Unsimulated sex

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Unsimulated sex is the presentation in a film of sex scenes where the actors engage in an actual sex act, and are not just miming or simulating the actions. At one time in the United States such scenes were restricted by law and self-imposed industry standards such as the Motion Picture Production Code.[1] Films showing explicit sexual activity were confined to privately distributed underground films, such as stag films[2] or "porn loops". Beginning in the late 1960s, mainstream cinemas began pushing boundaries in terms of what was presented on screen.[2] Although the vast majority of sexual situations depicted in mainstream cinema are simulated (in early pornography, the main actors engaged in simulated sex, with inserts placed in the film), on rare occasions actors engage in real sex.[3] The difference between these films and pornography is that, while such scenes might be considered erotic, the intent of these films is not solely pornographic.[4]

Notable examples include two of the eight Bedside-films and the six Zodiac-films from the 1970s, all of which were produced in Denmark and had many pornographic sex scenes, but were nevertheless considered mainstream films (they all had mainstream casts and crews, and premiered in mainstream cinemas).[5] The last of these films, Agent 69 Jensen i Skyttens tegn, was made in 1978. From the end of the 1970s until the late 1990s it was rare to see hardcore scenes in mainstream cinema, but this changed with the success of Lars von Trier's The Idiots (1998), which heralded a wave of art-house films with explicit content,[6][7] such as Romance (1999), Baise-moi (2000), Intimacy (2001), Vincent Gallo's The Brown Bunny (2003), and Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs (2004). Some simulated sex scenes are sufficiently realistic that critics mistakenly believe that they are real, such as the cunnilingus scene in the 2006 film Red Road.[8]

Films with unsimulated sexual activity

The following mainstream films have scenes with verified real sexual activity, meaning actors or actresses are filmed engaging in actual coitus or performing related sexual acts such as fellatio and cunnilingus. This list does not include documentaries about pornography, which may contain unsimulated sexual activity. For example, Inside Deep Throat contains approximately 30 seconds of unsimulated fellatio.[9]

