21 Women Having The Best Sex Of Their Lives

Photo: Nicole Wilder/ABC/Getty Images.
This story was originally published on February 8, 2016.

Sex is everywhere in movies and on television. Some women in Hollywood are willing to bare it all on screen, but how often are the characters they portray actually enjoying the act? As the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated points out, a movie that features a woman enjoying sex (particularly if she is on the receiving end of oral sex) is likely to get slapped with an NC-17 rating (meanwhile, violent, blood-splattering movies still walk away with an R-rating). The 2010 indie drama Blue Valentine was threatened with an NC-17 rating, because Ryan Gosling goes down on Michelle Williams. Clutch your pearls and shield your eyes, citizens!

A full-on female orgasm rarely turns up on screen, but that doesn’t mean we never get to see gals — ahem — really enjoying themselves on-screen. To which we say, yes, yes...YES!

Here are 21 female characters having the best sex of their lives.
1 of 20
Kate Winslet in Titanic (1997)

When you fall in love hard and fast, well, the sex can often mirror that. We don’t actually see the young Rose (Winslet) in the act with her forbidden beau Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) in the backseat of a car (nice), but we do encounter that iconic moment when her hand smacks against the window in ecstasy. We also see their sweaty, panting, post-coitus glow. What’s even better is that, while Rose no doubt enjoyed herself, she’s kind of leading the way in their lovemaking. He’s a bit more nervous, while she’s confident, and they meet right in the middle.
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2 of 20
Joan Allen in Pleasantville (1998)

Betty (Joan Allen) is a repressed 1950s housewife whose world opens up — quite literally, going from black-and-white to color — after she discovers the wonders of self-pleasure.
3 of 20
Diane Lane in A Walk on the Moon (1999)

Any film set during the infamous “summer of love” in 1969 had better feature a damn good sex scene — and
A Walk on the Moon does not disappoint. Restless housewife Pearl (Lane) has an identity crisis summering with her kids in upstate New York while her husband works in the city. Fortunately, her big shakeup includes a freeing sexual awakening courtesy of a hottie named Walker, a.k.a. the Blouse Man (Viggo Mortensen). Their day of lovemaking, skinny-dipping, and cliff-jumping is the stuff of our hippie sex fantasies. And kudos to Lane, by the way: She has two movies on this list.
4 of 20
Kim Cattrall on Sex and the City (1998-2004)

Take your pick of scenes from the landmark HBO comedy, because Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) pretty much singlehandedly put the sex in this city. We chose one, but there are plenty of others.
5 of 20
Sarah Michelle Gellar on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2002)

Okay, so Bufffy and Spike's supernatural sexcapades might be kind of messed up, what with them being mortal enemies and all. But when all that I-want-to-kill-you rage morphs into I-want-to-fuck-you passion, our girl Buffy has sex so bangin' that it should have disrupted Hellmouth. Remember that time they literally caused that house to collapse because they were getting down so hard? Yeah, we thought you might.
6 of 20
Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball (2001)

If you can get past the disturbing detail that the grieving Leticia (Berry) is being pleasured by one of the prison guards (Billy Bob Thornton) who oversaw the execution of her late husband (a convicted murderer played by Sean Combs), you’ll notice that Leticia is really enjoying herself here. Berry fearlessly goes there in this ecstatic scene — and, of course, the whole damn movie. (She won a Best Actress Oscar for Monster's Ball in 2002.)
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7 of 20
Diane Lane in Unfaithful (2002)

Connie, a loving housewife and mother (Diane Lane) finds herself in a scorching-hot affair with a Frenchman named Paul (Olivier Martinez). Hey, we're not saying adultery is good, but damn does Connie feel good when she and Paul couple up — especially for the first time. She shakes, quivers, and...well, just click and see for yourself.
8 of 20
Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films.
Maribel Verdú in Y Tu Mamá También (2002)

What's better than overcoming a personal tragedy by hooking up with a hot young man?
Overcoming a personal tragedy by hooking up with two hot young men. Luisa (Maribel Verdú) road trips through Mexico with Julio and Tenoch (Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna), and together, they explore the many pleasures of the human body.
9 of 20
Malin Akerman in Watchmen (2009)

