The 30 Sexiest Gay Scenes In Film

4.1.2013

By Andrew Belonsky

Brutality and tenderness. Recklessness and wisdom. Lust and love. It's all here.

7. Shortbus - Dir. John Cameron Mitchell, 2006
Shortbus stands out for its evocative, at times confrontational portrayal of real-life sex—largely because the actors were actually having sex. But it’s the scene in which actress Sook-Yin Lee’s Sofia Lin, a sex therapist who has never had an orgasm, gets to enjoy her first orgy that is this flick’s sexiest. The participants aren’t crude or bacchanal or drugged out; they’re simply uninhibited and having fun.

8. Bent - Dir. Sean Mathias, 1997
“I never thought we’d do it without touching.” But they did: Max (Clive Owen) and Horst (Lothaire Bluteau) bring each other to ecstasy without ever making a single move in Bent, about gay men who fall in love in a Nazi concentration camp. The scene in question—where the two stand side by side, never looking at or touching each other while reaching silent climax—leaves the viewer reeling.

 

9. Un Chant D'Amour (A Song of Love) dir. Jean Genet, 1950
"My favorite movie male-on-male love scene is one in which the male couple are separated by a cell wall but brought together by a straw and a shared lungful of smoke. Is this is a bad sign? Jean Genet's Un Chant D'Amour, his only movie, is set, of course, in a prison. A middle-aged prisoner knocks on his cell wall, frantically trying to attract the attention of his younger neighbor, who is dancing with himself in a dirty vest with a face as tender as it is tough. The old lag lights a cigarette, inserts a straw through a tiny hole, and blows smoke through it into the next cell. After studiously feigning disinterest, the young brute finally kneels at the wall, closed-eyed and open-mouthed, and receives the billowingn white smoke. It's a great, exquisitely poetic representation of the impossibility of romance—and even desire itself. To paraphrase Joni Mitchell, I've looked at glory holes from both sides now, from blower and inhaler, from younger and older, and still it's glory holes' illusions I recall."
Mark Simpson, writer, Metrosexy

10. Maurice - Dir. James Ivory, 1987

Confused and traumatized by an unconsummated love, Maurice (James Wilby) finally gets some relief when he succumbs to gamekeeper Scudder’s (Rupert Graves) nocturnal advances in this Merchant Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster’s posthumous novel. Though Maurice is initially dismayed when Scudder offers himself up, he comes to his senses and together the men find their happy ending.

11. Caravaggio - Dir. Derek Jarman, 1986
Brutal and violent, artist Caravaggio’s doomed affair with street fighter Ranuccio is sexuality at its most unrestrained. The men, played by Nigel Terry and Sean Bean, know perfectly well they can’t come out of their dalliance unscathed—nor do they—but it’s those elements of danger that make this story so combustible.

12. My Own Private Idaho - Dir. Gus Van Sant, 1991
It’s tenderness that fuels the sexuality in this pick, Van Sant’s beloved tale of a gay narcoleptic street hustler (River Phoenix) who is desperately in love with his best friend, Scott (Keanu Reeves). The realistic portrayal of platonic, symbiotic intimacy sticks with the viewer longer than the image of Phoenix and Reeves cuddling up by a campfire.

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