Lesbian Sex Scenes that Made Movie History


Fingersmith (2005)

Unlike an earlier BBC adaptation of a Sarah Waters’ Victorian-era costume drama (Tipping the Velvet), Fingersmith comes close to bringing the novel to life, particularly the lesbian relationship at its heart. And again unlike Tipping the Velvet, the sex scene has a feeling of realism mixed with romanticism that’s extremely compelling.

The chemistry between Sue, a former pickpocket turned maid, and Maud, an heiress being courted by Mr. Rivers, a man with things to hide, is the real star of their scenes together. It fuels the long, slow sex scene that brings the two together for one night. After that, the two begin to spin apart as Sue’s complicity in Mr. Rivers’ scheme finally is revealed.

There are some things the BBC does really well, and apparently lesbian costume dramas are one of them. And at least in Fingersmith, they got the sex scene right, too.

Spider Lilies (2006)

Soft-core porn starring pop stars Isabella Leong of Hong Kong and Rainie Yang of Taiwan, or a lyrical art film that won the award for best LGBT feature at the Berlin Film Festival? How about both?

Whichever way you decide to approach it, Spider Lilies is loaded with extremely erotic sex scenes between its two female leads, and was made by Taiwanese lesbian director Zero Chou. It’s also one of the only films featuring two Asian actresses in a sex scene together on screen. (At least a sex scene you can see; India’s Fire is a lesbian love story between two Asian women, but the sex scenes are all but blacked-out on film.)

Spider Lilies has an edgy, modern feel to it, almost like a music video, and struck box-office gold in Taiwan and Hong Kong. This story of the impact of trauma on people’s lives played the LGBT film festival circuit in the U.S. in the summer of 2007. Reviews have been mixed, and some of the sex was cut from the final version, but the complete film is available on DVD. Tattoos, sexy women, webcam porn sites, family tragedies, a police investigation and more tattoos: That’s Spider Lilies.

Loving Annabelle (2006)

Loving Annabelle is the story of a doomed boarding school romance between a student and her teacher, inspired by 1931’s Maedchen in Uniform. Filmmaker Katherine Brooks deliberately made the film erotic and included explicit sex between the lovers, posting on the film’s IMDb.com discussion forum: “Truth be known, I wanted to make a lesbian film that had great sexual tension with a good sex scene and was realistic to the situation. And I was tired of watching movies where they build up the sexual tension only to give me a KISS and nothing more.”

Brooks got what she wanted; the relationship between teacher and student at a California boarding school is a sexual one, with little left to the imagination. Although Loving Annabelle stays true to its roots and ends with sorrow and betrayal, at least the heroines got laid first. And that’s a first.

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