The internet is full of sex. There are sexy pictures, sexy videos, and, of course, full-on porn. But sometimes you want to watch something provocative without seeing straight up sex. Lucky for you, the world has been producing sexy-but-not-sexy entertainment for even longer than the internet has been in existence.
When you want to watch something that’s definitively NSFW, but not quite PornHub, when you’re looking for sexiness, but not just intercourse, there are certain mainstream movies that land right in that sweet-spot. Here are 12 incredibly racy movies to satisfy your, um, urges.
Released in: 1999
Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Todd Field, and Marie Richardson
What makes it sexy: Stanley Kubrick’s last completed film was this erotic drama, which starred Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman back when they were still married IRL. It’s also notable for making masked orgies look like the sexiest possible use of a weekend.
Released in: 2015, 2017, and 2018.
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle, and Marcia Gay Harden
What makes it sexy: Could we do a sexy movie list without including the Fifty Shades trilogy? Obviously no. Christian and Anastasia have been through a lot of sexy moments during the series, but that elevator kiss in the first flick? Still classic.
Released in: 2002
Starring: James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal
What makes it sexy: Before Fifty Shades hit the scene and got everyone all hot and bothered about mainstream S&M, there was Secretary, which gives a much more grounded look at a dom/sub relationship than Fifty Shades. The indie favourite was written by Erin Cressida Wilson (who would go on to pen the screenplays for The Girl on the Train and 2009’s erotic thriller Chloe) and, fun fact, Spader’s dom character is also named Mr Grey.
Released in: 1999
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair
What makes it sexy: It’s just your classic girl-bets-sex-with-step-brother-over-his-ability-to-seduce-another-girl-who-happens-to-be-a-virgin story. Okay, so that’s not a great set-up, but somehow Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Reese Witherspoon made it surprisingly sexy (so sexy that Reese and Ryan married the year it was released).
Released in: 1986
Starring: Tracy Camilla Johns, Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell, Spike Lee, and Raye Dowell
What makes it sexy: You know what’s sexy? Female autonomy, that’s what. And Spike Lee’s 1986 classic She’s Gotta Have It, which follows a woman who’s dating three men, has that in spades. The movie is such a classic, it spawned a Netflix series of the same name.
Released in: 2003
Starring: Michael Pitt, Eva Green, and Louis Garrel
What makes it sexy: The Dreamers is about a love triangle involving a brother, sister, and an American student in Paris. Eva Green stars and is supremely sensual. There are two versions of the movie out there—an NC-17 cut and an R-rated version that’s roughly three minutes shorter. Clearly, those are three important minutes.
Released in: 2001
Starring: Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal, and Diego Luna
What makes it sexy: This is, hands down, the sexiest road trip movie of all time and a must-see for fans of director Alfonso Cuarón, who would go on to direct Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men and to become the first Mexican director to win the Best Director Academy Award, for Gravity.
Released in: 2017
Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, and Victoire Du Bois
What makes it sexy: Call Me By Your Name‘s worthiness for this list can be summed up in two words: Timothée. Chalamet. On top of the je ne sais quoi of the young Franco-American actor, of course, the film is also a gripping portrait of a budding relationship. But let’s not discount the Chalamet factor.
Released in: 2013
Starring: Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos
What makes it sexy: In 2013, Blue Is the Warmest Colour, shook audiences with its arousing look into the nuances of sexuality. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Blue Is The Warmest Colour follows the relationship of a French teen named Adèle and aspiring painter, Emma.
Released in: 2012
Starring: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Matt Bomer, Olivia Munn, Joe Manganiello, and Matthew McConaughey
What makes it sexy: Magic Mike turns the tables on objectifcation and focuses on a group of male strippers. When Magic Mike came out, I’ll admit, I was like “Huh? Why?” But then I saw Channing Tatum dance to “Pony” and I was like, “Oh. I get it.”
Released in: 1989
Starring: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, and Laura San Giacomo
What makes it sexy: Sex, Lies, and Videotape aren’t just about characters having sex, it’s also full of frank conversations about sex, which is fascinating and titillating in its own way too. This Steven Soderbergh-directed film also marks a second James Spader appearance on this list, FWIW.
Released in: 2005
Starring: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Adam Brody, and Kerry Washington
What makes it sexy: Known forever as the movie that brought Brangelina together, Mr. & Mrs Smith is also the film that captures their early chemistry for the world to see. The scene where they literally bring down a house will make you understand why they had to be together IRL too.