The erotic thriller
365 Days is being called Poland's 50 Shades of Grey. The movie, now streaming on Netflix, tells the story of Laura (Anna-Maria Sieklucka) a Warsaw business woman who is unhappy in her relationship. Massimo (Michele Morrone), the leader of an Italian crime family, becomes obsessed with her at first sight, eventually kidnapping her and keeping her imprisoned on his villa. He'll give her 365 days to fall in love with him, he tells her. What follows is a steamy cat and mouse game of seduction and lust with sex scenes that put 50 Shades to shame.
Which is all well and good if you're willing to look past the whole kidnapping plot. But
365 Days has been declared one of the most problematic erotic films ever. The New York Times reported on the rise of critics arguing that it "glorifies rape culture." It's also been called rapey, sexist, and revolting .
So if you're in the market for a steamy, erotic movies — that
doesn't include kidnapping — there are plenty for you to choose from. Here are just a few erotic movies streaming now that do it better than 365 Days . Unfaithful
Diane Lane and Richard Gere star in this 2002 erotic thriller from Adrian Lyne, the same director who brought us
9 1/2 Weeks and Fatal Attraction. Lane plays Connie, a housewife married to an older man who sinks into a steamy love affair with a younger French bookseller named Paul (Olivier Martinez). Connie's husband Edward (Gere) soon finds out about the affair, to deadly consequences, but not before Connie and Paul have multiple, intense sex scenes. Available on Amazon Prime or Hulu with Cinemax extension. Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
Charlotte Gainsbourg stars in controversial director Lars Von Trier's two-part epic about a woman who is constantly in search of more intense orgasms. The story spans from her first trysts as a teenager to her life as a 50-year-old, self-diagnosed nymphomaniac. The double feature stars a number of famous faces, including Stellan Skarsgård, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, and Connie Nielsen.
Available to rent on Amazon. Newness
Nicholas Hoult and Laia Costa star in this sexy romance about a couple who decide to go the open relationship route. But their steamy experiment tests their devotion to one another and they spiral into a sexual competition as they try to one-up each other's conquests. The movie can get a bit depressing, but it's still very hot.
Streaming on Netflix Addicted
Based on the novel by Zane,
Addicted follows Zoe Reynard (Sharon Leal) who seemingly has the perfect life with her husband Jason (Boris Kodjoe) and two children. But when a hunky artist named Quinton Canosa (William Levy) enters her picture, Zoe can't resist a tryst. When Zoe starts another affair with a second man Corey (Tyson Beckford), she starts addressing the possibility that she has a sex addiction. Available to rent on Amazon. Basic Instinct
The classic erotic neo-noir thriller,
Basic Instinct stars Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas as a police detective named Nick Curran investigating the murder of a rock star and the gorgeous woman who is considered the prime suspect. Stone's Catherine Tramell is a crime novelist who has written a book that mimics the real life murder. Sure, this one has questionable morals, but at least the woman has all the power. Available on Showtime Anytime. Love
Love already has a raunchy reputation. The dream-like film, which tells the story of Murphy, an American student who reminisces on his past relationships with two women, uses un-simulated sex scenes. So all of the actors on screen are having real sex. But don't call it porn just yet, this artsy little film has just enough style and substance to make it stand out. Streaming on Netflix. The Duke of Burgundy
This 2014 British drama written and directed by Peter Strickland, stars Sidse Babett Knudsen as Cynthia and Chiara D'Anna as Evelyn. Evelyn studies epidopterology (the study of moths and butterflies) under Cynthia's tutelage and also works for her as a maid. But as Cynthia's demands for order and cleanliness increase, so do her sexual desires. The dominant and submissive role play of
365 Days has nothing on these ladies. Available to rent on Amazon or iTunes. How Stella Got Her Groove Back
Kevin Rodney Sullivan's adaptation of Terry McMillan's best-selling novel of the same name was hunk Taye Diggs' first film, so it must be honored for bringing him into our lives. Angela Bassett stars as Stella, a 40-something executive who takes a life-changing trip to Jamaica. This one has a little more romance in it than the others on this list, but it's definitely also a steamer.
