Sex scenes are nearly as old as movies themselves. In fact, one of the first films to be screened for the public debuted in 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.
Sex scenes have a rich, varied tradition in the cinema. In the s, they were commodified in startling ways. These days, they tend to be relatively rare. Some of the scenes on this list are seminal moments in film history for better and for worse. Some are flash points that wound up changing our culture in interesting ways. Some came to represent nefarious, exploitative trends. And some are just unforgettable scenes that informed what came after them. It really is a mixed bunch. In this Czech film, the great Hedy Lamarr plays a young, frustrated bride who flees her marriage to a wealthy, impotent older man and finds love and lust in the arms of a virile engineer. This may have been the first documented sex scene in cinema.
Before HBO and Netflix, you didn't have many options if you wanted to watch a no-holds-barred, graphic, sexy sex scene. But the age of streaming changed all that, and now not only can you watch literally any kind of sex scene you want, whenever you want, you can also catch some down-and-dirty sex on your favorite TV shows Friends would never! Sex is a normal, healthy, essential part of being a human in this world, and it's only right that some of the best TV shows out there reflect that. On that note, here are the most hot, graphic, and in some cases groundbreaking sex scenes we've seen on the small screen.
The Franco-Italian romance starring Marlon Brando centered on a couple that conducts an anonymous sexual relationship in an unfurnished apartment in Paris. The film's portrayal of sexual violence and the use of butter as a lubricant sparked controversy, even earning a TIME cover story. Watch here. Tom Cruise burst onto the movie scene by having sex on an abandoned Chicago "L" train with a call girl as a high schooler in this movie. Some of the scenes border on assault, and at one point the couple even has sex after stabbing another man in the buttocks. The movie was based on the real-life sexual relationships among Anais Nin, famed author Henry Miller, and his wife June Miller.