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Disobedience: The most vital lesbian love scenes in cinema

Critics have been madly fanning themselves down to cool off from the now notorious lesbian love scene in Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience. Featuring Rachel Weisz (The Lobster) and Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) getting hot and primal for each other and a much-discussed moment in which Weisz spits into McAdams’ mouth, the scene was praised as one of the best intimate scenes of the year.

As you’re likely more than aware from the dubious DVD collection of your horniest male friend, there are heaps of gratuitous lesbian love scenes in movies that feel overblown, unnecessary, and made only for straight dudes to get off to. According to McAdams (who opened up about the movie to Entertainment Weekly), this scene is not one of them.

Often, you’re trying to decide if it’s gratuitous or not. But this scene felt so integral to the plot and moving the story forward. The characters need this release to open up. There was energy to that scene that I haven’t experienced in any other scenes (with men) in my career. There was camaraderie to it. We both felt safe and free. All those things that you love about being a woman, you get to be with (in the scene).”

Weisz similarly agreed that the hot and heavy scene was pivotal for McAdams’s character – an Orthodox Jew repressed by her religion – to discover and enjoy her first moment of liberation. You might also like to know that the provocative spit scene was achieved with a “lychee-flavored” lube which sounds downright delicious, if a little less sexy than enjoying Weisz’s own salvia.

To keep you topped up on sapphic stimulation scenes, here’s a ranking of the ten best lesbian love scenes on film. If this gets you hot under the collar, here’s our suggestion for the best place to buy adult toys.

10. Black Swan (2010)

Mila Kunis (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Natalie Portman (V for Vendetta) are an undoubted teenage boy’s wet dream as the bad girl ballerinas tip the velvet together. Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream) also delivers the scene in an oppressive fog of male gaze – but it’s still hot however you identify.

9. Itty Bitty Titty Committee (2007)

Jamie Babbit’s feminist cult dramedy sees Carly Pope (Elysium) and Daniela Sea (Shortbus) getting spank-happy with each other in a car, and though it’s not as hot as some other love scenes, it certainly feels relatable and real.

8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Making queer girls with a thing for brooding punk babes disintegrate with desire, the moment Lisbeth (Rooney Mara) hooks up with Wu (Elodie Yung) at a grimy gay club is brief yet triumphant. Their instant chemistry is lit, but the moment where Lisbeth just casually slips a finger in? Hot damn, ladies!

7. Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Look, we’re perfectly aware that this scene was blatantly shoehorned into Diablo Cody (Young Adult) and Karyn Kusama’s underrated teen horror just so adolescent boys would pay to see Megan Fox (Transformers) make out with Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables). But it’s still hot as f*** and rings true for any girl who discovered her proclivities while experimenting with her bestie.

6. The Hunger (1983)

Vampires, Catherine Deneuve (Dancer in the Dark), and Susan Sarandon (Thelma and Louise). Can we make it any more obvious why this scene remains so spectacularly sexy?

5. Gia (1998)

It isn’t just that Angelina Jolie (Maleficent) prancing about in the nude and pressing herself up against wire fencing gives us some next-level sapphic fantasies; it’s that Linda (Elizabeth Mitchell) just watches her patiently for so long before giving in and making love to her.

4. Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)

Featuring Léa Seydoux (Spectre) and Adèle Exarchopoulos (Down by Love) doing wonderfully naughty things to each other in loving, intimate detail, Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is the Warmest Color is explicit but also incredibly sweet.

3. Mulholland Drive (2001)

It’s David Lynch (Twin Peaks), so naturally, the scene comes with an air of beguiling mystery to it. But at the core this scene between Naomi Watts (King Kong) and Laura Harring (The Punisher) is as erotic as they come without being unnecessary to the story.

2. Carol (2015)

Based on The Price of Salt (Patricia Highsmith’s forbidden lesbian love story), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) and Rooney Mara (The Social Network) are absolutely stunning together and enjoy one of the most tender (but alluring) bedroom scenes of all time because of it.

We take a trip back through classic Sapphic cinema and television shows. If you haven’t seen any of them yet, put it in your Netflix queue, stat.

1. Bound (1996)

It speaks volumes that The Wachowskis’ neo-noir erotic thriller is still fondly remembered by queer women across the world. That likely has something to do with both Jennifer Tilly (Bride of Chucky) and Gina Gershon (Killer Joe) being at peak sexiness; it also has to do with their raw, sophisticated performances that are powerful, poignant, and punishing for how seductive they are.

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