How to choose an erotic movie

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Dear Sex Counselor,

There are an awful lot of erotic movies out there. Are there any differences? How can I choose from the ones you carry?


For many of us, watching other people have sex can spark ideas, fantasies, and arousal to help us make our sex lives more interesting. The trick is to find something that is fun and hot to watch, without getting offended or turned off by the quality or the content.

In this article we’re going to stay focused on sexually explicit erotic DVDs. There are wonderful sexy and romantic R (or R+) rated films available at mainstream video stores, but they are not covered here. At A Woman’s Touch we start by sorting adult films into 4 broad categories:

  • Woman & Couple-friendly Films
  • Mainstream Erotic Stories
  • Classic Erotic Movies
  • Lesbian films made by and for lesbian audiences.

Woman- and Couple-Friendly Films

Perhaps you’re a woman who has never seen an erotic film before, or wants something "classier" than most adult movies. Or perhaps you’re looking for something you can enjoy with your partner. In general, movies we’ve put into this category portray sexuality in a respectful, sensual way (while still being fully explicit); usually have an engaging plot and characters we like; and have production values, acting and/or stories that are superior to most adult fare.

In this category we include the stories produced and directed by Candida Royalle under her Femme Productions label, as well as films by Libido Films. These stories may feature real couples, actors, or a mix of both. There is a lot of passion between the actors, and the acting is relatively easy to watch (and occasionally pretty good). You will see women having real orgasms, and if/when the men ejaculate, it is not shown. There are plots that explore passion and romance, such as Urban Friction, Christine’s Secret, and Three Daughters, and plots that explore the darker or more intense side of desire, such as Ecstatic Moments and Eyes Of Desire Parts 1 and 2.

The Alexander Institute also puts out several instructional films that include fun, sexy and explicit demonstrations of the instructional concepts. Look for Erotic Seduction, Toys for Great Sex, Sex Around the House, and the Modern Kama Sutra series if you want passionate connections between people, excellent lovemaking, and real orgasms for both men and women.

We also carry a few films that feature real couples enjoying real sexual encounters with each other. Marie & Jack: A Hardcore Love Story, Xana and Dax: Opposites Attract, Damon & Hunter: Doing it Together, Matt & Khym: Better than EverAshley & Kisha: Finding the Right Fit, and Bill & Desiree: Love is Timeless can be described this way. First we get an interview with the couple, then a full sex scene. They get some light-handed direction during the sex scene so that the films move along enjoyably, but the sex is very much the way real sex is - awkward, funny, intense, and full of emotional connections.

Mainstream Erotic Stories

There are lots of films churned out every year by the adult industry. Some just show sex; others include plot, acting, beautiful scenery, and maybe all three of those at once. We carefully screen these and choose those that offer a good plot & acting along with well-crafted sex scenes, such as Justine, Pirates, 1000 Words, The Scent of Desire, Without You, and Partners Forever.

Or we’ll choose those with a light plot, decent acting, superior sex scenes and an occasionally lighthearted attitude, such as Fluff & Fold, Writer's Block, Looking In, and the Dinner Party.

Finally, there are the ones that are just beautiful sex scenes strung together by a theme, but no real plot. These would include Erotic Visions, Passion in VeniceIntrigue, Zazel, Every Woman Has A Fantasy, the Chemistry Series and the first Ultimate Guides to Anal Sex for Women and second.  All these films will feature external male ejaculations, lots of genital close-ups, and occasionally the actors will be in positions that are dangerous for us mere mortals to even contemplate. However, the ones we carry are generally entertaining and arousing, and they are likely to do the job of spicing up your sex play.

Classic Erotic Movies

We think erotic movies made before about 1985 are a lot of fun. Many of them feature lighthearted plots, bodies that have not had plastic surgery (and have not shaved their pubic hair), and lots of just plain fun. For good-quality production values and plot, try Insatiable or The Opening of Misty Beethoven. For more fun and less plot, try The Aunt Peg Collection or Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle.

Made by and for Lesbians

Visual erotica aimed at lesbians occupies a small but interesting niche. While there are lots of mainstream adult "girl-girl" films that feature heterosexual women having sex with each other, there are only a small number of well-made films that are made by real lesbians and bisexual women. For sweet romance, try Hungry Hearts and for hot sex with some romance, toy play, and unusual settings, try Hard Love/How to F**k in High Heels, The Crash Pad Series, Coming Home, In Search of the Wild Kingdom and Femmetastic!

If you’re looking for more ideas and information, try The Smart Girl’s Guide to Porn by Violet Blue. It’s a nice resource for people who want to know more about adult films and how to choose the ones that will be fun to watch.

The Sex Counselor