Sex in film is the presentation of aspects of human sexuality in film. The presence in films of any form of sexuality has been controversial since the development of the medium. Some films containing such sexuality have been criticized by religious groups or have been banned or the subject of censorship by governments, or both. In countries with a film rating system, films containing sex scenes typically receive a restricted classification. Nudity in film may be regarded as sexual or as non-sexual.
An erotic film is usually a film that has an erotic quality that may create sexual feelings,as well as a philosophical contemplation concerning the aesthetics of sexual desire, sensuality and romantic love.
Sex or erotic scenes are to be found in a wide range of genres and sub-genres, with genres that have a sexual or erotic component typically including the term “erotic” in its description — such as erotic dramas, erotic thrillers, sex comedies, coming-of-age films, romantic dramas, besides others. Love scenes, erotic or not, have been present in films since the silent era of cinematography. A pornographic film, on the other hand, is a sex film which does not usually claim any artistic merit. Sex scenes have been presented in many genres of film, although there are some in which it is rare. Many actors and actresses have performed nude or partial nude scenes, or have dressed and behaved in ways considered sexually provocative by contemporary standards at some point in their careers.
Sex in film can be distinguished from a sex film, which usually refers to a pornographic film and sometimes to a sex education film. It should also be distinguished from nudity in film, though nudity can be presented in a sexualized context. For example, nudity in the context of naturism would normally be regarded as non-sexual. Some people distinguish between "gratuitous sex" and sex scenes which are presented as integral to a film's plot or as part of the character development.
Sex scenes are the main feature of pornographic films. In softcore films, sexuality is less explicit. Erotic films are suggestive of sexuality, but need not contain nudity.
In order to minimize risk and conflict, and because an actor can feel vulnerable shooting a sex scene, agreements are signed prior to filming. Therein, specific terms of each sex scene are negotiated, including details of the sex scenes and the surroundings of the studio when the sex scenes will be shot. These "nudity riders" are written contracts commonly used by movie and television shows that intend to film sex or nude scenes.These agreements can include very detailed descriptions such as how much the actors have to be nude, i.e. nude or semi-nude, and information on their attire. An agreement may stipulate that while an intimate scene is being shot, only people associated with the scene or material can remain. Also, whether photographs can be taken, and if these are to be used in the promotion of the film. Use of Body doubles, a person replacing the performer, is also regulated, as is the consequences of a performer agreeing to a nude scene but later deciding against doing it. The agreements apply to auditions too.
To tackle the physical and psychological safety of the actors involved in sex scenes, Intimacy Directors International (IDI),a not for profit organization, was established. According to IDI, IDI provides an intimacy coordinator who works with actors and does following:
Production companies may hire an intimacy coordinator in the following situations:
Since the 2010s, film and TV productions increasingly employ intimacy coordinators to ensure the wellbeing of actors who participate in sex scenes, and to help prevent harassment and violations of consent.
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Pedro Almodóvar of Spain is a prolific director who has included eroticism in many of his movies. Tinto Brass of Italy has dedicated his career to bringing explicit sexuality into mainstream cinema. His films are also notable for feminist-friendly eroticism.[ citation needed ] French filmmaker Catherine Breillat caused controversy with unsimulated sex in her films Romance (1999) and Anatomy of Hell (2004). In Italy, nudity and strong sexual themes go back to the silent era with films such as The Last Days of Pompeii (1926). Lars von Trier of Denmark has included explicit/unsimulated sex scenes in some of his films, such as Breaking the Waves (1996), The Idiots (1998), Manderlay (2005), Antichrist (2009), and Nymphomaniac (2013). He is also a co-founder of film company Puzzy Power, a subsidiary of his Zentropa, with the goal of producing hardcore pornographic films for women. Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013) sparked an international firestorm over its frank depiction of sexuality between two young women, yet managed to win the Palme d'Or, the highest prize awarded at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in May 2013. Love (2015) contains many explicit unsimulated sex scenes. The Finnish black comedy film Dogs Don't Wear Pants (2019) presents the viewer with a dive into the dark-toned world of BDSM.
