wedding does not let up during this awkward sex scene. The Piano Teacher
Released: 2001 Directed by: Michael Haneke Actors: Isabelle Huppert and Benoît Magimel Fun fact: The Piano Teacher explores themes of sadomasochism and sexuality in a way that makes Fifty Shades look like Saturday morning cartoons. Under the Skin
Released: 2013 Directed by: Jonathan Glazer Actors: Scarlett Johansson Fun fact: Glazer hired people off the street, not actors, to portray the men who succumb to Johansson's alien allure and ultimately die in bizarre, mesmerizing ways.
Released: 1997 Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson Actors: Julianne Moore and Mark Wahlberg Fun fact: Originally, Mark Wahlberg's prosthetic penis was 12 inches long, but because that looked ridiculous, it was shortened to seven inches. Basic Instinct 2
Released: 2006 Directed by: Michael Caton-Jones Actors: Sharon Stone Fun Fact: Two scenes, one of them a threesome, had to be cut from this film for it to avoid an NC-17 rating. The orgy scene and this masturbation scene remained, making the sequel that much crazier than the already-crazy first Basic Instinct. Don Jon
Released: 2013 Directed by: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Fun Fact: JGL knew he wouldn't get a big Hollywood studio to make his porn addiction movie, so he did it on his own. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Released: 1975 Directed by: Jim Sharman Actors: Susan Sarandon and Peter Hinwood Fun fact: Sarandon refused to appear nude during this much-beloved, musical ensemble number. Trainwreck
Released: 2015 Directed by: Judd Apatow Actors: Amy Schumer and John Cena Fun Fact: Cena said this scene was written to be much more physical, but Schumer and Apatow let him ad-lib, so it became something truly memorable. The Room
Released: 2003 Directed by: Tommy Wiseau Actors: Tommy Wiseau and Juliette Danielle Fun Fact: Wiseau claimed, "I have to show my ass or this movie won't sell." Show his ass he did. Sausage Party
Released: 2016 Directed by: Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon Actors: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, and many more Fun Fact: This was the first-ever 3D CGI-animated film to get an R rating by the MPAA, for obvious reasons. Disobedience
Released: 2018 Directed by: Sebastián Lelio Actors: Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams Fun fact: McAdams said the saliva used in this scene was actually lychee-flavored lube. Secretary
Released: 2002 Directed by: Steven Shainberg Actors: Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader Fun fact: This was one of few mainstream films to portray BDSM as sex-positive, long before 50 Shades of Grey entered the scene. Raw
Released: 2016 Directed by: Julia Ducournau Actors: Garance Marillier and Rabah Nait Oufella Fun fact: People allegedly fainted while watching this gory, French cannibalism movie. Consider yourself warned. Black Swan Released: 2010 Directed by: Darren Aronofsky Actors: Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman Fun Fact: This psychological thriller is one of just six horror films to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
Released: 2017 Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee Actor: Tiffany Haddish and a banana Fun Fact: Though not an actual sex scene, this bonkers grapefruit demonstration got the crew on Girls Trip to start sending Haddish love letters and jewelry for her performance. The Counselor
Released: 2013 Directed by: Ridley Scott Actors: Cameron Diaz and a 2013 Ferrari California HS Fun fact: Angelia Jolie turned down the role of Malkina. Wonder why?
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Released: 1986 Directed by: Adrian Lyne Actors: Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger Fun fact: Basinger used a body double for all of her sex scenes. Shame
Released: 2011 Directed by: Steve McQueen Actors: Michael Fassbender and Amy Hargreaves Fun fact: The Standard Hotel in Manhattan's Meatpacking District is notorious for couples having sex against the floor-to-ceiling windows, as one scene in this movie demonstrates. Showgirls
Released: 1995 Directed by: Paul Verhoeven Actors: Elizabeth Berkley and Kyle MacLachlan Fun fact: Showgirls is the highest-grossing NC-17 movie of all time. Love
Released: 2015 Directed by: Gaspar Noé Actors: Aomi Muyock, Karl Glusman, and Klara Kristin Fun fact: The unsimulated sex scenes were arguably more exciting during the film's 3D theatrical release. The Paperboy
Released: 2012 Directed by: Lee Daniels Actors: Nicole Kidman and John Cusack Fun fact: This is the movie in which Nicole Kidman peed on Zac Efron. And yet that's not the most shocking scene of the film. Blue Is the Warmest Color
Released: 2013 Directed by: Abdellatif Kechiche Actors: Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos Fun fact: One of the multiple sex scenes in this film took ten days to shoot, and sparked intense conversations about a director's responsibility to actors' well-being on set.
Wet Hot American Summer
Released: 2001 Directed by: David Wain Actors: Bradley Cooper and Michael Ian Black Fun fact: This sex scene was all improv. Including the part where they keep their socks on. Watchmen
Released: 2009 Directed by: Zack Snyder Actors: Malin Akerman and Patrick Wilson Fun fact: Snyder actually thought it would be a good idea to set a superhero sex scene to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."
Released: 2014 Directed by: David Fincher Actors: Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris Fun fact: Pike practiced this murderous sex scene using a Dora the Explorer doll. She also requested that she and Harris spend two hours alone on set preparing. Team America
Released: 2004 Directed by: Trey Parker Actors: Two puppets voiced by Trey Parker and Kristen Miller Fun fact: After showing an initial version of the film to the Motion Picture Association of America, the board gave it an NC-17 rating for the sex scene. After at least nine edits, the film finally got bumped down to an R rating.
Released: 2000 Directed by: Mary Harron Actors: Cara Seymour, Guinevere Turner, and Christian Bale Fun fact: Bale based his Patrick Bateman off Tom Cruise, as he called it "this very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes." Eyes Wide Shut
Released: 1999 Directed by: Stanley Kubrick Actors: Tom Cruise and a lot of naked people in scary masks Fun fact: Many of the orgy guests were computer-generated figures that obscured the sex acts, allowing the film to get an R rating.