1973: Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie getting their groove back in 'Don’t Look Now.'

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Don’t Look Now may have been a horror movie with one of the scariest plot twists any of us had ever seen (don’t watch it with the lights off), but it also featured a prolonged sex scene which you can now only find on PornHub. The full-frontal (and the cuddling!) was allegedly so real that audiences couldn’t tell the difference. Warren Beatty, Christie’s boyfriend at the time, apparently even demanded the scene be cut. He wasn’t the only one. Your parents definitely didn’t want you to see this. (But they sure as hell talked about it.)British Lion Films

1974: Robert Redford and Mia Farrow reuniting in ‘The Great Gatsby.’


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Sometimes a great love scene needs no kissing. Not even dialogue. In this scene from the 1974 classic (the one Leo’s not in), the chemistry between the stars is so palpable that audiences left the theaters sighing and wondering when their great romances would begin.Paramount Pictures

1975: Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider contemplating existence in 'The Passenger.'


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Now a staple of “indie date night cinema,” The Passenger is the story of a man who abandons his identity in order to take on a new life. In one of the film’s most iconic scenes, he and Schneider (never named, just “the girl”) discuss what it would be like to be blind as she tenderly caresses his face. If that doesn’t give you the ASMR tingles, then the next segment, which features the pair tightly caressing as they discuss the depressing state of the world will certainly make you want to reach for your own special someone.United Artists

1976: Susan Sarandon and literally the entire rest of the cast of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' getting it on.

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Considered tame by today’s standards - they did a version of this on FOX a few years ago! - this movie about a sex cult from a small planet called Transexual (in the Transylvania galaxy) was ahead of its time for the 1970s. And if we have to choose just one love scene that turned oohs into “OH!”s, it’s gotta be this one where Janet cheats on her husband with Rocky while the rest of the cast pleasures themselves in their own unique ways.20th Century Fox

1977: John Travolta and Karen Lynn Gorney dancing the pain away in 'Saturday Night Fever.'


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This film about a Brooklyn (before it was cool) boy coming-of-age is chock-full of both love and sadness. But nothing quite wowed the audience like this scene in which John Travolta’s Tony and Karen Lynn Gorney’s Stephanie let their bodies do the talking. Though the relationship quickly soured due to Tony’s inability to take “no” for answer when it came to consent (gross, dude), audiences were breathless when these two stepped out onto the disco floor. Paramount Pictures

1978: P.J. Soles and John Michael Graham learning that only virgins survive in ‘Halloween.'

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If you’re looking for the genesis of the “don’t have sex in horror movies” rule, it started right here in the original Halloween. Teenagers are murdered right and left after “doing the deed” in this movie. None more gruesomely than Lynda and her boyfriend, Bob. You know what, though? We’ll take our chances. Compass International Pictures

1979: Literally every person in every scene of the ultra-graphic ‘Caligula.'

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Have you ever heard of this film starring Helen Mirren and Malcom McDowell? Probably not! It was panned as “trash” when it was released and an entire 50 minutes had to be cut for the movie to even receive an R-rating. Doesn’t matter, because the love scenes depicted in this movie were too controversial for theater-going audiences. It was supposed to be high art, but is now just considered very, very expensive porn. (Not that that’s a bad thing. Have you seen Pirates?)Analysis Film Releasing Corporation

1980: Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton consummating their relationship in 'American Gigolo.'

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Before he was the John in Pretty Woman, Richard Gere was the hustler in this film, which pushed the limits of how much sex big studios could get away with on the silver screen.Paramount Pictures

1981: Kathleen Turner and William Hurt fueling each other’s obsession in 'Body Heat.'

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You definitely didn’t want your parents walking in on you watching this “erotic thriller” about two sex-obsessed people who just can’t get enough.Warner Bros.

1982: Judge Reinhold and Phoebe Cates getting awkward in 'Fast Times At Ridgemont High.'

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There are a lot of scenes that were controversial (this movie originally had an x-rating) in this comedy about high school kids getting real about sex. The one that kept people talking? The one in which Reinhold fantasizes about Cates while, uh, loving himself. And true to high school, it just gets more awkward.Universal Pictures

1983: Jennifer Beals flirting in 'Flashdance.'

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Though she had a body double for some of the dancing in this film (and the iconic red dress isn’t technically about love), Jennifer Beals stripped and ate seafood all on her own in this scene where she’s trying to seduce her date. Wonder how many of our parents tried it.Paramount Pictures

1984: Prince and Apollonia Kotero doing some cardio in 'Purple Rain.'

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This film starred Prince as a kid from a broken home just trying to make it in the music business and live happily ever after with his girlfriend - who’s an aspiring sex writer. Also, they’re really into sex ballet. This is sex ballet, right?Warner Bros.

1985: Helen Shaver and Patricia Charbonneau falling in love in 'Desert Hearts.'

