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Sex in film


Sex in film

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The use of sex in film has been controversial since the earliest use of cinematography and the first portrayals of love scenes and nude scenes. Ever since the silent era of film there have been actors and actresses who have shown parts of their bodies or undergarments, or dressed and behaved in ways considered sexually provocative by contemporary standards. Some films have been criticized and/or banned by various religious groups and governments because of this.


Attitudes by region



Sex in mainstream Indian movies used to be very rare till the end of nineties, and often kissing, sex and rape scenes were shown symbolically. For example, kissing is shown as the meeting of two flowers, rape as the breaking of glass bottle etc. In recent years, the attitude of the Indian movie industry, especially Bollywood, has changed, and some bold movies dealing with sexual themes have been made, though not without controversy.


Many erotically charged films have been produced in the Philippines, much to the chagrin of feminists in that country.


European movies are famous for their erotic scenes, particularly those from France and Germany. Pedro Almodovar of Spain is a prolific director who includes eroticism as a central part of many of his movies.

North America


In Mexico, many comedy movies are based around sex, typically portraying men as unstoppable sex-seeking creatures and women as willing targets. Although the numbers of such Mexican film comedies somewhat waned during the 1990s, domestic servants, bar workers, dancers and neighbors' wives continue to be depicted as potentially willing sexual partners, usually persuaded by drunken men.

United States

Sharon Stone and William Baldwin in Sliver Sharon Stone and William Baldwin in Sliver

The Hollywood industry has adhered for decades to the saying that sex (in this case nudity or partial nudity) sells. Major Hollywood studios have persuaded both men and women to appear in erotically and/or sexually charged scenes. Many times, a body double is used in place of the star supposed to be naked in a scene: stars sometimes ask for extra money to show their intimate parts, or request for them not to be shown in the particular scene. Hollywood movies, because they are the ones that enjoy the most exposure worldwide, are more often targeted by religious or conservative groups than those produced by other cinematographic industries.

As social standards of acceptable public exposure have changed, cinema has changed as well, often pushing at the boundaries. For example, the famous scene in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch, in which Marilyn Monroe stands over a sidewalk ventilation grate and her skirt is blown upward, although it showed no "private parts" or even her underpants, was clearly intended to be erotic, and was considered overly suggestive by some.

Movies with sexual content can be of any rating (G, PG, PG-13, R or NC-17). Some manufacturers of DVD players have implemented a subscription-based censor function into their players which allows users to cut out scenes of nudity, offensive language, or racism. Film directors such as Steven Spielberg are fighting this alteration of their work in court.

Feminist views

Many feminists view eroticism and/or sex in film as exploitive of women, because women are usually the ones that are shown erotically or as targets of erotic desire. This is similar to feminist critiques of western art throughout history—that it treats women as mere subjects of a male gaze. This is not a universal view, however; see sex-positive feminism.

Religious views

Many Christian organizations have protested against theatrical films that they consider to be overly erotic or have an overly sexual scene. In many Muslim countries, movies have been banned for their sexual content.

See also

External links

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Movies, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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