article

12.01.10

10 Steamiest Lesbian Sex Scenes

Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis' steamy sequence in this weekend's Black Swan is just the latest in a long line of lesbian movie scenes. Marlow Stern on the most risqué sapphic on-screen action.

1. Black Swan: Natalie Portman & Mila Kunis

Nina Sayers (Portman) lands the highly coveted role of the Swan Queen in the New York City ballet production of Swan Lake. But the dual role requires her to play the innocent white swan—which fits the virginal, meticulous Nina like a ballet slipper—and the seductive black swan, which is better suited for tattooed newcomer Lily (Kunis). To make matters worse, mysterious bruises start appearing all over Nina's diminutive dancer body. One evening, upset by her mother's unrelenting overbearingness, Nina joins Lily for a wild night that begins with the pair rolling on Ecstasy and leads to them grinding against one another on a dimly lit dance floor. They wind up in Nina's bedroom, where they passionately kiss, before Lily takes things to the next level.

Video screenshot

2. Wild Things: Denise Richards & Neve Campbell

Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon) is a horny high-school guidance counselor whose students—rich girl Kelly (Richards) and trashy Suzie (Campbell)—accuse him of rape in John McNaughton's 1998 erotic thriller. The case goes to trial, where Suzie admits that they fabricated the allegation and Lombardo settles for a hefty sum. But when the two girls and their lascivious teacher meet in a motel room for a threesome, the audience realizes the girls were in on the whole thing. Meanwhile, a detective (Kevin Bacon) is suspicious of the trio and begins investigating further. Suzie becomes increasingly anxious that they'll get caught, while Kelly is worried that she'll reveal the truth and foil the plot. In a moment of anger, Kelly attacks Suzie in her pool—but the fight takes an unexpected turn and Kelly seemingly gets turned on by Suzie's emotional fragility. The two start to engage in a topless makeout session, which the detective creepily films from the woods.

Video screenshot

3. The Kids Are All Right: Julianne Moore & Annette Bening

Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) are a lesbian couple living in California, who have two children using the same anonymous sperm donor. When their eldest, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) turns 18, her and her brother, Laser (Josh Hutcherson), contact the sperm bank to seek out their biological father, Paul (Mark Ruffalo). Though Jules and Nic are happy, their relationship has lost its spark; doctor Nic is the family breadwinner who runs the household with an iron fist, while Jules is carefree housewife of sorts. One evening, the two are lying in bed when Nic makes a proposition, "Hey, wanna watch a movie?" Jules replies, "A movie-movie?" "Yeah! We haven't done that in a while," says Nic. The couple pops in a male gay porno, while Jules, armed with a vibrator, moves under the covers. However, Nic is so distracted by the movie's cheesiness—and her own repressed nature—that she can't seem to enjoy the moment.

Video screenshot

4. Higher Learning: Jennifer Connelly & Kristy Swanson

This heavy-handed ensemble drama from Boyz n the Hood director John Singleton follows the lives of three incoming freshman at the fictional Columbus University. When one of them, Kristen (Swanson), a naïve academic, attends her first college party, a frat boy sexually assaults her. She decides to step back from the party scene and joins a women's group headed by campus activist Taryn (Connelly). Eventually, her relationship with Taryn develops and the two sleep together in a scene intercut with Kristen and a longhaired hippie named Wayne (Jason Wiles) having sex as well. The gentleness and intimacy of the montage stands in stark contrast to Kristen's rape earlier in the film.

Video screenshot

5. Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Scarlett Johansson & Penélope Cruz

Woody Allen's travelogue film is the tale of two disparate American women spending the summer in Barcelona—the impulsive, sensuous Cristina (Johansson) and the uptight, engaged Vicky (Rebecca Hall). They are each seduced by sexy painter Juan Antonio Gonzalo (Javier Bardem), but he is still enamored with his emotionally unstable muse—and ex-wife—María Elena (Penélope Cruz). Cristina starts dating Juan Antonio and the two get a call one night that María Elena attempted suicide, prompting Juan Antonio to move her into the guest room. Though María Elena initially hates Cristina, she eventually warms to her and her photography skills, pushing Cristina to embrace her talent. Soon enough, the three develop a polyamorous relationship. One day in the darkroom, as Cristina is hanging photos, María Elena enters, and two share a passionate onscreen kiss.

