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22 Movies With Romantic Sex Scenes That Will Make You Believe in Love

romantic sex scenes
The Notebook

You know how some people like to say "love scenes" as a euphemism when what they're really talking about is a hot, steamy, sex scene? If the phrase "love scene" actually makes you roll your eyes or cringe a little, hear us out, because sometimes it's actually the most appropriate pair of words in the world to describe what plays out on our screens. Yes, sometimes sex scenes are pure, carnal expressions of lust, but some of the best sex scenes in cinema history are actually tender, sensual, and—dare we even say it—romantic. If you're in the mood for movies that showcase the art of making love in the all-caps, L-O-V-E sense of the word, then your Google sleuthing has led you to precisely the right place.

We've dug deep into the annals of pop culture for examples of movies that truly illustrate the difference between "having sex" and "making love." You know, the kinds of movies that will make your heart flutter and your stomach fill with those middle school crush, first love butterflies. From obvious old school love stories like Dirty Dancing and From Here to Eternity to modern classics like Titanic and The Notebook with even a few under-the-radar (but still eternally worthy) indie picks thrown into the mix, we've compiled a definitive guide to movies with romantic AF (no pun intended), but still insanely hot sex scenes. Here are 22 of the most romantic, not cheesy, totally sensual sex scenes in movie history.

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'Mr. and Mrs. Smith'

Sometimes there's a fine line between love and hate—and no movie has ever captured that fact better that Mr. and Mrs. Smith, particularly in the scene in which married rival spies Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie literally destroy their damn house fighting and making love.

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'Boys Don't Cry'

In 1999's Boys Don't Cry, Hilary Swank plays a young trans man (true representation was definitely still a rarity when the film was made) who enjoys a tender night with the girl of his dreams (played by Chloë Sevigny) that includes some very steamy, very romantic oral expressions of affection by a lake.

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'Jason's Lyric'

The steamy romance between Jada Pinkett Smith and Allen Payne in the flowers scene of Jason's Lyric simply cannot be denied.

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'From Here to Eternity'

By modern standards, the love scene in From Here to Eternity is tamer than tame. By 1953 standards, though, the beachside passion of Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster is hot, hot, hot (and romantic, to boot).

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'Coming Home'

Sex scenes featuring characters living with disabilities are, well, rare to say the least. That's just part of what makes the love scene between Jane Fonda and Jon Voight in Coming Home so special. The other part? Jon's character brings Jane's to climax via cunnilingus—making this a very rare display of female pleasure in film for the 1970s.

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'Out of Sight'

Does it get sexier than J.Lo and George Clooney getting it on? The 1998 movie Out of Sight proved that no, it does not.

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'Skyfall'

James Bond has always been known as a ladies' man and a sex symbol and the steamy shower love scene between Daniel Craig's take on the iconic super spy and Sévérine in Skyfall shows how 007 keeps earning his rep, over and over.

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'Love & Basketball'

Love & Basketball tells a decades-spanning love story and the scene when the movie's leads, Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps), make love for the first time is romantic, real, and iconic.

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'Moonlight'

Romantic love scenes don't have to be about penetrative sex or even oral sex. They don't even have to involve nudity. The scene in which Chiron sits on the beach with his male classmate, who touches him for the first time, proves all of the above.

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'The Notebook'

As adults, most of us know that things that look like fantastic, romantic ideas in the movies are kind of a disaster in real life. No matter how wise you are in the ways of romance, however, the kissing-in-the-rain scene from The Notebook will make you lust for a thunderstorm and a Gosling of your very own.

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'Pretty Woman'

Speaking of impractical places to have sex, Pretty Woman's piano scene (in a public hotel restaurant, no less) will make you want a baby grand.

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'Ghost'

The famous pottery-making scene between Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze is probably also less sexy and romantic (and more messy) in real life, but man does it look dreamy on film.

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'The Lucky One'

Shower sex is impractical and outdoor shower sex is even more so, but it's swoon-worthy in this Zac Efron romance.

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'Cruel Intentions'

Who knew that a love scene between a girl and the guy who bet that he could take her virginity could turn out to be so romantic? The key, of course, is that Sebastian really fell for Annette (and the real-life love between Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon didn't hurt either).

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'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1'

It took four movies, but Bella and Edward finally tied the knot and consummated their relationship in a night of sweet-turned-intense honeymoon sex.

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'Titanic'

The illicit love scene between Jack and Kate in Titanic made foggy window handprints a symbol of eroticism and romance for an entire generation.

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'Fifty Shades Freed'

The final installment in the Fifty Shades trilogy saw Ana become Mrs. Grey and take a lot more agency in her sexual relationship with Christian. The romance is in the fact that both parties are fully into what's going on in the bed and satisfied with the partnership.

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'Brokeback Mountain'

The tender tent scene in Brokeback Mountain will go down in history as one of the most romantic movie love scenes of all time. Bonus points for showing that true love knows no barriers when it comes to identity or sexuality.

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'Blue Is the Warmest Colour'

The love scenes between Adèle and Emma in Blue Is the Warmest Colour exude love and romance (and sexiness. Also lots of sexiness).

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'Before Sunrise'

Everything about Before Sunrise is romantic in that early-20s kind of way, but the love scene in the park epitomizes the romance (and romanticization) of the characters' brief encounter.

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'Dirty Dancing'

Baby and Johnny's love story is one of the great movie romances of our (or any other) time, and their love scene is as sensual as we ever could have hoped for.

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'Atonement'

Is there anything hotter than forbidden love? If you think there is, you clearly haven't watched the library love scene between Keira Knightley and James McAvoy in Atonement recently

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