15 Movies That Show Women Owning Their Sexuality
Blue Is The Warmest Coloris the story of Adèle (played by Adèle Exarchopoulos), who falls in love with Emma (Léa Seydoux). The sex scenes between the two are incredibly intimate, because Emma is the first woman Adèle has ever slept with. We’re here for any movie that portrays young women exploring their sexuality — andBlueis the gold standard.
Helen Hunt plays Cheryl Cohen-Greene, a sex surrogate hired by paralyzed poet Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) to help him lose his virginity. Not only does the movie show sex between differently-abled people as something to be celebrated, but Hunt’s character is using her sexuality in a positive way to help a fellow human out — a huge step for the sex positivity movement.
Titanic, the movie responsible for many a '90s kid's sexual awakening, is actually pretty progressive when you think about it. Rose (Kate Winslet) is a nontraditional heroine in that she is the one doggedly pursuing Jack (Leonard DiCaprio), in a time when women were supposed to be quiet, pure, and mild. She convinces him to draw her naked. She pulls him into the backseat of that car. She whispers, “Put your hands on me, Jack.” It’s Rose’s world, y’all. We’re just living in it.
Hollywood execs like to argue that movies focused around women thataren’trom-coms — especially movies about Black women — won’t have mass appeal. Last summer’sGirls Trip, which raked in more than 0 million at the box office, is proof that they’re wrong. The film, which stars a killer ensemble cast — including Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, and Queen Latifah — is a heartfelt celebration of female friendships. Oh, and it’s also raunchy as hell. The women who make up the “Flossy Posse” are all super accomplished and have (and enjoy) casual sex, and none of them view “settling down with a nice man” as their ultimate goal. Instead, their focus is on finding themselves — and being there for their oldest friends.
What does Luisa (Maribel Verdú) do when she finds out her husband is cheating on her? She takes off on a road trip with two young men — Julio (Gael García Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna) — and proceeds to have amazing, hot sex with the two of them the entire time. Revenge-sex with a younger guy after learning of your husband’s infidelity is deserving of all the kudos. But sleeping withtwostrapping young hunks to get your groove back? Legendary.
Blue Valentinewas notoriously given an original rating of NC-17, thanks to a scene in which Dean (Ryan Gosling) goes down on Cindy (Michelle Williams). What’s more is that Cindy is (GASP!) enjoying herself, even going so far as to grab Dean by the hair to keep him in place while she rides out her big O. Gosling spoke out about the sexist double standard in cinema ratings, pointing out that plenty of R-rated movies show women performing oral sex on men. The film's rating was eventually downgraded, making this one sex-positive both on and off-screen.
Breaking: Sometimes, women don’t want to be in relationships. Sometimes they just want to have sex with as many people as possible — and sometimes, that sex is intensely awkward. InTrainwreck, Amy (Amy Schumer) is the one who feels the need to sow her wild oats. She’s proud of her commitment-phobe ways and laughs at her less-than-perfect sexcapades. She doesn’t settle down ‘til she finds a dude worth settling down for, and to that we say, “Hell yeah, girl.”
When Irish immigrant Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) has sex with her boyfriend Tony (Emory Cohen), it’s as quick and awkward as anyone who has ever lost their virginity remembers. But what makes this scene so beautiful is the fact that Eilis has fully come into her own as an independent woman. She’s no longer the timid young girl from her small town across the Atlantic — and if she wants to have premarital sex with her Brooklyn boyfriend, she’s going to do it.
While the main character Alice (Dakota Johnson) goes through some ups and downs, her BFF Robin (Rebel Wilson) is the pinnacle of a sexually-empowered gal. She makes no apologies about her sex life, and coaxes Alice out of her shell, encouraging her to fully embrace her singledom. What else are BFFs for?
What do two twenty-something women living in NYC do when the job market sucks and the rent is due? They team up and put together a bustling phone sex business — and have a ton of fun doing it. Their careers as sex workers are never stigmatized either, which makes this movie a perfect 10 in our book.
When Carol (Cate Blanchett) meets Therese (Rooney Mara), she is unhappily married with a daughter. Carol and Therese start a passionate affair, and when her husband finds out, he threatens to take away their daughter. Still, Carol refuses to deny her sexuality, even as those around her try to punish her for it. The movie also has a happy ending — a rarity when it comes to females exploring their sexuality.
Although this one leans on some pretty eyeroll-inducing rom-com tropes — itisa Nancy Meyers movie, after all —Something’s Gotta Giveultimately stands out from the pack thanks to its heroine, Erica (Diane Keaton). She’s no bumbling, quirky ingenue — she’s an accomplished, intelligent fifty-something who knows what she wants in life. Because there’s nothing sexier than a confident woman, Erica finds herself torn between two suitors — an aging record exec (Jack Nicholson) who realizes he’s made a mistake by dating women half his age, and a handsome cardiologist (Keanu Reeves), who just so happens to be 20 years younger than she is. Get it, girl.
OK, so abortion isn’t exactly the sexiest topic of all time. But the fact that this movie doesn’t treat Donna (Jenny Slate) like someone who is morally conflicted over her decision to have an abortion was an important step, considering most movies involving unplanned pregnancies refuse to even address the topic. Donna is smart, determined, and extremely clear-headed about her options. She also doesn’t apologize for having casual sex, because why should she?
Losing your virginity can be awkward, but it can be really special, too. That’s the kind of sexThe Spectacular Nowshows. When Aimee (Shailene Woodley) and Sutter (Miles Teller) get together, she isn’t coerced or conflicted. She’s secure in her decision, and the two have sweet and playful sex as equals — something you don’t get to see very often.
Before it was a Netflix series, this was a groundbreaking Spike Lee film in which Nola (Tracy Camilla Johns) decides she isn’t going to choose one man to date — she’s going to date three. But unlike most stories that involve women dating around, Nola doesn’t end the movie with one suitor. Instead, she decides that monogamy is a form of oppression, and heads to bed alone.
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