#1) Love (2015)
Unsurprising given the title, this Cannes art film directed by Gaspar Noé features quite a bit of real-life humping in a drama about relationships. Lead actor Karl Glusman says his first-day filming was a close-up shot of his knob, and it just got more intrusive from there.
#2) Romance (1999)
An arthouse film about a frustrated wife who goes roaming in search of satisfaction, so the subject of the bedsheet tango naturally comes up. Caroline Ducey plays the lead and has one racey tryst after another.
#3) Otto; or, Up with Dead People (2008)
While far from being an erotic setting, this Eurotrash black comedy does have some incidental sex. Up front, it’s about Goth zombies, but a character in it is doing a documentary about porn – shocking coincidence! Not much more going on here than the occasional glimpse though.
#4) Caligula 1979
This utterly unwatchable trash epic is most famous for having everybody involved storm off the set and sue each other, including the intellectual auteur Gore Vidal. Malcolm McDowell, Peter O’Toole, and Helen Mirren get up to carnal hijinks along with most of the cast in this nauseating portrayal of ancient Roman debauchery.
#5) Shortbus (2006)
This punk-rock black comedy supports our running theme about art-house women out to discover their sexual awakening. Lead actress Sook-Yin Lee was nearly fired from her day gig over this film, but her friends in high places (Gus Van Sant, Francis Ford Coppola, and Yoko Ono) stood up for her.
#6) 9 Songs (2004)
This one-note indie quickie gives us Kieran O’Brien and Margo Stilley, students in London with a romance blooming. They boff in between going to concerts. Behind the scenes, the leads only had three days to get acquainted before filming, which must have felt like an extended one-night-stand.
#7) The Brown Bunny (2003)
This high-altitude indie starring art-house superstars Vincent Gallo and Chloë Sevigny caused a huge ruckus at Cannes, thanks to an all-too-real oral sex shot between the two. Film critic Roger Ebert threw one of his famous tantrums over it.
#8 ) The Idiots (1998)
What else do you need to know about this movie after you know nihilist avant-garde writer/director Lars von Trier made it? As you’d expect, it does everything it possibly can to shock you, while telling the story of a convent of youngsters who set out to do the same thing to society at large. The sex scene is short but hardcore.
#9) Intimacy (2001)
This indie film managed to bring some unsimulated sex scenes while still pulling off critical acclaim. Mark Rylance and Kerry Fox play the star-crossed lovers in a relationship drama which is all about sex and not much else.
#10) Antichrist (2009)
Another Lars von Trier film, this time a dark horror story about a couple in the woods having some kind of epic spiritual struggle. In fact, sex is the least heavy thing about this movie, which gets into some simulated body mutilation.
#11) Don’t Look Now (1973)
Yes, the UK cult classic horror film about a married couple whose lives are set tumbling after their child’s death. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie steamed a few sheets in their very realistic portrayal of husband and wife. It’s almost wholesome if you don’t count the terror scenes.