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Tipping the velvet: The most vital lesbian love scenes of cinema

By July 18, 2018 No Comments

Earlier this year, critics and audiences alike found themselves blushing at the sight of a hot and primal lesbian love scene between Rachel Weisz (The Lobster) and Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) in Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience. The sight of Weisz passionately spitting in McAdams’s mouth (apparently achieved with the help of some lychee flavored lube) is one that will stay with us for a long time and has been praised as being one of the best sex scenes of the past twelve months by critics.

What makes the scene so memorable is that it isn’t gratuitous or cynically forced to titillate a mostly hetero male audience – it feels necessary to the plot and to the characters. As McAdams suggested to Entertainment Weekly, the scene “felt so integral to the plot and moving the story forward. The characters need this release to open up.”

As you’re likely more than aware from the dubious DVD collection of your horniest male friend, there are heaps of gratuitous lesbian love scenes in movies that feel overblown, unnecessary, and made only for straight dudes to get off on. Thankfully, this scene isn’t one of them and it joins various other vital lesbian love scenes that are too hot for words.

10. Black Swan (2010)

Mila Kunis (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Natalie Portman (V for Vendetta) are an undoubted teenage boy’s wet dream as the bad girl ballerinas tipping the velvet together. Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream) also delivers the scene in an oppressive fog of male gaze – but it’s still hot however you identify.

9. Itty Bitty Titty Committee (2007)

Jamie Babbit’s feminist cult dramedy sees Carly Pope (Elysium) and Daniela Sea (Shortbus) getting spank-happy with each other in a car, and though it’s not as hot as some other sex scenes, it’s certainly one that feels the most relatable and real.

8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Making queer girls with a thing for brooding punk babes disintegrate with desire, the moment Lisbeth (Rooney Mara) hooks up with Wu (Elodie Yung) at a grimy gay club is brief yet triumphant. Their instant chemistry is lit, but the moment where Lisbeth just casually slips a finger in? Hot damn, ladies!

7. Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Look, we’re perfectly aware that this scene was blatantly shoehorned in to Diablo Cody (Young Adult) and Karyn Kusama’s underrated teen horror just so adolescent boys would pay to see Megan Fox (Transformers) makeout with Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables). But it’s still hot as hell and rings true for any girl who discovered her sexuality while experimenting with her bestie.

6. The Hunger (1983)

Vampires, Catherine Deneuve (Dancer in the Dark), and Susan Sarandon (Thelma and Louise). Can we make it any more obvious why this scene remains so spectacularly sexy?

5. Gia (1998)

It isn’t just that Angelina Jolie (Maleficent) prancing about in the nude and pressing herself up against wire fencing gives us some next level sapphic fantasies; it’s that Linda (Elizabeth Mitchell) just watches her patiently for so long before giving in and making love to her.

4. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

Featuring Léa Seydoux (Spectre) and Adèle Exarchopoulos (Down by Love) doing wonderfully naughty things to each other in loving, intimate detail, Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is the Warmest Color is explicit but also incredibly sweet.

3. Mulholland Drive (2001)

It’s David Lynch (Twin Peaks), so naturally the scene comes with an air of beguiling mystery to it. But at the core this scene between Naomi Watts (King Kong) and Laura Harring (The Punisher) is as erotic as they come without being unnecessary to the story.

2. Carol (2015)

Based on The Price of Salt (Patricia Highsmith’s forbidden lesbian love story), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) and Rooney Mara (The Social Network) are absolutely stunning together and enjoy one of the most tender (but alluring) sex scenes of all time because of it.

1. Bound (1996)

It speaks volumes that The Wachowski’s (The Matrix) neo-noir erotic thriller is still fondly remembered by queer women across the world. That likely has something to do with both Jennifer Tilly (Bride of Chucky) and Gina Gershon (Killer Joe) being at peak sexiness; it also has to do with their raw, sophisticated sex scenes that are powerful, poignant, and punishing for how seductive they are.