10 Most Controversial Sex Scenes

10 Most Controversial Sex Scenes

by Christopher Campbell

Due to the criticism and controversy of an alleged date-rape scene in Observe and Report, we bring you yet another list of sex scenes, this one focused on cinematic moments that stirred protest, censorship, bans and boycotts. Whether groundbreaking for their time or still questionable today, these scenes could probably have been included in our past highlights of films sold on a sex scene and films remembered primarily for a sex scene. But these are not leftovers. Many of them have merits and memorability outside of their “upsetting” depictions of a sexual act, though many of their objectors wouldn’t know since they never actually saw the films themselves.

One disclaimer must be made, because we’re sure commenters will jump in otherwise asking why A Clockwork Orange and other films with controversial rape scenes have not been included. Besides the fact that many readers will argue that such scenes are not rightly labeled “sex scenes,” there’s also the matter that too many films feature gratuitous rape scenes, and most of the time these are met with criticism. Of course, there are also a number of controversial consensual sex scenes that we’ve had to leave out, so feel free to name any excluded titles after reading the list.

Hedy Lamarr’s Orgasm in Ecstasy (Gustav Machaty, 1933)

This notorious Czechoslovakian production wasn’t the first non-pornographic film to depict sexual intercourse, but it is considered the first theatrically released movie to feature an actress (Hedy Lamarr, in her star-making role) simulating an orgasm onscreen. Censorship, bans and denouncements of the film from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Adolph Hitler and Pope Pius XII were partly due to Lamarr’s infamous non-sexual nude scene, but the close-ups on the actress’ face as she expresses sexual pleasure were certainly as objectionable, if not more so, for the time.

The “Rape of the Christ” in The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971)

A film so controversial that it’s still very difficult to see it in its (existing) entirety, Ken Russell’s The Devils initially had such blasphemous sequences as the infamous “Rape of Christ,” which features possessed nuns masturbating with crucifixes and effigies of Jesus. Yes, we can count masturbation as sex, though in this film and in The Exorcist, which also includes masturbation with a cross, we might better classify the acts as rape. But the difficulty of distinction only adds to its controversial nature, doesn’t it?

Sweetback Loses His Virginity in Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (Melvin Van Peebles, 1971)

Considering Melvin Van Peebles actually performed most of the sex acts he’s seen engaged in in this seminal Blaxploitation film, it’s quite possible that young Mario Van Peebles’ sex scene was similarly unsimulated. Of course, that would have been illegal, since Mario was only 13. Even if there was no actual intercourse occurring, though, the scene is controversial for the boy’s nudity and energetic performance during the title character’s moment of sexual awakening with a prostitute.

Sex with Chickens in Pink Flamingos (John Waters, 1972)

Bestiality scenes can be quite controversial (see the cat rape in Leolo, for example), but animal rights groups have less to protest with a film that merely simulates animal cruelty than a film like Pink Flamingos, which definitely appears to be exploiting and harming a live chicken during an infamous moment of lovemaking between two characters who crush the fowl between them. It may not be the most disturbing moment of the film, but it is one of the more contentious.

Fisting Scene in Cruising (William Friedkin, 1980)

Long before Brokeback Mountain and Milk were protested for their tasteful depictions of homosexual lovemaking (Christian groups predictably slammed them for being gay propaganda), Cruising was controversial for depicting gay sex as fetishistic, depraved and violent (gay groups slammed it for being anti-gay). The film originally opened with a disclaimer stating that it portrays only “one segment” of the “homosexual world” and is “not meant to be representative of the whole,” but it didn’t help matters. The film was still considered homophobic, failed at the box office, and worst of all, led to copycat crimes against gays.

The Introduction of Frank Booth in Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)

Like most erotic films made by respected arthouse filmmakers, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet polarized critics and audiences and was met with both Oscar recognition and protests. Most of the controversy concerned the film’s most infamous scene, criticized for being misogynistic as well as depraved, in which Dennis Hopper inhales oxygen and engages in abusive sexual activity with Isabella Rosellini while being watched by Kyle Maclachlan. David Cronenberg would be met with a similar mix of praise and disgust ten years later, with the controversial auto-accident-fetish film Crash.

Jesus Has Sex in The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988)

Obviously Christian groups would get upset with a film that depicts Jesus (Willem Dafoe) in a sex scene with Mary Magdalene (Barbara Hershey), and so it was no surprise that protests began many months prior to the release of The Last Temptation of Christ when such a scene was first reported to exist. Never mind that the scene is only part of a dream/vision Jesus has while being tempted by Satan and is not exploitive. Many would continue to slam the film without even watching it. One French Catholic group famously went to see it, but only to throw a Molotov cocktail at the screen.

