NSFW: The secrets behind how Hollywood sex scenes are made

It's all about scopophilia apparently.

Hollywood sex scenes don't come more extreme than Monster's Ball
Monster's Ball Halle Berry's Academy Award-winning sex scene. Image Picture Lionsgate

Hollywood sex scenes have long fascinated moviegoers.

Whether’s it’s Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger raiding the fridge in 9½ Weeks or Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton getting down to business in Monster’s Ball, there’s always plenty to talk about when sex and cinema collide.

Now, a new video from YouTube channel The Film Theorists has put Hollywood eroticism under the microscope.

Sex scenes – which began with 1933 Czech silent film Ecstasy – are eternal because of something called scopophilia. That’s sexual pleasure derived chiefly from watching others when they’re naked or getting it on – basically, voyeurism.

According to the The Film Theorists’ video deconstruction, directors are subtly playing with viewers in the way they shoot these intimate moments.

Close-ups on the face are frequently utilised to convey emotion, while shots of anatomy are used to get you hot under the collar.

Watch the full and fascinating sex scenes video below (NSFW, obviously):

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn