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50 Movies That Are Sexier Than "Fifty Shades Of Grey"

Because maybe your desires are more... unconventional than Christian Grey's.

1. Un Chant D'Amour (1950)

Cult Epics

Directed by: Jean Genet

Written by: Jean Genet

Jean Genet's only film was long banned for its explicit homoerotic content, but the sexiest thing about it is actually two prisoners sharing cigarette smoke through a hole in the wall. It's 26 minutes with no dialogue, but it's absurdly hot all the same.

2. Belle de Jour (1967)


Directed by: Luis Buñuel

Written by: Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière

Long before Fifty Shades of Grey, repressed Séverine Serizy (Catherine Deneuve) explored her hidden desires for BDSM by adopting the persona of Belle de Jour and working at a high-class brothel run by Madame Anaïs (Geneviève Page).

3. In the Realm of the Senses (1976)


Directed by: Nagisa Oshima

Written by: Nagisa Oshima

Based on a true story, In the Realm of the Senses chronicles the tumultuous affair between former prostitute Sada Abe (Eiko Matsuda) and hotel manager Kichizo Ishida (Tatsuya Fuji), culminating in a sex act no one should try at home. (Spoiler alert: He dies.)

4. American Gigolo (1980)

Paramount Pictures

Directed by: Paul Schrader

Written by: Paul Schrader

Sure, Pretty Woman has its moments, but if you really want to see peak Richard Gere (and his penis), check out American Gigolo, in which he plays a narcissistic male escort who is very good at his job.

5. Body Heat (1981)

Warner Bros.

Directed by: Lawrence Kasdan

Written by: Lawrence Kasdan

Kathleen Turner's sultry voice made Jessica Rabbit the sexiest animated character of all time in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but that's nothing compared to her turn as femme fatale Matty Walker in this steamy neo-noir erotic thriller.

6. Querelle (1982)

Sony Pictures Home Entertianment

Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Written by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Burkhard Driest

Based on the Jean Genet novel, Querelle follows the titular sailor (Brad Davis) and his contentious relationship with his brother, Robert (Hanno Pöschl), and his lover, Gil (also Hanno Pöschl). Yeah, it's complicated. And pretty damn sexy.

7. An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

Paramount Pictures

Directed by: Taylor Hackford

Written by: Douglas Day Stewart

More Richard Gere, and I'm not even sorry about it. As Zack Mayo, his chemistry with Debra Winger's Paula Pokrifki is undeniable. And that final scene, in which he shows up at the factory where she works and carries her off, is romantic and hot.

8. The Hunger (1983)


Directed by: Tony Scott

Written by: Ivan Davis

Before Twilight came along and made vampires prudish losers, there was nothing hotter than some bloodsucker-on-bloodsucker action. And try to think of a sexier pairing than Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie. You literally cannot.

9. Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986)


Directed by: Adrian Lyne

Written by: Sarah Kernochan, Zalman King, Patricia Louisanna Knop

There would be no Fifty Shades of Grey without Nine 1/2 Weeks, which is basically the same movie, only better because it stars Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. Also, there is a lengthy food play sequence that will make you feel things.

10. She's Gotta Have It (1986)


Directed by: Spike Lee

Written by: Spike Lee

In Spike Lee's "seriously sexy comedy" — seriously, that's the tagline — Tracy Camilla Johns stars as Nola Darling, a woman who is dating three different men. Because she is a strong, independent, sexually confident woman, damn it. Can she live?

11. Betty Blue (1986)

Cinema Libre

Directed by: Jean-Jacques Beineix

Written by: Jean-Jacques Beineix

Betty (Béatrice Dalle) and Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) are lovers in a steamy but volatile relationship. (It's all very French.) And if you just can't get enough Betty Blue, the director's cut is a staggering three hours long.

12. Maurice (1987)

Merchant Ivory

Directed by: James Ivory

Written by: Kit Hesketh-Harvey and James Ivory

Based on the E. M. Forster novel, Maurice is the story of a forbidden gay relationship at Cambridge in the early 20th century. There's something unspeakably sexy about Edwardian repression — especially when Maurice (James Wilby) finally breaks free.

