by Madeleine Chan, Meera Eragoda, Zoe Vedova
I know we have all seen it: a sex scene on television that is just too choreographed and perfect. It could be the teenagers whose first time is absolutely flawless, or the exact same hetero white couple that we see in nearly every single romcom, or that television sex shot with only the male gaze in mind. Whatever it may be, sex in film can be very poor.
So with that in mind, our collective has curated a list of films that seem to be doing it right. They’re bringing attention to the fact that sex can be more than just that one white man with a six pack humping.
by Madeleine Chan, Staff Writer
Directed by Olivia Wilde, this overall incredible film about youth, the future, and expectations also contains a realistic sex scene.
Enamoured by each other at a year-end party, high school seniors Amy and Hope capture the nervousness of first times and the realities of sex, like the awkwardness of getting the other person’s clothes off. Their actions are also very mutual and consensual, with Hope even asking if Amy wants to continue when she says she’s a bit dizzy.
In addition, even though the two are underage, the scene feels more exploratory and loving than predatory. Despite the two literally engaging in sexual relations, they are never actually sexualized or in the male gaze because most of the shots only focus on their faces.
This scene breaks the facetious façade around sex and depicts an honest look at sexual intimacy, while also representing non-heterosexual love.
L Word: Generation Q
by Meera Eragoda, Staff Writer
L Word: Generation Q is queering the lines of sex, and doing it well. One of my favourite sex scenes in this show was in the opening. It starts with one of the characters, Dani, going down on her partner, Sophie, first thing in the morning. The scene makes it clear that the show is not going to shy away from explicit sex scenes, similar to Game of Thrones. Except that here it’s consensual, queer as hell, and doesn’t feel gratuitous.
They also make a point of showing Sophie’s boobs in all their glory, brown tits and all. I love that her boobs actually have jiggle power and that they aren’t just the tiny ones we’ve seen a thousand times before. Moreover, I also love that two queer women of colour are being featured. The scene ends with us finding out Sophie is on her period and doesn’t hide the period blood on Dani’s finger. Which, yaassss, please! Let’s fucking normalize periods and period sex!
by Zoe Vedova, Peak Associate
Rocketman, the 2019 biopic on Elton John, explored the artist’s tumultuous rise to fame through a surrealist, musical narrative. Though the film exposed the gritty, destructive path of addiction hidden behind stardom glamour, as well as the psychological trials of childhood, one area it didn’t press a darkened filter over was the sex scene between Elton John and John Reid.
The scene is presented as a raucous burst of light in which every grin, touch, and item of clothing flung aside is propelled by mutual excitement. Accompanied by close up shots of grimaces, tears, and shaking, the film positions their sexuality as intimately intertwined with pain, stirring up audience fears of dire consequences later on.
Rocketman, normalizes queer sensuality on screen, hinting at a cinimatic future in which the term ‘gay sex scene’ will be rendered blissfully irrelevant.