Even today, no matter how sex seems to be rampant, erotic and sex films are often looked upon with distaste. Some people regard sex films as a way of tolerating immorality, but without a doubt, sex films also pave the way for many people to gain a better understanding on the nature of sex and the attitudes of society towards sex.
Here are six sex films that changed mankind’s views towards sexuality:
1. 9 1/2 Weeks (1986)
A big-budgeted erotic film, 9 ½ Weeks tells the eccentric story of romance between a smart and pretty art gallery assistant named Elizabeth, played by Kim Basinger and a mysterious businessman John, played by Mickey Rourke. After John and Elizabeth’s second chance encounter, they started meeting secretly.
John introduces Elizabeth to a totally new sexual relationship that involves sexual dominance. Elizabeth completely submits herself to John with each encounter. There was a scene where John was feeding a blindfolded Elizabeth foods with different tastes and textures and some other not-so-obscene kinky scenes.
As their rendezvous went on, Elizabeth realizes that some of John’s demands are beginning to take over her self-respect, and so she decides to end their bizarre relationship.
The movie is not about opening people’s mind to dominance and submission, but more on sexual responsibilities. It conveys the message that a woman has the right to decide when, where, how and with whom she wants to get sexual with.
2. My Own Private Idaho (1991)
The movie tells a story of two young street hustlers; Mike, played by River Phoenix, and Scott, played by Keanu Reeves. Although both of the characters are prostitutes, the movie is not mainly about sex, but how Mike wants to find that special someone who will genuinely care for him.
Mike had a bad childhood deprived of affection from his family; he seeks to be loved, and it does not matter if he finds it with a man or a woman, and he found it with Scott.The movie created fair representations of homosexual relationships, which paved the way for more gay movies like Brokeback Mountain.
3. The Piano (1993)
Set during the mid-19th century, the story tells of a mute woman named Ada McGrath and her daughter, Flora McGrath, who sail to New Zealand after Ada’s father sells her hand in marriage.
Ada was mute since she was a child and expresses herself by playing the piano. Upon their arrival in New Zealand, they were set off from the boat with the piano.
The morning after, her husband-to-be, named Stewart comes, together with his crew to fetch them, but he refuses to take the piano with them. Ada could hardly feel affectionate towards Stewart, even after the marriage because of this.
One day, Ada and Flora decided to go the beach, so she can play the piano and while she plays she unknowingly catches the attention of his husband’s neighbor, Baines. Baines trades the piano for a piece of land with Stewart.
Ada becomes furious, but there is still nothing she can do about it. Baines invites Ada to play the piano over to his house, and this was when he started his seduction games. The two has an affair and her husband soon finds out.
Although Ada was mute, she wasn’t a victim of Baines’ seduction. She merely responded to her needs due to her husband’s unaffectionate and disinterested treatment towards her.
The movie got positive reviews saying it was “haunting and unpredictable.” It also earned more than a $100 million on a budget of $7 million.
4. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
It was the first mainstream gay romantic film that garnered both popular and critical acclaims. The story plot evolved around two men who develop a special forbidden bond between them as they grow together in the Wyoming Mountains.
The scenes included skinny-dipping, kissing and a short sexual encounter under a tent by the two main characters, a ranch hand named Ennis Del Mar, played by Heath Ledger and a rodeo cowboy named Jack Twist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal.
After losing contact, both get into relationships with the opposite sex. But years after, they reunited and share an intimate scene in a motel bed. Brokeback Mountain was the breakthrough movie of gay cinema. It received numerous Oscar nominations and awards. However, some conservative religious referred to the movie as “homophobic” and “morally offensive.”
5. Shame (2011)
The movie Shame, starring Michael Fassbender, tells a story of a young, good-looking sex addict named Brandon.
Far from what you know about sex addiction that displays lustful and pleasurable countless sexual encounters, Brandon, who seems to be living a normal life, struggles and suffers from emotional pains that his addiction is causing him.
In the movie, Brandon could hardly care about who he hooks up with in gay bars or strip clubs. In fact, all he cares about is achieving orgasms that are far from being sexually gratifying. He just keeps doing the act over and over again. But, instead of getting pleasure, all he gets from it is self-disgust. This movie has opened the eyes of many people that used to think sex addiction was a laughing matter.
6. Fifty Shades Of Grey (2015)
Despite the critics’ poor reviews, Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the first book of the Fifty Shades trilogy by E.L. James was a hit to the viewers all over the world in terms of the box office numbers.
The story revolves around two main characters, Anastasia Steele, an English Literature student played by Dakota Johnson, and a young billionaire, Christian Grey played by James Doran.
Anastasia and Christian first met when she filled in for her sick roommate to interview Christian where both were strangely drawn to each other. Not long after, though Anastasia, being a virgin, gets sexually involved with Christian.
She later learns about Christian’s sexual inclinations that involve both pain and pleasure. Ana becomes Christian’s submissive under a signed agreement. However, at the end part of the film, Ana realizes that she wants more out of the relationship than what Christian can give, and so she has to end it.
The movie lacks graphic scenes, and critics said it was too vanilla for a BDSM film genre. Nevertheless, it sparked the interests and opened the minds of many people about the use of bondage, submission, and dominance in the bedroom.
Films not only provide great entertainment, they can educate people, too. Movies may talk about fantasies and superheroes, but they also address important social issues including sexuality. They provide a safe venue to air out current affairs, personal situations, helpful solutions and iron out social norms. The next time you watch a movie, look beyond the plot to try to discover what it is really talking about. It may surprise you.