The art of seduction is not unlike that of film. What is left to the imagination is often what viewers end up wanting to see the most. Whether it’s just out of frame or just out of touch, a healthy dose of yearning can edge us towards the gratifying moment of passion. Even just a tender close-up would otherwise be anti-climactic if not for its initial absence.
And, of course, as any good Foucault-reading sexpert will tell you: Even when sex is forced out of the picture, its very nature of being repressed often makes humans unable to stop thinking, talking, and joking about it.
Like any art form, movies are far from immune to humanity’s instinctual fascination with sex. Whether it’s in sophomoric explorations, gut-wrenching unspoken tensions, or the simple deed itself, sex and movies have been as entangled together as far back as the medium has existed. These are the best movies about lust, love, and everything in between.
Wild Things This erotic thriller is notorious for Kevin Bacon's nude scene and a threesome between Denise Richards, Neve Campbell, and Matt Dillon.
9 Songs An Englishman and an American woman go to a bunch of concerts and then have a lot of sex. That's...pretty much it.
Unfaithful I guess if you're planning to cheat on Richard Gere, Olivier Martinez is as good a choice as any.
Crash Not the one about how everybody in Los Angeles is secretly racist this movie is about people who get really horny over car crashes.
Body Heat Kathleen Turner plays a Floridian femme fatale in this neo-noir, who easily convinces William Hurt's dimwit lawyer to help her murder her husband.
Superbad Three teenage boys embark on a mission to lose their virginity before leaving high school, and manic hijinks ensue.
Blockers A group of teenage girls vow to lose their virginity on prom night but not if their parents succeed in their mission to stop them.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Name a sexier horror-comedy-musical. We'll wait.
Love Gaspar Noé's 3D fuckfest probably isn't as mind-blowing on your laptop, but the unsimulated sex scenes are still pretty steamy.
Fifty Shades of Grey Sure, it's a little cheesy, but name a sexy movie that is this funny (especially since it's not meant to be).
9 1/2 Weeks This is the movie that Fifty Shades wanted to be, and you can't beat the creepy chemistry between Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke.
Nymphomaniac Make no mistake: The lead character in this two-part, four-hour art film is very horny. But it's a Lars Von Trier movie, so it's potentially less sexy than you think.
Booty Call This might be the only movie about a madcap search for a pack of condoms. It's a sex comedy with a safe sex message!
Risky Business What enterprising young man wouldn't operate an escort service out of his home when his parents are out of town?
Stranger by the Lake The lead character in this film is so horny that he'll willingly sleep with a guy who he assumes might also be a serial killer.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High A generation of Hollywood stars appeared in this comedy that revealed the not-so-secret sex lives of California teenagers.
American Pie Jason Biggs is probably not the only actor in Hollywood whose claim to fame comes from having sex with food. But his tryst with a pie is iconic nonetheless.
Y Tu Mamá También One of the sexiest coming-of-age stories follows two teenagers who take a road trip with an older woman. Think of all the possibilities!
Friends With Benefits They're more than friends, but they're not dating. They're simply boning. A lot.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin Steve Carell's titular character tries to use it before he loses it in Judd Apatow's grown-up sex comedy.
10 It's the movie that convinced white women that they could rock cornrows and dudes who looked like Dudley Moore that they could land women who looked like Bo Derek.
The Girl Next Door What do you do when you find out your neighbor is a former porn star? Ask her to prom, of course.
Henry & June Inspired by the true story of Henry Miller's affair with French writer Anaïs Nin, this is the movie responsible for the creation of the NC-17 rating.