The state of queer sex scenes in movies is a little bleak. Not only are our queer and trans characters always played by straight and cis actors, but they are often scrubbed clean of sexual particularities, kinky proclivities, personalities, real bodies, brown bodies, and a whole other mess of missing things. Anyway, enough about those movies.
In the film industry, unsimulated sex is the presentation in a film of sex scenes where the actors engage in an actual sex act and are not just miming or simulating the actions. At one time in the United States such scenes were restricted by law and self-imposed industry standards such as the Motion Picture Production Code. Beginning in the late s, most notably with Blue Movie by Andy Warholmainstream movies began pushing boundaries in terms of what was presented on screen.
Contrary to how effortless, natural, and erotic they seem on-screen, Hollywood sex scenes take a great deal of thoughtfulness, hard work, and preparation to create. Like any aspect of film or television, there are countless crew members — from those working on casting to camera work to editing — whose combined efforts create the movie magic we see in the final product. Because the subject matter of love scenes is so personal, those involved have a variety of secret tricks and techniques up their sleeves to make scenes convincing for audiences and as comfortable as possible for actors.
The ingredients for Good Movie Sex are: dramatic kissing, flashes of skin in the dark, a sexy musical overture, the art of implication, and walking around draped in a sheet afterward which I am convinced nobody has ever done. Truly realistic sexual imagery is, unfortunately, hard to come by in mainstream film, which almost always lacks the nuance, communication, and awkward clean-up that inevitably happens in real life sex. But there are a few sexy diamonds in the rough.
Sometimes the flesh-to-flesh contact onscreen looks so real, you might wonder if the actors are really doing it. But sometimes we have more than an inkling. Here are several examples through the years.
Whether by design or by default, the topic of mainstream movies that contain real sex scenes tends to bring out the voyeur in all of us. Moviegoers and movie fan websites produce endless lists of what they consider the best movie sex scenes but it's interesting that those scenes are rarely the same as the famous and infamous mainstream movies that capture actors having real sex on the screen. Our fascination with these mainstream movies with real sex scenes seems a little odd in light of the multi-billion dollar porn industry, which offers "real" sex on film in every imaginable way.
Fact one: People have sex. Fact two: Because sex is a natural human experience, some movie directors opt to include it in their films—unsimulated—for a heightened sense of realism, which means you're looking at real people having real intercourse. Here are 25 movies that broke taboos for just that.
You may not have known this, but unsimulated sex in the film industry was banned by the US law until the s. Antichrist — The Lars von Trier film features a couple of scenes with some pretty graphic content. For those who were wondering — yes, the sex scenes were real, but stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg actually used body doubles in them.