Best Erotic Movies of All Time: It was 1964 when Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously ruled against an obscenity case banning Louis Malle’s The Lovers, offering the ultimate definition of por*ography: “I know it when I see it.”
Erotica lives up even more vivaciously to the level of subjectivity, and on films, it reaches up to eleven to test it’s limits of ambiguity so much that we may not even feel like it when we watch it. Selecting the best erotic movie may feel like decoding a Rorschach test of a writer’s own interests. Because just don’t document se*ual and romantic fantasies, they unfold them. However, erotica is yet again highly subjective.
As a consequence, we at Madam 360 have curated a list of some benchmark scenes from movies, ones that removed taboos, ones that showcased the actors and actress in a desired and unapologetically raunchy manner, ones that touched sensitive topics and ones that beautifully captured the seamless beauty, passion, se*ual desires in provocative, titillating ways.
Some are funny, some obscene, frightening and execrable to a point that may seem as disturbing too. However, it’s a delight to watch the prodigiously talented actors making the scenes inevitably hot and spicy.
List Of The Best Erotic Movies of All Time (January 2021)
Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist failed to make this list only by virtue of its central theme- that individual desire remains suppressed, ignored and surpassed by political accountability, if not emotional and physical repression. However, two years later, Bertolucci cast one of the most acclaimed actors of that era to depict an opposite scenario – a man so distraught by the tragic death of his wife finds himself eluding into se*ual depravity. This erotic movie invited controversy over the ‘butter’ scene and actress characterization of the experience (of the scripted scene of penetrative s*x, she said “I felt a little raped”) will and perhaps should emphasize how one sees the performances and the film as a whole. Bertolucci foregrounded eroticism in mainstream storytelling making this movie an essential piece of work. Exploring se*uality as a facade and a window into individuals emotional lives, Bertolucci gave this genre a penetrative emphasis.
Emmanuelle 2 (1975)
Just Jaeckin’s Emmanuelle and a number of namesake copycats and imitators (shedding letters in her name) created a worldwide legacy of 1970’s erotica where young women travelled the globe, laid down with delightful people, anonymous partners while exploring her se*ual fantasies and flouted the taboos of a so-called ‘decent’ society.
However, even if the confessional novel upon which this flagship franchise is built, wasn’t written by the real Emmanuelle Arsan but the better half Emmanuelle 2 (subtitles as The Joys of a Women) gave the title character an enhanced characterization and empowerment, unlike virtually any of the other movies, including the original film. Francis Jacobetti, the photographer for the French erotica magazine Lui, effectively carried the soft-lit look that became synonymous with n*de imagery of that era, and on-screen he makes actress Sylvia Kristel even sexier and gorgeous as she slips in and out of bed with men and women, taking a protege in a travelogue for the fortunate, lively and willing to extend their se*ual fantasies, whether at a polo club, bathhouse or even during an acupuncture session. The cinematography, Pierre Bachelet’s dreamy music and the scorching hot sex scenes make this movie worth watching.
The Hunger (1983)
Tony Scott made his directorial debut with this se*ually-driven story of two seemingly hot vampire couple. (David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve) trying to facilitate their legacy and longevity. Scott levitates the style and compassion to eleven as he depicts Miriam (Catherine) as a vampire finding her niche in the arms of scientist Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon) while John (Bowie0 seeks help from Sarah to cure his advancing decrepitude.
The movie is packed with compassion, murder and titillating s*x scenes. This erotic movie is derived by two major motives of regaining youth by murdering people, to be freed from Mirinim’s vow of being eternal as her lover and gorging into sexual activities. The movie is a cliffhanger, leaving a room for a sequel- however, the se*ual energy between Mirinim and Sarah is positively undeniable. If you were enslaved for eternity to one woman, which one would you prefer?
9 ½ Weeks (1986)
Much of Adrian Lyne’s filmography is comprised of erotically charged stories, not all as successful as each other but well thought and distinctive in their own unique way. 9 1/2 weeks, his follow-up to Flashdance almost pedestrian according to contemporary standards, gender-roleplay games, open s*x and using food as a se*ual enhancer were all general oddities, at least within mainstream cinema, when Lyne portrayed these demonstrations with Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke.
What’s particularly vital is the manner by which the film doesn’t treat these characters’ se*ual chemistry and the overall strength of their relationship as equivalent, in the end, it unravels that their sometimes overlapping dysfunction is an indication of passionate duty or more profound love, however a transitory movement and enhancement of desire that is rich and fulfilling, regardless even if it’s for the time being.
This is one of the best erotic movies of all time.
