Sex & Dating

5 Movie Sex Scenes That Deserve an Oscar

From ‘Saltburn’ to ‘Oppenheimer,’ here are our controversial takes.

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5 Movie Sex Scenes That Deserve an Oscar

From ‘Saltburn’ to ‘Oppenheimer,’ here are our controversial takes.

The 96th Annual Academy Awards — ahem, Oscars – are almost here which means it’s time to dish on the most talked about sex scenes in pop culture.

Keep reading for our controversial takes on the best — and most awkward — sex scenes.

Saltburn (2023)

Where do we even begin? Period sex? Drinking your crush’s bathwater? According to the film’s creator, Emerald Fennell, pushing boundaries is what makes these scenes “hot” — and she’s right. “I just think it’s really hot,” Fennell spoke of Saltburn’s cemetery period sex scene. “It’s an incredibly effective sex scene because he’s worshiping her [Venetia's] body, and everything that her body produces, and that’s not something that anyone has ever done for her before.”

“He dedicates himself to her pleasure,” Fennell continued boldly. “He has no qualms or squeamishness about anything about her… and I think that is a gift.”

Poor Things (2023)

Another controversial film, Poor Things follows Bella Baxter (played by Emma Stone) as she’s brought back to life by a scientist (played by Willem Dafoe). Naturally, the film delves into her development leading to what many viewers deemed “controversial sex scenes.” However, these scenes, for example, Bella discovering the pleasure of masturbation, opened beautiful discussions on sexuality and femme empowerment.

“One of the things that we had talked about from very early on and I thought was extremely important was that Bella is completely free and without shame about her body,” said Stone in an interview. “She doesn’t know to be embarrassed by these things or to cover things up or not dive into the full experience when it comes to anything.”

“So for the camera to sort of shy away from that, or to say like, ‘OK, well, we’ll just cut all of this out because our society functions in a particular way’… it felt like a lack of being honest about who Bella is… It (sex) is obviously a huge part of her experience and her growth.”

Mea Culpa (2024)

Recently released, Mea Culpa starring Kelly Rowland and Trevante Rhoades has been highly controversial. From complaints about the acting — sorry Kelly — to the lack of courtroom scenes for a film about a lawyer, viewers were not having it. According to viewers, though, two elements saved this film: the fashion and sex scenes.

All of Us Strangers (2024)

Never did we think we’d see the headline “Paul Mescal opens up about ‘going down’ on Andrew Scott.” But, we have All Of Us Strangers to thank for that. It seems that scene also resonated with the film’s lead actors as Mescal himself had an epiphany on oral while watching the film. “When I saw it for the first time in the audience, I asked Andrew if he remembered me [looking at him like that],” he said. “The most illicit moment is not actually the sex, but my eyes looking up to Andrew when I’m about to go down on him.”

Oppenheimer (2023)

Why does this one deserve an Oscar? For the most uncomfortable sex scene of 2023. Starring Florence Pugh and Cillian Murphy, the three-hour film surprised viewers with long, monologue-style sex scenes that somehow lacked sex appeal.

In other news, here are 6 movie sex scenes that sh-t on sex ed — including American Pie.

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