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. These days, a sex scene has to shock for us to consider it among the greatest sex scenes of all time. It has to make us laugh riotously, recoil in disgust, squirm at the weirdness, or at the very least, rewatch it repeatedly because it's just so damn hot.
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Welcome to Sexpositions, a weeklong Vulture celebration of sex scenes in movies and on TV. 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.
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Having such a mainstream actor like Bacon get such major attention for going totally nude inspired other actors. It also got a lot more buzz around Bacon than he had before he made the move. It just goes to show you that small scenes can have a major significance in Hollywood.