Video screenshot

6. Mulholland Drive: Naomi Watts & Laura Harring

This 2001 head-trip from the inimitable David Lynch bears some similarities to Black Swan. It's the story of aspiring actress Betty Elms (Watts), fresh off the plane in Los Angeles, who befriends a woman (Laura Harring) hiding in her aunt's apartment and suffering from amnesia. Betty and the woman, who assumes the name "Rita" after seeing a poster for the Rita Hayworth film Gilda, go on a search for her identity. Rita remembers the name "Diane Selwyn," and the two track down the woman's address. When they arrive at her home, they're horrified to find a decaying female corpse. Shocked and dismayed, Rita and Betty return to her aunt's apartment. Rita slips on a blond wig to complete her Gilda transformation, disrobes, and the pair engage in one of the most erotic girl-on-girl sex scenes in mainstream cinema.

Video screenshot

7. The Runaways: Kristen Stewart & Dakota Fanning

This biographical film about the trailblazing 1970s all-girl punk rock band of the same name brought the intimate relationship between its two stars—lead singer Cherie Currie (Fanning) and guitarist Joan Jett (Stewart)—to light. After the group gets signed to Mercury Records, they hit the road, touring across the country and—in true rock star fashion—begin experimenting with all kinds of drugs. In one substance-induced sequence, the Twilight foes are hanging out at a skating rink when Cherie seductively lies on the ground and Joan proceeds to crawl on top of her. With The Stooges "I Wanna Be Your Dog" playing in the background, Joan gives her a deep kiss. In a haze, the two stumble back to their hotel room, where Joan removes Cherie's jean jumpsuit and the action progresses from there.

Video screenshot

8. Bound: Gina Gershon & Jennifer Tilly

Before the Matrix franchise, Larry and Andy Wachowski crafted this steamy neo-noir film about a soft-spoken woman named Violet (Tilly) who yearns to break up with her abusive Mafioso boyfriend (Joe Pantoliano). When she meets Corky (Gershon), a sexy, tattooed ex-con, the two begin a torrid affair and decide to make off with $2 million in Mafia money. The erotic tension between Corky and Violet is palpable from the first moment they lay eyes on each other, and it eventually reaches a fever pitch in one of the most risqué lesbian sex scenes at the time it was released in 1996. Renowned sexpert Susie Bright consulted the actors on lesbian sex and helped choreograph the scene to get it just right. Bright told Salon.com the moment "was groundbreaking in many ways, and yet the American release of the film had some very beautiful seconds cut out of the lovemaking because it was considered to go too far. And it only went too far in the sense that those dinosaurs on the Jurassic ratings board feel uncomfortable with lesbianism."

Video screenshot

9. Gia: Angelina Jolie & Elizabeth Mitchell

Almost a decade before she met Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie was into girls—both on-screen, and off. One of her first film roles was as Margaret "Legs" Sadovsky in the coming-of-age lesbian cult film Foxfire, which lead to a real-life love affair with her female co-star, model Jenny Shimizu. However, it was the 1998 HBO biopic Gia that made Jolie a star. The film centers on bisexual model Gia Carangi (Jolie), who has a passionate affair with makeup artist Linda ( Lost star Elizabeth Mitchell). Their relationship begins when the two pose nude for a photoshoot, which leads to a steamy sex scene against a fence afterward. But eventually, Gia chooses drugs over her lover, and after contracting HIV from an infected needle, she died of AIDS at 26. But it wasn't just the lesbian sex scenes that made Gia memorable—Jolie earned her second Golden Globe for her performance as the late model.

Video screenshot

10. The Hunger: Susan Sarandon & Catherine Deneuve

For his 1983 directorial debut, Tony Scott brought audiences the love triangle between Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon), who specializes in sleep and aging research, and edgy vampire couple, the Blaylocks (Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie). Although many vampire movies feature lesbian relationships, this British horror film broke barriers in explicitly depicting the physical sexual aspect. In a groundbreaking scene, Sarah asks, "Are you making a pass at me, Mrs. Blaylock?" "Not that I'm aware of, Sarah," she replies. Sarah then spills some wine on her shirt—resembling blood—and as she wipes it off, the exotic, European seductress Mrs. Blaylock looks on. Before long, the two are naked in bed, sucking each other's blood and having sex.

Video screenshot

Plus: Check out more of the latest entertainment, fashion, and culture coverage on Sexy Beast—photos, videos, features, and Tweets.

Marlow Stern works for The Daily Beast and has a master's from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has served in the editorial department of Blender, as an editor at Amplifier magazine, and, since 2007, editor of Manhattan Movie Magazine.