Hollywood has been very kind to the millions of Americans that need something artsy to masturbate to. Of course sex and sexiness have had their place in art ever since the first cave man drew the first cave dick on the first cave wall, but in the Internet age there is no such thing as hidden and niche any more. Eventually, even the strangest and most out there fetish will be performed on a famous person in a project that cost millions of dollars.
For instance, I've seen Alicia Witt take a gerbil up the ass in Cecil B. Demented. No, I won't post a link to the video. Everyone should already own that movie.
What's most amazing to me is when Hollywood manages to titillate without the first three letters of that word. Sometimes, the sexiest things in existence are so hot they don't require nudity, beds, or simulated genital shenanigans at all. Such as...
Tom Jones I'm the first to say that I don't get the whole food/sex thing, and that goes double for something like crab. Watching Albert Finney and Joyce Redman in this scene is the notable exception to that. It starts off funny, but as they wordlessly eat this huge seafood spread, the two engage in an ever increasing series of lustful gazes and gentle touching that is more adept in sexual technique than most of us can pull off with years of practice and a bag full of props from Erotic Cabaret.
Bull Durham Kevin Costner is not exactly what most of us think when he picture manhood incarnate, but back in 1988 he pulled it off nicely. There's some great traditional sex scenes in Bull Durham, but none of them top Costner's sudden speech about what he believes in... most of which involves a much-man approach to human heterosexuality. Don't try pulling it off. You aren't 1988 Kevin Costner.
Atonement OK, granted, this is a sex scene and maybe it shouldn't count even though for the most part James McAvoy and Keira Knightley stay completely dressed for it in a kind of parody of British prudence. The reason I include it is because the absolute hottest part of the scene isn't the kissing or the brief glimpses of Knightley's back, but when we see McAvoy lift Knightley right out of her shoes. There's just something impossibly sensual about watching her foot pulled out of uncomfortable heels during an embrace.
Out of Africa Some might think I've done a disservice to a list like this by leaving out the toe-painting scene in Bull Durham as an equally worthy candidate. To apologize, I give you Robert Redford washing Meryl Streep's hair in Out of Africa. It's an ultimate act of luxury and pampering that Streep starts out being amused by, but by the time Redford rinses her head she's pretty much putty in his hands. Also, Redford has got to be the only man in history that can use "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" as a pick-up line.
Frida Silly people say dancing in film is a metaphor for sex. The truth is dancing is sex, period. Maybe not ballet, I'll admit, but the tango is always sex. Witness Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd proving it in Frida. When Katy Perry talked about kissing a girl I thought of this scene and imagined patting her on the head. Some people just don't understand true sexiness.
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The Last Samurai I'm generally not a fan of films where white people presume to teach foreigners how to foreign better than they've ever foreigned before, but you have to admit this is an amazing piece of cinematography. Koyuki dresses Tom Cruise in her late husband's armor... I don't know how dressing a person becomes hotter than undressing them, but there it is. One of the great, underrated love scenes in film history.
Death Proof There are actually people who don't like this movie, and that is more messed up than a football bat to me. Rather than try and correct others as to why they're wrong, I submit the infamous lap dance scene in hopes that we can find common ground in the smoking hot gyrations of Vanessa Ferlito to The Platters. It's one of the hottest strip teases ever shot, and you never see more than a little thigh and midriff.
Spider-man All I'm going to say is, there's a reason this scene has been parodied to the point it's become a cliché. I'll quote something that Louis Armstrong is believed to have remarked when asked how he felt about people doing impressions of him all the time; "A lotta cats copy the Mona Lisa, but people still line up to see the original."
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Secretary You knew this was going to be on the list. If you have a friend that is excited about the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey film and hasn't seen Secretary, then it is vitally important that you make them do so, or you're really just going to have to cut ties with them forever. It'll be easier that way. There is simply no way anything that garbage will put on the screen will ever beat James Spader spanking Maggie Gyllenhaal over his desk while she reads his mail. Most real porn can't even beat it.
The Girl on the Bridge This is the scene that inspired this article, and it's one of the most erotic things ever committed to any art form. Vanessa Paradis is a suicidal girl unlucky in love who is recruited by a knife thrower who isn't as sure of his aim as he used to be played by Daniel Auteuil. In this scene they practice in the box car of a moving train while Marianne Faithful sings in a metaphor for trust and submission that is dripping with sex. The whole movie is sexy, but this scene is the height of eroticism without taking off anything more intimate than a shawl.