The 50 Worst Sex Scenes of All Time

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The 50 Worst Sex Scenes in Cinema

30. Exit to Eden (1994)

Exit to Eden features a sexual fantasy island camp, Rosie O’Donnell in full-body leather bondage gear, and Dan Akyroyd. So it’s no surprise that its sex scenes are more slapstick than stimulating. This one, however, was meant to be the real deal, as Mistress Lisa (Dana Delany) and submissive Elliott (Paul Mercurio) fall in love. Elliott brings his mistress a fresh croissant, a stick of butter, and cinnamon. (“Did you see Last Tango in Paris?” she asks, as he kneels before her. The innocent Aussie says no.) He butters the tip of her croissant — and her pert breast — then sprinkles cinnamon on both, before the lovers enjoy their respective breakfasts. We know Elliott’s innocent spice is supposed to break down Lisa’s protective, S&M shell, but it defies reason (much like the rest of the plot). We don’t quite buy that Mistress Lisa hasn’t already experienced any butter-centric lovin’, nor does this scene make us want to churn anything. As gorgeous as Delany’s breast (and croissants) are, we still lose our appetites. — Nicole Ankowski

29. Life Is Sweet (1991)

In what may be director Mike Leigh’s finest film, Jane Horrocks plays Nicola, a snarling, self-hating teenager who — in a movie in which everyone else seems to be either working in or trying to break into the food service industry — suffers from bulimia; she keeps a stash of junk food under her bed and binges and purges nightly. Her dysfunctional relationship to food extends to her libido. The only way she can enjoy herself with her long-suffering boyfriend (David Thewlis) is to force him to tie her up and pour chocolate sauce over her breasts, which he licks up dutifully while she continues to snarl at him. Fed up with being used as a sex object by someone making Johnny Rotten faces, Thewlis finally breaks off their relationship, much to his nutritionist’s relief. — Phil Nugent

28. Taking Lives (2004)

This scene wouldn’t be so bad if not for the what’s-with-the-foot factor. Ethan Hawke breaks some glassware and puts Angelina Jolie on a table. Then she places her foot against the wall for balance, and we’re treated two not one, but two asides where the camera swings over to focus on her foot, as if this were an educational video about levers and pulleys and inclined planes. — Will Doig

27. Gigli (2003)

"It’s turkey time … gobble gobble…" purrs Jennifer Lopez to Ben Affleck, in what must be the most unappealing invitation to cunnilingus in the history of cinema. Lopez and Affleck were still "Bennifer" when this notorious clunker was filmed, but their subsequent breakup made the ludicrous movie — about a hitman, the lesbian who falls for him and the mentally disabled boy he takes hostage — a further object of ridicule. The sex scene is the paragon of Gigli‘s awfulness: it begins with an invitation to turkey time, climaxes with a montage of really boring intercourse (Affleck looks like he’s contemplating what to have for dinner after shooting’s done), and ends with a post-coital cuddle, during which Ben’s character moos like a cow. — Gwynne Watkins

26. Nowhere to Run (1993)

Jean-Claude Van Damme’s first sex scene comes with all the nuance and subtlety we’ve come to expect from the star of Blood Sport. Nowhere to Run was supposed to be his first shot at real acting — a slow-moving story, a couple of can’t-miss Oscar scenes. Unfortunately, the Muscles from Brussels’ plays the sex scene as if he were in a bit of high-class, high-concept pornography. Perhaps we’re just misunderstanding this complex auteur. — W.D.