Our 10 Kinkiest Movies

And why we lust for them

Above: Belle de Jour (1967). Film Page / Home Page: Tie me up Tie me down (1990).

BY: Kitty Bowe Hearty

For Dana Carvey it will always be Barbara Bush in a teddy, for others it involves rope, car crashes (we’ll explain) and whipped cream. The meaning of kinky runs the gamut and so it is with kinky film, which continues to be a genre that challenges and embraces creativity. So it should come as no surprise that some of our greatest directors have embraced storylines that pull back the soft focus and show us the real deal that is sex. You’ll spank us very much for this list of movies that have something for everyone (especially you die-hard James Spader fans).

sex, lies, and videotape (1989)
Stephen Soderberg’s early masterpiece took the Cannes Film Festival by storm and fired an early warning shot at Hollywood about the coming independent film revolution. Andie McDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo and, yes, James Spader star in this riveting story about two sisters, the men who complicate their lives, and the videotapes that tell the truth. Sex, of course, comes into the picture.


Bound (1996)
The always-sexy Gina Gershon, fresh out of prison, meets Jennifer Tilly, who longs to escape from her Mafioso boyfriend. Sparks fly between the women and together they make a plan to steal $2 million from the mob. Sex educator Susie Bright choreographed the sex scenes, which garnered praise for their realistic portrayal of lesbian love. The film The Wachowskis made before the Matrix.


Quills (2000)
Inspired by the writings of the Marquis de Sade, the man who put the ink in kink, this ravishing period drama tells the story of the last years of his life. Set in a French insane asylum, where the Marquis was incarcerated, Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet bring this fascinating and suitably twisted story to life. When it was released, historians felt the movie was inaccurate but the sex certainly wasn’t.


Dead Ringers (1988)
Without a doubt, one of the creepiest and sexiest movies of all time. David Cronenberg, who should have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Kink, directed this chilling tale of twin brothers (played by a divine Jeremy Irons) who are gynecologists obsessed with a drug-addicted actress (Genevieve Bujold). You may be thinking, “I don’t want to know.” Trust us, you do. Shocking and sublime.


Crash (1996)
A husband and wife (James Spader and Debra Kara Unger) have an open marriage that is, of course, always a recipe for disaster, which happens when Spader crashes his car, killing the husband of Holly Hunter. In the course of his recovery Spader meets a man obsessed with the car crash that killed James Dean and reconnects with Hunter. Needless to say, they take sex in cars to a whole new level.


Belle de Jour (1967)
The incomparable Catherine Deneuve loves her husband but her sex life consists only of fantasies about all things naughty. She begins to spend her afternoons working as a high-class prostitute at a neighborhood brothel and, well, complications ensue. One of director Luis Bunuel’s most successful and famous films and still gorgeous after all these years.


Shame (2011)
Michael Fassbender stars as young professional living in New York who struggles to maintain a very edgy sex life. When his sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment, his carefully constructed private world takes a turn from dark to darkest. What begins as a story about hypersexuality turns into a haunting story about sexual addiction. Not for the faint of heart.


9½ Weeks (1986)
During a preview screening for 1000 people all but 40 walked out and it bombed at the U.S. box office, but this steamy story about a short lived affair between a New York art gallerist (Kim Bassinger) and a wall street hot shot (Mickey Rourke) became an international hit and a cult classic. As Rourke takes her through a variety of sexual practices, Bassinger finds herself pushing personal boundaries and teetering on mental collapse.


Secretary (2002)
Beware the submissive secretary (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and the wacky boss (James Spader, of course). With her troubled background in check and longing for some stability, Gyllenhaal learns to type and is hired by Spader. Her obedience is a total turn on for him and they begin a highly erotic relationship. Believe it or not, this one has a happy ending.


Tie me up Tie me down (1990)
One could make the case that all of Pedro Almodovar’s movies are kinky, but we’re picking this one. Antonio Banderas stars as a recently released psychiatric patient who decides to kidnap an actress (Victoria Abril), herself a former porn star and recovering drug addict, whom he slept with once during an escape from the asylum. His goal? To have a normal life with her. Good luck with that.