Title Year Notes Language
Un Chant d'Amour (English title: A Song of Love) 1950 A short film directed by Jean Genet that features brief scenes of male masturbation, homosexual groping and a plot entirely focused on voyeurism.[10] French
Gift 1966 One of the first Danish mainstream films with explicit and unsimulated sex scenes.[11] Danish
Dom kallar oss mods (English title: They Call Us Misfits)[12] 1967 Swedish documentary film, the first of a trilogy. Swedish
Hotel by the Hour 1970 A 1970 West German film, directed by Rolf Olsen contains some unsimulated sexual activity.[13] German
El Topo 1970 This cult film by Alejandro Jodorowsky contains unsimulated sex in the rape scene, according to his own book about the film.[14] Spanish
Stille dage i Clichy (English title: Quiet Days in Clichy) 1970 Film, directed by Jens Jørgen Thorsen, is based on the long-banned novel by Henry Miller and contains a graphic insert of hardcore sex early on.[15] Danish, English
Cry Uncle! 1971 This film by John G. Avildsen shows unsimulated fellatio.[16] English
Pink Flamingos 1972 This film by John Waters was banned in Australia in 1997. The Board unanimously noted a scene which included "close up real depictions of actual fellatio....which unambiguously contravene R classification guidelines.".[17] English
I Jomfruens tegn 1973 First film in the Danish Zodiac-series of mainstream-comedies with hardcore scenes.[11] Danish
Thriller - en grym film (English title: Thriller – A Cruel Picture) 1973 The original Swedish cut of this film, directed by Bo Arne Vibenius, contains explicit hardcore inserts.[18][19] Swedish
A Scream in the Streets 1973 Film by Carl Monson and several other directors contains a few seconds of actual penetration.[20] English
I Tyrens tegn 1974 Second film in the Danish Zodiac-series of mainstream-comedies with hardcore scenes.[11] Danish
Sweet Movie 1974 This film by Dušan Makavejev contain some unsimulated sex acts.[21] English, French, Polish, Spanish, Italian
I Tvillingernes tegn 1975 Third film in the Danish Zodiac-series of mainstream-comedies with hardcore scenes.[11] Danish
Der må være en sengekant 1975 Sixth film in the Danish Bedside-series of erotic mainstream-comedies, and one of the two to have hardcore scenes.[11] Danish
The Image 1975 This film by Radley Metzger, based upon the novel L'Image by Catherine Robbe-Grillet, features many unsimulated sex scenes including S&M, fellatio and lesbian cunnilingus.[22] English, French
Sømænd på sengekanten 1976 Eighth and final film in the Danish Bedside-series of erotic mainstream-comedies, and one of the two to have hardcore scenes, including extensive clips from the short Color Climax #1283: Mail Order Sex (1973), watched on 8mm by the ship's crew.[11] Danish
I Løvens tegn 1976 Fourth film in the Danish Zodiac-series of mainstream-comedies with hardcore scenes.[11] Danish
愛のコリーダ (English title: In the Realm of the Senses) 1976 Based on a true story of a Japanese prostitute, features fellatio and other non-simulated sexual acts.[23][24] Japanese
Through the Looking Glass 1976 This film by Jonas Middleton with many experimental and avant-garde elements features hardcore sex scenes, including fellatio.[25] English
L'Ange et la Femme 1977 This film by Gilles Carle contains some explicitly unsimulated sexual activity between its stars.[26] French, English
Agent 69 Jensen i Skorpionens tegn 1977 Fifth film in the Danish Zodiac-series of mainstream-comedies with hardcore scenes.[11] Danish
La svastica nel ventre (English title: Nazi Love Camp 27). 1977 This film by Mario Caiano features actual penetration.[27] Italian
Agent 69 Jensen i Skyttens tegn 1978 Sixth and final film in the Danish Zodiac-series of mainstream-comedies with hardcore scenes.[11] Danish
The ABC of Love and Sex: Australia Style 1978 Australian documentary that shows actual sex scenes.[28] English
Caligula 1979 Uncut version of this film includes several authentic sex scenes, including penetration, fellatio and ejaculation during the six minutes worth of inserts shot by the film's producer, Bob Guccione. The sex shot by Tinto Brass in the rest of the movie, although very explicit, was simulated.[29] English
Immagini di un convento (English title: Images in a Convent) 1979 This film by Joe D'Amato contains many explicit sex scenes including a brutal and unsimulated rape scene.[30] Italian
Cruising 1980 Director William Friedkin spliced in single frames of gay anal intercourse during at least one scene. Partially obscured sex acts, including fellatio and fisting. English
Taxi zum Klo (English title: Taxi to the Toilet) 1980 A film directed by Frank Ripploh features hardcore gay sex scenes.[31] German, English, French
Spetters 1980 This film directed by Paul Verhoeven features explicit hardcore sex scenes, including oral sex.[32] Dutch
