So what qualifies a cinematic moment as one of the 10 best sex scenes in 2010 movies? The main criteria is that it’s got to be memorable in some way, regardless of the level of “intimacy” and amount of actual flesh on display. From a steamy drunken encounter between two nubile ballerinas to a junkyard doggy-style romp, 2010 was a year with sex scenes aplenty.

  1.  “Black Swan” - This sexy ballet-themed thriller by acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky had everyone talking this year. The scene in question portrays a desperate and drug-fueled oral sex scene between the virginal Nina Sayers, played by Natalie Portman, and hellraiser Lily, played by Mila Kunis.

  2. “Splice” - Not many people saw this whacked out sci-fi thriller about a genetic scientist couple who create a part human, part chicken, part God-knows-what creature by splicing together a grab bag of genes. In what may be the most disturbing sex scene in 2010, Adrien Brody’s character makes sweet, interspecies love to his winged, bald yet oddly sexy creation.

  3. “Tiny Furniture” - Based on the director’s real life experience, this film by newcomer Lena Dunham stars the young actress/director as Aura, a disillusioned college grad coming to terms with her recent feelings of inadequacy. The film’s high point (or low point, depending on how you look at it) shows Aura getting it on in a junkyard with her mustached co-worker in true Brooklyn hipster fashion.

  4. “The Kids Are All Right” - Julianne Moore and Annette Bening light up the screen in this highly realistic tale of middle-aged lesbian parents struggling to keep their marriage afloat. The winning scene portrays Moore’s character finally succumbing to the flirtations of her children’s dashing sperm donor played by Mark Ruffalo.

  5. “Easy A” - This film about high school girl who pretends to be a slut just to get noticed features a breakthrough performance by the instantly likeable Emma Stone. In one scene Stone’s character pretends to have loud kinky sex with an in-the-closet gay classmate just so the jocks will stop picking on him. The scene doesn’t actually portray any sex, but the two character’s hilarious interaction makes it one of the best sex scenes in 2010. 

  6. “The Runaways” - Girl on roller skates. Joan Jett sporting that sexy late 70s mullet. What more could you ask for in a lesbian rocker sex scene? Kristen Stewart as Jett lays a big wet one on Dakota Fanning’s character in this excellent biopic about the all-girl 70s punk rock band of the same name.

  7. “Blue Valentine” - To singlehandedly earn a film an NC-17 rating by the MPAA a sex scene has to be good. In more than one scene we find the, er, multitalented Ryan Gosling going down on the always lovely Michelle Williams. A nearly identical scene was portrayed in the R-rated "Black Swan" between two girls, prompting Gosling and the film’s producers to demand a more box-office friendly and suitable R rating.

  8. “Inception” This summer thriller left many audiences scratching their heads with its convoluted plot and heavy themes of memory and loss. The scene that makes the list of the year’s best sex scenes is a lighthearted one in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character snags an unexpected kiss from Ariadne, played by Ellen Page.

  9. Greenberg” - Perhaps the most awkward and cringe-inducing sex scene of the year belongs to this film about a washed up bitter thirty-something staring Ben Stiller. In the scene, Stiller’s character delivers very brief and passionless oral sex to a naïve girl he apparently wants nothing to do with.

  10. “I Am Love” - Shot in Italian with English subtitles, this 2010 film starring the incomparable Tilda Swinton is subtle to a fault. Even the intimate sex scene, in which close-ups of flesh and flowers are skillfully intercut, is more artistically provocative than it is erotic. Perhaps director Luca Guadagnino owes more to Georgia O’Keefe than Larry Flint for this one.