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15 Weird & Disturbing Sex Scenes That Have Scarred Your Memory

by The Playlist Staff
October 23, 2013 4:19 PM
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Let’s get this out of the way, right off the bat: there will be mild spoilers here—but these spoilers have already been posted online and not by us. Got that? I mean, we all read the Internetz, so… Anyhow, Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor” opens in theaters this weekend. Written by venerable American author Cormac McCarthy, “The Counselor” stars Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt as its principal cast. The picture is a morality drama about a greedy lawyer (Fassbender), who finds himself in over his head when he decides to delve into the dark world of drug trafficking. Shit backfires and things go way south for said attorney.

Before the film plumbs these sordid depths, however, there is a scene in the movie that has everyone talking. So much so that embargo be damned, people have felt compelled to discuss it. It's what can best be described as a sex scene (if it technically qualifies as such), and to paraphrase IGN heavily, who spoiled this moment first (and to be completely fair, we understand the temptation): Cameron Diaz plays Malkina, the opportunistic and venomous girlfriend of underworld figure Reiner (Bardem). In one scene that’s simultaneously hilarious, ridiculous and horrific, Diaz's Malkina spread eagles across the hood of a fancy sports car and proceeds to grind panty-less against the windshield until she climaxes, to the astonishment of its occupant. Why and in what context she does so, we'll leave you to find out.

Suffice to say it's disturbing, funny, all kinds of wrong and it etches itself forever into the mind of the viewer. So kinda with the same logic that the only way you can stop singing that really annoying song is to think of an even more annoying one, we thought we’d run down some other weird, horrific and horribly awesome, or awesomely horrible sex scenes. Some are comical. Some are twisted, transgressive and fucked up, and some are downright loathsome and we really don’t want to watch them again. All, however, once seen can't be unseen, so you have been warned. So with our NSFW, Parental Advisory tags plastered all over the place, here we go.

In The Realm Of The Senses” (1976)
What’s that? Lars von Trier is making a soft-core pornography drama where the lead actors will have unsimulated sex—though of course any real penetration or sex will be performed by body doubling porn actors? That’s cute. Especially next to Japanese enfant terrible Nagisa Oshima’s 1976 erotic sex drama (read arty pornography) “In the Realm of the Senses” (though its direct, more appropriate translation is “Bullfight of Love,” American distributors apparently feeling it necessary to make it sound a bit more sensual). A fictionalized account of a real event—a 1930s brothel servant's affair with the madam's husband which leads to hubby's penis being severed with a knife—that’s actually not so much the most disturbing part (though yes, this pre-Lorena Bobbit stuff is fucked up). A sensual and very primal look at carnal desire, “In the Realm of the Senses” is pretty much constant sex, penetration, bj’s, you name it (and it’s also an examination of when love and sexual possession curdles into something rather psychotic). And yes, it’s all "real," which also makes it often uncomfortable, funny, and yes, sometimes erotic. Perhaps the strangest element of the various mutually obsessive experimenting-with-sex acts in the film—including lots of erotic asphyxiation—is the part when the male lead played by Tatsuya Fuji places a hardboiled egg into the vagina of his partner (played by Eiko Matsuda). Though, to be fair, she was feeding him mushrooms that were, shall we say, “lady flavored” just moments before. Not a film to see with your parents, or on a first date, or a second, third or 50th date, “In the Realm of the Senses” is admittedly pretty twisted and not for the faint of heart. But while it’s amusing to poke fun at the movie as pornography-made-as-art (which in many ways it is), Oshima's filmmaking mastery is fully on display too. And while it’s impossible not to giggle and act like a four year old when discussing or writing about it, it’s actually quite terrific once you get past how strange, obsessive, and even maniacal the jackrabbit-like sex can be.

Last Tango In Paris” (1972)
Is there a more notorious sex scene in cinema history? If there is, Bernardo Bertolucci’s infamous “Last Tango In Paris” at least held the record for the better part of two decades unchallenged. Starring Marlon Brando as a lost, forsaken and recently widowed American who begins an anonymous sexual relationship with a young, betrothed Parisian woman (Maria Schneider), “Last Tango In Paris” is notorious for scandalizing audiences with its “butter” scene, a sequence so outrageous it’s very likely you heard about it years before you actually saw the movie. Let’s cut to the chase: butter is used as a lubricant for anal sex. But that’s hardly the film’s worst offender in the horrific/outrageous/unintentionally funny sex scene sweepstakes. Highly improvised and exploratory in nature—engendered by the director’s own sexual fantasies of making it with a broad without really knowing who she was—Bertolucci was basically trying to use Brando as a conduit to explore the wild possibilities of sexual abandon. Brando, brought so close to the brink of raw and utterly naked vulnerability, often times humiliated and embarrassed, never forgave Bertolucci, calling his direction a type of manipulative betrayal. He barely spoke to him again after the movie was done. Other depraved/ridiculous moments of the sex in 'Last Tango' include when Brando demands Schneider insert her fingers in his anus, and later on when he challenges her to prove her devotion by promising she’ll have sex with a pig (among other ludicrous and disgusting requests). Pauline Kael was one of the film’s biggest supporters lauding its “thrusting, jabbing eroticism,” and while it’s true Bertolucci made an unforgettable movie about desire, longing, inveterate isolation, control, emotional violence and more, there’s no question it’s still a divisive film to this day, that leaves many viewers feeling they’ve watched a pretentious art porno with characters spouting philosophical gibberish. Either way, good luck having those scenes erased from your memory.

