What are the best erotic movies of all time? This lists consists of 30 of them.


16 February 2023

erotic movies erotic movies best of

The best erotic films – to fight for such a title, it is not enough to make a film with a few nude scenes or sequences of passionate kisses. Erotic cinema is pictures full of sensuality, passion and lust. Stimulating the imagination and exposing the beauty of the human body. Compared to pornographic films, the creators of erotic cinema treat sex as an art object, giving the viewer a chance to achieve not only erotic but also artistic satisfaction.

Here is a triumphant list of titles that deserve the title of the best erotic films, perfect as items to watch on the coming cold days. See if the results surprise you. (Spoiler, encouraging or discouraging – you won’t find 50 Shades of Gray here)

30. Swimming Pool

swimming pool

François Ozon’s Swimming Pool surprises with the way crime and erotica intertwine in this seemingly summer story. The south of France appears here as an idyllic, almost romantic background, and the body of the young Ludivine Sagnier constantly urges her to sin, but the most important here is Charlotte Rampling, strikingly calm as a British crime writer whose sunshine and much younger roommate, the publisher’s daughter, begin to disturb in head. The suggestion that what we are watching may be a figment of the writer’s imagination is clear, after all, this is a film about finding inspiration for a book, creating a plot based on the events taking place before our eyes. Except that Ozon is more interested in the relationship between reality and fiction, the dynamics of the relationship between the two women, the excitement and even excitement resulting from contact with something inaccessible to the other party. It goes beyond the division into old age and youth, experience and recklessness, momentary sensations and awareness of their appearance; there is also the specter of death hanging over all this, which effectively changes the way we perceive certain things. The erotic tension, which persists throughout the screening, results not only from the lack of any inhibitions in the younger woman, but especially from the hidden jealousy of the older one, who cannot match the other. Or maybe?

29. Story of O

Director Just Jaeckin realized a masochistic spectacle of female submission, modeled on the erotic novel Histoire d’O by Frenchwoman Anne Desclos. The main character is a beautiful Parisian girl played by Corinne Cléry. In a secluded and charming property in Roissy, a woman undergoes a kind of training that will test her boundless love and devotion to her fiancé. She is subjected to ritual sexual torture full of brutality and violence, but also refinement and anointing. The woman’s anus is drilled by more anal plugs, her labia pierced, her buttocks marked with red-hot iron. When a slave agrees to be shackled, whipped, whipped, she becomes an O. Merely a vessel of her lover’s pleasure without her full name. By allowing herself to be used both orally and anally, she proves that she is completely open to her man, completely possessed by him. O’s meek sexual advances reveal her sinful and painful fascination with humiliation.

28. Black Emanuelle

After the stunning success of Emanuelle starring Sylvia Kristel (1974), a whole series of films with this working title spilled out. Black Emanuelle is a Spanish-Italian production, telling the story of a journalist, Mae Jordan (played by swarthy Laura Gemser), who during a trip to Africa starts an affair with both of Daniela’s marriage. Unfortunately, unlike the film with Sylvia Kristel, there is not much good to say about this position. It’s not customary to require an erotic film to have extensive action, but here even these remains limp. The erotic scenes, in which there are doubles sometimes too distant from the appearance of the main actors, look like pasted there for a joke, which would effectively destroy any atmosphere that might appear. They are bold, spicy, it is true, but too often they appear artificial. [Agnieszka Stasiowska]

27. Body Heat

Body Heat is a somewhat forgotten film. It’s a pity. After all, this is not only Kathleen Turner’s exceptional debut, which brought her the name of a Hollywood sex bomb, but above all a very good production in the neo-noir genre, a combination of the dark cinema of the 1940s with the crazy energy of the 1980s. What distinguishes Body Heat is the erotic atmosphere hovering over the whole. It’s a bit kitschy, a perfect reflection of the eighties, but at the same time unique, dripping with (literally) sex. It’s set during a heatwave in Florida and you can really feel the sweat, the stickiness, the desire while watching the movie. Kathleen Turner and William Hurt created a sensual couple on the screen, associated with the best times of the genre.