Who hasn't fantasized about doing it on the Owl Ship while it sets sail above the Manhattan skyline? Sound-tracked by "Hallelujah" — the OG Leonard Cohen version — and bathed in the glow of the full moon, no less, Malin Akerman takes a break from being a tough badass with some good old-fashioned stress relief. Her epic O face and Cirque du Soleil-worthy back-arching make it clear she's thoroughly enjoying her rocket ride.
10 of 20
Photo: Courtesy of the Weinstein Company.
Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine (2010)

The scene that almost earned Blue Valentine an NC-17 rating shows Ryan Gosling going down on Michelle Williams. She runs her hands through his hair and allows the pleasure to overtake her. We should all be so lucky.
11 of 20
Jennifer Lopez in The Back-up Plan (2010)

So, people say weird shit when the sexual tension is high and the stench of sharp Gouda is infiltrating your nostrils. "I'm your cheese muse" and "It smells like cheese in here" are probably not the sexiest things to say when you're about to do the nasty. But, as it turns out, not even cheesy lines (HA!) can kill the mood when the mood strikes. Oh, and J.Lo has an incredible on-screen orgasm. You know, banging in a cheese barn is actually starting to sound pretty hot.
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12 of 20
Image: Via livejournal/HBO.
Rose Leslie on Game of Thrones (2011-present)

Game of Thrones has a complicated relationship with women and sex, but thankfully, there is Rose Leslie’s badass Ygritte, who, while deflowering Jon Snow (Kit Harington), made this face.
13 of 20
Kerry Washington on Scandal (2012-present)

Olivia Pope has enjoyed her share of steamy bedroom workouts, especially with the president of the free world (Tony Goldwyn). But their lovemaking reaches new levels of intensity when they go public with their relationship. See, truth in politics can be sexy...or something?
14 of 20
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
Marion Cotillard in Rust and Bone (2012)

After losing her legs in a horrific accident, a former whale trainer (Marion Cotillard) must face her new life in her new body. She soon meets and falls for a man (Matthias Schoenaerts) and the two make passionate love, exploring every inch of each other’s bodies.
15 of 20
Lizzy Caplan on Masters of Sex (2013-present)

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it: get it on with your boss in the name of science. In one of the show’s most pivotal scenes, Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) experiences a mind-blowing O with Dr. Masters (Michael Sheen) in the lab. Ahhhhh, research.
16 of 20
Gillian Anderson on The Fall (2013)

Some unspeakably horrific things happen to women in the British miniseries The Fall. But there's also some hot stuff happening with detective Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson). Talented, self-assured, and whip smart, she is a woman who fights for women, admires women, and enjoys the pleasures of being a woman. Gibson owns her sexuality and pursues people she finds attractive, including a sexy Belfast cop.
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17 of 20
Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Color (2014)

The first time Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and Emma (Léa Seydoux) get it on, the sex is explosive — a life-changing experience for young Adèle, who has never been with another woman before. The scene became controversial, not only for its running time, but also for claims that the male director was abusive.
18 of 20
Caitriona Balfe on Outlander (2014-present)

After six episodes of mounting lust and tortured feelings, newlyweds Claire (Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) finally kick off their great love affair with a bang, so to speak. Virgin Jamie does not disappoint, thanks to Claire’s, erm, guidance. (“Does it happen every time?” he asks, to which Claire replies, “Only if the man is a good lover.”) Claire may be torn between two worlds, but in this intimate scene, she gets
exactly what she wants.
19 of 20
Photo: Courtesy of FOX.
Gabourey Sidibe on Empire (2015)

Because the world is still full of assholes, Gabourey Sidibe actually had to defend the authenticity of this scene, in which her character, Becky, hooks up with J Poppa (Mo McRae). Yes, it’s true: Women of all sizes sex and they enjoy the living hell out of it! Just ask Sidibe, who has said she’s proud of the scene and felt sexy while shooting it.
20 of 20
Krysten Ritter on Jessica Jones (2015)

You don’t necessarily need to have the same interests or background as your coitus partner, but it certainly doesn’t hurt if both of you have superhuman strength and are crazy attracted to each another. Ritter’s no-bullshit superhero sleuth meets her match when she encounters Luke Cage (Mike Colter). Cut to: Sex so powerful it breaks the bed.
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