As we’re exactly halfway through a very sexy decade, we thought it best to look back at all the onscreen celebrity sexiness recorded since 2010.
What we found is that, after the era that brought us 9 Songs, Shortbus, and many other blazing-hot (and sometimes unsimulated) moments, Hollywood, foreign, and indie films have slowed down a bit and taken their time with more interesting, less-explicit depictions of the act of love. Matter of fact, some of the best scenes here feature fully clothed partners, disembodied voices, and lovers magically connecting from hundreds of miles away. Fancy that.
Odd, though, as some of them may be, the best sex scenes of the 2010s are still as hot and as filled with gorgeous actors as any in decades past. So, without any further delay, we present our very NSFW picks starting on the very next page. Feel free to share with the partner of your choice.
For the Hottest Sex Scenes of The 2010s (So Far), Click Forward
Blue Is The Warmest Color, 2013
The coupling of the beautiful Adèle Exarchopoulos and the perhaps even more beautiful Léa Seydoux was the onscreen queer relationship that had almost all of Europe hot under the collar a couple of years ago. Some critics from the lesbian community have spoken out about this scene being an unrealistic portrayal of lesbian sex. Others from that same community have called it blazingly real. None of them, however, were able to deny its hotness. We could spend all day in this one.
Image via The Weinstein Company
Blue Valentine, 2010
Mentioned in our intro, this is the rare sex scene that features two almost fully clothed actors—the achingly attractive Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Interestingly, this is also one of the most controversial moments of the decade. The MPAA (the quixotic American organization that rates movies) at first gave Blue Valentine an “X” simply for portraying a man performing oral sex on a woman in a realistic way (even though everyone’s privates were hidden). Producer Harvey Weinstein correctly and successfully argued that this was sexism at its least sensible and, eventually, Blue Valentine got its proper “R “rating. Consequently, this scene is not only fiery-hot and realistic, but a bit of a victory, as well.
Watch it on Amazon Instant
Speaking of sex scenes that avoid nudity, this one dispenses with the female body altogether. Sad, but still pretty hot, Spike Jonez’s Her featured the sexual pairing of a lonely man, Joaquin Phoenix, and the voice of the disembodied, Siri-like, wholly artificial operating system keeping him company, Scarlett Johansson. Most of us have had phone sex with someone. Few of us, however, have had phone sex with our phones. This is just the way we like it: smart and sexy.
In a TV show that was all about the flesh—be it bloodied in battle or sweaty in the bed—this particular moment stands out as the sexiest, perhaps because it’s also the most loving. Occurring in the very first episode of the ragingly violent, ragingly carnal series, the pairing of the muscled, unnamed Thracian soon to be known as Spartacus (the late Andy Whitfield) and his wife, Sura (Erin Cummings), simultaneously set the tone for the series, invested us in those characters and gave us a few moments of muscled lovemaking. Good stuff.
Image via HBO
True Blood, 2014
It’s fitting that a series so well-known for its steamy heterosexual pairings (witness an example here) should give us one of the hottest gay couplings of the decade. Yes, the matchup between Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) happened in a dream sequence—but, oh, what a dream it was. Chiseled bodies, chiseled jaws, and a surprising amount of tenderness and humor. No wonder Jason fell the hell over when it was done. We did.
Watch it here
In Your Eyes, 2014
Like that dream-sequence sex scene from the previous page? How about one where everyone’s awake but in separate rooms? It happened. Here, the equally endearing Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David play lovers who can see through each others’ eyes, hear each others’ words, and feel each others’ feelings, though they’ve never met. Sure, it’s a little corny, but it’s also a perfect representation of erotic desire. We certainly got all bothered watching it.
We wouldn’t be doing our jobs as culture guides (and decent human beings) if we didn’t warn you that Savages is a miserably bad film. Luckily, some intrepid person has compiled all its many, many sex scenes into one video, including the brief ménage à trios between Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Frankly, it’s worth it just to see all these beautiful people writhe and moan in a person sandwich that doesn’t have a weak link. Tasty.
The Canyons, 2013
Much was made of The Canyons in the buildup to its release. It was supposed to be Lindsay Lohan’s dramatic comeback. It was supposed to be beloved porn star James Deen’s entrée into mainstream film. It was supposed to be director Paul Schrader’s return to form. Alas (and we truly mean it), it was none of those things. But, hey, at least we got this wonderfully nasty orgy out of it (it starts around 8:30, above). Look, sometimes you want your sex scenes to be classy, but sometimes you love it when they’re trashy. This is one of those trashy, trashy times.
When we suggest Love, we're not really signaling out a single scene, but almost the whole movie. All. Of. It. Yes, yes, it’s a Gaspar Noé film, which means it’s as filled with almost as much misery and drugs as sex. But, friends, the sex. So real. So hot. So well-filmed. If we could embed all 135 minutes, we would. Stream it and just let it wash over you.
Image via HBO
Hemingway & Gellhorn, 2012
Again, this is a case where we could recommend a whole movie as opposed to zeroing in on one scene (though we have right here). A semi-fictional love story between two very real historical figures, Hemingway & Gellhorn is overwhelmingly desperate and its various slow-burn love scenes follow suit. It’s also the only film on our list featuring actors over the age of 45 and proof that middle age is no impediment to turning up the heat. You don’t necessarily get less sexy with age—you just get smarter about it.
Watch it here.
Like the three-way in Savages, the pairing of the well-defined Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) and the gorgeous Freida Pinto is a fantastic, sexy moment buried in a difficult, overblown film. You can either fast-forward right to it, or, alternately, gear yourself up by watching Cavill romp around with his impressive torso showing. Your call. This also uses the same stylizedm lush cinematography as we saw in the Spartacus scene. If only our sexytimes looked like this.
A true sci-fi bodice-ripper on television, Outlander has basically turned a whole clutch of women’s hearts into little, buzzing hummingbirds on a weekly basis. This scene was the peak of that as the time-traveling Claire (Caitriona Balfe) tied the knot and slowly, romantically took to the wedding bed with rugged but still-boyish Highlander Jamie (Sam Heughan) in an episode that offered many positions, many scenarios, and many, many beautiful moments. Sigh.
Take This Waltz, 2011
We started with an almost-too-real sex scene featuring the talented Michelle Williams, and we’re ending with one. What can we say? In terms of onscreen loving, the actor has had a good decade (so far). What we like about this montage is that it captures that heady, almost out-of-control feeling you get when you first start a relationship and you just can’t keep your hands off the other person. While Take This Waltz is, like Blue Valentine, is ultimately about a failed relationship, this is the perfect scene to share with your special, hot someone.