Body of Evidence” (1993)/”Dangerous Game” (1993)
The Dino De Laurentiis-produced erotic thriller was probably supposed to be to the ‘90s what “Last Tango In Paris” was to the ‘70s, but "Body of Evidence" wasn't fooling anyone. There’s likely no other film on this list that more aptly fits the notion of unintentionally funny sex scenes. Directed by Uli Edel (who helmed the David Bowie film “Christiane F.,” “Last Exit to Brooklyn” and “The Baader Meinhof Complex”—this is one of his darkest shames), the movie centers on a woman (Madonna) who is accused of killing a man to inherit his millions by having sex with him to death. The district attorney (Joe Mantegna) wants her to go down (in the jail sense) while her lawyer (Willem Dafoe) is a seemingly happily married man who lusts after his client before the two of them eventually embark on a sadomasochistic affair together. As you can probably tell, the film is hardly ever sexy and mostly just funny and awful. Madonna simply can’t act and while Dafoe dives in head first, he can’t help but end up a casualty as well. Pretty tame by most sadomasochistic standards, the movie is notorious for its candle wax sequences where Madonna ties up Dafoe and pours hot candle wax on his body including his penis to much sexual arousal on both their parts. That's not the only time Madonna walked that awkward line between would-be sensuality and outright comedy during sex. The flip side to this is Abel Ferrara’s mostly forgotten 1993 film starring Madonna, Harvey Keitel and James Russo, which is not unlike a “Bad Lieutenant,” only this time among filmmakers. Keitel stars a cocaine-addicted truth-seeking film director not afraid to push his actors to any depths (humiliation, all sorts of manipulative games) to achieve “true emotion” and Madge and Russo are his thespian pawns. A type of psychotic chamber drama with Keitel pushing everyone’s limits, it’s not a particularly great film, but it is memorably bad and often ridiculous, and yet another film where Madonna can’t catch a break (and while she got decent reviews, she trashed the film afterwards which vexed the always-irritable Ferrara no end).

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  • Mattu | August 8, 2014 6:50 PMReply

    what about the Brown Bunny??

  • af | July 30, 2014 10:50 AMReply


  • lord Jones | July 5, 2014 10:56 PMReply

    I thought the rape scene in irreversible trumped most all of these. It was gritty, over the top, and most of all hard to watch.

  • Emily Taylor | May 10, 2014 6:26 AMReply

    Lol the duck thing is fine. The only reason it is mentioned is because everyone knows everhone at cracked is a horny masturbatory closet furry

  • breakherlegs | May 9, 2014 11:10 AMReply

    Nice list, but how could you forget Blue Velvet?

  • Mike | December 24, 2013 2:09 PMReply

    The rape/torture scenes in Jack Ketchum's 'The Girl Next Door'. That movie makes many of the others on this list look tame and kid friendly by comparison.

  • على قوقى | December 22, 2013 8:14 PMReply


  • Al | December 15, 2013 1:54 AMReply

    What about the movie Irreversible?

  • Kat | December 15, 2013 1:32 AMReply

    Every single scene in A Serbian Film

  • Patti | December 15, 2013 12:27 AMReply

    American Pie

  • maggie | December 14, 2013 2:24 AMReply

    I'm so glad I only saw one scene from Crash and nothing else on that list.....I do remember seeing something really weird while my mom was changing channels, no idea what movie it was but there was a naked woman being chased around the house by a naked man, arguing, and I guess she was breast feeding because she aimed at him and squeezed one boob shooting milk at his face.....I was maybe 6

  • ElianeF | December 13, 2013 3:28 PMReply

    Blue Velvet was engraved in my memory as one of the most disturbing film I'd ever seen then came Irreversible with stunning Monica Belluci and her life partner Vincent Cassel. I wont' spoil the story but since the topic is, after all, sex scenes, she experiences a rape that is disturbing in its vivid acting. I am haunted by that scene.

  • Beth | December 13, 2013 1:17 AMReply

    The two sex scenes in Cronenberg's "A History of Violence" were interesting because of the stark contrast between them. And speaking of Cronenberg, although not technically a sex scene, there was something kind of titillating about seeing Robert Pattinson get a minutes-long prostate exam in "Cosmopolis."

