Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett writes on www.guardian.co.uk – Ever since Jennifer Lopez uttered the words “it’s turkey time, gobble gobble” as a prelude to cunnilingus in 2003’s Gigli, the Hollywood sex scene has been on the decline.
A decade ago 120 films rated R, or restricted made the US box office top 10 – last year there were only 80 and most got their ratings for violence, not sex. According to some reports, the internet, or what I like to call “porn fatigue” is to blame (all that wearisome shagging in Game of Thrones).
That, and the fact that pesky women now have more of a say in what we want to watch, which I can say with absolute certainty are none of the following scenes, which I was forced to watch again for research purposes.
Though the bra-on, glossy Hollywood shags tend to be the main offenders, a couple of European projects have slid into the list, proving that it isn’t just the Americans who have struggled with depicting an authentic sexual experience on camera.
Titanic, car sex, 1997
Despite tentative advances made by my first boyfriend regarding the christening of his Citroen Saxo, the prospect of doing it in a car never seemed as though it would live up to the steaminess of the famous scene from Titanic (the dogging population of the United Kingdom may beg to differ). The much parodied hand against the steamed-up window shot seemed risqué at the time, when I was 11. Watching it again 15 years later and the combination of Rose’s whispered “put your hands on me” with Jack’s post-orgasmic shiver-fest has me cringing in my seat.
Eyes Wide Shut, mechanical orgy, 1999 [pictured]
I don’t know what it is about the scene. It could be the generic world music in the background, or the fact that everyone’s going at it with the passion and spontaneity of the Duracell bunnies, or maybe it’s because the masks look a bit like they belong at an Occupy camp (be my one percent, baby) but this robotic humping scene just doesn’t do it for me.
9 Songs, all of it, 2004
When I bought this DVD, a film consisting of endless, genuine pumping interspersed with live footage of indie bands seemed like a recipe for movie magic.
In actuality, Michael Winterbottom lives up to his name with a surprisingly dull film consisting of despondent humping. The fact that they’re going at it for real fails to add any excitement to the proceedings, mainly because the characters’ demonstrative lack of enthusiasm for one another rivals even the least memorable of college party encounters. In other words, if I wanted to envisage listless, half-hearted intercourse set to Elbow I’d just visualise my life, six years ago.
9½ Weeks, food sex, 1986
Maybe it’s because of the vivid way a friend once explained why he’ll never look at strawberry yoghurt the same way again, or the fact that I’ve always suspected I might be a tad lactose intolerant, but sex and dairy products never really struck me as an erotic combo.
Watching the much celebrated scene from 9½ weeks where Kim Basinger gives herself a full-fat milk facial (moo, rather than man) has me physically gagging, and not in a “sexy” way, but in a manner all too reminiscent of the time I vomited on the pavement outside the jobcentre in Archway following an ill-fated hangover Nesquik.
Last Tango In Paris, butter scene, 1972
Never have the words “get the butter” been imbued with as much meaning as they are in this scene, where Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider do it very much sunny side down. Again, what is it with the dairy products? Though I usually prefer the no-holds-barred, savage shagging of the European arthouse film, this particular scene is so unerotic that virginal cancer-fest A Walk to Remember starts to look like better third-date watching.