What makes a great sex scene? Is it the lighting? The realism (or lack thereof)? The commitment? The chemistry? Or is it something more indescribable—a mercurial spark that can’t be quantified—you know, like actual sex. If you’re Jennifer Lawrence, a bottle of whiskey is the pathway to mind-blowing pretend screwing. If you’re Saoirse Ronan, choreography is key. Whatever the trick is, 2015 was filled with all types of cinematic nookie—from the awkward, to the arousing, to the absurd, to those electric, escapist fantasies that only the movies and television can deliver. With that in mind, here’s our list of the year’s most memorable on-screen expressions of human desires. If you’re not alone, headphones are strongly recommended.
Fifty Shades of Grey
You might think that the movie version of one of the most popular sex novels would feature a ton of sex, but you'd be wrong. Fifty Shades did have a handful of sex scenes, but not as many as the book and they didn't hold a candle to the fantasies E. L. James conjured in the minds of mothers everywhere. But lo, among the naughty bits were a few standouts and this one, where Anna loses her V card is one of them. It's not the ice scene, but it's something, and honestly, the most passionate.
Look, we would take any excuse to see John Cena naked, even if it means watching him get off on...well, himself. Totally worth it.
What happens when super strength meets an unbreakable body? Really hot, really intense sex—duh. After learning of one another's super powers, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are freed up to really go at it, liberated from the fear of, you know, breaking each other. Not a lot of foreplay here, but after a lifetime of holding yourself back during sex, who needs a tender make out?
In perhaps the most refreshingly progressive sex scene of the year, Broad City flipped the script and had a female character strap on a dildo to peg a dude—and made it a positive, empowering moment for everyone involved. "Do you want to go to the grave dreaming of Jeremy's hairy, adorable butthole," BFF Ilana asks Abbi on the phone while she decides whether or not to peg, "Or do you want to die knowing that you brought him pleasure by plowing it like a queen?" To which we can only say: YAS.
The Boy Next Door
The dialogue here is cheesy, but once Jennifer Lopez gives into the heat of the moment, things get hot. The camera work is sensual (love the semi-gauze filter!), the boy next door knows some good foreplay techniques, and everyone involved seems to have a good time. This is, like, the ultimate suburban fantasy.
Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel
Lady Gaga was/is the best thing to happen to American Horror Story: Hotel. Now, we knew we were in for some messed up scenarios this season, but no one could've predicted the show would kick off with one of the naughtiest and bloodiest orgies to happen on television. One second Gaga and Matt Bomer are doing lines, the next they're totally nude, slicing the throats of an attractive couple, and getting off on it! Talk about a fetish. Good luck cleaning up this mess, housekeeping. Damn.
The passion between Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston is a daring surprise, mostly because gothic romances are known for keeping everything roiling just below the surface. Also, you get to see Hiddleston's butt, which everyone loves.
There's a lot of buildup before the sex scene in Carol—weeks of steamy, lingering glances and moments heavy with unspoken desire. So when they finally kiss in a hotel on New Year's Eve, and then tenderly disrobe one another while murmuring lustfully, it's a relief for the characters and the audience. Oh, not to mention it's shot beautifully, with an attention to detail that's pretty rare for a sex scene between two women in a major motion picture.
If I found a job that had me dissect "The Wedding" episode from this season's Outlander, every day of my life, I would be the world's happiest worker. The entire episode consists of the incredible chemistry between the shows two leads (Jamie and Claire Fraser), who spend the episode getting to know each other via coitus. The whole thing is hot, so here is a mash-up video of the episode, because it is all TOO MUCH GOOD ON-SCREEN SEX.
If we could embed all of Gaspar Noé's LOVE, we would. It is essentially a 3-D porn that's billed as an art house film. It's hot, sensual, erotic, but unlike porn-porn, not arousing. This is how sex on film should be and watching it through a cinematic lens is a trip. Sure, the movie itself is incredibly depressing, but Noé's understanding of sexuality is impressive. Plus, how often can you say you experienced multiple on-screen sexual eruptions to the face with an audience of strangers?
All the convoluted, interconnectedness of Sense8's characters aside, this orgy is f*cking hot. For one, it's polysexual. It's also beautifully shot. It's a bit corny, but it's so self aware of its corniness that it doesn't matter. Can we call it a masterpiece? We can.
If it seems like eating ass was on everyone's mind in 2015, we might have Girls to thank—at least in part. It's kind of a chicken or egg situation: Which came first, everyone's obsession with tossing the salad, or this epic scene in which Desi puts his face in Marni's butt? Regardless, here it is.
Knock, knock! Who's there? Two women waiting to have a threesome with Keanu Reeves! They baited the married man into the bathroom and after some coercing, managed to do the naughty. The ol' naked body against a foggy, glass door is always appreciated and this scene features a ton of it. It sucks the whole story gets dark as hell afterwards. At least we got this steamy (literally!) scene out of it!