From Gone Girl to Fifty Shades of Grey: The 17 worst sex scenes in film

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Get our free weekly email for all the latest cinematic news from our film critic Clarisse Loughrey. Sign up for our The Life Cinematic email and get it for free! It’s no secret that Hollywood often fails to make sex appear good on screen. Despite having attractive actors, skillful editing, and flattering lighting, many directors still struggle to present a nuanced and realistic portrayal of sex. In fact, sometimes it seems like the creators of porn films provide a more thoughtful depiction of sex than some of the most talented directors. To illustrate this, we have compiled a list of the worst sex scenes in film history. From cringe-worthy lines to exaggerated orgasm faces, these scenes will make you want to leave the room, regardless of whether your parents are sitting right next to you on the sofa.

Let’s begin with “Gigli.” This film features Jennifer Lopez’s character, a lesbian assassin who apparently can’t resist the masculine allure of Ben Affleck’s character. The infamous line “It’s turkey time! Gobble, gobble” is an invitation for oral sex, and the audience is left waiting to see if he accepts. The result is just as ludicrous as you would expect.

Next up, “Howard the Duck” presents us with the challenge of making cross-species coitus sexy. The scene where Lea Thompson’s character gets intimate with a duck is anything but sensual.

“Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes get tangled in silk ropes in “Killing Me Softly,” which is far from titillating. Graham’s whispered voiceover declaring her loss of control only adds to the discomfort.

In “Bad Teacher,” the dry humping scene between Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake is cringe-worthy for several reasons. From Timberlake’s gyrating hips to his questionable climax face, this scene is one we’d rather forget.

“Maps to the Stars” takes an uncomfortable turn when Julianne Moore’s character asks Robert Pattinson’s character if he wants to “f*** her holes.” The subsequent car sex scene is stressful to watch, and it only gets worse when Moore wipes Pattinson’s semen off her leg with a scarf.

Madonna and Willem Dafoe bring us a memorable sex scene in “Body of Evidence.” The Queen of Pop straddles Dafoe, pours molten wax and champagne over his body, and proceeds to lick it up. Safe to say, it’s not a scene that will be featured in any cooking show.

“Showgirls” is known for many things, but its sex scenes are particularly cringe-worthy. Elizabeth Berkley and Kyle MacLachlan’s poolside encounter is a mix of thrashing, bubbling water, fountain fondling, and ecstatic yelping that haunts viewers’ nightmares.

Let’s not forget “Avatar,” where James Cameron attempts to make sex between towering blue humanoids erotic. The strange dreadlock-interlocking display does nothing to enhance the scene.

“The Room” is infamous for being one of the worst films ever made, and its sex scene between Tommy Wiseau and Juliette Danielle is a major contributing factor. Wiseau’s inexplicable thrusting motion into Danielle’s belly button is baffling, to say the least.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” has its fair share of poorly executed sex scenes, but the worst is when Christian Grey ties up Ana, blindfolds her with his shirt, and runs an ice cube over her body. One wonders where he got his advice from.

“Basic Instinct 2” kicks off with a scene where Stan Collymore and Sharon Stone engage in a high-speed car ride that ends in a fatal crash. Not quite the happy ending they had in mind.

In “Wet Hot American Summer,” Bradley Cooper and Michael Ian Black’s exaggerated sex faces resemble emojis more than anything else. The lukewarm portrayal of pleasure doesn’t match the title of the film.

“Damage” takes the disturbing route by showcasing Jeremy Irons pouncing on Juliette Binoche and pulling her along the carpet. The violent nature of the scene is off-putting, to say the least.

“If These Walls Could Talk 2” features endless shots of hands drifting over skin and disappearing under sheets, set to the backdrop of melodramatic music. It’s a soppy portrayal that would make Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Stone cringe.

“What Women Want” delivers a cliché-filled scene with Mel Gibson talking to his penis in the bathroom, a light that turns on with clapping, and a woman wailing so loud it’s hard to tell if it’s pleasure or pain.

The sex scene in “Watchmen” set to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is widely ridiculed. Malin Akerman unzips a latex chest piece while the lyrics play in the background, resulting in a bizarre and unappealing display.

Finally, “Gone Girl” gives us a disturbing scene where Rosamund Pike’s character slits a man’s throat while he’s still inside her. The subsequent blood-soaked gyrations are deeply unsettling.

In conclusion, these sex scenes highlight Hollywood’s struggle to portray intimate moments effectively. Whether it’s poor dialogue, exaggerated expressions, or downright gruesome situations, these scenes miss the mark in more ways than one.

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