40 of the raunchiest LGBTQ+ love scenes that blazed a trail on the silver screen

Six different LGBTQ+ films

LGBTQ+ people making love on the silver screen isn’t exactly known for, well, existing or even being good.

More often than not, the camera rapidly pans to the left as soon as the action is about to happen.

But not all films are like this. Below is PinkNews‘ list of 40 films featuring queer couples being intimate that might reignite your faith that maybe, just maybe, love really does exist in this cold world.

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1. Call Me By Your Name 

Call Me by Your Name
Call Me By Your Name. (Twitter/Sony)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (then again, with the world at the moment, we wouldn’t blame you) you probably have sat down in a movie theatre and gasped at the infamous peach scene in Call Me By Your Name.

Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet star as two men whose romance blossoms in rural Italy and the pair making love for the first time is a touching moment.

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2. Desert Hearts

"<yoastmark
(IMDb)

The movie Desert Hearts featured one of the first lesbian love scenes actually directed by a lesbian.

Director Donna Deitch knew this, so handled the scenes where the characters made love delicately. The 1950s-set story of Vivian (Helen Shaver), who while en route to Reno for a divorce, meets and falls for Cay (Patricia Charbonneau).

The scene itself has no musical score; the only sound is the actions of the actors, making it all the more sensual.

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3. Weekend

(Screen capture via YouTube)

It seems like a legal obligation for every queer person on the internet to watch this down-to-earth short film about two men meeting up over the course of, you guessed it, a weekend.

Directed by Looking’s Andrew Haigh, the beautifully realistic short film The Weekend is raw and honest.

But if nuanced emotional connections aren’t your jam, there’s one of the steamiest scenes around the film’s, well, climax.

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4. Brokeback Mountain 

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as gay cowboy lovers in Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain was groundbreaking when it came out in 2005. (Screengrab/River Road Entertainment/Focus Features)

Probably the one gay love scene your parents could name-drop.

A dark tent, the sound of spit, a glimpse of Heath Ledger’s side-cheek, Jake Gyllenhaal tugging his belt off and the iconic after-shot of tinned baked beans by the campfire.

The relatively short scene changed the course of the film industry when, in 2005, LGBTQ+ representation was not exactly plentiful in mainstream Hollywood.

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5. Professor Marston & the Wonder Woman 

(IMDb)

Openly queer director Angela Robinson’s direction in the biopic about William Moulton Marston, who created the fictional character Wonder Woman, is flawless.

The film starred Luke Evans as Marston, Rebecca Hall as his legal wife Elizabeth and Bella Heathcote as the Marstons’ polyamorous life partner, Olive Byrne.

In the love triangle, Robinson explored the sexual divide of dominance and subordination (with a splash of bondage, to add some spice) between the man and two women.

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6. Christopher and His Kind 

Matt Smith (L) in Christopher and His Kind. (BBC)

“This is how I want to die!”

The line, shouted by Matt Smith as he knocked over some pottery, is from one of the many raunchy romps between Smith (playing the author Christopher Isherwood) and the boys of Berlin.

While a very loose adaption of Isherwood’s book, the journey of the writer visiting the German capital in 1931 “because of the boys” is one handsome production, to say the least.

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7. Circumstance 

(
(Participant Media/IMDb)

Forbidden love is every romantic filmmaker’s favourite cliché, but this flick is more than that.

Director Maryam Keshavarz dived deep into the political chaos of Iran’s 2009 elections in this film. Becoming the background of the budding romance between Atafeh (The Bold Type’s Nikohl Boosheri) and Shireen (Sarah Kazemy).

Class created a clash between the two young women’s worlds, but their relationship on the big screen is revolutionary.

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8. Moonlight 

(YouTube)

Shame is something many queer people are encouraged by society to feel about sex. Thinking about it, feeling it, experiencing it – themes Barry Jenkins’s Oscar-winning Moonlight touched on.

Chiron (Ashton Sanders) quickly falls for schoolmate Kevin (Jharrel Jerome) on an evening by the beach and blunts quickly turn to hand jobs.

But after climaxing, Chiron apologised. “What do you gotta be sorry for?” Kevin asked, reminding the teen, and viewers everywhere, their love is not forbidden or shameful, but beautiful.

