This Is the First Sex Scene in Movie History

And it includes an on-screen female orgasm, so way to go, 1933.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

We may live in the era of Fifty Shades, but Hollywood movies haven't always been so liberal when it comes to depicting sex. Still, for as long as there have been moving images, there have been directors pushing the proverbial envelope—and by 1933, the world of cinema had what's generally considered to be the first true movie sex scene. Let's break it down, shall we?

The scene in question is in Ecstasy, a 1933 Czech film (because American filmmakers weren't ready to go there yet) starring legendary actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Set-Up

In one of her first roles ever, Lamarr played a young woman who leaves her older, impotent husband for a lust-filled relationship with a sexy engineer. According to Vulture, their love resulted in what seems to be cinema's first-ever sex scene.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Nudity

Although Ecstasy's sex scene itself didn't actually feature any nudity, the film did. Most famously, there was a long scene featuring Lamarr skinny-dipping, which was quite scandalous at the time.

The Orgasm

Finally, probably the most progressive thing about Ecstasy is that the sex scene depicted Lamarr's character achieving orgasm. Considering even many modern movies struggle with sex-positive portrayals of women, this deserves several 💯 emojis, printed out and sent back in time to 1933.


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Kayleigh Roberts
Kayleigh Roberts

Kayleigh Roberts is the weekend editor at Marie Claire, covering celebrity and entertainment news, from actual royals like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to Hollywood royalty, like Katie Holmes and Chrissy Teigen. She’s a Ravenclaw who would do great things in Slytherin. To learn more about her, google “Leslie Knope eating salad GIF.