26. Venus in Fur

The name of the author of the famous 1870 novel was used to coin the term “masochism”, meaning a predilection for being humiliated and harmed. At the heart of Roman Polanski’s 2013 film adaptation of David Ives’ play, loosely based on Sacher-Masocha’s controversial book, is the masochistic desire to “reverse roles” on many levels. The director, interrogating the sensual candidate after hours, accustomed to control, succumbing to the fascination of the newly met actress, gradually allows her to take over the reins, disturb the border between the text and the reality of their relationship and, as a consequence, self-enslaves the sensual woman. In Polanski’s story of playing a role with a performer, hidden desires find an outlet, and the staged erotic story allows for the release of repressed lusts. An intimate film starring Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Seigner, this sexual tension is conveyed in a suggestive and subtle way at the same time. As a result, Venus in Fur is an exciting mix of comedy, psychodrama, psychological thriller and perverse romance, which seduces with its atmosphere and images.

25. In the Realm of the Senses


Nagisa Ōshima’s pioneering film in showing non-simulated scenes of intercourse raises the issue of love strongly connected with death. Its protagonists, the hotel owner Kichizo and his lover Sad, perform many sexual acts, experiencing all possible sensual pleasure. The characters organize sensual orgies and experiment with erotic gadgets. The world of carnal fulfillment becomes the only one that matters to them. The lovers’ constantly seething desires lead them to increasing violence, which intensifies the intensity of the intercourse. A woman bites her beloved until he bleeds, beats his face, chokes him and plays with a sharp knife. Finally, to maintain his erection and prolong the pleasure, he brings the man to the final orgasm. The source of controversy surrounding the film was the fact that the story filmed by Ōshima really happened. The story is about a Japanese prostitute, Sada Abe, who is remembered by the Japanese as the murderer of her lover, Kichizo Ishida. The story became a national sensation in 1930s Japan. [Maja Budka, fragment of the statement]

24. Belle de Jour

Spanish director Luis Buñuel made few films in his homeland, mostly working in Mexico and France. For Belle de Jour he received the Golden Lion at the Venice Festival. Unable to find fulfillment in marriage, Séverine becomes a prostitute. She differs from other ladies of loose morals, called beauties of the night, in that she works in the afternoon to make it before her husband returns from work. Buñuel, one of the leading surrealists, made sure that the story had a hidden psychological depth. It is an ambiguous, enigmatic film. The director strikes at the bourgeoisie, showing that hypocrisy and corruption lie behind high culture and refinement. In the foreground is the charming Catherine Deneuve in one of her most famous incarnations. It is also one of Buñuel’s most visually beautiful films.

23. Sex, Lies and Videotapes

Steven Soderbergh’s feature-length debut can be described as “intimacy”, despite the fact that, on the most basic plot level, it tells the story of a hero filming extremely personal, one might say, exhibitionistic confessions of women he meets. However, Sex, Lies and Videotapes is a film with a clear psychological and moral jam, dealing with what in the public sphere is still rather taboo: lack of sexual satisfaction, hidden erotic fantasies, unfulfillment in relationships, jealousy and betrayal. Soderbergh looks at the topic of intimacy and its suppression with sensitivity and even humor, but without unnecessary prudery, because in the end Sex, Lies and Videotapes exposes the superficiality, loneliness and frigidity that too often surround such a fundamental human sphere, which is love purely physical.

22. The Lover

The film tells the story of an affair between a 16-year-old French girl and a Chinese man twice her age. The girl is in Asia, where her mother works as a teacher. He comes from a poor family and lives in a working-class part of a Vietnamese city. He is the son of a businessman, just returned from studying in Paris, a fortune awaits him. When they meet in a rented room in the fun district, none of it matters. The difference in age, their origin, social position does not matter. They just give in to desire. It must be admitted that the erotic scenes were shot masterfully – Oscar-nominated cinematography was of great importance. The use of light, the noise from the street coming to the room, all this made for an extremely moody, passionate whole.

21. Intimacy


Somehow, what we see becomes more assimilable if we treat it as a metaphor for relationships between people, communication, senses. Finally, how our senses evolve, what processes take place in ourselves. It turns out that deriving pleasure from direct contact with another person must be somehow reduced. The heroine, visiting a man she met accidentally (regularly every Wednesday), gives herself to him without words. They make love as if nothing else existed, as if it was the only means by which they could communicate with each other. It’s hard to say that they share intimacy in the sphere of feelings, because these feelings, if they exist at all, are so fleeting that they are difficult to capture. “Intimacy” in this case is the feelings of each of the characters, skinned, captured, stolen from themselves. It’s something they’d definitely want to hide because it’s the essence of truth, a lost struggle for identity. And that’s probably the most intimate thing about this movie.



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