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9. High Art 

(October Fims/IMDb)
(October Fims/IMDb)

Emotions ran as high as hormones in a first-time scene tenderly explored in director Lisa Cholodenko’s debut feature, High Art.

It sees photography magazine editor Syd (Radha Mitchel) fall in love with photographer Lucy (Ally Sheedy), and they are one photogenic couple indeed.

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10. God’s Own Country 

LGBTQ+ love scene. Shot from God's Own Country photo.
Alec Secareanu and Josh O’Connor in God’s Own Country. (IMDb)

For those who really couldn’t get enough of the spit lube from Brokeback Mountain, comes its paler, northern English cousin.

A young sheep farmer (Josh O’Connor) sees his life transformed by a Romanian migrant worker (played by Alec Secăreanu). Transformed indeed, as the two end up hooking up in an outhouse; hot, huh?

If you want a deep dive into how toxic masculinity warps our self-worth and how we treat others, or just want to see two guys make love in the dirt, then stream this now.

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11. BPM (Beats Per Minute)

(Céline NIESZAWER/IMDb)

There are two parts of your life: life before seeing BPM and life after seeing BPM.

Starring some severely attractive people, the Robin Camillo-directed film chronicled the AIDS epidemic in France in the 1990s.

Sean (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart) played an AIDS activist living with the virus who begins a relationship with HIV-negative newcomer Nathan (Arnaud Valois). Things get as fiery as their passion for protest, in a film that refused to depict queer folk living with HIV as sexless.

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12. The Handmaiden 

(CJ Entertainment/IMDb)
(CJ Entertainment/IMDb)

A Korean lesbian erotic period psychological thriller… sign us up.

Inspired by the novel Fingersmith by Welsh writer Sarah Waters, the Park Chan-wook-directed film was a critical and commercial success.

All we can say on this is silver bells. If you know, you know.

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13. Gia 

Two women kissing in a love scene
(HBO/IMDb)

An HBO film starring Angelina Jolie about the life of the world’s first supermodel? Welcome to Gia.

Jolie’s performance of Gia Carangi is honest and captivating. She’s also groped through a chain link fence; everyone’s dream.

The queer model was known for being part of a “bi-try Bowie-mad” group in high school, and later died of AIDS-related causes at just 26.

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14. Blue Is The Warmest Color 

Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Colour
Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos star in Blue is the Warmest Colour. (YouTube)

Blue certainly is the warmest, or rather, hottest colour in this Abdelatiff Kechiche movie.

A heartfelt coming-of-age story that starred Léa Seydoux (the titular ‘blue’ Emma) and Adèle Exarchopoulos (Adèle) centres a lot on the erotic side of exploring one’s sexual identity.

There’s scissoring abounds in what one critic described as “the most explosively graphic lesbian sex scenes in recent memory”. Although, many LGBTQ+ people pointed out the film is dominated by the male gaze.

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15. Wet Hot American Summer 

(Eureka Pictures/IMDb)
(Eureka Pictures/IMDb)

Safe to say the title is promising here.

A cult classic satirical comedy set in a fictional American camp circa 1981, Wet Hot American Summer stars a young Bradley Cooper as Ben who, alongside a bunch of others, wants to spend his summer getting laid.

He ends up hooking up with McKinely (Michael Ian Black) and seduces him in a shed. They’re both wearing knee-high socks as things get sweaty and a soccer ball gets kicked, wild, huh?

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16. Disobedience 

(Candlelight Productions, LLC/IMDb)

An Orthodox Jewish community in North London might not initially scream sex appeal, but years of pent-up sexual energy get unleashed in this film directed by Sebastian Lelio.

The film tracks two women exploring their repressed desires for one another and it’s notable for being one of the few films to actually depict two women exchanging fluids.

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17. Firebird

Tom Prior and Oleg Zagorodnii in Firebird
Tom Prior and Oleg Zagorodnii in Firebird. (Nikolaj Mathies)

Firebird, based on a true story during the Cold War, follows the life of a soldier named Sergey (Tom Prior).

He’s been killing time until his military service comes to an end – that is until fighter pilot Roman (Oleg Zagorodnii) arrives at the base in 1977. The pair quickly fall for one another.

But as it’s the height of the Communist rule in the country – a regime that fiercely prosecuted LGBTQ+ people – their romance isn’t exactly smooth-sailing.

