adult content

33 Best Sex Scenes From Movies

Photo: Shutterstock, Universal Pictures

As a publication that once dedicated an entire week to being horny, we at the Cut can truly appreciate a quality work of horny cinema. What can we say, we love a good sex scene! There’s just something about that sexual tension, whether subtle or overt, that gets all your senses tingling. The potential vibes are endless, too: A great sex scene might be aggressively passionate, painstakingly slow, gentle and sweet, or silly and surprising. Sometimes it’s all of those adjectives in one. It can be difficult to define exactly what makes a sex scene good, other than the obviously necessary element of amazing chemistry, but here are 33 of our favorites.

1. Atonement (2007)

Photo: Focus Features

Maybe this sex scene is so hot because you can tell there’s impending danger, or maybe a sex scene involving green silk and being slammed up against a bookcase is simply an intrinsically hot concept.

2. Dirty Dancing (1987)

Photo: Moviestore/Shutterstock

This kind of foreplay is enough to make anyone wish they could dance.

3. Black Swan (2010)

This supercharged scene is undeniably hot. The chemistry here is electric, and both characters clearly have a can’t-get-enough-of-each-other attitude.

4. The Notebook (2004)

Photo: Moviestore/Shutterstock

The characters waited years for this moment, and based on the passion in this (deleted) scene, it shows.

5. Queen & Slim (2019)

Photo: Universal Pictures

A movie that makes car sex actually look enjoyable is a well-done movie. This scene comes after tons of buildup, making it even hotter.

6. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

The raw desire in this scene is off the charts. The characters have extremely, uh, vocal sex all over the house. After tons of tension, the lust here definitely hits.

7. Anna Karenina (2012)

This dreamlike sequence is pure eroticism. The scene flashes back and forth from the buildup between the characters to the actual sex scene, making it even sexier and more intimate.

8. Blue Valentine (2010)

While the depicted relationship turns out to be pretty tumultuous [spoiler], this scene is anything but. Singing along to “their song” and staring at his partner like she hung the moon makes for an extremely tender moment.

9. Seven Pounds (2008)

This scene definitely lays on the drama, but it works — it might be the sweetest scene on the list. The passion between these two characters is palpable, and they both go slow, taking their time with each other. Bonus points for silk sheets.

10. Marie Antoinette (2006)

Photo: Columbia Pictures

While this was before Jamie Dornan took up the role of Christian Grey, these sex scenes are much better. There’s always something sexy about a forbidden affair, and the sneaking-around aspect is thrilling.

11. Titanic (1997)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet quite literally invented steamy sex. The foggy windows are the perfect canvas for the streaky handprint, a clear indicator of enjoyment.

12. Revolutionary Road (2008)

Photo: Bbc/Evamere/Neal Street Prods

Over ten years later, Leo and Kate are back — this time on a kitchen counter. Anyone who has ever fantasized about doing it in the kitchen, this one’s for you.

13. Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

Photo: Ben Glass/©Warner Bros/courtesy Everett Collection

While this is more of a lead-up than a sex scene, it’s hot because it feels real. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have great onscreen chemistry, and their banter shows it.

14. Someone Great (2019)

Maybe it’s just because of Lakeith Stanfield’s hotness and charm, but there’s something undeniably sexy and playful about this scene. The neon lighting; the fact that “Saturdays,” by Twin Shadow, is playing; the obvious enjoyment from both sides — perfect.

15. Pretty Woman (1990)

Photo: Touchstone

The fact that there’s no kissing makes this scene even better. Bonus points for the piano.

16. Ghost (1990)

Photo: Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

In reality, this would probably be really messy and not arousing at all, but on a screen, it plays out perfectly.

17. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)

Photo: Summit Entertainment

Yes, it’s Twilight, but it’s also bed-breaking sex.

18. Top Gun (1986)

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Looking back now, this scene is kind of cheesy. Still!

19. Fifty Shades Darker (2017)

Another scene for anyone who fantasizes about public sex. Plus, unlike so many Fifty Shades scenes, you can tell this one is all about her.

20. Monster’s Ball (2002)

Photo: Liongsgate Films

This is entirely about Billy Bob Thornton’s character going down on Halle Berry’s character. Yes.

21. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Photo: Focus/Kobal/Shutterstock

Brokeback Mountain walked so that Call Me by Your Name could run. There is so much obvious longing between the two characters, and this scene is a thrilling culmination of that.

22. Friends With Benefits (2011)

Photo: Moviestore/Shutterstock

Mila Kunis’s and Justin Timberlake’s characters explicitly tell each other what they need to get off, which is something everyone can take notes from.

23. The Mountain Between Us (2017)

Kate Winslet and Idris Elba are an incredibly sexy pairing. The speed with which they’re taking each other’s clothes off, the way he grabs her neck to kiss her, the way it looks like they can’t get enough of each other … that’s cinema.

24. Across the Universe (2007)

Photo: Moviestore/Shutterstock

An ethereal, underwater scene for all Beatles lovers.

25. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Photo: Moviestore/Shutterstock

This scene feels strangely voyeuristic, particularly because Nicole Kidman is watching herself in a mirror.

26. Disobedience (2017)

Photo: Braven Films/Kobal/Shutterstock

Best known as the scene where one actress spits in the other’s mouth, this sequence is also an intense emotional climax to a slow-burning tale of forbidden love.

27. Passages (2023)

This movie is horny pretty much all the way through, and there are several great sex scenes to choose from. But there’s something about the playfulness that devolves into aggression and the way the characters are really taking their feelings out on each other that makes it the hottest scene in the film.

28. Weekend (2011)

Photo: Peccadillo Pictures

This entire movie is one long sex scene. Okay, no it’s not, but it starts with a very hot one-night stand that turns into a very intimate, very horny, very sweet weekend full of a certain air of possibility.

29. God’s Own Country (2017)

This entry in the “hot men in rural place fall in love” genre includes several instances of great sex, but the best is this moment, which goes from viciously horny to tenderly sexy.

30. Y tu Mamá También (2001)

The hottest threesome to ever grace the silver screen? Quite possibly.

31. Love Lies Bleeding (2024)

Photo: A24

The movie? Incredibly dark. The sex scene? Incredibly hot. It works.

32. The Hunger (1983)

First of all, Susan Sarandon playing a hot scientist. Second of all, Catherine Deneuve playing a hot vampire. While he’s not in this scene, David Bowie is also there and also hot. The sex that follows this clip is artfully shot and incredibly erotic.

33. Poor Things (2023)

Photo: Searchlight Pictures

If you’ve seen this movie, you might feel weird about its inclusion on this list, and that’s fair! But the quality of the sex scenes is undeniable. While the romps shared by Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo’s characters have their own seductive power, the best sex scene is actually the scene between Stone and Suzy Bemba, who plays Bella Baxter’s socialist sex-worker bestie and lover. It’s brief, but it’s intimate and non performative and very hot.

Additional reporting by Jordan Larson and Katja Vujić.

The Best Sex Scenes From Movies