The inclusion in film of any form of sexuality has been controversial since the development of the medium. Kissing in films, for example, was initially considered by some to be scandalous. The Kiss (1896) contained a kiss, which was regarded as a sex scene and drew general outrage from movie goers, civic leaders, and religious leaders, as utterly shocking, obscene and completely immoral. One contemporary critic wrote, "The spectacle of the prolonged pasturing on each other's lips was beastly enough in life size on the stage but magnified to gargantuan proportions and repeated three times over it is absolutely disgusting."The Catholic Church called for censorship and moral reform - because kissing in public at the time could lead to prosecution. Perhaps in defiance of the righteous indignation and "to spice up a film", the film was followed by many kiss imitators, including The Kiss in the Tunnel (1899) and The Kiss (1900). Other producers would take the criticism on board, or in mock of the standard, and use an implicit kiss, which would be obstructed from view just as the lips would touch, such as shielding a possible kiss by placing say a hat in front of the actors' faces, or fading to grey just as a kiss is to take place, etc.
The display of cleavage created controversy. For example, producer Howard Hughes displayed Jane Russell's cleavage in The Outlaw (1943) and in The French Line (1953), which was found objectionable under the Hays Code because of Russell's "breast shots in bathtub, cleavage and breast exposure" while some of her decollete gowns were regarded to be "intentionally designed to give a bosom peep-show effect beyond even extreme decolletage".Both films were condemned by the National Legion of Decency and were released only in cut versions.
The selection of actresses for a role on the basis of their breast size is controversial and has been described as contributing to breast fetishism,but has proved to be a draw card. Producers such as Russ Meyer produced films which featured actresses with large breasts. Lorna (1964) was the first of his films where the main female part, played by Lorna Maitland, was selected on the basis of breast size. The producers and exhibitors of the film were prosecuted for obscenity in several US states. Other large breasted actresses used by Meyer include Kitten Natividad, Erica Gavin, Tura Satana, and Uschi Digard among many others. The majority of them were naturally large breasted and he occasionally cast women in their first trimesters of pregnancy to enhance their breast size even further. Author and director William Rotsler said: "with Lorna Meyer established the formula that made him rich and famous, the formula of people filmed at top hate, top lust, top heavy."
Blue Movie (1969), directed by Andy Warhol,was the first adult erotic film depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical release in the United States. Blue Movie is a seminal film in the Golden Age of Porn and, according to Warhol, a major influence in the making of Last Tango in Paris (1972), an internationally controversial erotic drama film. Another explicit adult film of that period was Mona the Virgin Nymph (1970) that contained a number of unsimulated non-penetrative sex scenes. Unlike Blue Movie, however, Mona had a plot. To forestall legal problems, the film was screened without credits. The producer of Mona, Bill Osco, went on to produce other adult films, such as Flesh Gordon (1974), Harlot (1971), and Alice in Wonderland (1976).
Boys in the Sand (1971)was an American gay pornographic film, the first gay porn film to include credits, to achieve crossover success, to be reviewed by Variety, and one of the earliest porn films, after Blue Movie to gain mainstream credibility, preceding Deep Throat (1972).
In North American films, erotic films may be primarily character driven or plot driven, with considerable overlap. Most dramas center around character development, such as Steven Shainberg's Secretary (2002). Comedy films, especially romantic comedies and romantic dramas, tend toward character interaction. Mystery films, thrillers, drama and horror films tend toward strong plots and premises.Others combine both strong plots and characters.
Erotic thrillers are a popular American erotic subgenre, with films such as Dressed to Kill (1980), Angel Heart (1987), Basic Instinct (1992), Single White Female (1992), Color of Night (1994), Wild Things (1998), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), and The Boy Next Door (2015).In some films, the development of a sexual relationship (or even a one-night stand) is often used to create tension in the storyline, especially if the people involved should not be sleeping together, such as in Out of Sight (1998), where a U.S. Marshal has sex with the criminal she is pursuing.
