Sex scenes. Totally inescapable, occasionally enjoyable, and sometimes eye-poppingly terrible. Certain movies manage to blend sex and romance in a way that effortlessly furthers the plot, while others make you want to fling your TV remote at the screen. Predictably, this is a list of the latter. This Valentine’s Day, if you stress about the possible inadequacy of your sex life, just take a look at these films and their awkward and downright weird sex scenes which will go down in the history of discomfort. Here are five of the absolute worst sex scenes in movie history.
5 Aubrey Plaza and Scott Porter – The To Do List
Set in 1993, Aubrey Plaza’s character Brandy is keen to complete a sexual to-do list ahead of her college admission, following an unadventurous high-school experience. While these sexual milestones are mostly awkward and inept (whether it’s the utilization of butter during manual stimulation in a theater, or attempting to covertly remove a particularly inconvenient pair of skorts), The To Do List scene that really takes the cake in terms of squirming secondhand embarrassment is Brandy’s first time having sex.
To the soundtrack of “Dreams” by The Cranberries, Brandy finally lands herself an opportunity to sleep with her well-tousled lothario lifeguard crush Rusty, even if it’s at the unfortunately (yet appropriately) named make-out spot, Beaver Creek. As is her prerogative, she comes to the conclusion that, “[she wants] to be on top,” because, “it’ll increase [her] chance of orgasm by 40%.” Unfortunately, due to the fact that the sex actually lasts barely twenty seconds, Brandy’s chance of coming close to an orgasm is about as likely as her experiencing a sexual fantasy that doesn’t involve Aloe Vera.
While premature ejaculation might be an embarrassing thing to depict on-screen, it doesn’t quite deserve the title of “Worst Sex Scene.” Thankfully, The To Do List doesn’t end there. The truly cringe-worthy element of the scene is that, upon finishing, Brandy realizes that the rocking camper van to the left of her contains her middle-aged parents in the throes of passion. That’s enough to create some seriously long-lasting sexual dysfunction.
4 Kristen Bell and Jason Segel – Forgetting Sarah Marshall
It’s rare to watch a Hollywood sex scene more-or-less conducted through a wall, but between Sarah (Kristen Bell) and Peter (Jason Segel), their respective partners seem to be merely vessels for revenge. Forgetting Sarah Marshall depicts a trip to Hawaii between a recently split couple who accidentally check into the same resort following their breakup. Whilst still firmly rooted in the grieving process, both parties struggle for power in becoming the “winner” of the separation.
After hearing Peter have sex with somebody else in the next room one night, Sarah decides to initiate her own intimacy with her new boyfriend Aldous (Russell Brand) in hopes of out-performing her former partner. This results in a stereotypical series of ‘pounding on the wall’ fake orgasms and a screaming contest not dissimilar to that of two Nigerian goats, despite the fact that both couples are having mediocre sex (at best).
Aldous’ genuine bewilderment and ensuing incredulity at her “ghastly performance” is probably one of the funniest aspects of this, the most ridiculous scene of the entire film, and Sarah’s five-second long orgasm while remaining almost completely still is one for the Guiness Book of World Records of sexual retribution.
3 Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm – Bridesmaids
You might think that any sex scene containing Jon Hamm would be effortlessly steamy, simply by default of containing Jon Hamm. Unfortunately Bridesmaids is here to ruin that illusion. In a scene that could be used as an Emotional Recognition Task due to its depiction of almost every human facial expression known to man, Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Ted (Jon Hamm) struggle to communicate whilst exploring a range of strained sexual positions.
“Let’s slow it down,” says Annie, about three seconds before Ted returns to his signature routine as The Jackhammer of Milwaukee. In between blowing hair into her face, moving his hips in a painful-looking horizontal motion, and bursting into peals of manic laughter, Annie’s frustrated expression says it all… “Why am I here, and when can I leave?”.
Only afterwards, when mentioning another man in hopes of making her beau jealous, does Ted cringe-inducingly whisper, “But can he do this to you?” He then proceeds to massage Annie’s breast (with accompanying vocal sounds) similarly to how the average eleven-year-old boy thinks female orgasms work. There are few movies where you’d rather watch Melissa McCarthy infamously scream, “It’s coming out of me like lava!” while getting explosive diarrhea in a sink, than watch two attractive Hollywood celebrities simulating sex, but this is one of those movies.
2 Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake – Bad Teacher
From a biblical perspective, it makes sense that Bad Teacher contains one of the worst movie sex scenes in history. Genesis 2:25 may read, “…The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed,” but there really should’ve been a follow-up clause that stated, “The man and his lover were both wearing jeans and were not nearly as ashamed as they should have been.” Yes, you read that right – unsurprisingly, one of the worst sex scenes ever created was enacted through thick denim.
Due to the fact that Scott (Justin Timberlake) didn’t want to be perceived as cheating on his girlfriend, he made the decision to avoid committing the mortal sin of penetrative sex with his new lover, Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz). As such, the film contained several minutes of some of the most squirm-inducing and least sexy “dry humping” scenes ever recorded, including the line, “Your jeans feel so good against my jeans.”
In what seems to be a fine Bad Sex Scene tradition, once you presume that the worst is over and find the strength to peek out from behind your hands, the grisliest part arrives – in the context of Bad Teacher, this was JT’s bleating “O-Face” and the subsequent large, seeping wet patch that made a cameo across the front of his trousers. If there’s one thing for certain, there’s a reason why Anaïs Nin never wrote a scene like this.
1 Cameron Diaz and a Ferrari California Automobile – The Counselor
Maybe it was a testament to Justin Timberlake’s fake sex skills that Cameron Diaz enjoyed it enough to go on and shoot a sex scene with a Ferrari. Portraying Malkina, a beautiful sociopath and the girlfriend of nightclub owner Reiner (Javier Bardem), Cameron Diaz’s brief foray into mechanophilia earned The Counselor a place in the theoretical Sex Scene Hall Of Fame.
In an impressive display of flexibility, the scene begins with Malkina removing her underwear and clambering on top of a bright yellow Ferrari belonging to Reiner (who is, again, played by Javier Bardem), in some quasi-erotic display of her erratic personality. She manages to sustain an orgasm following what is approximately thirty seconds of presumably very cold and inefficient windshield humping. Later in the film, Javier Bardem’s character describes the event as, “like one of those catfish things; one of those bottom feeders you see going up the way of the aquarium, sucking its way up the glass.” That’s Javier Bardem talking. (Okay, the film has her have sex with a car, instead of her on-screen partner Javier Bardem… you get it).
Of all the comparisons that could have been made, slippery puckering sea life is potentially one of the least flattering. While many films have depicted a relationship between a character and their car, and some have had sexier success, there are few scripts (with Javier Bardem) that are willing to take it this far. However, to its credit, this scene incites more of a “stare in absolute shock” than “bury your head in the cushions” response, which was maybe Cormac McCarthy’s original intention. Did we mention it was written by that Pulitzer Prize-winning author, directed by Oscar-winner Ridley Scott, and starred Brad Pitt, Penélope Cruz, and Michael Fassbender? And Javier Bardem? What on earth happened? Only the Ferrari knows.
Ahead of its release in theaters in November, Marvel’s next movie Eternals has been given an expected PG-13 rating.
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