The Year in Film: 2012’s Sexiest Scenes [NSFW]

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There was a remarkable disconnect happening this year between pop culture and political culture, with the former getting kinkier (the ubiquitous 50 Shades of Grey on bookshelves, the Presidential handjob-heavy Hyde Park on Hudson on movie screens) while the latter threatened to get more prurient and Victorian. Points for trying, but good luck — movies were plenty sexy this year, and after the jump, we’ve assembled ten of the year’s hottest moments.

Magic Mike

Much to our chagrin, we already promoted Magic Mike’s sexiest scene — the coitus-via-film-editing “Pony” sequence — into our rundown of the year’s best movie moments, so it felt like cheating to include it here. Instead, we’ll modestly propose the all-hands-on-deck (so to speak) “It’s Raining Men” number, which introduces the film’s crew of male exotic dancers with style and flash.

Take This Waltz

What’s interesting about the eroticism of this genuinely brilliant relationship drama (one of the year’s best films, in fact) is that the viewer is given a choice, based on preference. If you’re the type that goes in for dirty talk, for imagined encounters and vivid description, there is the mid-point coffee shop sequence, in which Daniel (Luke Kirby) explains, in admirably precise detail, exactly what he would do to married crush object Margot (Michelle Williams), given the chance. If you go more for the explicit, well, (spoiler alert) there’s the jaw-droppingly sexy montage late in the film that cycles through a sex life (from early intensity to “spicing up” to eventual complacency), a scene that’s simultaneously technically impressive — from both a filmmaking and performance point of view — gradually heartbreaking, and totally hot.

Silver Linings Playbook

As far as dirty-talk-in-public scenes go, it’s a fight to the death between Take This Waltz and this peach of a scene between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook. Tiffany (Lawrence), who has already made her unabashed sexuality known with a badly received pass at Pat (Bradley Cooper), here explains the sexual shenanigans that got her fired from her job, and there’s just something about the matter-of-fact way that the whiskey-voice actress lays it all out that is utterly bewitching. “Oh my God,” Pat groans. You got that right, brother.

The Paperboy

Lee Daniels’ Precious follow-up was, let’s be honest, a bit of a train wreck, an unruly and unsuccessful mixture of legal drama and kinky sex, To Kill a Mockingbird by way of Last Tango in Paris (and just as awkward as that match-up makes it sound). But you certainly can’t fault Nicole Kidman for the movie’s flaws — she gives an admirably game and toe-curlingly sexy performance as an overripe sexpot with a thing for bad boys, and her up-for-anything performance reaches its zenith when she visits the imprisoned object of her lust with the reporters she’s brought on to help him in tow. He’s not so concerned with them; he proceeds to demand a show from his lady friend in front of their guests, and “enjoys it” accordingly.

Rust and Bone/The Sessions

Even the best movie sex scenes can have a Cinemax After Dark quality, in which it feels like you’re watching flawless physical specimens go through elaborately choreographed and painstakingly photographed facsimiles of the sex act, with none of the awkwardness or imperfection that is so often part of the deal. That’s why the sex scenes in Rust and Bone and The Sessions were so refreshing: both dealt with characters who are physically handicapped (Rust’s Marion Cotillard has no legs, Sessions’ John Hawkes is mostly confined to an iron lung), yet both films handle their sexuality with a frankness and unblinking honesty that isn’t just admirable — it’s sexy in its own right.

On the Road

For someone who ends up looking like such a cold, uninterested bystander in those Twilight movies, Kristen Stewart is a pleasant surprise in the long-awaited film adaptation of Kerouac’s classic; she’s got a raw, earthy sensuality throughout the film, most notably in the scene above, which finds her and the film’s two male leads killing two birds with one stone and knocking out a handsy three-way without having to lose travel time.

Butter

Nothing stirs up pre-release publicity like a little bit of Sapphic fun, so of course not a single interviewer for last fall’s indie comedy Butter failed to ask Stewart’s Twilight co-star Ashley Greene about her lesbian make-out scene with the absurdly attractive Olivia Wilde. On one hand, the scene itself is a pretty shameless and transparent attempt to rustle up just that kind of interest. On the other hand… it’s an awfully good scene.

The Amazing Spider-Man

There are few sexy clichés as played out as the “tending his wounds” scene, a lazy screenwriter’s shortcut to getting the leading characters at least partially naked and touching each other. But the chemistry between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield (who became an item off-screen) in The Amazing Spider-Man is so off-the-charts electric that they even make this old warhorse into a sizzler.

Haywire

Look, thanks to the aforementioned 50 Shades takeover, there were a lot of S&My vibes in the air this year. That’s a given. But that’s not the only explanation for why Gina Carrano beating the shit out of Michael Fassbender was such a turn-on, right?

Those were our favorite sexy moments of the year, but no doubt we missed some — cast your own votes in the comments!