Let’s be real. The state of queer sex scenes in movies is a little bleak. Not only are our queer and trans characters always played by straight and cis actors, but they are often scrubbed clean of sexual particularities, kinky proclivities, personalities, real bodies, brown bodies, and a whole other mess of missing things.
Creating a definitive list of the best queer sex scenes from movies, to be honest, was not that hard because there aren’t that many to choose from — or at least ones we can actually see. You see, “queer” movies always do this funny, quirky thing where they forget to put the sex in the sex scene, *cough* Call Me By Your Name *cough*. Anyway, enough about those movies. Here are the best queer sex scenes where the filmmakers remembered to put the sex in them.
A dark tent and a bit of spit were all this scene required to get the job done, yet it’s one of the only gay sex scenes anyone can ever name. I’m including it on this list because the film was part of a formative tide change in the queering of the film industry, despite being a mediocre movie. Also, the scene is very hot, and has been used as clandestine masturbation material for closeted teens everywhere, just for the glimpse of heath ledger’s side cheek. I can’t endorse the use of spit as lube, but y’all do y’all.
Oh, yes! That movie that every gay on the internet loved, but no one can really remember what it was about because it was kinda boring. Looking director Andrew Haigh did get his sex scenes right though, especially for this gorgeously realistic and honest moment between two men who meet up over the course of, wait for it, a weekend. The film finishes with one of the greatest blow job scenes in queer history, commenced by some consensual rough-housing.
Though the film is not even close to being as good as the book, the sex scene is a very fun one to watch because it’s playful and leans into the comedy of just how funny gay sex can be. Matt Smith, who plays the legendary author Christopher Isherwood, gets it so rough they knock over some pottery, and Matt cries out, “This is how I would like to die!” Hard same.
Gia was such an unapologetically erotic movie, but to be fair, truly anything Angelina Jolie does can be considered erotic. The sex scenes in this movie, however, are a tad on the safe side, but as a product of two hours and six minutes of sexual tension, I'd say they're worth it. One of my favorites is preceded by a scene where Jolie gets groped through a chain link fence, and tbh, that was almost as good as the sex scene itself.
The joy and horror of watching this sex scene between Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman in the psychopathic ballet thriller is noteworthy and deserves its spot on this list mostly because of its surrealistic, messed-up qualities. At a certain point, Mila lifts her head up from eating Natalie out only to reveal that she is in fact Natalie, and that Natalie is eating Natalie out. We’re all about self-love, girl!
The world is greatly lacking in trans sex scenes, but this Chilean film starring Daniela Vega as a woman working through the loss of her lover has one of my favorite in recent memory. Her relationship with her partner, who is much older than her, is so honest, beautiful, and tender — a quiet moment before an absolute storm of a movie. Plus, the scene is technically birthday sex, and who doesn’t love birthday sex?
A menage a trois turns into a ménages à trois turns into a ménages à dos in this queer Mexican classic depicting the friendship of two men that turns into something more. The scene eclipses in a way I wish it didn’t but the very real and beautiful hesitancy and shame in this moment is one I’ll remember forever.
God’s Own Country, or as I like to call it, Romanian Brokeback Mountain, is one of the most slept-on queer films from 2018. The sex scenes are also very sexy, but also feature a lot of heavy grunting, toxic masculinity, and very, very pale butts. My favorite sex scene, though, takes place in an outhouse. Porta potties are so arousing — news to me! (Again with the spit lube, though? Be practical.)
This movie is just proof that Canadians are just eras ahead of us in the quest for exquisite sex scenes. This Xavier Dolan film’s pivotal sexual moment happens when the two teen lovers are painting something together, and in a manic, rock music-backed scene, proceed to make love on a newspaper-covered floor, getting paint all over their bodies. Watch out for toxic chemicals, please!
Though this scene eclipses a bit too early for my taste, I will say Cate Blanchett carries erotic energy all the way through this movie. She is giving you momma bear vibes! She is giving you fur coats! But aside from that, Cate and her scene partner Rooney Mara create a very interesting power dynamic, and they do it so, so slowly, which just makes it sexier.
Rachel Weisz spitting into Rachel McAdam’s mouth! Rachel Weisz spitting into Rachel McAdam’s mouth! A lot of things happen in this recent drama telling the story of two lesbians pursuing their attraction to each other against the obstacle of their orthodox Jewish community, but aside from those things, Rachel Weisz spits into Rachel McAdam’s mouth!
In a sex scene that takes place on Christmas Day, we see Mya Taylor as a trans sex worker looking to make some coin with her buddy-buddy client, a loveable Armenian cab driver. What you think might be a bit of a seedy, contractual exchange turns into something funny and beautiful when the cabbie takes the two to a drive-through car wash. Shrowded in dappled light of the soapy liquid on the car windows, the cab driver gives Mya a blow job, and she rolls her eyes. Relatable!
People often forget that mutual handjobs are, indeed, sex. But that didn’t stop me from including Moonlight in this list, which features a tender and precious scene between two young men in one, ahem, seminal scene on the beach, fortifying a companionship that would mean something for decades to come.
If you’ve already seen The Handmaiden, prepare to divide your life into two parts. Life before seeing The Handmaiden, and life after seeing The Handmaiden. Aside from the fact that this Korean lesbian erotic period thriller (That’s right, I said lesbian erotic period thriller!) is a queer gem of a movie, the sex scenes are some of the best I’ve ever seen on a screen. One standout, though, is the final scene which depicts — well, I’m not gonna tell you, but let’s just say it involves a string of large, silver jingle bells.
Told inside the story of the AIDS crisis as it occured in Paris, the (very hot) activists that lead this film have deeply fulfilling sex lives that paint HIV positivity without stigma, and pair sex with very honest depictions of what it meant to be a person living with AIDS at that time. There are so many incredible sex scenes, I had a hard time just picking one, but I will say that the final scene is so beautiful that it brought me to tears — and it's a handjob! A handjob brought me to tears!