10 Realistically Awkward Movie Sex Scenes

Sex isn't always perfectly choreographed. Which is why these films got it right.

Y Tu Mama Tambien

By Amanda Green

The New Yorker's film critic Anthony Lane once said, "An alien watching modern movies would think that human intercourse consisted of nothing more than two faces approaching and docking in horizontal silhouette." And in ninety-nine percent of movies, it's true. Two beautiful people kiss; the man reveals his perfectly chiseled chest. After that, whatever nudity is the woman's, and there's no mention of the biology or physics of the whole thing. Thankfully, there are some exceptions. The sex scenes in these movies look a little more familiar. 


 Brokeback Mountain

Nothing kills the mood like bringing up relationship stress – whether it's money or family planning – right before sex. Keeping a big secret from you partner doesn't help, either. In this case, the secret is six-feet tall and boyishly rugged. Aside from that, who can’t relate?


Y Tu Mamá También

Premature ejaculation happens to every guy at some point. It's not any less embarrassing when it happens in a romance language, either.


Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Or in this case, fast times in the Ridgemont High baseball dugout. We all imagined our first times would be thrilling. But only a few of us were right.


The Ice Storm

Everyone experiments as a kid. We don’t all get walked in on by our dads while fooling around with the neighbor boy, or while wearing a Richard Nixon mask, but still.



Sometimes you don't really know each other. And you struggle to get undressed. And you're thinking it's not the first time you've done this recently.

Commentarium (43 Comments)

Jan 26 11 - 10:04am

I love the sex scene in y tu mama tambien. that whole movie has a wonderfully honest sex-vibe. love it.

Jul 19 11 - 3:55pm

sexo avontade

Sep 02 11 - 7:01am


Nov 21 11 - 10:30pm

I like it movie

Jan 26 11 - 10:06am

Wow. Where did you get the Tiny Furniture sex scene? That movie is so new!

Jul 16 11 - 6:54am


Jan 26 11 - 10:19am
Grady LaLa

I was hoping for the gay cowboy sex part of Brokeback.

Nov 03 11 - 1:30pm

same !!!!!!!!!!!!! :) xx

Jul 11 12 - 6:58am


Jan 26 11 - 10:33am

Whoa. Very nice selection of films. Time for Netflix.

Jan 26 11 - 10:57am

"When she finally gets what she wants, it's heartbreakingly unspecial."

Summing up my life in a single sentence!

Jan 26 11 - 6:05pm
mr. man

that 'slums' clip is hilarious. nice picks. i'll have to get some of these.

Jan 26 11 - 10:24pm

In "Close My Eyes", Clive Owen does it with his half sister in the most normal and unrehearsed way

Jan 26 11 - 10:29pm

great list but i'm disappointed by the omission of the pool sex scene in Showgirls. maybe it's just me but I found that scene both frighteningly realistic and beautifully natural.

Jan 26 11 - 10:45pm

I always thought the sex scene between Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin in "The Big Easy" was realistically awkward and nice.

Nov 19 11 - 12:03am


Jan 26 11 - 10:53pm

I I know Amanda, I'd guess that she thought of including the first time scene from Love and Basketball. It's a favorite of mine. Sanaa Lathan did shy so well.

Jan 26 11 - 11:02pm

Ugh, I couldn't stand watching Tiny Furniture. You ever been high enough that you can sense bad acting to the point where it is painful to watch? Maybe? No? Well if not, than this movie can give you the same experience while sober!

Mar 29 11 - 9:10pm

I HAVE been that high and I HATE that feeling! I'm glad i'm not the only one!

Jan 26 11 - 11:04pm

Also, sorry to doublepost but have you seen "PS" with Topher Grace and Laura Linney? Its one of the most awkward sex scene ever.

Jan 26 11 - 11:14pm

Unfaithful's is the best sex scene, ever. I still think about it.

Nov 02 11 - 12:46pm

Yea yea it really hot when watching unfaitfull its d hottest scene

Jan 27 11 - 2:19am
Secret Character

Unfaithful sex scene is filthy. So good. Viggo Mortensen in 'A History of Violence' is indeed, violent.

Jan 27 11 - 3:39am

Y tu mama tambien has the best most honest sex scene imho :-D Didn't know a bunch of the other 9 though.

Jan 27 11 - 8:45am

The first realistic and graphic sex scene I saw in the movies was in Tie me up Tie me down. Very hot also.

Jan 27 11 - 11:35am

The sex scenes in Blue Valentine are also raw and real. I think Michelle Williams is great for that. She really seems to be coming into her own after starting her career on Dawson's Creek. Remember when people thought that show was "too real"?

Jan 27 11 - 2:52pm

None of the ones I immediately thought of made it here.
the one with Night Owl in the Watchmen was my immediate reaction.

Jan 27 11 - 3:02pm

What about Jude Law and Rachel Weisz in Enemy at the Gates? Sooooooo awkward!

Jan 27 11 - 8:35pm

Richard Gere pwnz that wetty with a snowglobe for maximum WIN.

Jan 28 11 - 7:00pm

Monster ball's couch scene rocks!!!

Jan 29 11 - 12:09am

I am partial to the sex scene in Stealing Beauty.

Sep 01 11 - 2:51am


Jan 29 11 - 2:52pm

What is the picture at the top of the article?

Jan 29 11 - 5:02pm
Amanda Green

It's a still from Y Tu Mamá También.

Jan 31 11 - 1:51pm

The makeup sex scene from All the Real Girls is pretty true to life..

Jan 31 11 - 5:26pm

So right about the Superbad scene--perfect in its hideous awkwardness. Also: "Election," when Matthew Broderick is having make-a-baby sex with his wife and she keeps chirping, "Fill me up." Ugh!

Feb 04 11 - 2:04pm

Robert De Niro and Uma Thurman in "Mad Dog and Glory".

Dec 08 11 - 2:05pm

Ok, Fine and nice

Dec 10 11 - 10:20pm

Sorry, but I don't care what Anthony Lane said... and especially now that he bases his opinions on what aliens do or don't think! Yes, I know he is using the phrase as literary license for an objective point of view. I know his goal is to evaluate realism in sex scenes. But is realism the whole point? Is that why we write, tell stories, and make movies? Is that why we no longer work as hard at telling kids to think, to imagine, to be creative. Bahh!

Jan 17 12 - 4:40pm

weres all the action?

Feb 02 12 - 6:54am
bo bo

i wanted

Feb 23 12 - 4:32pm
tumbling dice

I'd go for Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie in Don't Look Now and Beatrice Dalle and Jean Hugues Anglade in Betty Blue for their naturalism. Oh and the ones in History Of Violence are pretty good as well.

Sep 06 12 - 6:24am
lalit jamnal

looks like a very refreshing list.......