Mainstream Movies Pushing the Boundaries in Bed

Thanks to the Hays Code, gay characters were largely missing from the movies up until 1968. And even more recently than that, it was considered career suicide for a male actor to “play gay.” Fortunately, moviegoers and moviemakers are seeing the light, and now stars like Leonardo DiCaprio are now willing to lock lips with another dude. Here are ten of our favorite gay sex scenes—or, at least, sexy scenes—in mainstream movies.

1. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
This movie turned “brokeback” into an internationally-recognized adjective, that’s how mainstream this gay love story went. Oh yeah, and it won a ton of awards. Though the major sex scene between closeted cowboys Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) isn’t particularly explicit, the moment when Ledger spits into his hand is unspeakably hardcore and erotic—and real. We’d like to think that this movie did for camping (and tent sex) what Ghost did for pottery classes.

2. Bound (1996)
If “lesbian kiss in a movie” was a category on the TV show Family Feud, we’re pretty sure Bound would be at the top of the list. What’s the first thing anyone can recall about Jennifer Tilly or Gina Gershon? Sure, maybe their mothers remember something cute they each did in sixth grade, but pretty much everyone else thinks about that tease-erific pre-sex kiss on the couch.

3. Top Gun (1986)
It’s a tie between the locker room scene and the volleyball scene. Oh wait, that’s right, there’s no actual gay sex in those scenes. But they’re just about the most homoerotic scenes in cinematic history, and have surely inspired more sexual fantasies than Jenna Jameson’s entire oeuvre.

4. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
This is a gay and interracial love story. Bonus points! Set in Thatcher-era Great Britain, the movie features a sweaty, two-minute-long snogging scene between Daniel Day-Lewis and Gordon Warnecke—in a laundrette. You only get to watch from the waist up, but let’s just say that the implications are steamy.

5. The Kids are All Right (2010)
Okay, so it’s not the hottest lesbian sex you’ve even seen on screen, but that’s what we have Angelina Jolie for. And you know gay sex in the movies has come a long way when filmmakers can make it seem everyday—as in this movie starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple who are married with two children.

6. Gia (1998)
In one of the—many, many—sex scenes in this movie, Jolie’s hard-partying supermodel character appears to a hump a chain-link fence during a naked fashion photo shoot—and the photographer asks the makeup artist (Lost‘s Elizabeth Mitchell) to join in. Then they have a three-way with the fence.

7. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Hot prepster Ben (Bradley Cooper) is in love with his fellow camp counselor McKinley (Michael Ian Black). Their two straight buddies watch McKinley disappear into a log cabin and surmise that he probably went to write his mommy and daddy a letter. “What a fag,” they say. As Ben and McKinley get it on, their buddies continue in a voice-over, trying to figure out who would have sex with McKinley (“Debbie? No, she’s got mono.”). Meanwhile, inside the cabin, Cooper takes off his lover’s shirt and smells it, then the guys do it against a wall while wearing matching white tube socks with red stripes!

8. J. Edgar (2011)
Okay, so all they do is kiss, but this was the fifties and these guys were buttoned up with everything to lose, so maybe that’s all they did do. Leonardo DiCaprio (as J. Edgar Hoover) and Armie Hammer (as his loyal assistant Clyde Tolson) get into a fistfight and fall to the ground, at which point Tolson goes in for a kiss. It’s simultaneously sexy and heartbreaking because you know that this kiss has to stand in for everything else they wish they could do together.

9. Black Swan (2010)
Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis do ecstasy together, dry-hump on the dance floor, and then end up in bed in a no-holds barred sex scene. The steamy segment became much of the focus of the buzz surrounding the release of the movie. Naturally.

10. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
In case you didn’t watch this movie three hundred times in college, a refresher course: Brad (Brad Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) take a trip to celebrate their engagement. When their car breaks down in the rain, they end up in a nearby castle where they meet “sweet transvestite” Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry). Frank N. Furter dresses up as Janet and then sneaks into Brad’s room to seduce him. Through a rather discreet lace curtain, we watch Brad transition—in 30 seconds flat!—from no-way-dude-that’s-a-penis to what-the-hell-it-feels-good.

Click here for the full schedule of Black Swan on SundanceTV.