Les Fruits de la passion (English title: Fruits of Passion) 1981 This film by Shūji Terayama contains many explicit sex scenes, including unsimulated fellatio.[33] Cantonese, Japanese, English, French
Caligola: La storia mai raccontata (English title: The Emperor Caligula: The Untold Story, or Caligula 2 - The Untold Story) 1982 The uncut European version of this film, directed by Joe D'Amato, features penetration, ejaculation and fellato in an orgy scene.[34] Italian
Scandale 1982 This film by George Mihalka contains both softcore and hardcore sex scenes.[35] French
L'alcova (English title: The Alcove) 1985 Film by Joe D'Amato contains a few real sex scenes.[36] Italian
James Joyce's Women 1985 This film, directed by Michael Pearce, is based on James Joyce's Ulysses and shows about twenty minutes of real, on camera masturbation by Fionnula Flanagan, the main actress.[37] English
Il Diavolo in Corpo (English title: Devil in the Flesh) 1986 Features a short scene of fellatio, during which the man tells the woman about Lenin's return to St. Petersburg in 1917.[38][39] Italian
Hotel St. Pauli 1988 This film by Svend Wam shows unsimulated oral sex.[40] Norwegian, Swedish
Paganini (Also known as Kinski Paganini) 1989 Klaus Kinski's directorial debut, it shows many graphic sex scenes, including actual female masturbation.[41] Italian
トパーズ (Also known as: Tokyo Decadence and Topāzu) 1992 This film by Ryu Murakami about prostitution in Japan contains sexually explicit and graphic scenes, including explicit use of a vibrator and strap-on, as well as a urination scene. However, "Murakami didn't make this film to tickle people's libidos; he wanted to bring out the potential ugliness that can come through sex."[42] Japanese, English
The Soft Kill 1994 The DVD version of this film, directed by Eli Cohen, features penetration.[43] English
A Single Girl 1995 This film by Benoît Jacquot contains a hardcore scene in hotel room, involving an actress Catherine Guittoneau. French
La Vie de Jésus (English title: The Life of Jesus) 1997 "In Life of Jesus, Dumont included extreme close-ups of penetration to emphasize the animal nature of the sex act."[44] French
Idioterne (English title: The Idiots) 1998 This film by Lars von Trier features penetration and group sex.[45] Danish
Fiona 1998 This film directed by Amos Kollek features a brief oral sex scene.[46] English
Seul contre tous (English title: I Stand Alone) 1998 The film is Gaspar Noé's first feature-length production and features several actual sex scenes.[47] French
Jezus is een Palestijn (English title: Jesus is a Palestinian) 1999 Director Lodewijk Crijns: "From the beginning I swore that there would be a visual penetration in my film. [...] Eventually that scene made it into the film and also in a way which I think is very surprising."[48] Dutch
Romance 1999 Directed by Catherine Breillat, features male and female masturbation, fellatio, penetration, ejaculation, and sadomasochistic bondage.[49] French
Pola X 1999 "Pola X gained infamy world wide for its unsimulated sex acts between Guillaume Depardieu (Pierre) and Yekaterina Golubeva (Isabelle). Although body stand ins were used for the most explicit parts."[50][51][52] French
La donna lupo (English title: The Man-Eater) 1999 Film by Aurelio Grimaldi contains a scene of actual fellatio.[53] Italian
Guardami 1999 Based on the life of Italian porn actress Moana Pozzi, this film directed by Davide Ferrario shows real oral sex.[54] Italian
Vampire Strangler 1999 A film by William Hellfire shows real fellatio by an actress Erin Brown.[55] English
Giulia (English title: Julia) 1999 This film by Roy Stuart shows scenes of fellatio, cunnilingus and intercourse performed by actress Anna Bielska.[56] French
Humanité 1999 A film by Bruno Dumont contains sex and nudity, including three hardcore scenes.[57] French, English
Baise-moi 2000 Several actual sex scenes, including penetration and fellatio.[58] French
Scrapbook 2000 This film by Eric Stanze includes non-penetrative sex acts and an actor urinating on an actress.[59] English
Scarlet Diva 2000 A semi-autobiographical film about Italian actress and director Asia Argento's life as an actress, it contains many non-simulated sex scenes according to herself.[60] English, Italian, French
Intimacy 2001 Features fellatio. English
Le Pornographe (English title: The Pornographer) 2001 This film by Bertrand Bonello shows many hardcore sex scenes, including penetration.[61] French
Lucía y el sexo (English title: Sex and Lucia) 2001 This film by Julio Medem contains several real sex scenes, including penetration and fellatio from the porn movie made by one of the film's characters as well as manual stimulation of an erect penis and cunnilingus performed by and on another film's character.[62] Spanish, English