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18. Black Swan

(Cross Creek Pictures/IMDb)

Black Swan sees Mila Kunis’ Lily going down on Natalie Portman’s Nina. Do we need to say anything more?

The psychological thriller directed by Darren Aronofsky explores the gruelling and demanding world of ballet.

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19. Taxi Zum Klo

(IMDb)

Frank Ripploh’s film contrasts a German schoolteacher’s professional life with his after-hours hobby of cruising.

Hannah Montana, eat your heart out.

As plain-spoken and gritty as it is, it was shot in a time in the ’80s when the AIDS crisis did not haunt the community, as it thrived and hustled in the city’s underground scenes.

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20. Bent 

(Channel Four FIlms/IMDb)

‘Bent’ is more than a playground insult. It was once used to refer to gay men in Nazi Germany.

When Max (Clive Owen) is caught with his male lover during Hitler’s regime, he is shipped off to a concentration camp.

In a powerful and poignant scene, the men, standing fully clothed in the watching eyes of uniformed officers, engage in a touching sex scene.

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21. Tangerine 

(Duplass Brothers Productions/IMDb)

Empathy is key to Tangerine – shot entirely on iPhones – seeing characters treated by the camera, not as voyeuristic objects, but as human beings.

Two trans actors starred as two trans characters, which is a huge deal, in a film about sex worker Alexandra (Mya Taylor) meeting and connecting with a client.

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22. Great Freedom

Anton von Lucke (L) and Georg Friedrich in Great Freedom. (YouTube)

A film that sets the tone as soon as it starts – a montage of men having sex with other men in a public restroom.

But it’s not long until we realise what’s going on. The footage is actually from surveillance cameras as the police look for evidence to convict men for being gay.

It’s post-war Germany, and Great Freedom follows scruffy middle-aged man Hans Hoffman (Franz Rogowski) across several decades as he’s imprisoned repeatedly for making love with men.

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23. Carol

(Number 9 Films/IMDb)

Apparently, director Todd Haynes was so captivated by Cate Blanchett’s Carol and Rooney Mara’s Therese he forgot to say cut.

A dank hotel and a robe. What constituted a crime in the 1950s world the two women lived in was a moment of passion, love and queer female empowerment.

The fact that this all goes on in the grimy hotel was designed by lesbian screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, who aimed to smash normative stereotypes with an honest portrayal of queer women going all the way.

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24. Rocketman

Taron Egerton and Richard Madden as Elton John and John Reid in Rocketman
(YouTube)

To leave in, or edit out? That was the question that plagued studio executives and actors alike in the fantastical, firework-filled Elton John biopic Rocketman.

A sex scene between John (Taron Egerton) and oppressively attractive Richard Maddon, who played John’s partner John Reid, was supposedly going to be chopped out.

But Madden argued why the scene making the cut was so important: “It’s an intimate thing between these two characters and a significant moment in Elton’s life. And Elton’s life was very R-rated, wasn’t it?”

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25. Shelter

(IMDb)

Shaun (Brad Rowe) thrusts into Zach’s (Trevor Wright) life in a lustful film about the lives of two men figuring themselves out.

Obviously, they do so by having a tonne of sex.

The motion picture is lauded in many queer film circles for its delivery of a coming-of-age, coming out tale handled in a balanced way.

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26. Un Chant D’Amour (A Song of Love)

(IMDb)

One for the history books. A male couple separated by a cell block wall connect through shared lungfuls of cigarette smoke and a plastic straw.

Director Jean Genet had no dialogue in the 1950 film, instead using close-ups of body parts to create its own language of feeling.

Watching it today, it’s a curio of the ways people represented queerness in a time when doing so was blanket-banned.

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27. Time To Leave (Le Temps Qui Reste)

(IMDb)

Less than five per cent; that’s the chances of survival if Romain (Melvil Poupaud) accepts the treatment for his tumour.

At 31 years old, the photographer rejects this slim statistic, and instead fills his capped time having as much sex as possible. A portfolio of models, whom he shoots photos of during orgasm, does help here.

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28. Cruel Intentions

Do you remember that film where the only thing that separated Sarah Michelle Geller and Selma Blair’s lips was a strand of saliva?

If you don’t, stop living a life outside the house and go home and immediately rent this film. Geller starred in the adaptation of the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses which swapped 18th-century France for a New York City prep school.

One review called it “the dirtiest-minded American movie”.

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29. The Bubble

(Karin Bar/IMDb)

While there’s no denying spit can be attractive, it’s not exactly realistic when it comes to anal sex. People who use no lube are braver than the Marines.

Enter Etyan Fox’s The Bubble, which is not only groundbreaking in its portrayal of an Israeli Jewish man and a Palestinian man making love, but actually shows losing your virginity with realism. Awkward, yet passionate realism.

And that includes a lot of lube.

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30. Caravaggio 

Nigel Terry's Caravaggio fools around with Sean Bean
(Zeitgeist Films/IMDb)

Derek Jarman’s biopic of the Italian Baroque painter’s unsparing and halted affair with street fighter Ranuccio stripped sex of all its inhibitions.

Told in a segmented fashion, Nigel Terry’s Caravaggio fools around with Sean Bean in a combustible relationship. You know it’s doomed from the start.

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31. Come Undone

Two men in an LGBTQ+ love scene
(IMDb)

Europeans and nudity; you’re basically getting exactly what the cover box art suggests here.

Two 18-year-old boys fall in love, skinny dip, dance and make love in the dunes and the beach. Consider it Sean Cody’s version of From Here To Eternity.

However, Mathieu (Jérémie Elkaïm) is dealing with his sick mother and absent father, so, maybe don’t get too attached to the coupling. You’ve been warned.

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32. Law of Desire

(cinemaparadiso/IMDb)
(Cinema Paradiso/IMDb)

A film on the complex love triangle between two men and a trans woman is, to director Pedro Almodóvar, one of the most important films of his career.

The first in his career that centred on homosexual themes, the meta-thriller was shot at the height of the AIDS epidemic and depicted unprotected penetrative sex, which some queer viewers weren’t too impressed by.

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33. A Fantastic Woman

(Participant Media/IMDb)

An enduring story of a woman working through the loss of her lover is one of the few to contain trans sex scenes.

Daniela Vega starred in this Chilean classic about Marina, a trans woman whose bereavement is intensified by the transphobia she encountered from mourning family members and friends.

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34. Stranger by the Lake

Two men in a gay love scene. Michel (Christophe Paou) meets Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps).
(Les films du losange/IMDb)

A lot of filmmakers have done the whole, ‘gay serial killer in a cruising area’-thing. French filmmaker Alain Guiraudie, however, does it a little differently in Stranger by the Lake.

Newcomer Michel (Christophe Paou) meets Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps) in what becomes a fiery relationship in a lakeside-cruising area, where a murder stalks the grassy grounds.

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36. Fire Island

Joel Kim Booster in Fire Island
Joel Kim Booster in Fire Island. (Searchlight Pictures)

If there’s one thing Fire Island, the hedonistic gay haven by New York, and Fire Island, the hedonistic gay film, have in common, it’s sex. And a lot of it.

Starring Joel Kim Booster as Noah and Bowen Yang as Howie, it’s a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice filled with one-night stands and group orgies. It’s Fire Island, after all.

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37. Beyto

Burak Ates (L) and Dimitri Stapfer in Beyto. (YouTube)

“Do you know I’m gay?” asks Mike (Dimitri Stapfer), “because it’s beautiful. Because it’s me.”

The Gitta Gsell film follows German swimmer Mike as he falls for his closeted Turkish crush, the eponymous Beyto (Burak Ates).

It’s a film that examines how cultural traditions can promote intolerance towards people just for loving who they do.

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38. Cicada

Sheldon Brown (L) and Matthew Fifer in Cicada. (IMDb)

One of the first lines in Cicada is Ben (Matt Fifer) declaring he’s “back on the d**k”, the ancient gay adage.

The film is rammed with sex and nudity as Ben trawls through New York City for one-night stands – that is, until he meets Sam (Sheldon Brown) in a bookshop. To be fair, that doesn’t exactly pull the brakes on the sex.

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40. Shortbus

(Fortissimo Films/IMDb)

The follow-up to Hedwig and the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell’s film starred relatively unknown actors.

Considering what it’s the follow-up to, there’s everything from throuples to kink to orgies. And sometimes, what you’re watching is the actors themselves actually having sex.

According to Mitchell, the film attempted to “employ sex in new cinematic ways because it’s too interesting to leave to porn”.

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