Outlander: The sex scenes in this series – the continuing adventures of time-travelling nurse Claire Randall – have been praised for their rare female gaze: the main dude’s a virgin (well, ‘was’ a virgin), there’s no gratuitous nudity, and Claire’s sexually empowered, often making the first move.


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The Spectacular Now (2013): You won’t find a more honest depiction of first-time sex. No hysterical giggling, no over-anxious pawing – just quiet nervousness and steamy longing.


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The Affair: Unlike Hollywood’s female ‘O’-face fixation, this series portrays sex more realistically: “Why have I always got to do the orgasm face? There should be a male orgasm face. Why is it always the woman who’s orgasming? Let’s analyze the male orgasm,” said star Ruth Wilson.


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Blue Valentine (2010): Ryan Gosling famously went after the MPAA after they slapped the film with a box office-killing NC-17 rating due to a scene in which his character goes down on Michelle Williams’: “There’s plenty of oral sex scenes in a lot of movies, where it’s a man receiving it from a woman – and they’re R-rated. Ours is reversed and somehow it’s perceived as pornographic.” Isn’t he dreamy?


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Don’t Look Now (1973): There’s no denying the raw power of this film’s infamous sex scene; the emotional intimacy is ramped up by director Nicholas Roeg’s decision to intercut stars Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland’s roll in the sheets with scenes of domesticity as the couple get dressed to go out.


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Coming Home (1978): The sex scene, in which paraplegic veteran Luke (Jon Voight) shows conservative military wife Sally (Jane Fonda) the tenderness that leads to her first orgasm, is a stunner.


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Out Of Sight (1998): Remember George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez’s super romantic “interlude” in a hotel room on a snowy night?


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Pride & Prejudice (2005): Not even first base, but the final scene on the moors, when Lizzie kisses Darcy’s cold hand, is hot enough to melt the permafrost.


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Titanic (1997): The steamed-up window that launched a thousand fanfics.


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Black Swan (2010): In between the horrifying hangnail incident and the rest of Darren Aronofsky’s ballet-related horror schlock, there was a brief moment of steamy respite in Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman’s sex scene.


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Pleasantville (1998): In retrospect, Gary Ross’ Pleasantville feels a little heavy-handed, except for the scene in which Joan Allen’s Betty Parker masturbates to orgasm for the first time in the bath, and her black and white world suddenly explodes into colour.


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Y Tu Mamá También (2001): Alfonso Cuarón’s wonderful road movie has a number of ~moments~, but few compare with the film’s crescendo, a threesome between the much older Luisa (Maribel Verdú) and the barely legal Julio (Gael García Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna).


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The Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn Pt 1 (2011): The bit before the bed-breaking bonking – perfect depiction of foreplay at its dumb, slightly embarrassing best.


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9½ Weeks (1986): Includes everything from Basinger’s strip tease to ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ to the hottest midnight fridge raid of all time.


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Atonement (2007): Proof that sometimes the sexiest sex scenes happen fully clothed.


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Take This Waltz (2011): Michelle Williams’ character Margot has an (extended) sexual awakening when she finally gets it on with the dreamy Luke Kirby, not to mention a few extra men and women.


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Wayne’s World (1992): Damned if there’s not a better example of how FUN sex can be than when Wayne finally gets into bed with Cassandra in her cool loft apartment, socks and all.



Henry Sapiecha

Video & article show how Nicole Kidman brings glamour to Etihad brand campaign

Movie star Nicole Kidman is the face of Etihad Airways in a new global brand campaign by M&C Saatchi Sydney.

The ‘Flying Reimagined’ campaign stars Kidman aboard Etihad’s new flagship Airbus A380, enjoying service offerings including The Lobby, and relaxing in its three-room private living space, The Residence.

The television commercial for the campaign was shot on the aircraft and in a number of global locations including various landmarks in Abu Dhabi. It also includes a digital created scene of Kidman inside the soon-to-be opened Lourve Abu Dhanbi and inside the Strahov Library in Prague.

The concept for the new campaign was created by M&C Saatchi Australia, part of Etihad Airways’ global creative agency, M&C Saatchi.
Tom McFarlane, founding creative director at M&C Saatchi Australia said: “On the completion of a campaign I’m often asked what inspired me.

“The answers are many and varied, but in this case the inspiration came directly from the product itself. Who could not be inspired by the sheer elegance, style, and dare I say it, reimagining of this remarkable aircraft? Hopefully, all of which we have captured perfectly in this campaign.”