Hundstage (English title: Dog Days) 2001 The first fictional feature film by director Ulrich Seidl contains a hardcore orgy scene.[63] German
The Center of the World 2001 A film by Wayne Wang contains "the graphic sex of Triple-X videos".[64] English
Irréversible (English title: Irresistible) 2002 This film by Gaspar Noé shows unsimulated oral sex.[65] French
La novia de Lázaro (English title: Lazaro’s Girlfriend) 2002 This film by Fernando Merinero features about a minute-long scene of explicit fellatio.[66] Spanish
Le loup de la côte Ouest (English title: The Wolf of the West Coast) 2002 A Hugo Santiago film with recognizable stars James Faulkner and Anna Mouglalis features unsimulated sex scenes.[67] French, English
Sud sanaeha (English title: Blissfully Yours) 2002 This film, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, contains a scene of explicit fellatio.[68] Thai
Choses secrètes (English title: Secret Things) 2002 A Jean-Claude Brisseau film about female sexuality that shows many explicit sex scenes, including public masturbation by a female character and a hardcore orgy scene. The first film of a trilogy.[69] French
The Brown Bunny 2003 This film by Vincent Gallo features a scene of fellatio.[70] English
Fallo! (English title: Do It! or Private) 2003 Film directed by Tinto Brass contains real fellatio.[71] Italian, French, English, Spanish
Rossa Venezia 2003 This film by Andreas Bethmann features many hardcore sex scenes, mostly lesbian.[72] German
The Principles of Lust 2003 Film by Penny Woolcock shows an orgy scene with several unsimulated sex acts, including oral sex.[73] English
Bodysong 2003 A 2003 documentary about human life and the human condition, directed by Simon Pummell, features several hardcore sex scenes, including vaginal penetration, fellatio and cunnilingus.[74] English
Anatomie de l'enfer (English title: Anatomy of Hell) 2004 By director Catherine Breillat, it features "actual sex, high-level sex scenes and high-level themes" according to the Australian Classification Review Board.[75] French
9 Songs 2004 Several non-simulated sex scenes, including penetration, fellatio, cunnilingus and ejaculation.[58] English
Story of the Eye 2004 Based on the novel Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille, this film, directed by Andrew Repasky McElhinney contains many hardcore sex scenes.[76] English
Kärlekens språk 2000 2004 A Swedish sex educational film directed by Anders Lennberg shows many unsimulated sex scenes.[77] Swedish
All About Anna 2005 A film directed by Jessica Nilsson, featuring intercourse performed both by Eileen Daly and Gry Bay and male actors, fellatio with ejaculation performed by Eileen Daly on Mark Stevens, cunnilingus performed by Ovidie on Gry Bay.[78] Danish
8mm 2 2005 A film directed by J. S. Cardone, featuring various erotic scenes that include complete nudity, group sex, female masturbation, oral stimulation, authentic pornography frames, and lesbian cunnilingus.[79] English
Kissing on the Mouth 2005 Film by Joe Swanberg contains a real scene of masturbation with ejaculation.[80] English
天邊一朵雲 (English title: The Wayward Cloud) 2005 This film directed by Tsai Ming-liang features fellatio and penetration.[81][82] Mandarin
Princesas 2005 This film by Fernando León de Aranoa contains a scene of explicit fellatio.[83] Spanish
Lie with Me 2005 A film by Clement Virgo, based on the novel of the same title, contains "medium-to-hardcore sex".[84] English, Spanish
Shortbus 2006 Several actors perform real sexual acts including explicit masturbation, autofellatio, coitus, and heterosexual and homosexual fellatio.[58][85] English
Taxidermia 2006 This film, directed by György Pálfi features actual penetration.[86] Hungarian, English, Russian
Les Anges Exterminateurs 2006 The second Jean-Claude Brisseau film that explores female sexuality. It shows unsimulated female masturbation.[87] French
Auftauchen (Also known as Amour fou) 2006 Felicitas Korn's feature film debut shows several authentic sex scenes.[88] German
It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine. 2007 This film directed by David Brothers and Crispin Glover contains actual penetration.[89] English
L'histoire de Richard O. (English title: The Story of Richard O.) 2007 This film by Damien Odoul shows numerous real sex scenes.[90] French, Finnish
Import/Export 2007 The second fictional feature film by Ulrich Seidl contains several authentic sex scenes, including female masturbation and anal fingering. The authenticity of the fellatio scene is debatable.[91] German, Slovak, Russian, English
El Búfalo de la noche (English title: The Night Buffalo) 2007 This film by Jorge Hernandez Aldana contains an explicit fellatio scene.[92] Spanish