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Now, a movie about two women falling in love is something to celebrate. In 1985? This kiss set tongues wagging. The Samuel Goldwyn Company

1986: Isabella Rossellini catching Kyle MacLachlan peeping in 'Blue Velvet.'

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Does it count if it’s terrifying? Because every love scene in this movie - about a guy obsessed with a nightclub singer who might also be a murderer - is strange, uncomfortable, or unwanted. And yet, the very weird David Lynch film is beloved by critics and audiences alike. That’s including the one pictured here-in which Isabella Rossellini catches Kyle MacLachlan hiding in her closet, threatens him with a knife, and then decides that she’s into him?De Laurentiis Entertainment Group

1987: Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey 'Dirty Dancing.'

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No one puts baby in a corner! Don’t know where that line comes from? It’s from this movie, which is about a rich girl and her wrong-side-of-the-tracks dancing machine boyfriend. The climactic lift, which you’ve seen parodied everywhere was both unrehearsed and left fans gasping.Vestron Pictures

1988 Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon exploring the limits of one bathtub in “Bull Durham.”

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This movie was ostensibly about baseball, but there’s a reason your parents wouldn’t let you rent it!Orion Pictures

1989: Meg Ryan teaching Billy Crystal a lesson in “When Harry Met Sally”

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Considered to be one of those “great love stories” by people who’ve seen it, this film is centered on the debate about whether women and men can be friends. And it features this scene, in which Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm in a diner. Bet this was cut from the TV version.Columbia Pictures

1990: Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore doing arts and crafts in “Ghost.”

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This film was about a woman who - with the help of a psychic played by Whoopi Goldberg - stepped into a romantic relationship with the literal ghost of her former boyfriend. It also brought us a scene which begged the question: Is that how you’re supposed to use a pottery wheel?Paramount Pictures

1991: River Phoenix at work in “My Own Private Idaho.”

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Gus Van Sant’s classic about the lives of male sex workers began with a scene of two gay men engaged in sexual congress (Phoenix with a client whom he later begs for more money). It certainly got people’s attention.First Line Features

1992: Literally every scene in “Basic Instinct.”

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You know what? It’s impossible to pick just one scene when the entire film is a hotbed of scandal, at least for 1992. Suffice to say, though, that if you’re looking for anything from threesomes to BDSM, this movie’s got it. The characters may have liked to watch, but your parents certainly made sure you didn’t.TriStar Pictures

1993: Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock having sex in “Demolition Man.”

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If you need a quick refresher: This movie was about a cop who was frozen in the ‘90s and then thawed out to thwart his arch nemesis in 2032. But none of that is as important as the moment Sandra Bullock’s character subverted the social norms of the time by asking Sylvester Stallone’s character if he wanted to have sex. We’re sure it’d be even more x-rated if we understood how people had sex in 2032 (it involved helmets), but we certainly talked about it just as much as that “three shells in the bathroom” thing. Ask your parents about it.Warner Bros.

1994: Linda Fiorentino screwing everyone over in “The Last Seduction.”

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It’s not until the end of this film that you realize that Fiorentino’s a protagonist, but she’s not a hero to root for. (Because she’s a psychopath intent on destroying everyone in her way for financial gain.) Of course, that didn’t stop multiple outlets from naming some of the rough sex scenes that Fiorentino and Peter Berg filmed as the most scandalous of the year.October Films

1995: Kyle MacLachlan and Elizabeth Berkley taking a swim in “Showgirls.”

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Nomi Malone is a dancer, damnit, and she’s going to make it in Vegas no matter what she has to do. That includes a slimy produced played by Kyle MacLachlan (marking his second entry on this list). Two words: Dolphin fountain.MGM/UA Distribution Co

1996: Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon hanging out in “Bound.”

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The late ‘90s were a boom for “movies about women who enjoy having sex with each other for the pleasure of their male audiences.” This “lesbian” thriller? No exception.Gramercy Pictures

1997: Mark Wahlberg giving himself a pep talk in “Boogie Nights.”

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It was a film about porn, so there was was no shortage of “love scenes” in this dramedy about the biz, but the biggest love story of all was between Dirk Diggler and his ginormous member. If you ever get your hands on a time machine, going back in time to freak the hell out with the rest of audience at the final scene of this movie should be your top priority. (Don’t worry, someone else has Hitler.)New Line Cinema

1998: Neve Cambpell and Denise Richards taking a dip in “Wild Things.”

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It started off with a fight in the water and ended with a whole lot of making out. Did the scene make any sense? Nope, but that didn’t stop it from being one of the most talked-about scenes of the year.Columbia Pictures

1999: Sarah Michelle Gellar teaching Selma Blair the fine art of love in “Cruel Intentions.”

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This scene started with a lesson in kissing and ended up with a full-on makeout session between two of the 90’s biggest teen stars. If you were lucky enough to see it in middle school, it also gave you bragging rights for months.Columbia Pictures

2000: Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen's love affair in 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.'