The Opening Scene in Kids (Larry Clark, 1995)

Though controversial for many, many reasons and scenes, particularly the tragic rape scene at the end, Kids was met with protest from the very first shot, which features a depiction of a 17-year-old boy (Leo Fitzpatrick) deflowering a 12-year-old girl (Sarah Henderson). Many viewers questioned the legality or morality of employing this seemingly age-appropriate actress, critics called it borderline kiddy porn, and the filmmakers constantly had to assure audiences that she was in fact 18. The film had its share of protests and distribution problems, but fortunately for the filmmakers, it was made and released before the signing of the Child Pornography Prevention Act, unlike…

Humbert and Lolita Play a Game in Lolita (Adrian Lyne, 1997)

Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s classic novel was obviously controversial for its semi-incestuous, pedophilic sex scenes, even though they were only hinted at and occurred off screen. 35 years later, in an era thought to be more progressive and allowing, Adrian Lyne’s version was just as objectionable, if not more so, because it left less to the imagination. One sex scene carefully substituted a 19-year-old body double for 15-year-old actress Dominique Swain, but despite the fact that plenty of movies had employed legal-aged girls portraying underage characters in nude and sex scenes before, Lyne’s Lolita was unfortunately being filmed just as President Clinton signed the Child Pornography Prevention Act. This banned even virtual child pornography, which Lolita’s sex scene might be considered to be, so Lyne videotaped the making of all questionable scenes in case he needed to produce evidence in court that his film falls into the boundaries of the law. Of course, legal or not, the film became a difficult sell to audiences and failed to find proper theatrical distribution. Meanwhile, after five years, the Child Pornography Prevention Act was struck down in 2002 for being too broad.

Nazi Commits Statutory Rape in The Reader (Stephen Daldry, 2008)

This wasn’t the first film to depict an underage boy having sex with an older woman, nor was it the first to incite protests regarding the double standard of statutory rape being more acceptable when the minor is male. But due to its added controversy of involving a former Nazi (Kate Winslet), whose humanity is defended through the film’s early lovemaking and romance scenes, The Reader makes it onto this list instead of other titles (which due to the double standard aren’t even seen as that controversial anyway).

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Comments

krishnakumar

i am 40 yrs old

Mithun

Hi kate ii m mhthun 4m india m ur big fan u know or not i dont no but i ‘ve not saw the film the reader if u give sex scene its 2 bad not good u dont like 2 able this type of scene bcause u like an angel . When i saw ur nude scene i feel 2 bad u no. My friends n neibur like u how can we connect i dont understand this.kate please u dont give any type of nude or sex scean baby.i feel 2 bad we all respect u please please please please please….

Mithun

Hi kate ii m mhthun 4m india m ur big fan u know or not i dont no but i ‘ve not saw the film the reader if u give sex scene its 2 bad not good u dont like 2 able this type of scene bcause u like an angel . When i saw ur nude scene i feel 2 bad u no. My friends n neibur like u how can we connect i dont understand this.kate please u dont give any type of nude or sex scean baby.i feel 2 bad we all respect u please please please please please….

Wahlbergcusack

What about the movie American Psycho when Christian Bale has sex with two prostitutes, In the morning the prostitues are beaten bloody

jl

what about spanking the monkey?

BREANNE

I HAVE JUST HAD SEX IT WAS AMAZING

john

In the movie “Blue Velvet” Dennis Hopper was not inhaling oxygen. It was nitrous oxide. He was a huffer.
Notice that each time he used the gas mask he got wilder and wilder.

newton

Helllo dear kate i just watch your movies because of your nude scenes and your hot body please please please just give maximum sex scenes i am fond of your movies.

Mithon you need viagra buddy dnt be shy i will send you then you will like kate winslet nude scene movie.Kate this liar mithon have seen your movie many times he is lying i know nature of indians just use this tactics to impress girls.

Kate plz just give max hot and sex scenes i just watch your movies only because of your hot body.

jimmy12345

When i saw ur nude scene i feel 2 bad u no. My friends n neibur like u how can we connect i dont understand this.kate please u dont give any type of nude or sex scean baby.i feel 2 bad we all respect u please please please please please…What about the movie American Psycho when Christian Bale has sex with two prostitutes, In the morning the prostitues are beaten bloody

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chris

I love good sex scene movies. The more controversial the better. If I was religious then I would dare to say that censorship is against god but since I’m not then I will just have to say that it is unamerican. There are certain types of music that I don’t like and certain tv shows that I can’t stand so I simply don’t tune in, this is something that all the bitchers should try instead of doing what they do best.

chris

If you don’t like what you see then press the ^ button. I agree with the other chris

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Chris you are right. I can’t stand grapefruit. The name is decieving, tastes nothing like grapes! I simply dont purchase them. I don’t fuss about those who do. Shoot me a text stuthorn@southwire.com

rakesh

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BigBill's HalfwayInn

Several movies by Joe D’Amato depict cannabalistic sex; one of his torture scenes was so real that people thought it was. Some of Jess Franco’s work is quite daring. The Government created all kinds of controversy when trying to ban Deep Throat. The Emmanuelle and Black Emmanuelle series usually include some kind of orgy. The Postman Always Rings Twice with Jessica Lange, Straw Dogs with Susan Day George, Death Wish with a young Jeff Goldblum, Jane March in 2 memorable movies and I Spit On Your Grave, the 1978 original and the new release to add another ten.

