Josh Lavery in "Lonesome"

What Were the Hottest Queer Movie Scenes of 2023?

Frank J. Avella READ TIME: 12 MIN.

A number of 2023 surveys determine that GenZers are put off by nudity and sexual situations onscreen. Some fear we may be headed towards another production-code-like era of filmmaking. I can't imagine that happening although sex and nudity did seem to be waning on the big screen in recent years. But, in 2023, naughty moments in cinema are making a comeback with quite a bit of steamy content in celebrated films such as Yorgos Lanthimos's masterful film "Poor Things," Todd Haynes' "May December," Chloe Domont's "Fair Play" and even Christopher Nolan's brilliant "Oppenheimer."

And as far as queer-themed films, suffice to say that Barry Keoghan's "Saltburn" provocative scenes have been permanently embedded in our social media consciousness, for better or worse, making some apoplectic–so much so they feel the need to keep watching them over and over again. Huh?

Raúl Castillo in "Cassandro"
Source: Amazon Prime

To those sensitive to nudity and graphic portrayals of sex, why not simply stay away, hit stop on your streaming device instead of championing censorship and forcing puritanical views on the rest of us! We like our prurience, thank you.

Now let's celebrate some debauchery (and romance) shall we?

With honorable mention to Gael García Bernal and Raúl Castillo's bathtub scene in "Cassandro," (which could have used more...intimacy), here are the 10 hottest dude-on-dude queer movie scenes of 2023.

Ben Whishaw & Franz Rogowski in 'Passages'
Franz Rogowski and Ben Whishaw in "Passages"
Source: IMDbPro

Ben Whishaw & Franz Rogowski in 'Passages'

One of the most audacious gay sex scenes in any indie film had to be the intense fucking that Martin (Ben Whishaw) and Tomas (Franz Rogowski) engage in onscreen in Ira Sachs' beguiling film, "Passages." Rogowski, always the thespian risk taker, plays an arrogant film director who decides to embark on an affair with a woman despite the fact that he's married to Whishaw's character. And in a stunner of a prolonged segment, Rogowski is on his back, legs up while Whishaw's sexy ass thrusts into him...for quite a long time. The camera remains stationary. There is kissing. There is butt play. There are moans and wails of ecstasy. And there's a lot of propelling penetration–simulated, we're sure...but are we?

"Passages" is currently streaming on Prime and available on Blu-ray.

Andrew Scott & Paul Mescal in 'All of Us Strangers'
Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal in "All of Us Strangers"

Andrew Scott & Paul Mescal in 'All of Us Strangers'

Out Brit filmmaker Andrew Haigh ("Weekend") loosely adapted Taichi Yamada's novel and blended it with his own past to fashion one of the most beguiling, sensual, melancholic queer-centric ghost stories of our time, steeped in memory, regret, longing and forgiveness. At the center of "All of Us Strangers" engaging narrative is frustrated screenwriter Adam (Andrew Scott in one of the year's most devastating and impassioned performances) who meets super-sexy Harry (Paul Mescal) and after a few false starts, the two finally come together in a sizzling scene that begins gently enough. Haigh's camera lingers on close ups, shots of thighs panning up to faces, a hand moving down a body, shirts being removed, a hand touching a butt, a kiss, more clothes being removed. And Mescal's head moving down Scott's body. There is little nudity, but the yearning and desire captured onscreen makes the scene palpable.

"All of Us Strangers" is currently in theaters.

Josh Lavery, Daniel Gabriel & Vincent Andriano in 'Lonesome'
Zarif and Josh Lavery in "Lonesome"

Josh Lavery, Daniel Gabriel & Vincent Andriano in 'Lonesome'

It's difficult to select just one steamy scene from Aussie director Craig Boreham's sextastic "Lonesome," but the one that leaps out involves our enigmatic drifter, Casey (ridiculously sexy Josh Lavery) walking in to find his new crush, Tib (Daniel Gabriel), being fucked by a stranger (Vincent Andriano). In any other film, Casey would have been hurt and stormed off in a huff. Here, instead, he strips down, showers and eagerly joins in. It's a heightened, erotic scene, ending with Casey deep inside Tib and the stranger leaving the dynamic duo alone to finish.

"Lonesome' is currently streaming on Prime and available on Blu-ray.

Barry Keoghan & Archie Madekwe in 'Saltburn'
Barry Keoghan and Archie Madekwe in "Saltburn"

Barry Keoghan & Archie Madekwe in 'Saltburn'

There are many already-notorious "Saltburn" moments that either repel or enrapture us, depending on one's reaction to the film. But when it comes to diving into a role with an unwavering daring, Barry Keoghan is right up there next to Rogowski as someone ready to take cinematic risks–as he does with the bathtub licking, the grave humping and the oft-mentioned, already-classic nude dance. And who wouldn't lust after Jacob Elordi's yummy Felix? But one of the kinkiest moments in "Saltburn" has Keoghan's Oliver Quick seducing Felix's cousin, Farleigh (Archie Madekwe). After seeing it twice, it's still hard (no pun...ah, forget it) to know what Oliver is exactly doing to Farleigh, but when he demands that Farleigh "Behave," we are entranced, aroused...and ready to obey.

"Saltburn" is currently in theaters.

by Frank J. Avella

Frank J. Avella is a proud EDGE and Awards Daily contributor. He serves as the GALECA Industry Liaison and is a Member of the New York Film Critics Online. His award-winning short film, FIG JAM, has shown in Festivals worldwide ( Frank's screenplays have won numerous awards in 17 countries. Recently produced plays include LURED & VATICAL FALLS, both O'Neill semifinalists. He is currently working on a highly personal project, FROCI, about the queer Italian/Italian-American experience. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.

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