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While audiences might've been there for the aerial martial arts, the flashback of Ziyi and Chen's characters getting it on in that cave was just as important. Sony Pictures Classics

2001: Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton reaching out for each other in “Monster’s Ball.”

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Monster’s Ball is a dark, complex film, that many critics hailed as important. Its mature content - including a nearly five-minute-long sex scene - gave this movie as hard an R-rating as possible.Lionsgate

2002: James Spader disciplining Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Secretary.”

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This BDSM love story certainly changed how some people looked at their bosses.Lionsgate

2003: Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson getting it on in the shower in 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days'

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McConaghey at his peak, slowly undressing Kate Hudson in one of the most iconic rom-com sex scenes ever? Say no more. Paramount Pictures

2004: Natalie Portman and Clive Owen at the strip club in “Closer.”

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This film was a cautionary tale for anyone looking to get into a serious long-term relationship. And lots of people left this four-person drama maybe side-eyeing their partners just a little. Especially after this scene, where Natalie Portman (working as an exotic dancer) tries to seduce and then has a confrontation with Clive Owen.Columbia Pictures

2005: Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal not quitting each other in “Brokeback Mountain.”

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The most controversial thing about this movie is that it didn’t win the Oscar for best picture. The second? The first kiss between two gay cowboys.Focus Features

2006: Every scene in “Shortbus.”

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This indie film about a sex club featured unsimulated sex between its actors, so you could consider every scene its most controversial. Even more controversial for some people: It received a wide release among independent and art house theaters.THINKFilm

2007: Keira Knightley and James McAvoy giving in to desire in “Atonement.”

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2007 wasn’t a great year for controversial love scenes, but the one at the beginning of this film led to the destruction of two characters’ lives and, honestly, we were discussing it even after awards season was over.Relativity Media

2008: The cast of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” having a friendly competition.

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You may think that the most scandalous part of this movie was Jason Segel’s full-frontal, but that might be because you may have missed the virgin couple’s first attempt at sex and also the orgasm scream-off, which made everyone in the theater laugh in that uncomfortable way that you do when you imagine what things would be like if your mom and dad were sitting right next to you.Universal Pictures

2009: The Na’Vi learning about the birds and the Omaticaya Hometree in “Avatar.”

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Did anyone think they were going to learn how two blue CGI creatures love each other when they bought tickets to see this film? Well, they learned anyway! (There’s a lot of kissing involved and apparently that giant tree and then it’s just so good that everyone’s on the ground all spent.) (Apparently, the original vision was a little more racy?)20th Century Fox

2010: Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman going for a night out in “Black Swan.”

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Is anyone else still wondering how much of this was real? One thing’s for sure: Most audiences were expecting a thriller, but they may not have expected the substance-fueled love scene between rival ballerinas Portman and Kunis.Fox Searchlight

2011: Charlize Theron borrowing a shirt from Patton Oswalt in “Young Adult.”

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You know why this entire movie about a YA author coming to terms with herself was so scandalous? Because every part of Theron and Oswalt’s love story was way too real.Paramount Pictures

2012: Helen Hunt and John Hawkes connecting “The Sessions.”

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This film about a disabled man discovering his sexuality may have been controversial for its nudity and subject matter, but its real message - that sex is vital, not scandalous, and not reserved only for those who are young and attractive - was what really made audiences think. Fox Searchlight

2013: Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson cyber-sexing in “Her.”

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In this film, Phoenix fell in love with his computer. And, yes, he had sex with AI.Warner Bros.

2014: Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck sitting on the couch in “Gone Girl.”

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It’s been four years, but we’re not here to spoil twists, so let’s just say this: The opening scene of this movie painted a picture of two people very much in love. The last scene, taking place at the same time and place made audiences gasp with what was underneath.20th Century Fox

2015: Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander falling in love in “Ex Machina.”

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Is it possible to love a robot? The love scenes in this film left audiences wondering what being human truly meant.A24

2016: Morena Baccarin pegging Ryan Reynolds in “Deadpool.”

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You can credit this movie (and its most romantic scene) for bringing “pegging” to its widest audience yet!20th Century Fox

2017: The cast of “Girls Trip” having brunch.

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The loving may have been off-screen, but the scene in which Tiffany Haddish taught her cohorts that there was more than one use for a grapefruit drew many gasps and changed probably as many lives.Universal Pictures

2018: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan going on their honeymoon and eating ice cream in “Fifty Shades Freed.”

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Anyone brave enough to see this movie in theaters would have been treated to two scenes that wouldn’t have been appropriate for public consumption even ten years ago. In one, Christian punishes Anastasia with some serious hardware (I’m talking handcuffs that weight at least two pounds); in another, the pair use ice cream as a marital aid. Here’s hoping they cleaned it up themselves. Universal Pictures