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In horror films, sex is often used to mark characters that are doomed to die. Characters that engage in sex acts are often the first to be claimed by the antagonist(s), or will die shortly after their sex scene or (sometimes) in the middle of it. This convention of it being bad luck to have sex in a horror film is notably illustrated in the Friday the 13th film series, where supernatural villain Jason Voorhees takes a special dislike to teenagers and young adults having sex because, as a young boy, he drowned in a lake while the camp counselors who should have been supervising him were having sex.
In some interpretations of this "rule", the sex acts themselves directly cause the character's demise. In Cabin Fever , a man catches the deadly illness because a woman who was infected (but not yet symptomatic) seduces and has impulsive sex with him. They don't use a condom because the careless woman believes she is healthy. Ironically, the woman (and the audience) only realize that she is infected because of red welts that are brought out by their rough lovemaking. Species (1995) and its sequels also feature many sexual deaths as virtually every human who mates with an alien in the franchise subsequently dies - female aliens kill human suitors regardless of whether they have poor genes, resist the alien's advances, or mate successfully. Human women who mate with alien men die shortly after sex as their abdomens burst during the unnaturally rapid pregnancy that always follows.
Most times in horror movies the typical survivor is a young girl who is still a virgin. In the film Scream , which satirizes horror movies, this rule is somewhat broken as the character Randy Meeks points out that one of the rules of horrors is to not have sex. In an intersecting scene, the film's main protagonist Sidney Prescott loses her virginity to Billy Loomis. After they finish, Billy is stabbed by Ghostface and Sidney is then chased. Randy himself survives a gunshot wound at the end of the film because, as he explains, he is a virgin. However, he dies in the sequel, Scream 2 , after which it is revealed that he lost his virginity sometime prior to his death.
In Mexico, many comedy films are based on sex, typically portraying men as unstoppable sex-seeking creatures and women as willing targets. Although the number of such comedies waned during the 1990s, domestic servants, bar workers, dancers and neighbors' wives continue to be depicted as potentially willing sexual partners.[ citation needed ] The films La Tarea (1991), Miracle Alley (1995) and Y Tu Mamá También (2001) are some of the most important examples of this.[ according to whom? ]
The entertainment industry is an important part of modern India, and is expressive of Indian society in general. Historically, Indian television has lacked the frank depiction of sex. Kissing scenes, for example, were banned by Indian film censors until the 1990s.Since then the entertainment industry has liberalized but the taboo against them continues well into the 2010s, with many of Bollywood stars refusing to do them, and controversy and debate sparked when actors choose to do them. On the other hand, rape scenes or scenes showing sexual assault were common until approximately the early 2000s. Mainstream films are still largely catered for the masses of India, however, art films and foreign films containing sexuality are watched by Indians. Because of the same process of glamorization of film entertainment that occurs in Hollywood, Indian cinema, mainly the Hindi-speaking Bollywood industry, is also beginning to add sexual overtones.
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Many drama series, and daytime soap operas are based around sex. This commonly revolves around the development of personal relationships of the main characters, with a view of creating sexual tension in the series.
Partial nudity was considered acceptable on daytime television in the 1970s but disappeared after 2000, partly due to more conservative morals, [ failed verification ] and also to the prevalence of cable and satellite subscriptions. Only PBS occasionally features nudity.
In 2008 and 2009, the French TV channel Canal+ featured a series titled X Femmes (English: X Women), which consisted of ten short films shot by female directors with the goal of producing erotica from a female point of view.
Since approximately 2010, many mainstream films have shown sexual scenes between women. There have been various films which have been made which mainly focus on exploring the relationship between women. Because of the limited films featuring same-sex sex scenes before 2010s, researchers were unable to research people's views on the intimate scenes between women. In 2016, researchers Maria T. Soto-Sanfiel and Adriana Ibiti created a report on pleasurable sensations created by watching sexual scenes between women. People, including heterosexual individuals, reported that the scenes had different effects on their sexual arousal. The reasons were different for everyone who identified themselves as either heterosexual or homosexual, male or female. Lesbian women said that it brought back memories of their own experience and created pleasurable sensations while watching it.Heterosexual women said that they got the same pleasurable sensations as watching heterosexual sex scenes. Heterosexual men related the scenes to their memories of pornography. Gay men preferred seeing heterosexual scenes because they could imagine themselves in place of the women.
