Erotica isn't porn, in reality, it is an art. As human beings, it is very natural to have sexual fantasies. And what's the better way than cinema to explore it?
You won't believe how a 2 hour-long story can challenge all the vivid fantasies in you.
While you watch a movie, you can introspect as well as a retrospect to know who you are and what your desires.
In today's society, that is the so-called modern society, people pretend to be modern enough to accept all the fantasies which they have, but the question which arises here - is it true?
Are we brave enough to vocalize our sexual orientation openly in front of others? If yes, then that is the sign of a progressive society, if not, then we need to ponder the answer to the question, 'why not'?
For most of the people in the world today, erotica as a genre is confined to the theatre where they can uplift their sexual fantasies through some movies.
This article will cover all aspects of erotic movies released before the year 2000 and will try to compare it with the ones released after that. Also, we would give you a list of top 20 Erotic Films/Movies that will satiate all your sexual fantasies!
Let's Explore the List!
Starting from kinky obsessions to sensual and passionate affairs, a one-time addiction to heated encounters, these movies entail all the elements of erotica and a must-watch for all of them who love movies, especially the sensual ones.
This is because we know that in the mysterious realm of the flesh, you all are somewhere looking for some movies to satiate your sexual sides, aren't you? Have a look at these 20 most erotic movies.
1. The Duke of Burgundy (2015)
Director - Peter Strickland
The film was directed by Peter Strickland, starring Cynthia and Evelyn as protagonists.
This movie revolves around the kinky foreplay between the couple.
Although the movie ends with the scene where Evelyn is being punished, the film provides a lot of pleasure to the spectators.
What if that is a momentary pleasure!
The contrasting characters of Cynthia and Evelyn are what the audience loves the most in the film.
Their differences give rise to their collective obsession and help accelerate the plot of the movie.
A steamy passion and adoration that the couple hold for each other is what drives the story ahead and make it a treat for the audience.
The Duke of Burgundy (1997) Movie Trailer
2. Lolita (1997)
Director - Adrian Lyne
The director was successful in depicting Professor Humbert’s intentions, to marry the beautiful and seductive daughter of a widow named Lolita in this movie.
Though the professor has a stronghold on intellectual passions, his personality has been portrayed as he only wants to come close to the Lolita.
In a way, Humbert has been shown juggling between his intellectual and sexual desires.
The tug of war that Humbert plays between his intellectual being and sexual fantasies adds an element of laughter in the movie as well, which distinguishes it from other erotic dramas at that time.
Lolita (1997) Movie Trailer
3. The Dreamers (2003)
Director - Bernardo Bertolucci
The Dreamers was released at a time when the revolution in Paris was a trending topic.
Bernado Bertolucci directed a threesome in this movie.
The relationship between a brother and a sister takes a new turn when a student enters their lives.
In spite of trying to control themselves, everything changes, and ultimately, they both cross the line.
This movie has always been one of the most viewed movies, even today.
Whatever be the reason, the introduction of threesome sex or the tension between a brother and a sister when they understand their sexual orientations, this movie does well at the theatre.
The Dreamers (2003) Movie Trailer
4. Exotica (1994)
Director - Atom Egoyan
As the name suggests, Atom Egoyan gives his all to intersperse this film with all the elements of erotica.
A strip club is the most imperative element where you can satisfy your sexual fantasies.
Thus, this movie set in a strip club where Christina is the protagonist of the film.
She works at the club, which is run and owned by her ex-boyfriend.
Soon, a man enters her life and ends up being too dependent on her, both sexually and psychologically.
To know how this affected Christina as well as the man, you have to watch the movie.
Exotica (1994) Movie Trailer
5. Secretary (2002)
Director - Steven Shainberg
In the year 2002, the audience got a super-erotic movie to watch in the theatre, named Secretary.
The director Steven Shainberg has made use of the element of 'sadomasochism' in the movie. Now, what is 'sadomasochism'?
This term is a combination of two words, sadism and masochism.
It means a situation where one person gets pleasure by inflicting physical or mental torture on the other.
In this movie, Lee is a mental patient who sometime hurts herself and has shown recovery slowly.
Soon, she works under the mentorship of an esteemed lawyer.
However, this professional relationship gets transformed into a sadomasochistic one, due to which both the lawyer, as well as the Lee, left hanging on for sanity.
Secretary (2002) Movie Trailer
6. Blue Velvet (1986)
Director - David Lynch
This movie is about true feelings that Jeffrey has for a beautiful singer.
The director has shown the connection between erotica and pure feelings beautifully, which is also evident in the way Jeffrey loves the singer.
However, getting involved emotionally is what ruins him later in the movie.