The campaign includes 60 second and 30 second edits of the film, with still versions of the campagin appearing in print, digital and outdoor channels.

London-based production company Thomas and Thomas produced the television commercial while the brand story was directed by husband and wife directorial team Anthony Atanasio and Valerie Martinez. An accompanying soundtrack was commissioned by the airline and composed by creative director and composer of Sydney-based audio design company, Song Zu, Ramesh Sathiah.

Etihad Airways chief commercial officer Peter Baumgatner said: “Nicole Kidman, as a globally respected artist, was the perfect voice and face for our story, and embodies worldly sophistication, intelligence, originality, and elegance – values which form the foundations of the Etihad brand.”

“Etihad Airways is constantly pushing boundaries, taking inspiration from the world to provide a superlative in-flight experience for our guests. This new campaign has succeeded brilliantly in bringing our unique brand and service ethos to life on film, in print and on digital channels.

Henry Sapiecha

Hot Female Stars x 11 before/after & now pics


In Hollywood, it’s incredibly important to age gracefully. Sometimes, the pressure to look a certain way can be overwhelming. For this reason, many celebrities – young and old – turn to plastic surgery or drastic weight loss to maintain their good looks. Unfortunately, those methods don’t always work and the celebrities end up looking worse than when they started. Here are 11 female celebrities who used to be hot but, unfortunately, aren’t anymore:


1. Tara Reid

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Tara partied her way from a reality television beauty to a scary looking C-List actress. Her California looks somehow melted away through a haze of drugs and drastic weight loss, leave her looking dreary and drawn.


2. Madonna

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Madonna, the reigning goddess of pop, has not aged gracefully. She went from blonde bombshell to just really old in a very short space of time, largely because of — again — plastic surgery. Madge should’ve taken the normal route and stayed with her original face because everyone loved it, and it would no doubt have looked much better than it does now.


3. Donatella Versace

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The queen of the fashion world made the horrible mistake of trying to be more beautiful than her models — with catastrophic results. Donatella, as her name suggests, was once a blonde beauty. Once the plastic surgeries and alleged drug use began to take their toll, Donatella became almost unrecognizable.


4. Meg Ryan 

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For much of the 90s, America’s sweetheart was actress Meg Ryan. Starring in the decade’s most popular romantic comedies like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, she charmed the world with her blonde locks and adorable face. Age and plastic surgery, unfortunately, couldn’t keep Meg’s spell on America. Her face and body wilted, and although it would be a stretch to say Meg Ryan is ugly, she’s definitely not the beauty she was.


5. Kelly Lebrock 

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Kelly Lebrock was part of the Girl Next Door club of young, beautiful actresses. With charming good looks and her bright personality, she landed many coveted roles. Unfortunately, the dreaded curse of weight gain hit, and Lebrock ballooned to more than 200 pounds. She joined and fell off the celebrity weight loss wagon, but it was much too late for her.


6. Lindsay Lohan 

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Lindsay Lohan was the teen idol of the early 2000s. Her youthful good looks and wholesome image from popular movies like The Parent Trap and Mean Girls cemented her fame. Lindsay took a wrong turn somewhere in her late teens, joining the many child stars whose lives have been derailed by drug and alcohol abuse. She lost drastic, unhealthy amounts of weight, and her skin began to become papery and sagged. The perky, “good girl” idol was no more after her stints in rehab and run-ins with the law.


7. Lil Kim 

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Lil Kim was the hottest MC in the game. She was leagues ahead of other female rappers of her time, and her lyricist skills were praised in and out of the industry. Even hotter than her raps was her body. Lil Kim hid nothing — quite literally. As the years went by, however, Kim began to take drastic measures to preserve her appearance… which was a terrible idea. Her plastic surgeon wrecked Kim’s looks and possibly her music career.


8. Heidi Montag

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Resident Queen Bee of The Hills, Heidi Montag was gorgeous. She was the symbol of the rich, beautiful girl lifestyle and proudly flaunted it. Once her reality show The Hills ended, Heidi began to undertake what many called a “Barbie doll transformation.” She had dozens of surgeries over the course of a couple years, and the result wasn’t so much a Barbie doll transformation as it was a Frankenstein transformation.


9. Jenna Jameson

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The name Jenna Jameson is synonymous with hot porn. It was well known in the early 2000s that any porn worth watching had to have Jenna Jameson in it. She had a body to die for and a flawless face. After Jameson retired, her looks appeared to take the same route as her career. She became almost skeletally thin, her skin saggy and battered.