French film La vie d'Adèle (Blue Is the Warmest Color, in English), directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, was released in October 2013. The film is about a high school student Adele who lusts after art student Lea and falls in love with her. The film explores the lesbian relationship between them and their transformation as characters. To showcase their developing characters, the three-hour long film contained almost ten minutes of sexual scenes between them. These scenes were so long that even heterosexual scenes in movies have not exceeded the length. The scenes were shot in a close-up manner, showing great detail with bold and intimate camera angles.Many critics expressed that if it was not a film, the sex scenes would be close to pornography. The sex scenes were controversial and received mixed reviews. France set the age limit to 12 years, Singapore 21 years, and Brazil opposed to print Blu-rays. The movie earned around $20 million in US and Europe. It was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and awarded the Palme d'Or, along with many other international awards.
Carol, directed by Todd Haynes and released in November 2015, also caught much attention. Set during Christmas in 1952, it tells the story of a young woman named Therese Belivet (played by Rooney Mara) falling in love with an older woman named Carol Aird (played by Cate Blanchett). It includes 3 minutes of sex scenes between Carol and Theresa. They were carefully shot with the actors shown half nude, avoiding explicit scenes.Haynes, while talking about the production of the sex scenes, said that actors pretend that they are not nervous, adding: "But they are. So I try to create an environment that's comfortable and predictable. You set your shots, get rid of people that don't need to be there - and then you basically just go." In the past, sex scenes between same-sex couple not only made the actors uncomfortable, but they were also stigmatized, considered shocking or even immoral. However, this has changed greatly and many films about same-sex relationships have been made.
There is also an increasing focus on gay male relationships in cinema. An Italian film Call Me by Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino, was released in January 2017. Set in the summer of 1983, the film is about a 17-year-old American-Jewish man, named Elio (played by Timothee Chalamet), forming a relationship with a 24-year old graduate student Oliver.Like Carol, its sex scenes were not explicit, with its two main characters shown half naked.
The sexual revolution, also known as a time of sexual liberation, was a social movement that challenged traditional codes of behavior related to sexuality and interpersonal relationships throughout the United States and subsequently, the wider world, from the 1960s to the 1980s. Sexual liberation included increased acceptance of sex outside of traditional heterosexual, monogamous relationships. The normalization of contraception and the pill, public nudity, pornography, premarital sex, homosexuality, masturbation, alternative forms of sexuality, and the legalization of abortion all followed.
Ecchi is an often used slang term in the Japanese language for playfully sexual actions. As an adjective, it is used with the meaning of "sexy", "dirty" or "naughty"; as a verb, ecchi suru means “to have sex” or, as a noun, to describe someone of lascivious behavior. It is perhaps softer than the Japanese word ero, and does not imply perversion in the way hentai does.
Pornographic films (pornos), erotic films, or sex films are films that present sexually explicit subject matter in order to arouse and satisfy the viewer. Pornographic films present sexual fantasies and usually include erotically stimulating material such as nudity (softcore) and sexual intercourse (hardcore). A distinction is sometimes made between "erotic" and "pornographic" films on the basis that the latter category contains more explicit sexuality, and focuses more on arousal than storytelling, but the distinction is highly subjective.
Softcore pornography or softcore porn is commercial still photography or film that has a pornographic or erotic component but is less sexually graphic and intrusive than hardcore pornography, defined by a "lack of penetration" including stripteases, lingerie modeling, simulated sex, and emphasis on the sensual appreciation of the female or male form. It typically contains nude or semi-nude actors involved in love scenes, and is intended to be sexually arousing and aesthetically beautiful.
Erotic art is a broad field of the visual arts including any artistic work intended to evoke erotic arousal, usually depicting human nudity and/or sexual activity. It has included works in almost any visual medium, including drawings, engravings, films, paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Some of the earliest known works of art include erotic themes, which have recurred with varying prominence in different societies throughout history. However it has also been widely considered taboo, with either social norms or laws restricting its creation, distribution, and possession, particularly when it is deemed to be "pornographic", "immoral", or "obscene".
