11 Movies to Stream That Are Far More Provocative Than Fifty Shades Freed

Featuring the Hottest Threesome of the '90s and the Sexiest Performance of Nicole Kidman's Career

By Sam Eichner ·
Photo: Millennium Films via The Independent

Fifty Shades Freed, the third and final entry in the film trilogy based on E.L. James’ best-selling amateur erotica books, is coming out this Friday, right in time for Valentine’s Day with the partner whose position on light flogging you’re not-so-subtly trying to tease out. Woohoo!

While I’m just as excited as the next guy—by which I mean, not really that excited—it’s fair to say that this last one may be particularly lacking in the sex department. The movie starts out with our protagonists Christian and Anastasia Grey’s storybook wedding, and much of the subsequent tension arises from debates over whether or not to have a child. And to think, it seemed like just yesterday our two lovevultures were exorcising their demons in the iniquitous confines of the ol’ red room...

To be fair to Freed, though, the trilogy was never that sexy to begin with; it always traded in a Lifetime movie-version of BDSM, dulling the knife-edge of kink in order to appeal to as large an audience as possible. So should you and yours decide to forgo the late-night showing of the final film at your local cineplex this weekend, we’ve rounded up 11 movies you can stream from the comfort of your own home (or bed)—all of which are far more sexually provocative (or fucked up) than anything E.L. James could dream up.

TriStar Pictures

Basic Instinct (1992)
It’s the one where a police detective (Michael Douglas) ends up having an extremely intense affair with the enigmatic prime suspect of a murder investigation (Sharon Stone). At the time of its release, it was celebrated as a neo-noir masterpiece and was considered groundbreaking for its depictions of sexuality, violence and...Sharon Stone’s vagina.
Where to Watch: YouTube or Amazon Video 


Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1 and 2 (2013)
If you haven’t heard of it: this is visionary director Lars Von Trier’s profound, wrenching, painfully real four-hour film documenting the numerous sexual exploits of a self-professed nymphomaniac named Joe, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg. The movie also stars Stellen Skarsgard, Uma Thurman, Jamie Bell and Shia LaBeouf, with whom Gainsbourg’s character has a passionate affair. Suffice it to say it’s sexy until it really, really isn’t.
Where to Watch: Netflix


Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
American master Stanley Kubrick’s last film, Eyes Wide Shut stars the then-real-life couple, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, as a husband and wife who, amidst a crisis of fidelity, become involved with a secret society known for throwing massive masked orgies in lavish mansions. Any list pegged to Fifty Shades would be remiss not to include it.
Where to Watch: Netflix


Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)
Legendary Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar narrativized the condition of Stockholm Syndrome—wherein a prisoner grows to love the person holding her captive—with his picaresque about a young, unhinged criminal (Antonio Banderas) who forcibly realigns himself with a drug-addled actress, with whom he’d once had a fling. It’s wild, deranged and uncomfortably sexy. In other words, it has Valentine’s Day written all over it. Kidding. Maybe.
Where to Watch: Amazon Video or iTunes

Focus Features

The Beguiled (2017)
Sofia Coppola’s sweat-soaked remake of the 1971 film of the same name is teeming with sex in every frame, even if there is very little of it (and lots of heavy clothing). When a wounded Union soldier (Collin Farrell) Civil War-era Virginia stumbles upon an all-girls school in Confederate territory, a discretionary battle begins between the cooped up female inhabitants (played by Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman) to win his affections. What unfolds is a toxic tale of jealousy and vindictiveness, a quiet—and quietly explosive—meditation on the ever-shifting power dynamics between men and women.
Where to Watch: YouTube or Amazon Video

Columbia Pictures

Wild Things (1998)
Two high school students, played by Denise Richards and Neve Campbell, accuse their guidance counselor Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon) of rape; when he’s cleared of all charges, we learn the three conspired together to split the money Lombardo would win from a resultant defamation suit. The three celebrate by (spoiler?) having probably the hottest movie threesome of the decade, in a pool. Then there’s more sex. And murder. And Kevin Bacon. 
Where to Watch: YouTube or Amazon

Lions Gate Films

Secretary (2002)
Based on a Mary Gaitskill short story revealingly titled “Bad Behavior,” Secretary tells the story of a sexual relationship—then blossoming love—between a dominant man (played by the great James Spader) and his ultimately submissive secretary (Maggie Gyllenhaal). There is no red room—just the office.
Where to Watch: YouTube or Amazon Video.

Warner Bros.

Body Heat (1981)
Director Lawrence Kasdan’s critically-acclaimed erotic thriller, about a steamy affair between a lawyer (William Hurt) and the wife of a wealthy Florida businessman (Kathleen Turner)—which, as these affairs are wont to do, turns into a murder—launched the career of Turner, who was not long after considered one of the sexiest stars in film history. 
Where to Watch: YouTube or Amazon Video

Millennium Films

The Paperboy (2012)
Lee Daniels’s oft-misunderstood Southern gothic is oversexed, soapy trash—but in the best possible way. Set in 1969, every scene simmers, its cast of gorgeous characters perpetually perspiring under the scalding Florida sun. Nicole Kidman plays a wily vixen, Charlotte Bess, who enlists a local reporter, Wade Jansen (Matthew McConaughey), to help her exonerate a convicted murderer (John Cusack), with whom she’s fallen madly, inexplicably in love. Then, of course, there’s Jack (Zac Efron)—Jansen’s immaculately sculpted younger brother, who can’t help but fall for Bess. This is far and away the sexiest performance of Kidman’s career, and she completely gives herself over to the role—at one point, she brings herself to orgasm as she watches Cusack’s character masturbate over his pants. It’s...hot. And weird. But mostly hot?
Where to Watch: YouTube or Amazon Video

United Artists

Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Bernardo Bertolucci’s Franco-Italian psychosexual drama revolves around a widowed man named Paul (Marlon Brando) and an engaged Parisian woman named Jeanne (Maria Schneider), who, having shown interest in renting the same apartment, begin a torrid, tumultuous affair, without revealing much about themselves. Once they do, reality sets in, and it’s not all fun and rough-sex-on-a-bare-mattress. There’s also a highly controversial (and notably problematic) anal rape scene, involving a stick of butter—the filming of which Schneider later claimed caused her severe discomfort and humiliation. Critics (me) have described it as: “Whatever the opposite of breezy is.”
Where to Watch: YouTube or Amazon Video


9 ½ Weeks (1986)
Here’s another dark movie about two strangers who start having an almost exclusively sexual affair. Except this time it’s Mickey Rourke (but, like, hot Mickey Rourke) and Kim Basinger. And there are sexier food items involved...
Where to Watch: YouTube or Amazon Video

Sam Eichner

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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