The most feminist sex scenes of all time

From "Blue Valentine" to "In the Cut," the most lady-powered love scenes Hollywood has to offer VIDEO

Topics: Video, Sex, Love and Sex, Hollywood,

The most feminist sex scenes of all timeJeff Bridges and Julianne Moore in "The Big Lebowski"

Shailene Woodley recently had to defend her nude sex scene in an upcoming movie. You see, we love to objectify actresses’ bodies, but the moment they directly acknowledge or own their sexuality, we’re up in arms!

She told New York magazine about the scene in “White Bird in a Blizzard”: “Everyone was freaked out because I’m nude, but in real life, when I have sex, I’m naked,” the 22-year-old said. “I don’t have a bra on, and I don’t usually have panties on. So let’s make a real movie! Let’s bring truth to the scene!” Amen to that. Given the absurdity of the sex scene controversy, and Woodley’s confusion over what feminism is, this seems a perfect opportunity to bring you the most feminist mainstream sex scenes on offer. Hollywood, take note.

Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig, ”Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”

The brutal rape scenes in this movie make this consensual, female-led scene that much more powerful. Rooney Mara determinedly climbs atop Daniel Craig (hey, hey!) and then these two gorgeous naked people get to perhaps the most healing act there is.

Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, “Love & Basketball”

Sanaa Lathan is the one who lies down, leaving Epps to follow her lead. It is a tender and loving scene, which is cool, but here’s the really great part: There’s a condom! Epps takes the time in the heat of the moment to lean over to the bedside table and pull out a condom — you know, one of those magical devices that protect against STDs and unwanted pregnancies. Now, ideally they would’ve had a discussion about having been tested — that would be super feminist, not to mention healthy and safe — but the condom alone makes this sex scene light-years ahead of 99.9 percent of Hollywood love scenes.

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Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges, “The Big Lebowski”

Oh, Maude Lebowski. One second she’s testing the Dude’s comfort with the word “vagina” and asking whether he likes “coitus,” the next she’s dropping her oversize coat to reveal her naked body. This lady isn’t waiting for a man to make a move.

Meg Ryan and Marc Ruffalo, “In the Cut”

This is the go-to feminist sex scene. After tenderly rubbing Meg Ryan’s nipple through her dress — foreplay, ya’ll! — a gorgeous and naked Mark Ruffalo lays her on her stomach, kisses down her back and then goes down on her, from behind. Yeah, buddy! Doesn’t quite make up for eons of patriarchy, but we’ll take it.

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Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, “Blue Valentine”  

Ryan Gosling going down. The end.

Fine, I’ll elaborate. Williams’ character unself-consciously rubs herself against Gosling’s face until she orgasms. She’s in her head, seemingly concerned only about her own pleasure. How often are women shown doing that?

Tracy Clark-Flory
Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

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