9 Songs is a 2004 British art romantic drama film written and directed by Michael Winterbottom. The film stars Kieran O'Brien and Margo Stilley. The title refers to the nine songs played by eight different rock bands that complement the story of the film.
Lesbian erotica deals with depictions in the visual arts of lesbianism, which is the expression of female-on-female sexuality. Lesbianism has been a theme in erotic art since at least the time of ancient Rome, and many regard depictions of lesbianism to be erotic.
A stag film is a type of pornographic film produced secretly in the first two-thirds of the 20th century. Typically, stag films had certain traits. They were brief in duration, were silent, depicted explicit or graphic sexual behavior intended to appeal to men, and were produced clandestinely due to censorship laws. Stag films were screened for all-male audiences in fraternities or similar locations; observers offered a raucous collective response to the film, exchanging sexual banter and achieving sexual arousal. In Europe, stag films were often screened in brothels.
Nudity in film is the presentation in a film of at least one person who is nude, partially nude or wearing less clothing than contemporary norms in some societies consider "modest". Since the development of the medium, inclusion in films of any form of sexuality has been controversial, and in the case of most nude scenes has had to be justified as being part of the story, in the concept of "artistically justifiable nudity". Many actors and actresses have appeared nude, or exposing parts of their bodies or dressed in ways considered provocative by contemporary standards at some point in their careers.
Blue Movie is a 1969 American film written, produced, and directed by Andy Warhol. Blue Movie, the first adult erotic film depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical release in the United States, is a seminal film in the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984), and helped inaugurate the "porno chic" phenomenon, in which porn was being publicly discussed by celebrities and taken seriously by film critics, in modern American culture, and later, in many other countries throughout the world. According to Warhol, Blue Movie was a major influence in the making of Last Tango in Paris, an internationally controversial erotic drama film, starring Marlon Brando, and released a few years after Blue Movie was made. Viva and Louis Waldon, playing themselves, starred in Blue Movie.
Pornography is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the exclusive purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography may be presented in a variety of media, including magazines, animation, writing, film, video, and video games. The term does not include live exhibitions like sex shows and striptease. The primary subjects of present-day pornographic depictions are pornographic models, who pose for still photographs, and pornographic actors who engage in filmed sex acts.
The history of erotic depictions includes paintings, sculpture, photographs, dramatic arts, music and writings that show scenes of a sexual nature throughout time. They have been created by nearly every civilization, ancient and modern. Early cultures often associated the sexual act with supernatural forces and thus their religion is intertwined with such depictions. In Asian countries such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Japan and China, representations of sex and erotic art have specific spiritual meanings within native religions. The ancient Greeks and Romans produced much art and decoration of an erotic nature, much of it integrated with their religious beliefs and cultural practices.
The term "Golden Age of Porn", or "porno chic", refers to a 15-year period (1969–1984) in commercial American pornography, which spread internationally, in which sexually explicit films experienced positive attention from mainstream cinemas, movie critics, and the general public. It began with release of the 1969 film Blue Movie directed by Andy Warhol, and the 1970 film Mona produced by Bill Osco. These films were the first adult erotic films depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical release in the United States. Both influenced the making of films such as 1972's Deep Throat starring Linda Lovelace and directed by Gerard Damiano, Behind the Green Door starring Marilyn Chambers and directed by the Mitchell brothers, 1973's The Devil in Miss Jones also by Damiano, and 1976's The Opening of Misty Beethoven by Radley Metzger. According to Warhol, Blue Movie was a major influence in the making of Last Tango in Paris, an internationally controversial erotic drama film, starring Marlon Brando, and released a few years after Blue Movie was made.
Human sexuality covers a broad range of topics, including the physiological, psychological, social, cultural, political, philosophical, ethical, moral, theological, legal and spiritual or religious aspects of sex and human sexual behavior.
Mona (1970) is a sexually explicit adult film that contains a number of unsimulated non-penetrative sex scenes. The film is regarded as the second sexually explicit film to receive a general theatrical release in the United States, after Blue Movie (1969). Unlike Blue Movie, however, Mona had a plot, though there was more emphasis on the action.