13. No Way Out (1987)

20th Century Fox

Directed by: Roger Donaldson

Written by: Robert Garland

Back when Kevin Costner was hot as hell, he starred as Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell, who begins a dangerous affair with Susan Atwell (Sean Young). Things don't turn out so well for her, but she does have some great sex before then!

14. Law of Desire (1987)

Sony Pictures Classics

Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar

Written by: Pedro Almodóvar

Pedro Almodóvar has directed plenty of steamy queer films, but Law of Desire was his first explicitly gay movie, and it does not disappoint. Antonio Banderas plays Antonio, who becomes deeply possessive of director Pablo Quintero (Eusebio Poncela).

15. Angel Heart (1987)


Directed by: Alan Parker

Written by: Alan Parker

Yes, there's a whole crazy Satanic voodoo plot, but there's also some very hot sex between Mickey Rourke (he appears multiple times on this list, because duh) and Lisa Bonet. Just ignore the blood dripping from the walls while they get it on.

16. Wild Orchid (1989)


Directed by: Zalman King

Written by: Patricia Louisiana Knopp and Zalman King

At some point, Mickey Rourke just committed himself to softcore porn, and we are all better for it. Zalman King had to edit Wild Orchid to avoid the dreaded X rating, but you can watch the director's cut if you desperately need to see it all.

17. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

Miramax Films

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Written by: Steven Soderbergh

Sex, Lies, and Videotape did big, important things for independent film, Steven Soderbergh, and everyone's crush on James Spader. It was also a great reminder that sometimes, talking about sex can be just as erotic as having it.

18. Henry & June (1990)

Universal Pictures

Directed by: Philip Kaufman

Written by: Philip Kaufman and Rose Kaufman

Based on Anaïs Nin's journals on her love affairs with Henry and June Miller, the film thrusts stars Maria de Medeiros, Fred Ward, and Uma Thurman into a steamy love triangle. And Henry & June earned a Best Picture nomination and an NC-17 rating for its efforts.

19. Basic Instinct (1992)


Directed by: Paul Verhoeven

Written by: Joe Eszterhas

Basic Instinct, another neo-noir erotic thriller, is Sharon Stone at her finest. Yes, everyone remembers the vagina flash, but her sex scenes with Michael Douglas are equally titillating.

20. Jason's Lyric (1994)


Directed by: Doug McHenry

Written by: Bobby Smith Jr.

Jason's Lyric is, among other things, a complicated love story between Jason (Allen Payne) and Lyric (Jada Pinkett Smith). But the passion between them is evident from the get-go.

21. Bound (1996)

Gramercy Pictures

Directed by: Andy and Lana Wachowski

Written by: Andy and Lana Wachowski

Has there ever been a hotter pairing than Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly? No. No, there has not. The directorial debut of the Wachowskis, Bound has inspired many a lesbian awakening, and with good reason.

22. Love Jones (1997)

New Line Cinema

Directed by: Theodore Witcher

Written by: Theodore Witcher

While Love Jones wasn't a financial success, it's still praised for the realistic and relentlessly sexy relationship between poet Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate) and photographer Nina Mosley (Nia Long).

23. How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)

20th Century Fox

Directed by: Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Written by: Terry McMillan and Ron Bass

Angela Bassett kills it as the eponymous Stella in this film adaptation of Terry McMillan's novel of the same name. There are few things more satisfying than seeing a 40-year-old woman get hers on screen, especially when it's with Taye Diggs as her beau Winston Shakespeare.

24. High Art (1998)

Universal Studios

Directed by: Lisa Cholodenko

Written by: Lisa Cholodenko

Years before she made The Kids Are All Right, Lisa Cholodenko helmed this story about two women in love. There's a lot of pleasure in watching Syd's (Radha Mitchell) sexual awakening at the hands of Lucy Berliner (Ally Sheedy).

25. Wild Things (1998)

Columbia Pictures

Directed by: John McNaughton

Written by: Stephen Peters

Wild Things is trash, but it's trash where Denise Richards and Neve Campbell make out in a pool. And let's not forget the iconic threesome scene. Or that memorable shot of Kevin Bacon's dick. This is trash at its finest.

