Valentine’s Sex Fest Discussion Post: What Makes a Good Filmed Sex Scene?

This is really a service to the World, we can provide all kinds of useful feedback to the filmmakers of India. They just have to find this blog and read our suggestions.

I’ll start us off with some simple rules:

No shots of one sex partner alone in the frame being objectified, two people interacting together in every frame.

No sand, hay, or anything else itchy

Soft slow music, nothing with a fast beat

Lots of eye contact between scene partners

For example:

What would you add to my list?

9 thoughts on “Valentine’s Sex Fest Discussion Post: What Makes a Good Filmed Sex Scene?

  1. Oh, my. Despite not breaking our first rule (thanks of course I agree about the sand and straw) the sex scene in KANK fails on all the other measures. And yet it is, in my option, the SRK’s sexiest sex scene. Does the focus on him stripping off his wet white shirt objectify a single actor. Yes, and I love it. Is the music slow and romantic? No, but it is still perfect, as the camera cuts between the lovers and their oblivious partying spouses. Lots of eye contact between him and Rani? No, but the way he looks at her, and the way he kisses away the tear on her cheek…I am dead every time.


    • Well, there always has to be an exception that proves the rules! Maybe KANK works because it is so fully about Rani’s experience, not the shared experience?

      On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 7:38 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. John and Vidya in Salaam-E-Ishq is one of the best. And Mowra and Harshvardhan in Sanam Teri Kasam. I like things to look somewhat realistic and not so artfully filmed (or overly melodramatic), so I’ve always liked the kiss and love scene in BBB (I know you hate it, Margaret!). If I recall there’s a sexy scene between Abhishek and Rani in Yuva (despite how his character turns out…they have scorching chemistry in that). Always will think that Arjun and Shruti’s scenes are in D-Day are both sexy and tragic.

    Love Saif and Vidya there…I feel like Saif hasn’t always got the chances to be truly smoldering and he nails it there.


    • I hate the BBB sex scene’s existence in the narrative, but I do think it is well filmed. Messy and awkward, and a lot of physical communication between the scene partners.

      “Not overly dramatic” is a good note. Let the sex feel natural and normal, not like The Biggest Thing Ever, because then it just feels silly.

      Vidya is ideal for sex scenes, she can go so natural and non-glamorous in the best way. Like, I don’t want to see an Aish sex scene, it would just feel like watching a dance performance.

      On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 8:17 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. I’mma go in a different direction because I’ve written sex scenes and critiqued sex scenes written by the people in my writer’s group and what makes a sex scene good is it should flow from the characterizations and themes of the larger work. So for example Body Heat has a sex scene where the whole thing is filmed framing Kathleen Turner’s head on a pillow and you only hear William Hurt off camera and it’s raunchy and kind of gross but very much in keeping with the characters and the plot of the film. A sex scene should only be there if it tells you something important about the people having sex and ideally advances the storyline in some way. So to pull out Khabi Khabie again, the wedding night scene is telling you something important about these characters right up front and what you learn in that scene reverberates throughout the entire film. A good sex scene doesn’t have to be enjoyable or sexy to be effective.

    What I personally find hot is a whole different story and it really depends a lot on the people in the scene and how they interact with each other and also the actor’s persona. Like I used to think the way Andrew McCarthy kissed was the hottest thing ever and when he starred in Lipstick Jungle (aka a TV series squarely aimed at gratifying my demographic) he kissed in the same way he did in his John Hughes heyday and I swooned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let me refer you to my Mani Ratnam post! Which is not getting nearly the traction it should. All his sex scenes are great, and all different, because he uses them to tell us about the characters and their relationships. And you can read and enjoy the post without having scene the movies I talk about.

      On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 11:04 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • YES! even if it wasn’t Kat and SRK, Saans would still be unsexy just because of all the phone booths and shivering rooftop cold in London and other unsexy locations. I’m not saying it always has to be missionary and on a bed, but at least something that does not defy the laws of gravity and physics. Look to Dheere Jalna! Terrace top in the rain is different, but it’s warm and private and there is lots of space.

      On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 10:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. Are there really ‘rules’??? Not for me 😉
    There came a time when I’d had no interest any more in purely ‘sex-scenes’ like the Western cinema churned them out…they mostly made me grin or shrugging my shoulders remembering me of rabbit-habits.
    However, I LOVE erotic scenes (what a difference!) and love scenes that simply makes me feel the desire for the sexual encounter.
    When I see ShahRukh barely restraining himself or openly acknowledging the physical desire of his character (in whatever way) or being comfortable to have consumed love in a physical way, I understand why his movies have touched me in a way most Western movies couldn’t anymore (well, not only ShahRukh’s movies but a certain concept shown in Indian movies). I’m simply a ‘sucker’ for playful + intense myself (regardless the age…it’s a state of mind, I think.)

    In so many ways, I have the feeling that Indian culture is stuck between a playful/intense and a repressed way to deal with the sensual part of themselves (latter thanks to the decade-long Western infuences)…I think that ShahRukh is one of those who have a very playful and/or honest and open-minded manner to deal with the importance of that part of life (at least in movies and public expression).


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