9 Sexy Movies That Aren’t ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Maybe you’re in the mood for something sexy to watch, but you’re not quite on board for Fifty Shades Darker (which earned a paltry 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). That’s fair… And probably a good choice becuase the reality is that you don’t have to sacrifice quality for sexiness.

Here are some actually good movies that will get you ready to get down:

1. Blue is the Warmest Color (2013, watch on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes)

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This NC-17 rated, French, coming-of-age movie tells the story of two teenage girls who find each other during their formative years. It’s really long (179 minutes), but a lot of that screen time is dedicated to hot and heavy sexual encounters. It’s also totally gorgeous to watch and won tons of awards on the festival circuit. Give it a shot!


2. Dirty Dancing (1987, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play)

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We’ve all seen Dirty Dancing (if not, what are you doing?) and it’s sexy AF. Like, a classic is a classic for a reason. Yeah, it might not have the graphic sex scenes that Fifty Shades Darker has, but those dancing montages? If you tell me that they don’t heat things up for you, you’re lying.


3. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play)

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And, boy, do they do both of those things. Woody Allen’s 2008 Spanish romp is notably sexier than most of his iconic films which makes sense because instead of a stand-in for Allen as the male lead, we’ve got human aphrodisiac Javier Bardem. Also starring Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, and Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona examines just how complicated life can get when you add (a ton of) sex (with everyone you know) to the mix.

It’s also the movie with the Penelope Cruz/Scarlett Johansson dark room make out that I’m sure you’ve seen 1000 times on Tumblr.


4. Y Tu Mamá También (2001, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes)

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Widely agreed to be one of the sexiest movies of all time, Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También follows two young men on a road trip to a secluded beach with an older woman. Besides being seriously steamy, it’s seriously well written and executed earning it Golden Globe and Oscar noms.


5. The Graduate (1967, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play and iTunes)

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The Graduate has been lauded as one of the most important works of cinema of all time, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. If you’re looking outside of the Fifty Shades films for something a bit more subtle, The Graduate might be the right choice. It’s a little bit lighter on the nudity and sex scenes, but sometimes less is more, right? Just ask Mrs. Robinson, the OG cougar.


6. Cruel Intentions (1999, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, and iTunes)

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This is the epitome of sexy teen movies. Based on the 18th century French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, Cruel Intentions stars all of your favorite late-90s heartthrobs partaking in a twisted sexual bet. The movie has no nudity, but it all revolves around step-siblings played by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Philippe trying to have sex with literally everyone around them and each other. Sure, it’s over-the-top, but it’s also an absolute classic of its genre (you know, If you consider “sex-charged high school tomfoolery” to be a genre).

Also, Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar make out and it’s pretty sexy.

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7. Secretary (2002, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, and iTunes)

Steven Shainberg’s 2002 drama Secretary is the OG Fifty Shades… Except it’s actually a good movie. The film centers on a troubled young women who explores her sexuality through a BDSM relationship with her boss after taking a position as his secretary. It’s raunchy, and even funny at times, but it also has something Fifty Shades doesn’t (other than award nominations and a coherent script)—it’s an actually kind of accurate portrayal of a dom/sub relationship.


8. Body Heat (1981, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, and iTunes)

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The reviews of Body Heat were mixed on various aspects of the film, but they all agree on one thing: this movie is sexy as hell. The 1981 “erotic neo-noir” pays homage to the classic film noir Double Indemnity (1944) as it follows a lawyer who becomes smitten with a married woman. They fall in love (but mostly lust) during a south Florida heat wave and set out to murder her husband for a payout as they both get drawn further into their love affair.


9. Jamón, Jamón (1992, YouTube)

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Jamón, Jamón is a wild, melodramatic romp through Spain, but it’s really good and really hot. Seriously, I first watched this movie for a class in college and I felt feelings that I’d never felt doing homework before. It’s kind of hard to explain what happens in the film without giving too much away, but suffice it to say that Javier Bardem plays an underwear model who is hired to sabotage an impending engagement by seducing the bride-to-be. As you might have guessed from the title, there are a lot of references to ham in a number of highly creative contexts. Take from that what you will.


Easy (2016, Netflix, Honorable TV Mention):

If TV is more your bag, try Netflix’s Easy. The episodes essentially standalone (so no need to watch the whole thing). Easy focuses on the sex lives of a variety of people and couples living around Chicago. There’s an episode where a couple (played by Orlando Bloom and Malin Åckerman) decides to have a threesome and does. That’s the whole episode. It’s great.

Happy “watching,” everyone!