26. Velvet Goldmine (1998)

Miramax Films

Directed by: Todd Haynes

Written by: Todd Haynes and James K. Lyons

At some point, we can stop thanking Todd Haynes for combining Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, glam rock, and rampant homoeroticism in Velvet Goldmine. But today is not that day. Thank you, Todd Haynes.

27. Cruel Intentions (1999)

Columbia Pictures

Directed by: Roger Kumble

Written by: Roger Kumble

A teen adaptation of Les Liaisons dangereuses — and who knew we needed that — Cruel Intentions featured '90s hotties Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, and a lot of sex. It's kind of perfect.

28. Come Undone (2000)

First Run Features

Directed by: Sébastien Lifshitz

Written by: Sébastien Lifshitz and Stéphane Bouquet

For gay men of a certain age, Come Undone — a romance between Jérémie Elkaïm's Mathieu and Stéphane Rideau's Cedric — was what you rented at Blockbuster when you couldn't get your hands on actual gay porn.

29. Love & Basketball (2000)

New Line Cinema

Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Written by: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Even though it's PG-13, the romance between Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) is so sensual and realistic that it's one of the sexiest relationships ever committed to screen. Sometimes, not being explicit can be just as hot.

30. Burnt Money (2001)

Strand Releasing

Directed by: Marcelo Piñeyro

Written by: Marcelo Piñeyro and Marcelo Figueras

I know there is a plot to Argentinian crime thriller Burnt Money, but all I distinctly remember is the ridiculously caliente sex scene in which Nene (Leonardo Sbaraglia) and Ángel (Eduardo Noriega) consummate their relationship.

31. Y Tu Mamá También (2001)


Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

Written by: Carlos Cuarón and Alfonso Cuarón

The entirety of Y Tu Mamá También is highly sexual, as Julio (Gael García Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna) vie for Luisa's (Maribel Verdú) affection. But it's really all about — spoiler alert — the moment Julio and Tenoch finally kiss. In a word: unfff.

32. Sex and Lucía (2001)

Palm Pictures

Directed by: Julio Médem

Written by: Julio Médem

The title pretty much says it all. Paz Vega stars as Lucía, who has a sexual awakening over the course of this nonlinear erotic drama. The story takes dark turns, but there's plenty of passion all the way through.

33. Original Sin (2001)


Directed by: Michael Cristofer

Written by: Cornell Woolrich and Michael Cristofer

Angelina Jolie. Antonio Banderas. The bathtub. Jolie may have won a Golden Raspberry for Worst Actress for Original Sin, but the film's overwhelming sexiness has left a much more lasting impression.

34. Mulholland Drive (2001)

Universal Pictures

Directed by: David Lynch

Written by: David Lynch

I'm still not really sure what Mulholland Drive is all about, and I'm only a little ashamed to admit that. I am, however, sure that it contains one of hottest lesbian sex scenes of all time, featuring Naomi Watts and Laura Harring.

35. Secretary (2002)


Directed by: Steven Shainberg

Written by: Erin Cressida Wilson

Fifty Shades is bound to draw comparisons to Secretary, which also depicts sub-dom romance. Most of those comparisons will be about how Secretary is much, much better, because Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader.

36. Unfaithful (2002)

20th Century Fox

Directed by: Adrian Lyne

Written by: Alvin Sargent and William Broyles Jr.

Sorry, Richard Gere. Usually you get to be the hottie in these erotic thrillers, but there's just no competing with Olivier Martinez. His sexual chemistry with Diane Lane is so palpable — adultery has never looked better.

37. The Dreamers (2003)

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Directed by: Bernardo Bertolucci

Written by: Gilbert Adair

Allow me to get personal for a moment. The Dreamers was my first Bernardo Bertolucci film, my first NC-17 movie in theaters, and my first exposure to both Louis Garrel and Michael Pitt's penises. And let's not forget Eva Green.