  • ed smith | December 5, 2013 12:34 AMReply

    bet connely gives a good b.j. swallows of course : )

  • Evan | December 5, 2013 12:29 AMReply

    CLEARLY the person who wrote this article has never seen "Enter the Void"....that flick ruined my life.

  • nick | December 2, 2013 2:49 PMReply

    What about bad boy bubby or super.

  • MHorgan | November 27, 2013 12:18 AMReply

    What? No Blue velvet?

  • Brad | November 26, 2013 3:46 AMReply

    Just about any Larry Clark film. Both "Bully" and "Kids" had disturbing rape scenes featuring young people.

  • Brad | November 26, 2013 3:43 AMReply

    Molly Parker inserting the lollip in The Center of the World and her sex scenes with the morgue corpses might qualify as a bit twisted.

  • Brad | November 26, 2013 3:45 AM

    (Molly's necrophilia scenes are in "Kissed")

  • Brad | November 26, 2013 3:42 AMReply

    And let's not forget Ned Beatty's "Squeal like a pig" scene from Deliverance. Poor Ole Ned never lived that down.

  • Brad | November 26, 2013 3:39 AMReply

    Some might find Molly Parker's lollipop scene in 'Center of the World' or her necrophiliac scenes in the morgue in 'Kissed' to be a little twisted.

  • the sayer of the truth | November 24, 2013 8:15 PMReply

    Why bother with any of this rubbish when there are millions of beautiful young 18 year-old girls being buggered and sodomized senseless on countless porn sites on the internet ! ?.

  • jp | November 24, 2013 9:13 AMReply

    Caligula anyone ?

  • Flor | November 24, 2013 7:31 AMReply


  • Bobby j | November 24, 2013 4:02 AMReply

    Something about the last sex scene in ken park was disturbing. Possibly because it felt like you were watching child porn even tho u know ur not...still uncomfortable none the less

  • Ty | November 19, 2013 3:30 AMReply

    Forgot about Fritz the Cat!

  • bee | November 17, 2013 11:01 AMReply

    Boxing Helena was also very...uncomfortable.

  • dependra | November 13, 2013 6:05 AMReply

    i like sex

  • Jess | November 7, 2013 10:59 AMReply

    Society was so wretchedly disturbing. It's such a campy movie until the big orgy/devouring scene...Then I just felt sick and couldn't look away. I have no idea why that -- it's really quite a silly, fun horror movie overall -- freaked me out so much more than other legit rape/murder/other aberrant stuff...

  • Mi | November 6, 2013 5:25 PMReply

    Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart watched Last Tango In Paris while prepering for first Twilight movie.That's true.I remember the sex scene from Szamanka by Andrzej Żuławski when the leading female character kills her lover and eats his brain.

  • Tamara | November 6, 2013 4:52 PMReply

    When I think of the words 'sex', 'film' and 'disturbing' I always remember Perdita Durango.

  • Kay | November 6, 2013 4:46 PMReply

    Salo, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and A Serbian Film have some pretty rough scenes. To put it mildly... "Serpent" less so than the other two.

  • james | November 5, 2013 1:55 AMReply

    What about Spanking the Monkey? Twisted.

  • Laura | October 31, 2013 9:12 PMReply

    Eraserhead. The entire film, but the sex scenes were...disturbing.

  • Rosa | October 29, 2013 12:52 AMReply

    'Holy Smoke' has a few uncomfortable sex/rape/nude scenes - I saw it when I was much too young and can never forget them!

  • Mae | October 28, 2013 12:31 AMReply

    The kitchen sex scene in 'Orphan' isn't exactly disturbing/weird, it's just so very spontaneous and hilarious. It also gets a whole lot funnier when you've reached the end and realised their little daughter who worked on them isn't all that little after all.

  • Matt | October 27, 2013 4:34 PMReply

    Partly because I saw it in a theater with both of my parents - the three rape scenes in the American version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo were awful to sit through.

  • Christian | October 26, 2013 1:58 PMReply


  • Donella | October 30, 2013 5:06 PM

    Bestiality, pedofilia, and incest all in the same movie. What a world.

  • Doug Williams | October 25, 2013 9:48 PMReply

    Watching Halle Berry slug it out with the wretched-bodied, polar opposite of George Clooney: Billy Bob Thornton, was almost as tortuous as enduring her acting leading up to that scene in Monster's Ball.

