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Girls on Girls on Film

The Daily Beast calls this a list of the “10 Steamiest Lesbian Sex Scenes” but most of them are merely humid and partly dewy. For a stark contrast with true sizzle on film, make your own mental list of the 10 Steamiest Straight Sex Scenes (and please share so we can compare notes).

  1. Black Swan: Natalie Portman & Mila Kunis
  2. Wild Things: Denise Richards & Neve Campbell
  3. The Kids Are All Right: Julianne Moore & Annette Bening
  4. Higher Learning: Jennifer Connelly & Kristy Swanson
  5. Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Scarlett Johansson & Penélope Cruz
  6. Mulholland Drive: Naomi Watts & Laura Harring
  7. The Runaways: Kristen Stewart & Dakota Fanning
  8. Bound: Gina Gershon & Jennifer Tilly
  9. Gia: Angelina Jolie & Elizabeth Mitchell
  10. The Hunger: Susan Sarandon & Catherine Deneuve

Almost amusing to see The Kids Are All Right at the top of the steamy heap, except that it’s such a sad commentary that anyone would think the wry comical couplings in that film are the least bit sultry.

One of the most puzzling developments of the week has been to witness the allergic reaction of several male critics to Black Swan — a bold exploration of female sexy frenzy. And here we thought it was the women who might be uptight about it. In fact, two of Black Swan’s most enthusiastic reviews come from women like Manohla Dargis at the Times and USA Today’s Claudia Puig.

Meanwhile, Black Swan is apparently making a lot of grown men squirm. One perpetually prissy critic for the New York Observer thinks Aronofsky has “been watching too many Roman Polanski movies.” I’d like to suggest that this guy hasn’t seen enough Polanski movies if he’s fixated on the single relevant example, Repulsion from 1965. He goes on to say, “One of the many chuckles in this sideshow of decadence is how Nina manages to rehearse so hard all day that she splits her toenails open, yet still stays out all night in a haze of booze, drugs and hot lesbian sex.” (Hard to believe that sentence could be written by a gay man, but maybe he remained chaste, industrious and cloistered in his own youth.)

Anyway, one man’s “hot lesbian sex” is another critic’s “soft-core antics” so its clearly a matter of taste — and perhaps experience. Surely you guys can come up with a few lesbian encounters on screen that are steamier than Vicki Christina Barcelona (did I see the censored version, or what?). When we go in search of sex in cinema it’s always a good idea to skip past American movies altogether and travel to countries where orgasms are so distressing. My nominations for truly humid ‘sapphic erotica’ would include:

  • Fire
  • High Art
  • Personal Best
  • Aim√©e & Jaguar
  • Therese and Isabelle
  • My Summer of Love
  • Tipping the Velvet
  • A Woman Like Eve (Maria Schneider, showing us the flip side of Last Tango)
  • Cynara, Poetry in Motion (hey, I never said these movies have to be good; just steamy)
  • The Conformist (brief & innocent, sure, but c’mon, Dominique Sanda & Stefania Sandrelli)