12 Most Erotic Movies of the 1990s

The 1990s produced a whole new array of erotic films. The ‘erotic thriller’ gained popularity during this decade and original ideas of the genre were executed, parodied, and sadly even soiled nearing the start of the new millennium. Many of the great filmmakers of yesteryears packed up or showed little of their talent, while new directors popped up to further erotic cinema and take it to new heights. X-rated content began to frequent the mainstream theatres and A-list celebrities agreed to perform in several of these pictures.

Here, we look at the list of top erotic films from this fiery decade of the 1990s, one that is perhaps more grounded in its realisation of sensual content than any other.


12. La Belle Noiseuse (1991)

To call this an erotic feature should be wrong, and labelling it a sex film is definitely incorrect. ‘La Belle Noiseuse’ is but an art-house feature in every way, and it is a masterpiece at that. The film is about the creation of a piece of art, told through the eyes of a painter who slowly gets back his long lost love for the craft he once excelled in with the help of a model who, though at the beginning is quite reluctant to pose for the artist, buys into his dedication and interest as time passes with their relationship growing stronger on an intellectual level. ‘La Belle Noiseuse’ is a 4-hour film and nudity is ever-present for about 3/4ths of its runtime, which forces me to include the feature in this list.


11. Crash (1996)

Once again, calling this a straight-up erotic film wouldn’t be right, because, despite the core themes of ‘Crash’ focusing on sex and acts of a sexual nature, there is an instigation of violence that perpetrates each act, making the paraphilic mindset of the picture rather hard to digest. I guess ‘Crash’ offers more of a twisted version of erotica, but the movie is mostly a thriller, speaking in terms of genre. It was, unsurprisingly, quite controversial upon release since its plot revolved around several people who found sexual stimulation in the victims of car crashes.


10. Basic Instinct (1992)

Sharon Stone catapulted to sex-symbol fame following her performance in ‘Basic Instinct’, and watching the film, it isn’t hard to see why. The first of two Paul Verhoeven-directed pictures to feature on this list is a neo-noir thriller that is able to excite most prominently with its ability to tease the audience, much like the female lead teases the several men she encounters during the runtime of the movie. ‘Basic Instinct’ has developed into something of a cult classic, and I think it’s quite engaging as well as fun, if we ignore minor issues relating to the script and pacing.


9. Dream Lover (1994)

Madchen Amick and James Spader are two of the most beautiful people to ever show their faces on celluloid. ‘Dream Lover’ tells of an almost surreal erotic thriller with its plot involving a marriage wherein the husband figures out, with some timely rhythm, that his wife isn’t exactly who he thinks she is, and this ends up denting the relationship in a more sinister manner than he could’ve ever imagined. The film isn’t great, I don’t particularly enjoy the final act, but I do think its sex scenes are some of the best-filmed of the decade.


8. Striptease (1996)


If you have the patience to sit through some of the cringiest comedy you’ll ever come across in cinema, you’ll find that ‘Striptease’ is quite rich in its erotic content. Its story is really bad, and the performances aren’t exactly what one would call commendable either. What the film does excel in showing are sexually arousing sequences involving, for the most part, a strip club, and otherwise, just Demi Moore fooling around half-naked. Many of the film’s nude scenes have gone on to become iconic, just like the film, which has made itself a name as one of the trashiest flicks of all time.


7. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)


‘Eyes Wide Shut’ has several moments of lovemaking and nudity, some of these even stretched out for long periods of time, but there is this beautifully dark undertone of uneasiness and lack of clarity that envelops the film in such a way that most of it fails to have an erotic effect upon an initial watch. I personally feel ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ is one of the greatest films ever made, and a major theme here is sexual tension, which it explores by examining several layers of human understanding of the subject.

Read More: Vintage Erotica Movies

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