Our writers recall how steamy cinema scenes shaped their sexual awakenings.
Loro is only the second sexy film to have been given an 18 rating this year
THE days of youngsters sneaking into 18-rated movies to learn about the birds and bees are long gone. While the internet has made porn easy to find, mainstream directors are choosing not to spice up their films with explicit moments.
So far this year, British censors have awarded just two films 18 certificates on the basis of their sexual content or scenes of nudity. Those are Twilight star Robert Pattinson’s new sci-fi flick High Life and Loro, a biopic about the breast-obsessed billionaire and former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi.
WATCHING X-rated movies while underage was far trickier before the internet. At 15, me and two friends told our parents we were “doing homework” at someone else’s house, trowelled on the make-up, put on heels and headed for our local cinema in Worcester.
Kentucky Fried Movie 'would all seem relatively tame to today's teenagers'
It was 1977 and The Kentucky Fried Movie was all everyone at school was talking about. It was packed with overexcited teenagers who had bluffed their way in.
It was one of the first of the “gross-out” films, 82 minutes of daft, tasteless and – for those days – deeply risque sketches that our parents would have forbidden us to see. Utter bliss. We guffawed our way through it but I remember feeling virtually mute with shock at some of the scenes.
It may have been simulated but it was the first time I had seen naked people “having sex”, let alone scenes involving feigned self pleasure, group nudity, orgasms and rubber sex toys. Given the X-rated content on the internet, it would all seem relatively tame to today’s teenagers.
TWO scenes did it for the adolescent me in the Eighties. An honourable mention goes to Trading Places, for the moment Jamie Lee Curtis whipped off her top, in an entirely non-sexual way, before an astonished Dan Ackroyd. I was as astonished as him, as well as impressed and delighted.
Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places
But the one that sticks most in my mind features Bo Derek in 10. This was different from Curtis’ unexpected revelation. With 10, we knew what was coming. Word had gone round our school. Somebody’s older brother must have seen it.
I was far too young to get in to see an X-certificate film, even if I gave the bumfluff on my upper lip free rein for a fortnight. So a video copy was secured. The anticipation was unbearable. Often after a big build-up, the reality is anti-climactic, a bit of a disappointment. Not this time.
We pressed “play”, Ravel’s Bolero struck up and my jaw dropped. There were so many elements: Bo Derek, obviously; Dudley Moore as haplessly infatuated with her as I was; the slow build-up of Bolero; and, adding a bit of strangeness, that cornrow hair arrangement, which I had never seen before.
A quarter of a century later, I can still feel my pulse racing.
I WAS 13 or 14 when I saw Eyes Wide Shut, the erotic mystery drama starring Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. The film escalated really quickly. I was staying at my friend’s house, her parents were out and we thought it would be funny to stick on an 18 film because nobody was there to tell us we couldn’t.
Rhian Sugden didn't know group sex 'was even a thing' before watching Eyes Wide Shut
We didn’t realise it was going to be as full-on as it was. We only got halfway through it, if that. One scene is a full-on orgy. I couldn’t quite comprehend what was going on and we turned it off, giggling to disguise our confusion.
Later we gave it another go but the orgy only got bigger and more graphic. We decided this wasn’t what we wanted to be watching. It was the first time I saw a naked man, the first time I saw people having sex and the first time I realised group sex was even a thing . . . all in the space of 30 minutes. It was a lot to take in.
I haven’t tried watching it again, so I have no idea of the ending. I’m going to stick it on my “to watch” list.
WHEN I was 13, I sneaked into an X-rated film at the Odeon Muswell Hill, in North London, with my best friend Mick. We paid to see Bugsy Malone on screen one, then darted into screen two, where Drum was playing. It is a sequel to Mandingo, an exploitation movie about sex on a slave plantation in the American Deep South. If anything, Drum is even sleazier.
Toby was spoken to by a police officer after sneaking in to watch Drum
It was full of nudity but I best remember a maid soaping down the English actress Fiona Lewis in an old-fashioned bathtub. “You sure got a pretty body, Miss Augusta,” she said, applying the sponge. When it was over, Mick and I tiptoed into screen three to watch One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. About five minutes later, the manager appeared with a policeman and we were frogmarched to the foyer.
I gave the constable a fake name and address but Mick blurted out “Toby Young” as his name and my address! The constable came round for a word. My parents weren’t best pleased and stopped my pocket money for a month. It was worth it.
I’LL ignore all the sex scenes in raunchy comedies like Porky’s and Animal House. For me, the daddy of them all is 9½ Weeks.
The Sun's very own Film Critic watched 9 1/2 weeks on VHS
It is one of the sexiest pieces of film ever made. When the film was released in 1986, I was too young to watch it. That obviously made it one of the most sought-after VHS tapes Derby had ever seen. It felt incredibly grown-up and sophisticated.
“So THIS is what grown-ups do when they have sex!” I mused, watching Kim Basinger have honey poured all over her in the kitchen.
When you are young, you take everything on face value. It was years before I realised honey and red chillis are the opposite of a good time during sex.
But 9½ Weeks – co-starring Micky Rourke, who was then still incredibly handsome – stands the test of time. It explores themes such as role-play and experimentation via some eye-popping sex scenes that knock Fifty Shades Of Grey into a cocked hat . . . if you pardon the expression.
Ana de Armas in an X-rated sex scene from Robert De Niro’s 2016 boxing movie Hands Of Stone