Hollywood has a lot to answer for when it comes to the sex it shows on screens. We’re not expecting 100% realism, but come on! After watching a guy passionately pull off the lead’s clothes and tumble into bed for two minutes of thrusting (then fade to black) for the umpteenth time, we have started to worry. Are people forgetting about the real star of the show when it comes to sexual pleasure?
That’s right, we’re talking about the clitoris. If you have one, then you know that it needs some serious attention if you’re going to reach orgasm. Many people with a clitoris don’t need penetration at all to have a good time. Some that suffer from vaginismus might also benefit from this list. Which is why we love when movies choose to celebrate non-penetrative sex, between heterosexual or LGBTQ partners. Here are five of our favorite scenes that put the clitoris at center stage!
Blue Valentine (2010)
Infamous for earning the film a temporary NC-17 rating, actor Michelle Williams is ‘proud’ of the oral sex scene in Blue Valentine. (Hey, when your co-star is Ryan Gosling, we aren’t surprised!). If you rush off to see the film, just be aware that they aren’t kidding when they call this a romantic drama—it’s on our ‘movies to cry to’ lists for a reason.
So this movie is both one of our favorites and also completely bonkers. It’s a thriller about a Dad (who you might recognize from CSI) finding out all his worst fears about his daughter’s new boyfriend (Mark Wahlberg) are absolutely true. Because not only does this young man hang out with a rough crowd and know all the most dangerous parties in Seattle to take a young Reese Witherspoon, he is also abusive and sexually assaults Alyssa Milano. It’s A LOT, in the best, cheesy 90s way, but it also has a very memorable scene featuring digitally-induced pleasure. While on a roller coaster, Reese takes the lead and moves Mark’s hand from her thigh to between her legs, while The Sundays sing their rendition of ‘Wild Horses.’ Talk about a thrill ride!
Sex Education (2020-2023)
This Netflix show makes us wish it had been around during our teenage years. Not only does it tackle a lot of the tough stuff teens experience (and no one wanted to talk about) but it manages to be funny and heartwarming at the same time. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t finished season two, but we loved the way that Sex Education followed up Lily’s experiences with vaginismus. Unable to realize her fantasies in season one due to this condition, it was great to see her discover more about her sexuality with Ola. While Lily had been using dilators to treat her condition, she wasn’t able to be penetrated by Ola’s fingers. No worries! The girls engaged in mutual masturbation—something that is very common in practice but almost never seen on screen! It’s a great option if you also have vaginismus, or just if you and your partner don’t really feel like having penetrative sex.
The Itty Bitty Titty Committee (2007)
While this has been on our ‘to watch’ list for ages, we have to thank The Clit Test for its endorsement of this movie. (This is a great website devoted to clitorally-focused pleasure, which makes it perfect for fans of Obii!) The site passes or fails movies based on the film’s inclusion of the clitoris in sex scenes. Of TIBTC, they say "Lots of hands and oral for the almost exclusively queer female cast of characters. Shulamith who sleeps with men says ‘why is it the only men who can find the clit are incapable of stringing two sentences together’."
Chewing Gum (2015-2017)
When it comes to showing the realities of sex on screen, do Brits just do it better? You may know Micheala Coel from her most recent show, I May Destroy You which is amazing in its own right. However, her earlier project, Chewing Gum, was a much lighter show. She plays the lead, who is a 25 year-old determined to lose her virginity (in the traditional sense). The hilarity that ensues is some of the best bad sex we’ve ever seen depicted, while also managing to be extremely sex positive. It discusses enjoying oral over penetration, as well as face-sitting. It gets five stars from us!
Is Penetration Passé?
Of course not! Penetration—from a penis, fingers, or sex toy—can be an amazing addition to sex. But it’s not the be-all and end all, particularly if you have a clitoris. Because chances are, you need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. But it might have taken you a while to figure that out about yourself, which is why we love when movies demonstrate the different forms that sex can take. So whether you’re making room for penetration on your pleasure plate or not, don’t forget to include the clitoris!