Sure, everyone can easily name their 10 favorite sex scenes in a move, but can they name 10 erotic scenes in movies? That’s a bit harder since what it takes for a scene to be erotic is more difficult to capture on film than some skin. With eroticism, there needs to be a connection between the characters on the screen. It’s more than bare butts and boobs; it’s more about the emotional relationship with their respective lovers and the relationship with the audience. Here are movies which prove that point.

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in “Titanic” (1997) The world’s first billion dollar grossing movie, it took more than special effects to keep audiences going back to see the film again and again. The love scene between Winslet and DiCaprio that climaxed with Winslet’s sweaty palm running from the glass window of a car said more than the nude scene that preceded it.

  2. Nicole Kidman and her faceless sailor in “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999) Early in the movie, Kidman describes an intense sexual fantasy that she keeps having about an erotic encounter she wanted to have with a sailor she met at a party years earlier. Various versions of the fantasy keep playing through her husband’s (Tom Cruise) head, torturing him throughout the rest of the movie.

  3. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland in “Don't Look Now” (1973) What makes this one of the most erotic scenes in movies is the almost ordinary and realistic ways in which this couple makes love. There isn’t any overt sexuality to the scene (although there is plenty of nudity), but rather a grieving couple (for their recently deceased daughter) learning to reconnect as sexual partners.

  4. Ashley Judd and Viggo Mortensen in “The Passion of Darkly Moon” (1995) The scene between the two young lovers is short, but intense. After being apart for a few days, their desire to get it on produces one of the best erotic scenes in the movie with a cloth-tearing, guttural-moaning ecstasy that eventually drives the lead character into madness.  

  5. William Hurt and Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat” (1981) After teasing Hurt’s character incessantly, he can’t take any more and he bursts into her house and ravages her body as she continues to egg him on into what turn out to be disastrous consequences.  

  6. Jane March and Tony Leung Ka Fai in “The Lover” (1992) The only autobiographical film on the list, it tells the story of a young Marguerite Duras and her scandalous affair with a wealthy, older Chinese man while in her late teens. It’s hard to choose which of the erotic scenes in the movie ranks as the best, but there are many and they are all good.

  7. Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez in “Unfaithful” (2002) Lane plays a married woman who has an affair with a much younger man (Martinez). After she attempts to end the affair, she storms out of his apartment only to be overcome by her lust as he follows her to the staircase and virtually tears her clothes off (much to her grudging approval).

  8. Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon in “The Hunger” (1983) One of the highlights of any list featuring erotic scenes in movies, this one features bisexual vampire (Deneuve) seducing her next victim, a young scientist (Sarandon) who may hold the key to her immortality. Her seduction of Saradon is both erotic and surprisingly graphic considering what censors were allowing on the screen.

  9. Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke in “9 1/2 Weeks” (1985) There are so many erotic scenes in this movie it’s hard to keep track of them all, but the initial encounter between Basinger and Rourke, who mutually agree to carry on an anonymous, slightly dominant-submissive relationship still ranks as one of the best of the '80s.

  10. Maria De Medeiros and Uma Thurman in “Henry and June” (1990) The first film released with an NC-17 rating by a major studio show a 19-year-old Uma Thurman’s character, Jane, being seduced by Medeiros (playing Anais Nin). Probably one of the only movies where the erotic scenes between the two women were hotter than the ones with men in them.