Basic Instinct (1992)
Before Paul Verhoeven broke into Hollywood with Robocop, he pushed se*ual taboos in his local Netherlands with Turkish Delight, Spetters and The Fourth Man. Basic Instinct felt like a demonstration of incitement, testing the constraints the audience’s embrace of drama and even camp (further pushed, to nearly parodic impact, with Showgirls), as Michael Douglas’ homicide detective Nick Curran gets into a sexual relationship with Sharon Stone’s uninhibited writer and murder suspect Catherine Tramell. Critics were on the right track to call attention to the way that Joe Eszterhas’ screenplay repeated depictions of gay and bisexual characters as hazardous or intellectually unstable, yet what stays extraordinary, , Stone’s Tramell’s appealing and empowering way in which she unapologetically indulges her own se*uality, objectifies her male partner and exerts control both in and out of the bedroom.
The Lover (1992)
Based on the Marguerite Duras’ semi-autobiographical novel, Jean Jaques depicts a queer yet the entrancing relationship between a teenage girl and a wealthy Chinese man that unfolds, evolves, takes new turns and delves into pleasure. As the young French girl, (Jane March) brings in nubile se*uality to the short-lived relationship and also tries to get an astute control to their rendevous, even as the character fights to resist her heartfelt feelings she gradually develops for the handsome older man whom she visits daily post her school.
Depicting the Chinaman, Tony Leung Ka-Fai offers an appealing portrait of male se*uality. March’s flattering se*uality and sensuality earned her a lead role opposite Bruce Wills in director Richard Rush’s erotic thriller Color Of Night, but it was solely because of her luminous characterization in the bittersweet short-lived love story, not simply by slipping naked in bed.
This is one of the best erotic movies of all time.
The Piano (1993)
Jane Campion composed and directed this remarkable erotic film about a quiet Scotswoman named Ada (Holly Hunter) sold into marriage with a New Zealand frontiersman (Sam Neill) just to fall for a forester named Baines (Harvey Keitel) recruited to give day work. What starts as an account of bondage for this lady turns into an excursion of strengthening as Baines deals with Ada, first for her piano, and later, for physical fondness that develops into more profound and progressively significant love. Hunter gives Ada a desperate position that develops progressively honourable as she perceives her own autonomy, and in the long run, control of these two men frustrated and intimidated by her. Set in a time and place where gender roles were enforced, Campion makes a se*ual feminist masterpiece that builds an equipoise between how to be hot and substantive simultaneously.
Sex and Lucia (2001)
Writer-director Julio Medem’s Sex and Lucia is arguably one of the hottest films of all time. The story of the film constantly jumps between past and present with an underlying mystery about the past that ambushes in Lorenzo’s life while he carries an intimate and platonic relationship with Lucia. Lucia and Lorenzo’s relation of exploring each other’s fantasies and seeking pleasure while discovering each other’s bodies as a matter of muscle memory ingrains emotionality in their relationship. The past that crawls in Lorenzo’s life brings in pivotal twists in the movie. Medem’s film showcases many unforeseen yet inextricable connections between se* and experiences that take place outside of intimacy encouraging growth, love and change. There’s much more to unravel in the movie, so give it a watch.
Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)
Before Alfonso Cuaron became an oscar-winning trailblazer, he directed and co-wrote this intimate piece of work about two teenage best friends (Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal) who embark on a journey of self-discovery with an older Spanish Women during their summer break before college. The movie is stuffed with s*x, dirty talk and chronicles the teen hijinks. The Spanish women delve into making love with the young adults as she deeply scrutinizes the boys lives through the spectrum of social status, clashes, anxieties- as they come across opportunities that unravel in front of them. The Spanish women prove to be mature and honest than either of them, in a way that proves raunchy, delightful and enlightening for the young adults and the viewers.
Y Tu Mama Tambien is one of the best erotic movies to watch.
Mary Gaitskill’s composing is loaded up with se*ual experiences that shuffle the profane and close, extreme and delicate, mind-boggling and clear-eyed. Steven Shainberg’s adaptation of her book about the BDSM connection between a legal advisor (James Spader) and his secretary (Maggie Gyllenhaal) exemplifies those motivations, as it contends that relationships with extreme and earnest force elements can be as solid and cherishing as customary or ordinary ones.
Shainberg, as Cronenberg with automobiles in Crash, pinpoints what initially invigorates Gyllenhaal’s Lee in this relationship, yet later looks at what it fixes inside an individual who attempts self-harm – a sheltered and defensive exercise of control. Simultaneously, it features that “typical” between two consenting grown-ups can be fiercely extraordinary as it is utilitarian, supporting – while additionally offering a little unusualness to keep things kinky.
These are the top 10 best hot and erotic movies of all time. This list was last updated on January 1, 2021. We will update it on a weekly basis.