13 Unconventionally Sexy Movie Scenes, From 'Crimson Peak' To 'Mulholland Dr.'

As much as we'd like to think that movies are made to reflect the human experience in some way, the truth is that many films, at least in Hollywood, are all about sex. Let me be more specific: Hollywood movies are all about beautiful people having sex. Now, I love watching Noah and Allie get it on in The Notebook as much as the next person, but sometimes I think I've had enough of the overly romanticized (not to mention heteronormative, male gaze-dominated) sex scenes typically found in Hollywood movies. Where are the sex scenes with same sex couples? Or ones staring actors who don't look like they could be walking down the runway at Paris Fashion week?

The fact of the matter is that, in Hollywood, there is a very narrow definition of beauty, and one must fit that definition to star in a movie in the first place. Consequently, sex scenes in films overwhelmingly popularize the idea that you have to look like, well, a movie star to even have sex. The idea of a man or woman without a perfectly flat stomach having sex is so ludicrous in Hollywood that when they do, it's the plot of the entire film (see Knocked Up). While that isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does serve to make these hot and unconventional sex scenes stand out even more.

1. Crimson Peak

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Crimson Peak doesn't necessarily push the boundaries in terms of casting — Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska are objectively beautiful people — but the way the scene is filmed and staged to be super feminist (Hiddleston gets naked instead of Wasikowska, and the entire sequence is focused on her pleasure) makes it both incredibly sexy and refreshing.

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2. Carol

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In Carol, actresses Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett share a love scene that is both revealing without being exploitative. The scene stands apart from traditional Hollywood sex scenes in part because it stars two women, but more so because of the slow build up that makes the scene feel genuinely earned.

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3. The Spectacular Now

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First time scenes in movies are tricky, especially when they involve teenagers, but The Spectacular Now manages to do it with a sort of sweet optimism rarely seen in films. It's also very low on the scandal factor, which is perfect for this very realistic indie.

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4. Spring Breakers

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Switching gears entirely, Spring Breakers pushes the envelope with a threesome sex scene involving James Franco, Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hudgens. Let's just say you won't forget it anytime soon.

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5. Brokeback Mountain

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Brokeback Mountain remains a key piece of LGBTQ modern cinema, and features some of the most beautiful sex scenes ever seen on-screen. The passionate love scenes between cowboys Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist are pretty sexy, and it also doesn't hurt that the stars — Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger — were/are both considered major Hollywood hotties.

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6. Mulholland Dr.

Mulholland Dr. sex scenes feature a lot of things you don't see on film very often, but it can all be summed up in a few words: female pleasure. In this David Lynch thriller, female characters and their desires come first.

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7. Real Women Have Curves

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In Real Women Have Curves, America Ferrera plays Ana, a high school senior who has been told her entire life that she is too fat. But, when she decides to have sex with her boyfriend Jimmy, she takes ownership of her body, turning on the light and asking him to really look at her body, at who she is and is proud to be.

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8. Fifty Shades Of Grey

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I cannot stress enough how amazing the first sex scene in Fifty Shades of Grey is. A lot of people don't agree with me, but I am confident that I have never ever seen a sex scene quite like it in my life. Why? Because Ana (Dakota Johnson) has visible hair on her upper thighs in the scene. Finally, a woman onscreen whose body isn't magically hairless. A game changer, for sure.

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9. Cruel Intentions

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Cruel Intentions is a strange film when it comes to sex: it's not conventional, but it also doesn't break the mold in terms of selling sex. What is unique about the film is that it shows teenagers in various states of sexual discovery, and doesn't dismiss or discount any sexual exploration. It is also a great example of a movie that doesn't necessarily conform traditional expectations of beauty. Yes, practically everyone in the movie is white and skinny, but they all look different and have different body types. It isn't a movie full of clones.

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10. Miss You Already

The post-double mastectomy sex scene in Miss You Alreadycertainly stands out. After being diagnosed with breast cancer and going through surgery, Milly (Toni Collette) and her husband Kit (Dominic Cooper) struggle to move forward with their romantic relationship. When they are finally able to reconnect, it results in a painfully beautiful love scene — the type rarely seen in Hollywood. Bonus: the six year age difference between Collette and Cooper is not a plot point (she's not a "cougar") or addressed in the movie in any way. Brilliant.

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11. Save The Last Dance

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I know what you're thinking.Save the Last Dance, that dance movie where Julia Stiles moves to Chicago and falls in love with a boy from the other side of the tracks? Yes, that one. The sex scene, which is really more like a sweet montage, is sweet at best — not exactly groundbreaking stuff, at least not at first glance. But, as a interracial girl, I can tell you that seeing an interracial couple sex scene was pretty new for me when I was just a kid watching a dance movie.

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12. Friends With Benefits

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Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis bring the steamy in this romantic comedy, which features (gasp!) a man going down on a woman during sex. It's not entirely unheard of in movies, but it's rare enough that it stands out.

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13. Deadpool

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There are moments in Deadpool's sex montage that are played for laughs, but the bottom line is there's a naked Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin, so, yeah, it's pretty damn hot. As far as earning the title of an "unconventional sex scene," it is a sex scene in a superhero movie, which, I have to say, the world could use more of. Moreover, some of the kinkier moments in the sex montage have sparked a discussion on the heterosexuality usually seen in superhero films, and how Deadpool might help introduce more sexual flexibility in those films.

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At the end of the day, sex scenes are just sex scenes, but, hey, you never know what might change the world — and it could just be the sight of Tom Hiddleston getting naked on screen.

Images: Universal Pictures; Giphy (11); haidaspicciare/tumblr; stuckinreversemode/tumblr