10. Janice Dickinson 

Janice Dickinson was the model of perfection – literally. She was splashed on magazine covers and ad campaigns all over the world, truly epitomizing the term supermodel. Unfortunately, mere mortal aging wasn’t enough for Janice. She underwent several extreme plastic surgery procedures that inflated her lips like old tires and sagged the rest of her face.


11. Kirstie Alley 

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Kirstie Alley was one of the most enviable babes of the 80s and early nineties. Her perfectly feathered hair and body were to the envy of millions of women. Somewhere along the lines, something went wrong. Kirstie Alley has been back and forth on the celebrity weight loss and weight gain scale, at one point weighing in at nearly 250 pounds. Her weight battles have been very public, with Alley becoming spokeswoman for several weight loss products.



Henry Sapiecha


Ruth Wilson in The Affair,

Ruth Wilson in The Affair,

If you’ve not yet seen Ruth Wilson in The Affair, prepare yourselves. The series explores the escalation and subsequent fallout of an affair between a married teacher (played by Dominic West, aka ‘McNulty’) and a young, bereaved waitress (Wilson, in a captivating portrayal). Created by accomplished writer Sarah Treem, The Affair asks difficult questions about the longevity of love, the necessary selfishness of passion and the choices we make between being loyal and being happy.

Oh, and there’s a lot of sex.

In the usual televisual fare, that would mean a lot of ostentatious howling and simultaneous orgasms. According to Hollywood, bringing about climax in a woman is as simple as penetrating her for a minute or less (thanks, heternormativity!) until she wails like a banshee finding tortured release. This pantomime is echoed in mainstream pornography, where female orgasms are found in the money shot at the end of the rainbow. Given how these scenes are overwhelmingly written and directed by men, I’ve often been led to wonder if any of them have ever actually seen a woman come.

The famous o-face scene in When Harry met Sally.

The famous o-face scene in When Harry met Sally. Photo: Everett Collection/REX

But The Affair is different, because it portrays sex as a realistic interaction between flawed humans. Rather than performing intimacy, Wilson and West embody the complexities of sex. The backdrop of an ocean town in the Hamptons makes for an appropriate setting, because the bodies of Alison and Noah communicate with the same ebbs and flows of a temperamental tide.

The unique conceit of The Affair lies in its dual storytelling methods. Each episode is separated into two parts, both told from Alison and Noah’s own perspectives. The result is a fascinating reflection not only on the ways individuals perceive their own experiences but how men and women in particular might recall certain events. In Noah’s recollections, Alison’s sexual excitement is more animalistic and excitable than in her own memories, while she’s cast as the instigator of the affair. In contrast, Alison remembers herself wearing more modest clothing, a mother grieving for a dead child and being pursued by a city-dwelling writer bored with his marriage. But in both storylines, their sexual interaction is still primarily rooted in reality rather than fantasy.

One of the most memorable of these scenes opens at the tail end of Noah going down on Alison. She climaxes quietly, but there’s no sense that this has lessened the impact of her orgasm. She immediately pushes him away and cups her hands between her legs, telling him she’s too sensitive for him to keep going. If I hadn’t already known, I would have realised in that moment that it was a scene if not written by a woman, it was at the very least informed by one directing it.

There are other moments that excite too, purely because they are so rare. Although fleetingly displayed, the audience is still treated to some visual and aural indications of Noah’s own sexual pleasure. Despite the importance and esteem the necessity of the male orgasm seems to be held in in wider society and culture, it’s actually rare that we get to see men stripped back and made vulnerable under an external artistic gaze.

Wilson reflects on this inequality in an interview with Net-A-Porter. She says, “I have a big concern about how women are treated in the industry generally, and how they have to provide the titillation because penises can’t be seen on screen but breasts can. It’s assumed that women will get their breasts out, and have to get their breasts out, and I balk at that. It’s unnecessary and it’s unfair. So I kept insisting, ‘Why have I always got to do the orgasm face? There should be a male orgasm face. Why is it always the woman who’s orgasming? Let’s analyze the male orgasm. Why aren’t we thinking about that a bit more?’ It’s hard to make good sex scenes work – there are so many crap ones out there.”

