What I mean by eroticism: deliberately sexually arousing scenes in film or television.
First off, let’s assume that in television, when two characters flirt or kiss in a sexual way (as opposed to, say, a romantic way) or when they fool around, or when they actually have sex, the writers/directors of the scene are attempting to arouse us. Let’s assume that if that’s not their intention, they have a screw loose. Personally, I don’t see the point in “doing sex” in television, film or fiction, if your intention is not to (at least in part) arouse the audience. (Unless it’s for comedic purposes of course. Or if it’s to horrify us. But that’s a post for another day/person.)
It’s a difficult thing to pull off, because there are so many factors involved, and all of them have to work. The actors need to have chemistry with each other. More importantly, the characters need to have chemistry with each other, and that all comes down to the way they’ve been written, their history together, and how the actors play them. The scene itself needs to be well written, in terms of pacing (there needs to be some kind of build up), and believability (a big one. If we don’t buy it, it’ll leave us cold), as well as dialogue and story. Music, lighting, sound, cinematography and direction also matter. If it doesn’t look or sound right, we won’t be able to suspend our disbelief.
The actors need to appear to get turned on and to stay turned on. We should feel the arousal the characters are feeling, not just be aroused by them because we’re attracted to them.
Believe it or not, the physical attractiveness of the actors is not particularly important; I’ve been turned on by scenes that starred actors I was not remotely attracted to, just because everything else was done right. If the characters appear to genuinely want each other the scene will work.
Think of the hottest fanfic you’ve read. Discard the kinkfic that gets you off because of your weird fetishes, and think of the truly great, well written smut out there. I bet it all has one thing in common: the characters in the scene are extremely turned on (hopefully both of them but not necessarily). Am I right?
Emotions and arousal that we can relate to are the most vital ingredients. If the characters aren’t feeling it we’re not going to feel it.
A couple of truly remarkable erotic scenes in television and cinema spring to mind; I consider these the best of the best. Your mileage may vary, especially if you’re particularly disgusted by one of the characters/actors or by the pairing itself, but trust me, these scenes are seriously hot.
Shows like “Queer as Folk” and “The L Word” are adept at regularly producing erotic sex scenes, and a special mention must go to “Battlestar Galactica”, which is so good at it I wish there was sex in every episode.
There are others of course, and please feel free to tell me all about your favourite sex scenes in the comments, the more detail the better. But like I say, not that many directors (or writers) understand how to do it well, so it’s not something you see a lot of, unfortunately.
Muchos thanks to girlmostlikely for the beta. ♥