David Lynch, the director, portrays beautifully how engrossed Jeffrey gets in thinking about the singer when he returns to his town.
When he comes back, they both get into an affair, which is ultimately an eye-opener of several deep hidden secrets and revelations that torment him physically and emotionally.
Blue Velvet (1986) Movie Trailer
7. Crash (1996)
Director - David Cronenberg
This is an exciting movie by David Cronenberg that released in 1996. The protagonist, James, meets an accident that almost took his life.
What is noteworthy here is after the accident, he finds a kind of affinity towards an underground subculture that consists of similar beings.
Those people convert his fear of accident in a type of sexy danger.
So, in a way, there is a combination of the death eroticism and mortality, responsible for turning on James.
The crash is one of the oldest movies that combine sad death with the contrasting concept of mortality.
This thing sets the movie apart, among other similar kinds of movies.
Crash (1996) Movie Trailer
9. Sex and Lucia (2001)
Director - Julio Medem
Sex and Lucia movie directed by Julio Medem, bring forth the tension that erupt Lucia’s life when she comes to terms with the death of her writer boyfriend Lorenzo.
She believes that Lorenzo was depressed, which is the reason he had killed himself.
Lucia runs off to a faraway island where she encounters two new people who mystically happen to have a connection with the past of Lorenzo.
So, this film is an introspection of events and truths that Lucia doesn't understand.
Sex and Lucia (2001) Movie Trailer
10. Shame (2011)
Director - Steve McQueen
This film revolves around the life of a sex addict named Brandon.
What is most intriguing about him is the fact that he masturbates even in the office.
Though he is a handsome and successful bachelor residing in New York, he still hides his sexual fantasies.
When he comes to terms with his sister, who intrudes on his privacy, Brandon loses his mind and takes some steps.
The director Steve McQueen has done wonderfully in this move and portrayed how hiding the sexual fantasies can ruin the fortune of successful people.
You must apply it in your lives as well.
Shame (2011) Movie Trailer
11. The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1998)
Director - Philip Kaufman
Philip Kaufman directed this movie and released in the year 1998.
Again, this movie centers around the theme of eroticism that sets between a young surgeon named Tomas and an innocent young woman named Tereza.
The surgeon travels to operate a patient where he eventually bumps into Tereza and ultimately brings her back with him.
The tale twists when Tereza comes to know about the character of the surgeon.
He is a womanizer, and when his mistress comes before Tereza, it marks the beginning of a steamy relationship between the three characters.
The movie unfolds whatever happened between these three.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1998) Movie Trailer
12. Bitter moon (1992)
Director - Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski drew a parallel between two couples in this film.
Nigel and Fiona are the upper class and sophisticated couple while there is another couple that they find on the cruise.
When Nigel finds out the dark and erotic past of the other couple, he gets fascinated and drawn towards it.
Lesser did he know that this would result in bringing an end to his marriage.
Bitter Moon (1992) Movie Trailer
13. The Pillow Book (1996)
Director - Peter Greenaway
This movie presents a strange plot to the audience.
There is a Japanese model in this film that has a kind of peculiar fetish about sex and calligraphy whenever she has a sexual encounter with a person, she makes calligraphy on her own body.
So, as she goes about having multiple sexual encounters, her body gets new calligraphy.
Little did she know that this would soon end when she would finally meet an English guy who would understand all her sexual desires.
That's where all the twist comes in the movie, and this is what the pillow book demonstrates.
The Pillow Book (1996) Movie Trailer
14. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Director - Stanley Kubrick
Director Stanley Kubrick does wonders with his movie Eyes wide shut in 1999 when he portrays sexual tension between Bill and his wife.
In this movie, his wife breaks open the truth of her sexual fantasies about a man other than Bill.
This thing enrages Bill, and he goes out on a venture to explore the world of eroticism. In this venture, he loses himself completely.
He lets him out of his shell, and this is what his wife wanted.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999) Movie Trailer
15. Nymphomaniac: Volumes I & II (2013)
Director - Lars von Trier
The protagonist of the movie is a lonely man named Seligman, who portrayed as a gentleman by the director Lars von Trier.
Seligman comes across a woman who has been beaten up brutally and is lying on the road.
Being a gentleman, he escorts her way back to his home. Later he realized that the woman was a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac.
As soon as she came into consciousness, she started narrating the story of her life in front of Seligman.
What happens next is what Nymphomaniac unfolds in two parts.
Nymphomaniac: Volume I U.S. Movie Trailer
16. 9 ½ Weeks (1986)
Director - Adrian Lyne
Directed by Adrian Lyne, this movie is a blockbuster from 1986.
When two strangers named John and Elizabeth meet, a scintillating love affair takes its course.
