It takes a lot to impress me with a sex scene in a movie, because sex is one of those things that isn’t exactly universally appealing. One person’s turn on is another’s revulsion. While the basic act in itself can be downright crude, it gets elevated by the connection you feel with your partner.
This authentic connection can be very tricky to capture and is almost impossible to fake, which makes really good on-screen sex stand out.
1 – MOST SALACIOUS: One of the first times I witnessed raw sexuality portrayed in film was Natural Born Killers. (I’d stay up late on Saturdays to watch the Drambuie Showcase Review, which screened the most licentious, violent, and deliciously racy R-rated films that my fifteen-year old self would have a hard time renting at the local Family Video.) It stars Woody Harellson and Juliette Lewis as Mickey and Mallory Knox, a young newly-wed couple on a mass murdering spree.
Here we had the bar boy from Cheers whom we all had a little crush on, and who would continue to hold my affections with his emphatic pro-marijuana politics. I came from a good family, and I’d still have considered running off on a wild streak with him too!
From the handie under the table in the prison visiting room, to the leering gaze in Mickey’s eyes as he stares at a half undressed young female hostage in the corner while fucking Mallory in a seedy motel room, these two exert pure lustful energy and undeniable chemistry.
2 – MOST TITILATING: Another woman who’s not afraid to use her feminine wiles to turn a situation in her favour is the indelible Nancy Botwin, played by Mary-Louise Parker on the Showtime comedy Weeds. The single mom of two boys, she turns to dealing drugs after her breadwinner husband drops dead, relying on her charm and chuztpah to get her out of some sticky situations.
For example, when she goes above her drug dealer to get a bigger piece of the action, the Mexican drug lord she encounters throws her over his knee in the back of his limo and spanks her a good dozen times. Her ass cheek reddens beneath her black lace panties, and the look on her face afterwards is priceless – she’s clearly shocked, but definitely a little turned on…
Not to mention her fulfilling a pre-teen fantasy for a good many of us children of the 80s by having hot sex with Zach Morris (aka Mark Paul Gosselaar), who had a steamy guest appearance this season as a bartender Nancy seduces. Makes me want to drop in on more small town bars in the middle of the afternoon when I’ve got nothing else to do.
3 – MOST GRAPHIC: Oddly enough, the most graphic scene on this list involves no actual penetration or genetalia, because the participants are as neutered as Ken and Barbie dolls. Of course, I’m speaking of the infamous puppet sex scene in Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Team America: World Police.
It starts off like so many amorous encounters: a tender moment at sunset between a woman and her secret crush. He makes false promises and reveals his vulnerability, and they tumble into bed together. What follows is nearly a minute of the raunchiest acts Parker could slip past the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
It runs the whole gamut of sex acts from 69, reverse cowgirl, rim job, and water sports, to the classic “shit on my face”. The MPAA rejected the first eight cuts of the scene in order to finally grant the R-rating, which really has me intrigued at what vile acts got left on the cutting-room floor.
4- MOST BRILLIANT: I’ve saved my personal favourite for last. This particular scene has all the elements: a killer soundtrack courtesy of Blondie, a sense of humour, and the hallowed full frontal shot, a relative rarity in mainstream cinema.
The film is Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, another favourite of mine from adolescence. It follows the trials and tribulations of a group of junkies in Edinburgh, and features Ewan McGregor in one of his first starring roles as Mark Renton.
He follows the little bit crazy, little bit bad Diane home from a bar, where they engage in realistic, raw and downright sexy drunken one-night stand sex, a kind I would come to know and love.
Post-coitus Renton even likens it to some famous football goal he’d witnessed years before, some footage of which his buddy is watching at the exact same moment while attempting to find a tape of homemade porn showing him and his girlfriend…a tape that the sneaky bastard Renton himself had switched days earlier.
It’s directly after the coitus that Diane kicks Renton out of her bed, and lo and behold, a brief glimpse of Ewan’s beautiful light saber. For a better view, try Velvet Goldmine, in which he jumps around bottomless on stage.
We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of PG-13 and R-rated encounters in cinema. Film writer Stephanie Laughlin wrote about some of her favorite sex scenes yesterday if you haven’t got enough yet! Have you got a favourite scene you’d like to recommend?? Leave a comment below.