A pornographic film actor or actress, adult entertainer, or porn star is a person who performs sex acts in video that is usually characterized as a pornographic movie. Such videos tend to be made in a number of distinct pornographic subgenres and attempt to present a sexual fantasy and the actors selected for a particular role are primarily selected on their ability to create or fit that fantasy. Pornographic videos are characterized as either "softcore", which does not contain depictions of sexual penetration or "extreme fetishism" and "hardcore", which can contain depictions of penetration or extreme fetishism, or both. The genres and sexual intensity of videos is mainly determined by demand. Depending on the genre of the film, the on-screen appearance, age, and physical features of the main actors and their ability to create the sexual mood of the video is of critical importance. Most actors specialize in certain genres, such as gay sex, lesbian sex, bondage, strap-on sex, anal sex, double penetration, semen swallowing, teenage women, interracial or MILFs.
In the film industry, unsimulated sex is the presentation in a film of sex scenes where the actors engage in an actual sex act and are not just miming or simulating the actions. At one time in the United States such scenes were restricted by law and self-imposed industry standards such as the Motion Picture Production Code. Films showing explicit sexual activity were confined to privately distributed underground films, such as stag films or "porn loops". Beginning in the late 1960s, most notably with Blue Movie by Andy Warhol, mainstream movies began pushing boundaries in terms of what was presented on screen. Although the vast majority of sexual situations depicted in mainstream cinema is simulated, on rare occasions actors engage in real sex. The difference between these films and pornography is that, while such scenes might be considered erotic, the intent of these films is not solely pornographic.
Sexuality in Japan developed separately from that of mainland Asia, as Japan did not adopt the Confucian view of marriage, in which chastity is highly valued. Monogamy in marriage is often thought to be less important in Japan, and sometimes married men may seek pleasure from courtesans. Prostitution in Japan has a long history, and became especially popular during the Japanese economic miracle, as evening entertainments were tax-deductible. Decreased sex drive in the 21st century has been blamed for the low Japanese birth rate and declining growth of the Japanese population.
Pornographication or pornification is the absorption by mainstream culture of styles or content of the sex industry and the sexualisation of Western culture, sometimes referred to as raunch culture. Pornographication, particularly the use of sexualised images of women, is said to demonstrate "how patriarchal power operates in the field of gender representation". In Women in Popular Culture, Marion Meyers argues that the portrayal of women in modern society is primarily influenced by "the mainstreaming of pornography and its resultant hypersexualization of women and girls, and the commodification of those images for a global market".
Victorian erotica is a genre of sexual art and literature which emerged in the Victorian era of 19th-century Britain. Victorian erotica emerged as a product of a Victorian sexual culture. The Victorian era was characterised by paradox of rigid morality and anti-sensualism, but also by an obsession with sex. Sex was a main social topic, with progressive and enlightened thought pushing for sexual restriction and repression. Overpopulation was a societal concern for the Victorians, thought to be the cause of famine, disease, and war. To curb the threats of overpopulation, sex was socially regulated and controlled. New sexual categories emerged as a response, defining normal and abnormal sex. Heterosexual sex between married couples became the only form of sex socially and morally permissible. Sexual pleasure and desire beyond heterosexual marriage was labelled as deviant, considered to be sinful and sinister. Such deviant forms included masturbation, homosexuality, prostitution and pornography. Procreation was the primary goal of sex, removing it from the public, and placing it in the domestic. Yet, Victorian anti-sexual attitudes were contradictory of genuine Victorian life, with sex underlying much of the cultural practice. Sex was simultaneously repressed and proliferated. Sex was featured in medical manuals such as The Sexual Impulse by Havelock Ellis and Functions and Disorders of Reproductive Organs by William Acton, and in cultural magazines like The Penny Magazine and The Rambler. Sex was popular in entertainment, with much of Victorian theatre, art and literature including and expressing sexual and sensual themes.
The first explicitly pornographic film with a plot that received a general theatrical release in the U.S. is generally considered to be Mona (Mona the Virgin Nymph)...
A movie plot with gaping holes isn't a mystery and not even a good movie.