9 Great Films That Explore Sexual Desire With Nuance And Sensitivity

Sexual Desire and intimacy are a part of every individual's life. But however common they may be, they are often uncommon in movies and tv shows. Some of the films held the duty of expressing these natural subjects which are treated with wariness.


Sexual Desire is a theme that is often brushed under the carpet or addressed in a secretive manner. Anything pertained to sexuality is frequently depicted in movies although with caution and hesitation.

The topics are often eliminated or neglected from the films so as not to cause disappointment to the viewers.

So, they are complicated themes that are tough to communicate in films and there is a great likelihood that some of the directors may end up demonstrating them incorrectly.  

Here are the nine great films that explore sexual desire with nuance and sensitivity– 

1. The Piano Teacher

Michael Haneke has a unique talent for playing with the titles.

9 Great Films That Explore Sexual Desire With Nuance And Sensitivity
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Just like Funny Games has everything except for the fun games one might be expecting, The Piano Teacher is not an exploration in the realm of music rather it touches upon the subject that is often treated as being immoral or unethical in society.

Its portrayal of sexuality is far from being comforting but the truthfulness with which it illustrates the subject and exhibits how female desire is often uncomfortable for men is remarkable.

2. It Felt Like Love 

With the increasing use of social media, teenagers, especially girls, are falling into the decoy of insecurities.


It Felt Like Love is becoming more relevant each passing day as it follows the story of fourteen-year-old Lisa who is uncertain, insecure, and unsettled about her sexuality.

Discovering the answers to these questions in a male-dominated environment and superficial bonds with her best friend, she incorporates her limited and shallow point of view falling prey to the male gaze and treading to a path that is dangerous for her life.

3. Chokher Bali 

Chokher Bali delves into one of the most vital problems of Indian society, showing Binodini a widow who develops feeling for her best friend’s husband.

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Dealing with the limitations placed on a married woman who is socially allowed to have a sexual relationship with her husband, Chokher Bali is based on the novel of the same name by Rabindranath Tagore.

It expertly reflects themes like adultery, self-obsession, infatuation, and lies.

4. Y Tu Mama Tambien 

This outstanding film conveys the issue in yet another manner–it shows a person’s ever-changing understanding of sexuality and its portrayal of the topic shows what many people will still consider a taboo– two men and an older woman.

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5. Shame 

Probably the most explicit yet the least provocative film on the list, Shame’s representation of intimate scenes is an achievement in itself.

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Brandon’s unhealthy addiction to sex is not an end rather it is a means for which his mental illness is the cause.

To avoid confrontation, he bridges the gap between disassociation and connection with his intimate bonds. 

6. Pariah 

A coming-of-age movie dealing with the exploration of one’s sexual identity, Pariah follows the life of Lee who spends time with her openly lesbian best friend and soon comes to terms with her own identity.


However, her mother tries to push her back to being a girl, forcing her to wear feminine clothes whilst suffering from her own sexual frustrations. 

7. Raw 

Eighteen-year-old Justine is a vegetarian who enrolls in a veterinary school and is compelled to eat raw rabbit kidneys as a part of the initiation.


Now, she can’t stop craving meat and soon she turns towards cannibalism.

The writer of Raw expressed in an interview that she wanted to portray female desire as something which is not “apologetic” but rather empowering which she achieved through the film. 

8. In the Realm of The Senses 

Probably one of the most controversial films on the list as it is based on the real-life events and murder committed by a geisha and former prostitute Sada Abe who erotically asphyxiated her lover due to intense love and jealousy.

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Although some of the scenes from the film might be uncomfortable owing to its pornography nevertheless, In the Realm of The Senses shows the atrocious capacity that can nourish from excessive love and pleasure. 

9. Gloria 

Waiting for the day when women of all ages will be treated normally for delving into intimacy and desires in movies and tv series, Gloria is the beginning of that wish where a 58-year-old woman decides to revive her life once again ten years after her divorce.

The New York Times



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