  • JAF | October 25, 2013 12:19 PMReply

    Nekromantik (esp the last scene in part 2) should be more than a footnote here... that is something that you need eye-bleach for.
    Other films I found disturbing in regards to consensual sex scenes:
    The zombie sex/birth in "Braindead" aka "Dead Alive".
    The gang-bang scene towards the end of the 1st "Emmanuelle" film.
    The on-going incestual sex scenes in "Sister, My Sister".
    The 1st person-narrated dog-sex scene in the French film called "Baxter".
    The sex-scene between Oscar and his babysitter in "The Tin Drum".

  • Stephen | October 25, 2013 9:37 AMReply

    Or in the recent "Starlet", which starts off as a quirky, fun indie film until about halfway through, where it turns out the main character is a porn star and out of nowhere, there's a very graphic porn scene that goes on for about five minutes. Try watching that with your girlfriend and her mom.

  • Less Lee Moore | October 24, 2013 9:03 PMReply

    Sadly the "Rape of Christ" scene has NOT been restored in the recent BFI DVD release of The Devils. Perhaps one day...

  • Brad | October 24, 2013 1:49 PMReply

    Great list!!! I remember that I watched "Requiem for a Dream" and David Cronenberg's "Crash" at around the same time when I was 13 years old and I wasn't really prepared for that; however, I think that any of the sex scenes of "A serbian film" are more disturbing that any on this list even more so than the ones on "In The Realm of the Senses" and that's saying something. And I agree that the rape scene in "Irreversible" should be here too.

  • nweastcoaster | October 24, 2013 12:03 PMReply

    No mention of the rape scene with Monica Bellucci in Gaspar Noe's Irreversible?

    Not to mention the absence of mentioning the rapes in Pasolini's Salo.

  • Donella | January 11, 2014 11:01 AM

    The question is SEX scenes. Not rape scenes. There is a difference and I hope you learn what the difference is sooner than later.

  • ADGar | October 24, 2013 8:45 AMReply

    I always found The Postman Always Rings Twice kitchen scene between Lange and Nicholson disturbing and memorable.

  • sab | October 24, 2013 5:30 AMReply

    PossessionPossessionPossession with Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill... Has to be seen to be believed when is IA's character is having sex with a squid-like creature of unknown origin...The movie is so crazy it's fascinating and makes me want to see it again to make sure its real!

  • Victor | October 24, 2013 12:53 AMReply

    Here's one for your list: "Mysterious Skin." It will creep you out.

  • Yep | October 23, 2013 11:03 PMReply

    Any number of scenes from Caligula, but the crisco fist ruined me at age 13.

  • wes | October 23, 2013 10:43 PMReply

    Take off Antichrist (though I hated the movie, that scene was more beautiful than weird or disturbing, me thinks) and put Shame on instead.

  • Mere | October 23, 2013 9:28 PMReply

    What about the scene in Repo Men when Jude Law and Alice Braga have sex while cutting each other and pulling out replacement body parts?

    And I second the Killer Joe scene.

  • cirkusfolk | October 23, 2013 9:35 PM

    I second Repo Man. And this article would've been tremendously improved had it had links to all the featured scenes.

  • Hubert Vigilla | October 23, 2013 8:42 PMReply

    Nice list.

    On the disturbing side, I'd add the unforgettable sex scene in Shinya Tsukamoto's "Tetsuo: The Iron Man" and that racial slur-filled Selma Blair scene in Todd Solondz's "Storytelling."

    On the weird side, I'd add the woman with giant dildo and the computer/robot in Alejandro Jodorowsky's "The Holy Mountain" and pretty much anything in Henri Xhonneux's "Marquis."

  • Donella | October 23, 2013 8:22 PMReply

    I'll add on Thandie Newton's insistence that Danny Glover "touch me on the inside parts" in Beloved. Just look away.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | October 23, 2013 7:32 PMReply

    I remember going with my mother, a huge horror fan, to see "Bram Stoker's Dracula." The whole film was filled with uncomfortable (when watched with your mother) erotic sequences, but the werewolf sex scene... at age 9 I wasn't even equipped to process that shit. lol

  • GC | October 23, 2013 5:21 PMReply

    I, for one, enjoyed the Matthew McConaughey/Gina Gershon/fried chicken-leg scene in Killer Joe.

  • Tony | November 15, 2013 6:37 PM

    Agree with Killer Joe but I haven't been able to eat KFC since.

  • Ahsoka23 | November 1, 2013 3:31 PM

    That scene was gold!

  • Anthony | October 23, 2013 5:13 PMReply

    Paris Trout.

  • Larry | October 23, 2013 5:08 PMReply

    Where the are the counselor reviews?

  • Gabe Toro | October 23, 2013 5:55 PM


  • sati | October 23, 2013 5:03 PMReply

    You missed Angel Heart

  • Miike Takashi | October 23, 2013 4:47 PMReply

    Visitor Q, Gozu

  • AG | October 23, 2013 4:36 PMReply

    What about Flesh for Frakenstein?! Pretty sick (disturbing) sex scene in that...

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