Sex, love and videotape

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Ever since a Victorian couple shared the first on-film smooch in 1896’s The (May Irwin) Kiss, romance, lust, and erotic love have been driving themes in film. While watching TV isn’t usually the most romantic at–home date, a hot and steamy DVD can be the perfect inspiration to try some new tricks. Here’s ten of the sexiest films ever made:

Y Tu Mamà También (And Your Mother Too), 2002
When a 28-year-old woman named Luisa (Maribel Verdú) discovers her husband is having an affair, she decides to take-off on a road trip to Mexico City with a flirtatious 17-year-old named Tenoch (Diego Luna) and his friend Julio (Gael García). The boys show Luisa how to be carefree. And in return, she shows them a few things about what women really want. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, this Mexican film is frank, beautifully-shot, brimming with verbal and physical foreplay, and most of all, sexy.

Chocolat, 2001
This is a fantasy romance about a Vianne (Juliette Binoche), a woman who possesses the power to weave emotion-inhibitors into cocoa treats. She moves into a tiny, French town with her daughter and stirs-up the repressed lives of the townspeople with free samples of her wares. In the meantime, she meets a sexy, guitar-strumming vagabond named Roux (Johnny Depp) who gives her a dose of her own medicine. This is a feel-good movie that’s as sweet and sexy as a bon-bon.

Cruel Intentions, 1999
Based on Choderlos de Laclos’s 18th century novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, later made into the film Dangerous Liaisons (1988), this Hollywood spin-off, starring Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Ryan Phillippe is the epitome of sexy. Two prep school tempters, Sebastian and Kathryn (Phillippe and Gellar), make a bet about whether he can seduce the ultimate conquest: the new headmaster’s virginal daughter Annette (Witherspoon). But emotions interfere, adding an element of love to this very lusty film.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 1998
Set in Prague before the Russian invasion of 1968, The Unbearable Lightness of Being is the story of a surgeon named Thomas (Daniel Day-Lewis), his physical relationship with a painter named Sabina (Lena Olin), and a love that evolves with a photographer named Tereza (Juliette Binoche). Thomas preaches the philosophy of free love and all three try to maintain his mantra while engaging in highly-charged eroticism. But as events unfold, they also toy and struggle with the reality of binding emotion. The film is based on Milan Kundera’s best-selling novel by the same name.

Erotique, 1995
Erotique is just what it promises to be—an erotic film that tells three different stories of female fantasies from a woman’s perspective. The first is about a wanna-be actress and phone sex worker who (appropriately) likes to talk dirty, but much to the demise of her callers, only on her terms. Vignette two is a tale of two lesbians who decide to lure a man into their midst for variety. The last story follows a young couple in Hong Kong who try to spice up their sex life with the aid of a “101 possibilities” book.

Ghost, 1990
Few people will dispute the hot and heavy power of the pottery scene in Ghost. In this film Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) is murdered in a street robbery, leaving his wife Molly Jenson (Demi Moore) to mourn. But Sam’s love transcends the metaphysical and he stays on earth trying to reach out to his love and solve a conspiracy plot with the help of a psychic named Oda (Whoopi Goldberg).

Henry and June, 1990
Another love triangle that’s sure to heat things up is Philipy Kaufman’s Henry and June. Based on the journals of noted Parisian diarist Anaïs Nin, this film explores the erotic relations of authors Anaïs Nin (Maria de Medeiros) and Henry Miller (Fred Ward), and his actress wife, June (Uma Thurman). At the height of the bohemian expatriate influx in Paris in the 30s, Nin’s sexual awakening is at the heart of this story. The soundtrack, cinematography, and sensuality of the film make it a classic.

9½ Weeks, 1986
The plot is simple. 9 ½ Weeksis an escapade of adventurous and kinky sex. John, a Wall Street executive (Mickey Rourke) and Elizabeth, an art dealer (Kim Basinger) engage in a two-month affair, experimenting with everything from blindfolds to ice cubes. Directed by Adrian Lyne (Flashdance, and Indecent Proposal), it’s available in its original screenplay format and a more explicit, unrated version.

Last Tango in Paris, 1972
You know that they say about love in Paris! Bernardo Bertolucci’s landmark film is the tale of steamy relations between a widowed American expatriate (Marlon Brando), and a 20-something Parisienne lover named Jeanne (Maria Schneider). In its time, Last Tango in Paris stirred much controversy in Britain. The film received an X-rating for its explicit and uninhibited sex scenes, and was nominated for Best Director and Best Actor Oscars. In 1974, it became the first film to be prosecuted under Britain’s Obscene Publications Act.

Love Affair, 1939
A Frenchman, Michel Marnet (Charles Boyer) and an American woman, Terry McKay (Irenen Dunne), are drawn together by steamy chemistry on a ship bound for Europe. As they are both committed to other people and agree that affairs never last, they decide to hold their emotions at bay, part ways, and meet again in six months to see if they’re still interested. Written, directed, and produced by Leo McCarey, this film met opposition by the French Embassy when it was produced, because of its explicit content. In 1994 it was remade with Annette Bening and Warren Beatty.