Chris

What about A Clockwork Orange?

sm in dallas

kids and sex is always going to be controversial. the religious crap means nothing to me because I’m not religious and neither is 75% of the Western world.

Larsen E. Whipsnade

Re Pink Flamingos: The chicken scene isn’t even the most offensive scene!

I’d nominate the women being held captive in the basement, forced to give birth to babies that are then sold. That’s some harsh stuff, isn’t it?

Or how about when Babs ********** her son Cotton?

The contortionist who performs to “Surfin’ Bird” is pretty classic too, as is the dog**** scene.

Great.

danny

Fuck you you fucking retard virgin indian… give ur opinions on the entry or shut the fuck up… really stupid…

yeah… sex scene in kids should be in the list… its quite disturbing watching how kids dont realised how dangerous HIV/AIDS is…

so fuck you fucking curry!

Becareful

hahahaaa! you people are so lame. there is only one movie that can be called the most vile, despicable, frightening, horrifying, shocking and on and on with the descriptions. And that movie is called Irreversible. WARNING: DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO, which is available to view for free online by anyone if you go to a free movie site, if you are at all sensitive to brutal RAPE and MURDER and VIOLENT ASSAULT against female scenes. There is a rape scene that lasts for what, around 10 minutes where Monica Belucci is anally raped by a gay pimp. It appears that they actually have anal sex in this scene. Horrifyingly awful and scary and will never ever leave your mind. There is also a murder scene where a gay attempted rapist is beaten with a fire extinguisher to death and the entire beating to the face and head is shown in close up graphic detail with bran matter and facial bones and tissue and teeth and oral everything is shown in agonizing detail as the man dies slowly. This will haunt you forever. Again, please, this is a dire warning, do not view this film if you are at all prone to depression, anxiety, worry, obsessive thoughts.

nabeel

HI

david K

one that comes to mind for me is the “ass to ass” scene from Requiem for a Dream, it was the reason the movie was rated nc 17 and anyone who has seen the movie that scene will never leave their brain

lcpbeto

Anybody know the name of one movie where a woman strip in front of children? Its not porn… but was a very good scene, the kids for a moment stob beeing kids and watch very closely the full naked woman…

Charles

I’d say if i had to choose a most controversial sex scene it would either be the stabbing genitals with a crucifix scene in the exorcist or…. most of A Serbian film.

There are some proper fucked up scenes in that…. a man having sex with a baby that’s just come out of the womb (new born porn scene) and the scene where the main character is having sex with a woman whose tied to a bed, whilst he’s hacking her head off spring to mind…. Oh and the scene where he’s fucking his 8 year old son in the ass.

It is a film I won’t be watching again any time soon. i thought it was just a stupid attempt to shock and offend anyone who dares to watch it.

pomi

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Ola

I want to be a porn star i can fuck for 3 hrs

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matti

very good directed excellent movies

Dot-The-i

Fish tank, then Ken Park, the one that I've been looking for it streamed on Lifetime mid-upper 90's it was a scene whereabouts the Lolita kind of where a man was at firework show picnic with daughter and mother, and had his arm and the mother's affection on one side, and his other hand was in between the legs of the daughter or adolescent, unknowing to the older woman it was like dude that was imagery for a 13-15 year old boy, if u no what movie it is reply back tyvm

Toto

Just a fun fact; when Lynch started blue velvet he was going to have Dennis Hopper inhale helium. It was Hopper's idea to have nitrous oxide.
Lynch didn't know what it was. It's a little endearing.

But I'd like to add the first of the evil dead trilogy in which one of the women is raped by possessed trees. It's very intricate, tearing her clothes off, tying her up, and seeing a branch jam itself inside her.
She then becomes possessed herself. All very good and cheesy.

lostintransaction

Kate Winslet's character in "The Reader" was NOT a Nazi at the time that she engaged in her romance with the young boy; she entered into the Nazi party only AFTER she lost contact with her young lover. This fact might seem like a small detail, but it played a large part in the dynamics between the two characters in the film.

Tresix

How about Russ Meyer's VIXEN (1968)? One of the first movies to receive and X rating, VIXEN features an incest scene where Vixen (Erica Gavin) gets it on with her brother Judd (Jon Evans). A scene so shocking, it even grosses out Judd's friend, Niles (Harrison Page).

salmi

i think that was so good. But some kinds of erotic scene should be added.

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Mark Davis

What about Salo, or 120 Days of Sodom by Pasolini? Though you could easily and rightly argue that these are not sex acts but torture.

Dave

Why are any of these controversial? What times are we living in here? People need to chill out about sex. Our society needs to evolve, fast.

emir

arrhhh….

aismail

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quitiara

So is there a sex scene in Lolita that has nudity. Cause I watched the movie on the internet and never saw nudity. So if I buy the the DVD for it will there be nudity? Cause I prefer there not to be.

AUSSIE!

I would have thought Bad Boy Bubby would have garnered a mention here.

amit

nice

tim

fuck offcwit your stupid list

Angie

I do not feel that they are really controversial right now. Nude movie scenes are something that pop up all the time now. Maybe 30 years ago it was controversial but now I would not say it was.

Vijaykumar

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