A common motto has always been that sex sells, and that statement could not be more true than in current years. There is a reason why the adult film industry has thrived successfully for as many years as it has.

People love sex, and no matter what changes in the future, people will pay a lot of money to see anything relating to sex. This isn’t just true in regards to the adult film industry, but the Hollywood film industry as well, arguably more so.

Any movie trailer that promises a few sexual situations is almost guaranteed to double the audience’s intrigue and boost ticket sales. Since discovering how well sex sells, Hollywood continues to use sex as a clever marketing scheme.

Now, in 2017, perhaps they’re going overboard considering just how often they opt to provide movies that give us unsimulated sex scenes.

Unsimulated sex refers to movies that actually has its actors legitimately having sex. This has caused controversy between those who believe that the decision helps to add a necessary rawness to the movie and those who find it unnecessary because a film can appear realistic if acted right.

In the eyes of many, all unsimulated sex scenes do is make the movie feel unrealistic and cheesy. Whether the sex scenes are simulated or not, there are several examples of Hollywood movies that feel more like adult films just because they come off as lewd and provocative.

Here are the 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The “Other Industry”.

16. Henry & June

Henry June 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

Henry & June was the second film ever to be nominated for an Oscar while holding an NC-17 rating.

While the film is more passionately sensual than graphically sexual, the film remains explicit enough to be mistaken for pornography if one were to accidentally stumble upon it while flipping channels late at night.

The biographical film follows a pre-Pulp Fiction Maria de Medeiros and Uma Thurman, respectively playing Anaïs Nin and June Miller at a point in their lives when they were wrapped into a steamy love affair with June’s husband Henry.

Director Philip Kaufman (who has taken sex into an artsy direction before with The Unbearable Lightness of Being) appears to have tried to turn something as typically lewd as sex into something more avant-garde to match the Bohemian lifestyle of The Millers.

Considering the positive reviews and the Oscar nomination, it’s safe to say it worked.

15. Fifty Shades films

fifty shades darker movie reviews 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

No one went into either one of the Fifty Shades films expecting remarkable acting or plot. Unsurprisingly, you get neither with these movies, but for fans of the books at least, that’s okay.

After all, anyone who enjoyed excerpts from the book like “I eye Christian’s toothbrush. It would be like having him in my mouth,” is not expecting a tour-de-force of a script.

Fans went into both Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker for a sexy time at the movies and that’s what they got.

Granted, neither movie comes off as the most erotically charged movies to come out in recent memory (yet alone ever), but they certainly did the trick for longtime fans who helped these films gross a combine $950 million at the box office.

We can expect something similar with Fifty Shades Freed in 2018.

14. The Dreamers

The Dreamers e1503180257166 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

More than 30 years after he smoldered the screen with the amorous and controversial Last Tango in Paris, Bernardo Bertolucci tried to recreate that erotic atmosphere with The Dreamers.

Along with being a throwback to classic New Wave French cinema, the film follows a young man (Michael Pitt) who befriends an eccentric brother-sister duo (Eva Green and Louis Garrel) who appear to be a little closer than the average sibling pair.

What evolves from there is a cinephile’s sensually charged wet dream. There are two versions of the film– an NC-17 version in its entirety, and an R-rated version with three minutes trimmed off of it– and both are equally brilliant.

The movie is captivating as it is sexy thanks to some compelling writing and a tremendous breakout performance from Eva Green.

13. Baise-Moi

Baise Moi e1503180187270 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

Coralie Trinh Thi, one-half of the directing team behind Baise-Moi, famously said during a Sunday Times interview while promoting her movie that “this movie is not for masturbation, [thus it] is not porn.”

However, considering that some of the actors among the cast were actual adult film actors, the film features several unsimulated sex scenes. Thi also used to be an adult film actress, and due to the fact that the film itself actually translates in French to “F**k Me,” we hope she forgives us for mistaking it for an adult film.

Although we will agree with her sentiment that the film is “not for masturbation” since the plot revolves around two women who go on a sex and violence laden rampage brought about after one is sexually assaulted and the other watches her friend die.

12. Don’t Look Now

Dont Look Now e1503180455547 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

Don’t Look Now is remembered best for two scenes in particular: the ending (which we won’t spoil because it is a shocking conclusion that needs to be seen for the first time by anyone who loves horror films) and the sex scene between stars Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie.

