Lesbian Sex Scenes that Made Movie History


Mulholland Drive (2001)

David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive wasn’t the first lesbian-themed cult film, but it was probably the most critically lauded. And it doesn’t just break new ground; it basically breaks all the expectations anyone in the audience might have about what the film is about, and then stomps them into dust.

It’s hard, though, to know if the lesbian sex scenes actually attempt something new in the way they reflect on or integrate with the film’s meaning, because the film’s meaning would have to be clear in order to know that. It’s all a big hallucinogenic nightmare about guilt and death and possession and thwarted love, played out under the Hollywood sign. With lesbian sex. Audiences will have to decide what it all means.

Lost and Delirious (2001)

Director Léa Pool’s Lost and Delirious might seem at first glance like a fallback to older, doomed boarding school lesbian romances, and given the way it ends, that’s an understandable impression. But the lesbianism in the film isn’t a metaphor, as it is in films like 1931’s Maedchen in Uniform, and the social force that dooms it is not some symbolic societal evil but homophobia.

The sex between Paulie (Piper Perabo) and Tory (Jessica Paré) is the aching, glorious, over-the-top, no-one-has-ever-felt-it-before sex of first love and sexual awakening. It’s full of the kind of desperate love only teenagers believe in, and in the intensity of that emotion, it blows calculated teen sex dramas like Wild Things right out of the water. Lost and Delirious is a totally conventional tragic teen drama, but with more heart. And of course, with lesbians.

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