38. Swimming Pool (2003)

Focus Features

Directed by: François Ozon

Written by: François Ozon and Emmanuèle Bernheim

Ludivine Sagnier is sublime as Julie, whose brash sexuality riles up repressed author Sarah Morton (Charlotte Rampling). And the movie's controversial ambiguous ending only contributes to the overall fantasy feel.

39. 9 Songs (2004)

Kino Lorber Films

Directed by: Michael Winterbottom

Written by: Michael Winterbottom

Music and fucking — that's pretty much all there is to 9 Songs. But it's certainly memorable. All of the sex scenes between Matt (Kieran O'Brien) and Lisa (Margo Stilley) are unsimulated, giving the movie a pornographic edge.

40. Shortbus (2006)


Directed by: John Cameron Mitchell

Written by: John Cameron Mitchell

Arguably the most famous film featuring unsimulated sex, Shortbus is a gorgeous exploration of relationships, told without the representational constraints of most movies. It's definitely not porn, but it's still unabashedly sexy.

41. Lust, Caution (2007)

Focus Features

Directed by: Ang Lee

Written by: Hui-Ling Wang and James Schamus

Ang Lee's follow-up to Brokeback Mountain is more about the espionage than the sex, but like so many erotic thrillers on this list, the sex scenes are pretty damn hard to forget. And they earned Lust, Caution an NC-17 rating.

42. Savage Grace (2007)

IFC Films

Directed by: Tom Kalin

Written by: Howard A. Rodman

The thing about Savage Grace that might make it unsexy is that it depicts an incestuous relationship between Barbara Baekeland (Julianne Moore) and her son, Antony (Eddie Redmayne). But like, they have a threesome with Hugh Dancy, so.

43. Shelter (2007)

Regent Releasing

Directed by: Jonah Markowitz

Written by: Jonah Markowitz

I don't know if you could call Brad Rowe a gay icon, really, but between Shelter and the sweet (but less steamy) Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss, he's certainly earned our lust and affection. Also, he's straight!

44. I Am Love (2009)

Magnolia Film

Directed by: Luca Guadagnino

Written by: Luca Guadagnino and Barbara Alberti

There's a lot going on in I Am Love, a gorgeous Italian film that's as sensual as it is sexy. It's tough not to get worked up by the passionate affair between Emma (Tilda Swinton) and Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini). Get it, Tilda. Get. It.

45. Love & Other Drugs (2010)

20th Century Fox

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Written by: Charles Randolph, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz

Love & Other Drugs conned us into believing it was a sexy romantic comedy when, in fact, it deals with some very heavy issues. But that doesn't make the very naked scenes between Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway any less hot!

46. Weekend (2011)

Sundance Selects

Directed by: Andrew Haigh

Written by: Andrew Haigh

Weekend is a painfully true-to-life and, at times, heartbreaking gay romance. Its realism makes the sex between Tom Cullen's Russell and Chris New's Glen that much more appealing. And Andrew Haigh has carried that same sensibility to HBO's Looking.

47. Magic Mike (2012)

Warner Bros.

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Written by: Reid Carolin

Magic Mike knows exactly what it is: a love letter to the male form. It's not high art, but Channing Tatum's stripper dance moves are impeccable, and Ginuwine's song "Pony," which was already really hot, will never be the same.

48. 28 Hotel Rooms (2012)

Oscilloscope Laboratories

Directed by: Matt Ross

Written by: Matt Ross

Chris Messina and Marin Ireland star as a nameless man and woman who are having an affair, but only see each other when they're both traveling for work. It's very subdued, but once again, the grounded approach makes the sex believable.

49. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

Sundance Selects

Directed by: Abdellatif Kechiche

Written by: Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix

The coming-of-age romance between Emma (Léa Seydoux) and Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) plays out in honest and graphic detail. While the sex wasn't real — prosthetic vaginas are a thing, it turns out — it's undeniably erotic.

50. Stranger by the Lake (2013)

Strand Releasing

Directed by: Alain Guiraudie

Written by: Alain Guiraudie

I can't recall a film with more full-frontal male nudity than Stranger by the Lake: It is a cavalcade of dicks (and some unsimulated sex to boot). On the whole, it's a fascinating thriller, but for eye candy alone, it's a rare cinematic treat.

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