The scene is not nearly as graphic as most of the scenes mentioned on this list, but it certainly is one of the more passionate and realistic looking scenes. In terms of how realistic the scene looks, a film executive named Peter Bart proclaimed that the scene is just flat out real.

Donald Sutherland would later deny this claim, but Julie Christie would add that her boyfriend at the time, Warren Beatty, thought that the scene looked so real that he campaigned to have it cut from the film.

Either this scene is a believable attempt at softcore porn, or the scene really is real. Either way, it’s still got people talking decades later.

11. Y Tu Mama Tambien

y tu mama tambien 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

From the very beginning Y Tu Mama Tambien starts off with a pair of steamy sex scenes. Much like the relationship between the trio at the center of the film, everything continues to build up into more explicit territory all the way up until the film (and its characters) reaches a climax.

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron (who years later would win an Oscar for directing Gravity), the film follows two best friends (Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal) who meet and fall in love with an older woman (Maribel Verdu) during a road trip.

Both men find themselves pining after her, but as the film progresses, the movie focuses more on the long dormant lust the men share for each other, eventually leading to a passionate threesome between them all.

10. Cruising

Cruising e1503180579440 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

Cruising stars Al Pacino, a police officer who goes undercover in the gay S&M subculture of New York to track down a serial killer who has been whacking off local gay men (in more ways than one).

The movie is one of the more shocking films depicting sex to be released in theaters, especially during the time it came out. It had potential to be even more shocking considering that director William Friedkin films 45 minutes of “gay male pornography,” as the director himself put it.

Unfortunately, all of that footage had to be cut in order to secure an R-rating rather than the dreaded X-rating. Even then, Friedkin was still able to insert a fisting scene in there.

By portraying a lifestyle that 1980 America was not ready to see, the film became a critical flop, although it has since become something of a cult classic in recent years.

9. Blue is the Warmest Color

Blue is the Warmest Color 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

Based on the 2010 graphic novel of the same name, Blue is the Warmest Color is a coming of age tale following a teenager who discovers her true sexual desires when she falls in love with a blue-haired artist.

Thanks to the sexually charged nature of the film, many critics have likened the film to pornography. While some sex scenes are relevant to the plot, others feel like they’re only there to put the film’s protagonists on display as eye candy.

That aside, most of the controversy over the sex scenes came due to what went on behind the scenes. The cast and crew, particularly the lead actresses, accused director Abdellatif Kechiche of being practically tyrannical to the point that poor working conditions were cited.

The press for the film was so bad that Kechiche himself wishes the film wasn’t released because of it. Still, the film managed to win the prestigious Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

8. Last Tango in Paris

MARLON BRANDO MARIA SCHNEIDER LAST TANGO IN PARIS 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

Beyond all of the sex that goes on in this movie, Last Tango in Paris is remembered best for an uncomfortably graphic scene where Marlon Brando forces himself onto Maria Schneider while using butter as a lubricant.

The scene gained enough controversy that, when the film was released in the United States, the scene was removed from the final cut and the film was still slapped with an X-rating.

The infamous scene regained all new controversy in 2016 when a 2013 clip resurfaced of Bernardo Bertolucci revealing that, not only did Brando really introduce butter onto Schneider in the scene, but everybody knew what was happening except Schneider.

To quote Bertolucci directly, neither he nor Brando told her “what was going on, because [Bertolucci] wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress. [He] wanted her to react humiliated.”

7. Caligula

Caligula 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

Caligula marks the only film to ever be directed by Bob Guccione, and it’s easy to see why. It has nothing to do with the acting, as a main cast consisting of Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, and Peter O’Toole can only give stellar performances.

It also has nothing to do with the script because, well, the script is irrelevant compared to the actual film. The film itself is a bonafide adult film. Just orgy after orgy and hardcore sex scene after sex scene, with small sprinkles of acting scenes from the main cast spliced in between only to be interrupted by some more graphic sex.

For those unaware, Guccione is the founder of Penthouse Magazine who thought it would be a swell idea to direct an adult film disguised as a Hollywood movie.

This movie had three directors, none of which wanted to take a directing credit for the final cut. That should tell you everything you need to know about Caligula.

6. Showgirls

Movies Killed Careers Showgirls 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

Even if you take out all of the sex and striptease scenes, Showgirls is still one of the most ridiculous films in the history of cinema.

