Thanks to the Hays Code, gay characters were largely missing from the movies up until 1968. And even more recently than that, it was considered career suicide for a male actor to “play gay.” These days, it’s not hard to find gay characters in mainstream Hollywood films — the gay best friend has become a rom-com staple. But the gay side kick, as Hollywood portrays him, tends to be much more interested in shopping and gossiping with his straight female friends than in having sex. Which means you have to put in a little effort to find steamy scenes between two men. Not so much with the on-screen lesbian action, however — after all, the woman-on-woman kiss is box office gold, and women who lock lips with each other become instant sex symbols. Fortunately, movie goers and movie makers are lightening up a bit, so even stars like Leonardo DiCaprio are now willing to lock lips with another dude. Here are ten of our favorite gay sex scenes — or, at least, sexy scenes — in mainstream movies.
10. THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975)
It didn’t start off mainstream, but once everyone you know — including your parents — can do the Time Warp, then it’s gone from cult to cliche:
Bow-tie wearing Brad (Brad Bostwick) and lily-white Janet (Susan Sarandon) take a trip to celebrate their engagement. When their car breaks down in the rain they end up in a nearby castle, where they meet “sweet transvestite” Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry) and his free lovin’ compatriots. Frank N. Furter dresses up as Janet and then sneaks into Brad’s room to seduce him. Through a rather discreet lace curtain (hey, this was 1975 after all), we watch Brad transition — in 30 seconds flat! — from no-way-dude-that’s-a-penis to what-the-hell-it-feels-good.
Actually, forget what we said about 1975; you’d be hard-pressed to get this movie made in 2012, lace curtain or no.
9. BLACK SWAN (2010)
In this utterly ridiculous and unintentionally hilarious movie, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis do ecstasy together, dry-hump on the dance floor, and then end up in bed. Of course they do.
Our favorite quote ever about the lesbian oral sex in this movie comes from gay website AfterElton.com: “Hollywood producers and directors have a long tradition of shying away from gay male sex scenes ‚Äď even as they labor valiantly to insert lesbian sex in the most ridiculous of places. Nina had lesbian sex in BLACK SWAN to show how obsessed she was with herself? Really, Darren Aronofsky? Couldn‚Äôt you just come out and say, ‘This is how we got financing. A movie about ballet? I mean, are you kidding? Of course, we had to do this!’”
8. J. EDGAR (2011)
Okay, so all they do is kiss, but this was the fifties and these guys were buttoned up with everything to lose, so maybe that’s all they did do.
Leonardo DiCaprio (as J. Edgar Hoover) and Armie Hammer (as his loyal assistant Clyde Tolson) get into a fist fight and fall to the ground, at which point Tolson goes in for a kiss. It’s simultaneously sexy and heartbreaking because you know that this kiss has to stand in for everything else they wish they could do together. And it’s almost enough to make us forgive THE BEACH.
Male kiss runner-up: Sean Penn and James Franco in MILK (2008).
7. WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER (2001)
Hot prepster Ben (Bradley Cooper) is in love with his fellow camp counselor McKinley (Michael Ian Black). During the simultaneously hilarious and yet earnestly hot sex scene, their two straight buddies watch McKinley disappear into a log cabin (heh) and surmise that he probably went to write his mommy and daddy a letter. “What a fag,” they say. As Ben and McKinley get it on, their buddies continue in a voice-over, trying to figure out who would have sex with McKinley (“Debbie? No, she’s got mono.”). Meanwhile, inside the cabin, Cooper takes off his lover’s shirt and smells it, then the guys do it against a wall while wearing matching white tube socks with red stripes!
According to an interview with Cooper, the following exchange was filmed for this sex scene but ended up on the cutting room floor: Ben: “Say my name.” McKinley: “Ben!” Ben: “No! Say my Christian name.” McKinley [whispering]: “Benjamin.” And “that’s when I came,” Cooper says in the interview. Aw, man.
6. GIA (1998)
It’s only fitting that at least one Angelina Jolie movie be on this list, given that she pretty much owns the “Which woman would you turn lesbian for?” category.
In one of the — many, many — sex scenes in this movie, Jolie’s hard-partying supermodel character appears to a hump a chain-link fence during a naked fashion photo shoot — and then the photographer asks the make-up artist (Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell) to join in and the two women get naked and laugh kind of silently in a music montage like they’re in a TV commercial for salad dressing (oh right, this was a TV movie). Then they have a threeway with the fence.
Read the rest of this list on SUNfiltered