Serbis (English title: Service) 2008 Directed by Brillante Mendoza, it shows explicit fellatio.[93] Filipino, Tagalog
Tropical Manila 2008 This film, directed by Sang-woo Lee, contain several explicit sex acts, including real fellatio.[94] Filipino, Korean
À l'aventure 2008 The third film by Jean-Claude Brisseau about female sexuality contains many explicit sex scenes, including authentic female masturbation and orgasm.[95][96] French
Amateur Porn Star Killer 2 2008 This film by Shane Ryan includes explicit scenes of penetration and oral sex. The second film of a trilogy.[97] English
Antichrist 2009 This film by Lars von Trier features a scene of penetrative vaginal intercourse, and also includes graphically violent sexual imagery. Body doubles were used to make the film.[98] English
Enter the Void 2009 This film, directed by Gaspar Noé contains some unsimulated sexual activity.[99] English, Japanese
The Band 2009 This film directed by Anna Brownfield features numerous sequences of unsimulated sex.[100] English
Dogtooth 2009 A film by Giorgos Lanthimos. "The brief real sex is used to establish the unusual and dysfunctional lifestyle that results from the isolation orchestrated by the dictatorial father, including incest."[101] Greek
Now & Later 2009 The film contains an unsimulated oral scene and a simulated sex scene.[102] English
Bedways 2010 This film by Rolf Peter Kahl shows real sex scenes, including a three-minute-long scene of masturbation.[103] German
The Bunny Game 2010 This film directed by Adam Rehmeier contains an explicit scene of fellatio.[104] English
Killer Bitch 2010 Controversial in many aspects, this film by Liam Galvin contains real sex scenes according to executive producer John Fleming.[105] English
Año bisiesto (English title: Leap Year) 2010 Film by Michael Rowe features unsimulated sex scenes.[106] Spanish
Gandu 2010 An Indian film, directed by Qaushiq Mukherjee, that contains actual sex scenes.[107] Bengali
LelleBelle 2010 This film by Mischa Kamp contain the images of unsimulated penetration.[108][109] Dutch
Q (English title: Desire) 2011 A 2011 French film, directed by Laurent Bouhnik, which features several graphic unsimulated depictions of sex.[110] French
Hotel Desire 2011 This short film directed by Sergej Moya contains an unsimulated sex scene between the actors Saralisa Volm and Clemens Schick.[111] German
愛很爛 (English title: Love Actually... Sucks!) 2011 A Hong Kong film, directed by Scud, features fellatio.[112] Mandarin, Cantonese, English
Caged 2011 A 2011 Dutch film directed by Stephan Brenninkmeijer, it contains several explicit hardcore sex scenes.[113] Dutch
Léa 2011 This film, directed by Bruno Rolland, contains an unsimulated scene of cunniligus.[114] French
Starlet 2012 This film by Sean S. Baker contains a scene of penetration.[115] English
Joven y alocada (English title: Young and Wild) 2012 A Chilean film, directed by Marially Rivas, features many explicit sex scenes, including several real sex inserts.[116] Spanish
Pornopung 2013 A 2013 Norwegian film, directed by Johan Kaos, that features a scene of explicit fellatio.[117] Norwegian
Stranger by the Lake 2013 Directed by Alain Guiraudie, Stranger by the Lake contains scenes of unsimulated sex that were shot using body doubles.[118] French
Wetlands 2013 Film by David Wnendt contains a real scene of masturbation and ejaculation by several men on twenty pizzas. The hired porn stars were used for shooting the scene.[119] German
Pasolini 2014 A film by Abel Ferrara, about the final day in the life of Pier Paolo Pasolini, shows several actual sex scenes, including fellatio.[120] English, Italian, French
Love 2015 This film by Gaspar Noé features scenes of unsimulated sexual activity and is notable as being a 3-D release.[121] English
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

Pornography films re-edited for mainstream release

Prior to the advent of home video, a number of hardcore pornography films were released to mainstream cinemas. In most cases, scenes of penetration were either cut out or replaced with alternate shots. One exception to this was Deep Throat, which was released uncensored.

Examples of this type of hybrid release include Alice in Wonderland (1976), shot as X-rated, but first released as an R-rated version — afterwards, the uncut version was released;[122] Café Flesh (1982) — the R-rated version of this science fiction porn film was released to mainstream cinemas;[123] Stocks and Blondes (1984), originally available as Wanda Whips Wall Street;[124] and Droid (1988), originally released as Cabaret Sin in 1987.



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  • Villadsen, Ebbe (2005): Danish Erotic Film Classics.
  • Williams, Linda Ruth (2005): The Erotic Thriller in Contemporary Cinema. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34713-0.