Let’s face it. Sex sells. This is why almost all movies and TV shows have some form of sex or a mention of the intimate act every few minutes. It has become a staple in life, although it is a bit uncomfortable to watch it alone or with friends and relatives.
Sex is rampant across genres, from vulgar comedies to the latest horror sequel, and even in recent animated TV shows. There is no escaping it. Most of the time, a sex scene can be felt a mile away, but there are only a handful of sex scenes that surprisingly stand out of nowhere. Here are the 10 most surprising sex scenes in cinema.
Updated April 20, 2020 by Mariana Fernandes: Sex has become an inevitable part of cinema over the past few decades. And while some are ridiculously bad and do absolutely nothing in the name of advancing the plot, there are plenty of examples that have done the opposite. These scenes are unexpected, shocking, sensual – and they are everywhere. Because ten just wouldn’t cut it, we’ve dug deeper for some of the best sex scenes from movies you’ve never seen coming.
15 Théodore / Samantha in her
Joaquin Phoenix’s memorable performance in Oscar-winning film Her would have been memorable with or without the sex scene. The idea of a man falling in love with an operating system is enough on its own to intrigue audiences and gain critical acclaim.
However, the addition of a sex scene – in an unusual way, as all relationships are – left everyone in awe. That’s why it was so brilliant in the first place, adding an even more human dimension to a relationship that obviously shouldn’t even be.
14 Allie / Noah in the notebook
It’s one of those situations that you have to imagine as if it was their very first time watching the movie. Yes, it became very clear from the start that Rachel McAdams’ Allie and Ryan Gosling’s Noah were late in the game.
But that doesn’t make the sex scene that followed a heated argument in the rain any less surprising. Especially when you factor in the fact that Allie was very much engaged to another man before said scene took place. Notebook remains one of the most iconic romantic films of all time, with a surprising sex scene to accompany it.
13 Hazel / Augustus in The Fault In Our Stars
It’s safe to assume that a good chunk of people have yet to wipe away their tears when they think of the blockbuster. The fault in our stars, based on the young adult novel written by John Green. And if you are one of those people, then don’t worry, because you are definitely not alone.
The love affair between two teenagers with cancer was as heartbreaking as it was sweet. No one expected to see Hazel and Augustus go all the way, but the great thing about this particular scene was how accurately it described the awkwardness and fun of a situation we can all relate to – to some extent, of course.
12 Matthew / Isabelle in The Dreamers
While The dreamers is considered pretty hardcore as it used to be, it still doesn’t come close to the original source material. Still, those who were not familiar with the book that inspired the film were quite surprised by the sex scene between Mathew and Isabelle.
It included his watching brother and some pretty horrific shock value, but that’s what ended up defining the movie. Eva Green’s performance here was worthy of accolades!
11 Rose / Jack in Titanic
Just like with Notebook, the sex scene in Titanic is the one to be watched through the eyes of a 90s moviegoer watching it for the first time and not a 2020 resident who has face-to-face sex every day, thanks to marketing and entertainment industry.
The chemistry between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet is searing. But a nude portrait followed by a hot session in a car that’s in a boat? No one saw that one coming. And it remains iconic to this day.
ten Nina / Lily in Black Swan
Darren Aronofsky was not doing family ballet with his 2010 Oscar-winning film Black Swan. Instead, the filmmaker made a sizzling thriller that had Mila kunis and Natalie Portman in a delicate situation that might not have been real.
Most of the film has these two colleagues at odds, but in one scene, perfectly set at 69 minutes, the two actresses are engaged in a highly memorable erotic tangle. If Kunis and Portman were a real couple, they would be America’s lovers.
9 Ennis / Jack at Brokeback Mountain
Ang Lee went from a highly stylized martial arts film with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon at the romantic cowboy movie brokeback mountain where two formal superhero villains Heath Ledger and Jake gyllenhaal, ended up having a special whiskey night, campfire, and lovemaking that just wouldn’t stop.
It was the sex scene heard around the world in 2005 that brought the once taboo subject to the fore and ended up changing the cinematic landscape and winning numerous awards. This movie and this specific scene was ahead of its time and was a game changer.
