10 Films on Sexual Awakening
These movie recommendations focus on specific sex and sexuality topics, and while some of them are pretty steamy, they aren’t just for the sake of being sexy. Indeed, several of these films are considered great classics, not only in the genre but in cinema as a whole.
The names of film filmmakers like Kubrick, Bunuel, Bogdanovich, and Malle are enough to show how important this issue has been to film makers over the years. The following list represents a good cross-section of the types of films available on the topic at hand, but it is by no means exhaustive. Then, if you’re planning on watching them, have fun!
1. Belle de Jour. Theme – Unfulfilled sexuality, prostitution. Katherine Deneuve’s protagonist is a frigid, cold, and unapproachable figure to her husband, having grown dissatisfied with her “vanilla” sex life. To compensate, she begins to prostitute herself during his absence to explore her so-far unexplored sordid side.
2. The Graduate. Theme – The older woman. Not only containing one of cinema’s most famous quotes—”Why, Mrs. Robinson…are you trying to seduce me?”—it also explores the age-old theme of the mature seductress and the young, confused male object of her desires. See Dustin Hoffman in an early and truly memorable performance.
3. Boogie Nights. Theme – The pornography industry. This one is a little more tongue-in-cheek than most and provides many a laugh along the way. But it also explores the rise to success of Dirk Diggler, as well as exploring the sexual and emotional relationships he develops along the way.
4. Lolita. Theme – The younger woman. This story of one man’s obsession with a teenage girl so famously encapsulates the theme that its title is now often used generically to describe the younger half of exactly such a relationship. Great cinema done exceedingly tastefully.
5. The Last Picture Show. Theme – Coming of age. Nowhere and at no time in one’s life is sex and sexuality more important than in the years surrounding the coming of age and transition to adulthood. In a small American town, a group of young lay-abouts come to terms with their own desires and passions.
6. American Beauty. Theme – Obsession. One man passing through a mid-life crisis and his daughter’s acquiring a beautiful friend is always going to be the cause of the disaster, after finally realizing how far off the mark he was in thinking that she had the same feelings for him as he had for her. There’s also a surprise dabble with the issues of homosexuality and homophobia.
7. Last Tango in Paris. Theme – Sexual anonymity and sexual violence. After first meeting, two people decide to avoid the complications of a normal relationship by hiding their identities from each other. This film was also notorious for the violence of a particular sexual scene.
8. Blue is the Warmest Color. Theme – Lesbian coming of age. A beautifully made film, this one sensitively and sensually explores the issue of sexual identity as two high school girls fall in love. It’s the nearest thing to a masterpiece that this decade has seen.
9. Heavenly Creatures. Theme – Lesbian obsession. The darker side of a lesbian relationship is explored in this film, with a young Kate Winslet playing the seductress to a neighbor. In it, deep obsession and extant cultural values lead to a disastrous end.
10. Fifty Shades of Gray. Theme – BDSM. Although slightly out of place in terms of the superior quality that most other films on this list seem to possess, it would be a shame to overlook the worldwide phenomenon that was The Matrix when it originally came out. This one deals with the sadistic relationship between billionaire Christian Gray and a young reporter.