Streaming on HBO Max. Secretary
Presenting the original Mr. Gray. Maggie Gyllenhaal's Lee Halloway and James Spader's E. Edward Gray are a top notch duo of lawyer and secretary. But when Lee discovers Edward's penchant for domination, she discovers her own desire to be submissive. This exploration of how BDSM relationships function and the work that goes into keeping them in the realm of consent is really captivating and the whole movie is just pretty damn hot.
Available to rent on Amazon. The Handmaiden
This 2016 South Korean erotic psychological thriller film directed by Park Chan-wook is, in addition to being hella sexy, just stunningly beautiful to look at. A con man plans to seduce an heiress and hires a maid to help him in his plot. But when the heiress and the maid start falling in love, the marks change, allegiances switch, and the plot thickens. Warning: There is a disturbing element of abuse in this one having to do with the heiresses uncle, but the love between the two lead women is what drives this film.
Streaming on Amazon Prime. Blue is the Warmest Color
The extensive and explicit sex scenes in
Blue is the Warmest Color not only earned this film an NC-17 rating in the U.S., but they're also part of why stars Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos were given the Palme D'or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. The story of two young French women who begin a passionate relationship is as emotionally touching as it is sexy. Streaming on Netflix. Available to rent on Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes. Amar
This Spanish romance tells the story of Laura and Carlos, a couple experiencing their first love with all of the passion and intensity that accompanies falling hard and fast. But a mystery separates them a year later, after their unpredictable affair has taken over their lives.
Streaming on Netflix. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
This fun period piece tells the story of psychologist William Moulton Marston and the polyamorous relationship he has with his wife and one of their female students. The two women would go on to inspire his creation of Wonder Woman. Yup, if you didn't know before now, Wonder Woman has roots in polyamory and BSDM.
Streaming on Hulu. Lust, Caution
This Ang Lee romantic thriller is so steamy it earned an NC-17 rating from the MPAA. The story, based on the novel by Eileen Chang, follows a young Chinese spy during World War II who is given the assignment of seducing and murdering a Japanese official. But over the course of the assignment, her emotions, and her lust, take over.
Streaming on Netflix. Chloe
Amanda Seyfried, Julianne Moore, and Liam Neeson star in this sexy gotcha thriller from Atom Egoyen. Moore plays Catherine, a wife who suspects her husband (Neeson) of cheating. To get to the bottom of her suspicions, she hires Chloe (Seyfried), a call girl, to lure him into an adultery trap. But Chloe sets her eyes on Catherine instead, and the younger woman takes control.
Available to rent on Amazon. Streaming on Tubi. Fatal Affair
Nia Long and Omar Epps star in this new Netflix thriller about a steamy obsession. Ling plays Ellie, a lawyer about to open her own practice when she reunites with an old friend David (Epps). But their brief, sensual encounter soon turns dangerous, when David's infatuation with Ellie grows more and more intense.
Streaming on Netflix. In the Mood for Love
Wong Kar-wai's romantic drama premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival where star Tony Leung won Best Actor, the first Hong Kong actor to win the award at Cannes. The sexy film tells the story of a man (Leung) and a woman (Maggie Cheung) whose spouses are having an affair. The two then slowly develop feelings for one other, growing closer in a movie filled to the brim with sexual tension.
Streaming on Criterion Channel, Kanopy, and DirecTV. Below Her Mouth
What happens when a seemingly straight woman becomes infatuated with a mysterious woman she meets at a club? Jasmine (Natalie Krill) is a successful fashion editor living with her male fiancé. But after she meets Dallas (Erika Linder) on a night out, everything she thought she knew about herself changes.
Streaming on Netflix.
So forget kidnapping and creepy sexist plot points. There are plenty of other erotic thrillers out there without all the misogyny.