8 Allen / Lucien in Kill Your Darlings
A little-known 2013 film titled Kill your darling centered on some of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Daniel radcliffe played Allen Ginsberg and Dane DeHaan played Lucien Carr in this jazz-infused drama.
There is a surprising sequence where Radcliffe recalled his Harry potter days and used the Engorgio charm and had a provocative sex scene with his friend Lucien. It was an unexpected turn of events in the film itself and it was one of the first films since Hogwarts for Radcliffe.
7 Beverly / Howard in Howard the Duck
In 1986, one of the writers of Star wars and Indian Jones and the Temple of Death teamed up with George Lucas and adapted the comic Howard the duck on the big screen. It has become a cult classic since then for many reasons.
One of them is the implicit sex scene between the human Beverly and a duck named Howard, who just met. Dark Overlords traveling through space to destroy Earth, and a young Tim Robbins co-piloting a small plane was more believable than this affectionate little scene between two different species.
6 Maude Lebowski / The Dude in The Big Lebowski
The Dude is the complete opposite of Maude Lebowski, a rich and elitist artist, who is passionate about this sympathetic dolt for less than 24 hours. The surprising part comes after Maude tells the guy that she only did the deed with him to have a child that she could raise on her own. It was at least a cause for an overthrown white Russian.
5 Gary / Lisa in Team America: World Police
A light musical with puppets and puppets is not the description of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s feature film Team America: Global Police. the South Park duo set out to make a violent and over the top action-comedy blockbuster with strings attached that featured brutal death scenes, terrorism, musical numbers and a sex scene between two non-anatomically corrected puppets to end all the sex scenes.
No one saw it coming (all pun intended), as the two main characters settle in for a night of loving relationships that quickly turn into various acts of hardcore fetish. There is nothing like it.
4 Maverick / Charlie in Top Gun
In 1986, filmmakers Tony Scott, Don Simpson, Jerry Bruckheimer and Tom cruise decided to make an action drama set high in the sky with Top Gun. The movie catapulted Cruise to superstar rank, but nobody knew it, this movie is actually about someone coming to terms with their own sexuality (Maverick is gay and can’t cope).
That’s why it’s so shocking that he’s having an erotic scene with Charlotte AKA Charlie instead of his main man Goose. Once Maverick realizes the mistake, he burns himself out, riding his motorbike with a tear in his eye. It was a complete surprise.
3 Alex DeLarge / Devotchkas in a Clockwork Orange
Stanley kubrick take from A clockwork orange in the most perfect way. His use of music, impeccable camera movements, and vision to tell this virtually inexpressible story on the big screen has been a major feat in filmmaking. The only consensual sex scene in the film is the most surprising because it occurs instantly and on a large scale to the gleeful tune of the William Tell opening.
Alex DeLarge walks through a local music store and uses a two-woman pickup line, which immediately jumps to the next scene and Overture as an accelerated orgy begins at her parents’ house in the middle of the afternoon.
2 Flamingos cookies / crackers
John Waters is no stranger to sex and perversion. In fact, he could be the godfather of evil deeds in the film. 1972 was the year that gave the world John Waters internationally with Pink flamingos it’s infamous for more than just an act of depravity.
There’s one sex scene in particular that stands out where the Cookie and Crackers characters have a go at sex, but a giggling chicken somehow gets between them and ends up being run over. There are no words other than if John wick was involved and a propensity for chickens, this would have been a different movie.
1 Dr Harford / Secret Evening in Eyes Wide Shut
Nothing should come as a surprise in a Stanley Kubrick film, but the iconic filmmaker’s last film climax came in 1999. Eyes Wide Shut with Tom Cruise and Nicole kidman it turned out to be the best Christmas movie ever made. Something peculiar happens throughout the film with the marriage, the vacations, and the trust issues.
It all culminates in a grand aristocratic sex orgy in which Tom Cruise walks and watches his way through a mansion of hedonism. There are loads of different sexual acts happening on screen as the camera slowly shifts with each encounter. There hasn’t been a movie like this since.
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