Initially, their affair is a passionate one that goes on to be many other things later in the movie.
The two strangers engaged in bondage and get converted into striptease.
However, with intense feelings coming in the scene, things take a different course and worsen.
The movie does justice to the sexual desires of the people during that time. So, this movie is one of the best ones in the erotic category.
9 1/2 Weeks Movie Trailer
17. Basic Instinct (1992)
Director - Paul Verhoeven
This movie is an amalgamation of suspense and eroticism.
So, it became a must-watch for all the spectators who wish to boost their sexual desires.
In this movie, director Paul Verhoeven has been successful in plotting a detective scene.
Nick picturized as a detective who submitted a case to unravel.
It is interesting to see how the director was able to incorporate both suspense and erotica in one movie.
Well, for this, the girlfriend of the victim becomes the chief suspect of the doubt for Nick.
In the scene, the detective begins interrogating the suspect so she starts seducing him.
In a way, it might look as if it was just a fling, however, later this intense fling heightens the plot further, and takes it to an interesting turn that is full of lust and manipulations.
Basic Instinct (1992) Movie Trailer
18. Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Director - Bernardo Bertolucci
The tension between a wife and husband has been prudently shown in The Last Tango in Paris by Bernardo Bertolucci.
However, everything becomes a blur when one of them dies. This is precisely the story that revolves around this couple.
The American man gets shattered when his wife died to such an extent that he changes to an unstable man emotionally.
This leads him to meet a girl and have sex with her in a new apartment that is rented by them together.
However, this is not a one-night stand or something. This is where tensions creep in as this lust keeps growing throughout the movie.
Last Tango in Paris (1972) Movie Trailer
19. Intimacy (2001)
Director - Patrice Chéreau
This movie was directed by Patrice Chéreau in the year 2001. Initially, the couple Jay and Clair are engaged in a casual relationship.
Most of the time, this ends up with a steamy encounter between the couples. Something similar happens with this couple as well.
When everything goes fine, Jay wants to get more involved in the girl and decides to get to know and her life better.
The movie unfolds subtly and brings forth the after-effects of this curiosity.
So, to know whether this will ruin their perfect arrangement or not, you need to watch this movie.
Will this end the sexual wavelength between the couple?
Intimacy (2001) Movie Trailer
20. Killing Me Softly (2002)
Director - Chen Kaige
Chen Kaige directed this masterpiece among all the erotic movies mentioned in this article.
In the year 2002, Killing Me Softly came into the theatres and got an enormous response from the audience.
There was a celebrity mountaineer in the film whose good looks attracted a woman and forced her to leave his boyfriend for him.
Killing Me Softly (2002) Movie Trailer
After going through this list of 20 most erotic movies, we have concluded that there is a thin line between a sexy and erotic one. Movies released before the year 2000, the meaning of sexy was something else, and now it has transcended to a new level.
Let's Discuss the Contrast!
After the year 2000s, sexy movies covered every domain that mankind can imagine.
From being the stereotypical man-woman sex, the word has touched upon new dimensions. The movies that have come up after the 2000s fall under the category of modern erotic movies. They seem to elevate our lusty fantasies to a new extent. How?
A majority of people think erotica is close to pornography, only a few are those who look at it as the imaginative cousin of smut.
While Last Tango in Paris has the usage of butter in sexy manners, the movie 91/2 weeks starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke shows us some glimpses of ice cubes that turn on the audience completely.
Contrasting it with 'Fifty Shades of Grey', we find out that the movie encompasses almost all the elements of erotica in it such as bondage, submission as well as sadomasochism (that we have already discussed earlier in the blog). This is a clear picture of how far we have reached.
Significance of Eroticism in a Movie
Now that we know what eroticism means (the catalyst for arousing sexual desires), we can find it in almost everything. This is because it is an instrument that helps us to contemplate philosophically various domains.
For instance, when we are capable of deciphering the erotica in any movie, we will be able to appreciate the aesthetics of sexual fantasies that we have rooted in our minds. In addition to it, several other fields such as sensuality and romantic love can also be understood with this broad concept of erotica.
Not just movies, we can find the essence of eroticism in different forms of art like literature, painting, music, sculpture, drama as well as even in photography, isn't it amazing? What's more interesting is, nowadays we can also find it in the advertisements!
As stated by the famous French novelist Balzac, "The working of the elements of eroticism is not only solely dependent on the sexual orientation of a human, it is also dependent on the culture and time in which he resides in". The movies that he/she watches have a lot of impact on them.
Though we have come a long way, there remains a lot of distance that still needs to be bridged, so that we do not hesitate to put forth what we are and all those things which interest us. Until then, have a gala time watching these!