This movie has some of the most ham-fisted acting, goofiest quotes, and the strangest script that one can imagine coming from a plot about a Las Vegas stripper turned showgirl.

It is a true testament to the film for it to be so crazy and all over the place that the viewer is no longer able to pay attention to the hyper-sexual nature of the movie.

It actually feels just as sleazy, grimy, and foul as your typical Las Vegas show. In that case at least, for all of the negative criticism this film gets for being so cringey, the fact that the film can re-create that atmosphere makes it a success, in a weird way.

5. The Brown Bunny

The Brown Bunny e1503180722177 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

Vincent Gallo’s not-so-epic odyssey sees him direct himself as a motorcycle driver on cross-country trip to a racing event, all while indulging memories of an ex-lover, played by the infinitely talented Chloe Sevigny.

Nothing of note happens on this trip, meaning that nothing noteworthy happens for about 90 minutes, until the very end that is.

The only reason The Brown Bunny got people talking and the only reason why this film is an entry on the list is because of the ending scene– where Sevigny performs unsimulated fellatio on camera.

To be perfectly honest, the scene contributes nothing to the overall film other than to seemingly be a means for Gallo to get his then-girlfriend (although Gallo later denied that he and Sevigny dated while filming) to pleasure him on camera.

All the scene does is take the film into a surprisingly NSFW direction. It’s a move that many critics criticized for being overly pretentious, stating that the last scene was completely unnecessary to the plot.

4. 9 Songs

9 Songs 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

Professions within the adult filmmaking industry tend not to get much respect, but whether you love or hate the craft, you have to agree that the only thing worse than making pornography is making bad pornography.

The film 9 Songs manages to be both a bad movie and a bad pornographic movie. It’s a shame, really, given that director Michael Winterbottom’s pedigree includes stupendous films like The Trip and 24 Hour Party People.

Even his divisive thriller The Killer Inside Me holds up better than 9 Songs. The basic plot of 9 Songs sees a couple go to a concert, have sex (which is unsimulated, by the way), go to another concert, have more sex, etc.

The formula repeats itself for 66 minutes until you’re sick of it.

3. Nymphomaniac

Shia LaBeouf in Nymphomaniac 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

For his two-part arthouse picture, Nymphomaniac, the typically controversial director Lars Von Trier decided to create a sex heavy film with unsimulated sex scenes.

However, he did not force the main actors on set to actually have sex, and instead, merely filmed adult film stars having sex before digital imposing the main actor’s faces onto the adult stars bodies.

With all of the explicit sex in the movie, it is no surprise why Nymphomaniac received an NC-17 rating, initially at least.

The film ended up surrendering its rating in favor of being released in theaters unrated. There were two versions released in theaters: a four hour edited down version that was released internationally without the director’s involvement and had 90 minutes and the 5 1/2 version in its entirety that was released in some territories.

2. Shortbus

Promotional image from Shortbus 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

Shortbus is not your typical sex romp. This ensemble piece centers around a sea of diverse characters all connected by “a salon for the gifted and challenged.”

Yes, there are several instances of unsimulated sex throughout the film, but sex does not define the film. Sex in this film doesn’t appear as a punchline, a cheap means to shock audiences, nor is it there to help viewers get their rocks off.

Sex comes in many forms in this film– homosexual, heterosexual, couples, threesomes, orgies, solo sessions, etc.– but sex is never just sex in Shortbus.

In this film, sex is educational, meaningful, and builds character. Sex is character. Sex is everything except sex in this movie. If Shortbus must fall underneath the porn category, then let’s praise it as smart porn at the very least.

1. Love

Love 2015 movie 16 Provocative Movies That Might As Well Be From The Other Industry

For all of those people out there who think that 3D has lost its luster and there’s nothing new we can do with the technology anymore, director Gaspar Noe sought to challenge that notion with his film Love.

Love is a movie that jumps backwards and forwards in time to paint what went wrong for the couple at the center of the film when their two year relationship falls apart.

Not only did Noe opt to have several unsimulated (and often not choreographed) sex scenes in the film, but he also chose to film and release the film in 3D.

It doesn’t seem as though the 3D aspect added to anyone’s enjoyment of the film given that the movie still opened to mostly mixed reviews, some of which criticizing the film for relying too heavily on the sex and not enough on the script.

Can you think of any other movies that might as well be from the “other industry”? Let us know in the comment section.

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