The World’s Most Controversial Movie Sex Scenes

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 2, 2013 in Guest Writers |

Sex is a contentious issue and ever since the first images were committed to celluloid the depiction of sex has been causing controversy. But which movies have engendered the biggest backlash and as a result, garnered the most publicity? Read on to find out.


This typically bizarre David Cronenberg offering centres on ‘Masochisitc Symphorophilia’. What does that mean? In basic terms, the film’s main character is turned on by being involved in car crashes. The explicit mix of sex and violence in this movie almost got it banned in Britain after a furious campaign lead by the Daily Mail.

9 Songs

Critically panned and pretty much ignored by UK audiences, this Michael Winterbottom movie has carved out a place in history as the most explicit mainstream film ever released due to the real sex depicted. However, what’s far more disturbing than the blurred line between simulation and pornography is the fact that to people of a certain generation, the main protagonist can only be thought of as the star of 80’s kids shows ‘Jossy’s Giants’ and ‘Gruey’. Gruey… what are you doing… Noooooooo!!


An exploration into the horrible lives of horrible teenagers living in 90s New York, the hip set’s favourite controversy courter Harmony Korine is responsible for this downright miserable movie, which heavily features underage sex and was accused of exploiting young actresses in the name of ‘art’. In any other medium, his uncompromising shot of young, naked girls would be simply unacceptable.


Gaspar Noe’s mixed up revenge thriller features a truly disturbing and graphic rape scene and whilst the message of the movie is powerful, the critics accused it of attempting to titillate the audience with its gleeful depiction of this heinous crime.

Brown Bunny

No one is a bigger fan of Vincent Gallo than Gallo himself and this arrogant attempt at showing off by including scenes where he’s fellated by the queen of silly red carpet outfits, Chloe Sevigny somewhat backfired (no pun intended) as the movie was hugely unpopular all round with critic Roger Ebert labelling it ‘the worst film in the history of Cannes’.


We all know the Marquis de Sade wasn’t a particularly nice man, so do we really need to see yet more movies depicting his imaginings of the rape and abuse of women committed to film? This 1975 movie is as nasty today as it was when first released. Yes it’s a comment on consumerism, but it’s still just another movie where women are degraded for entertainment.

The Devils

Ken Russel is always good for a laugh and this once shocking film is no exception. Although it’s impossible to view the movie as intended thanks to copious cuts by the censors, it certainly hasn’t dated well and many of its most infamous scenes aren’t much worse than the things you’ll see in the average gritty cop drama. Yes Luther, I’m talking to you.

Cannibal Holocaust

This vulgar and offensive offering was one of the first ‘video nasties’ and once again features the rape and abuse of women. (It’s getting a bit boring now isn’t it!). It was a poorly made, stupid and in many ways dangerous film when it was made in the 1970s and it was just as stupid and dangerous when it got a remake a few years ago, but luckily, no one went to see it. Fair enough it’s about the revenge enacted by the victimised woman, but there’s still no reason to depict such a violent rape scene that I can think of other than titillation, which rather ruins the point the director may have been trying to make.


Lauren Wright is an adult blogger and staff writer at Secret Passion-the UK’s leading stockists of affordable sex toys. When Lauren isn’t sharing her adult experiences online, she enjoys writing and reading short adult stories.

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1 Comment

  • Francois Demers says:

    Ms. Wright, you may want to see some of the films you discuss here and do a bit of additional research:

    After a quite famous televised confrontation during which the protagonists almost came to blows, Gallo severely edited The Brown Bunny (correct title) and Ebert reviewed it again. Here is a quote from the Chicago Sun-Times: “Gallo’s editing has set free the good film inside.”

    Salo is a film by Pier Paolo Pasolini and is really about the rise of Fascism (not consumerism) in Italy. It has next to nothing to do with the book and, yes: it is impossible to watch without being nauseated. As intended.

    The Devils is based on a book by Aldous Huxley (his best) and is a fairly accurate historical account of the conspiracy to destroy the fortifications of Loudun, the last bastion of Protestantism in France, under the reign of Louis the XIIIth (that means 13th). Despite having seen it possibly five times since it came out, I don’t remember it being about sex.

    Astonishing disappearances:
    Caligula (not Sir Malcolm’s best work)
    Lolita (all attempts by various directors who should have known better)
    Showgirls (no comments)
    Sleeping Beauty, 2011 (not the Disney version).
    About the last: if you can watch it to the end, I will buy you a cup of tea.

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