This double standard extends all the way to the voyeurism industry. Pornography, overwhelmingly geared towards men, maintains a certain silence around the actual act of male orgasm, preferring instead to demonstrate it by having performers pull out and ejaculate all over supposedly eager women’s faces. It’s no surprise that a culture that so consistently speaks to a perceived male audience about the very precious experience of being male would shy away from exposing their most raw and erotic of moments. The wink-wink nature of mainstream art is directed at men on the other side of the fourth wall, not women; the fear of homoeroticism in a heteronormative world is so strong that any sign of witnessing and even enjoying passive male pleasure is considered a bridge to gaysville. Terror!

Pornography aside, women are the biggest consumers of television. The past decade has seen somewhat of a revolution for women on the small screen, with a far more diverse array of roles and storylines available that are still sadly lacking in cinema. But as well as embracing stories that are actually about us and treat us like complex participants in the human experience, women are no less interested in the thrill of titillation than men. Witnessing the surrender to sexual pleasure turns us on too. For many heterosexual women (and even a number of queer women) the sounds and sights of a man enjoying pleasure is hugely erotic. It’s partly why homosexual porn and slash fiction are so popular among straight women.

Let’s face it, breasts are becoming boring. Could it be that, against all reasons and odds, the male orgasm face is actually the last taboo? If so, I for one am looking exceedingly forward to that one being smashed over and over and over again.

Henry Sapiecha


‘I did not have an easy childhood’: Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson reveals her painful history of sex abuse at the launch of her charity foundation in Cannes.

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The revelation came as she unveiled the Pamela Anderson Foundation, which will focus on the environment and animal rights, in front of more than 200 people during the film festival in France on Friday.

I wanted off this earth.

Anderson, 46, said her past had prompted her love of nature.

“I feel now might be the time to reveal a few of my most painful memories. At the risk of over-exposing myself, again, or being inappropriate, again, I thought I might share with you why I am doing this,” the Baywatch star said.

Anderson has previously revealed she was raped when she was 12, but she detailed a further string of abusive incidents, alleging she was molested by a female babysitter at the age of six and gang-raped as a teen.

“I did not have an easy childhood. Despite loving parents, I was molested from age six by a female babysitter … I went to a friend’s boyfriend’s house and his older brother decided to teach me backgammon, which led into a back massage, which led into rape. My first heterosexual experience. He was 25 years old and I was 12.”


She then added that a high school teenager “decided it would be funny to gang-rape me with six friends. I wanted off this earth.”

British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood was on hand to support her friend, but admitted the revelations came as a shock to her.

She told Britain’s The Guardian newspaper: “I did not know she had been through all of that. I have known her a long time now and we are really close.

Henry Sapiecha


Henry Sapiecha


Oh really? Padmalatha Ravi’s 15-minute documentary presents prejudice at its worst. Rama Sreekant attempts to decipher the ‘good girl’ checklist.

Padmalatha Ravi

16 December 2012 is a black date in Indian history. Angry voices, national outrage, high decibel prime-time debates and a case that set a precedent on how the judiciary responds to cases of rape. It was not the first rape we, as a nation, witnessed; it was not the last either. While most of us engaged in online rants, armchair conversations and dinner-table discussions, Bangalore-based Padmalatha Ravi decided to walk the talk.

A journalist, by profession, Padmalatha who has written extensively on gender-related issues, was pushed to the brink after the Delhi rape. That the pen is mightier than the sword may be true but Padmalatha wanted a voice for her words, a voice that would question the stereotypes, the moral policing and the misogynist attitudes. “The debate on whether the victim was right in stepping out at night that too with a man she was not related to, was loud. I had to understand why this was so, hence the film,” she says.

Good Girls Don’t Dance, a 15-minute documentary, is Padmalatha’s first independent crowd-sourced film that questions the notions of society’s reactions to sexual harassment, molestation and rape.

Released earlier this year, the film attempts to understand why victim-blaming is so rampant. It explores how individuals define  ‘good girl’ and ‘bad girl’ through interviews with 45 people from Bangalore, across age groups, social and economic backgrounds.

The list to check off while attempting to be a “good girl” is long. But the don’ts outnumber the dos. “The conversations in the film will tell you that our reactions depend on whether the woman is considered good or bad. Notions of good and bad are ruled by morality and patriarchy, which are so deeply entrenched we don’t even realize it,” says Padmalatha.

Long after the Delhi and Shakti Mills rapes, questions like ‘Why did she go out so late in the night, what was she wearing?’ are still being asked. And being asked by the fairer sex, as well. In a recent interview, actress Gul Panag had categorically stated, “Women, in India, are their own worst enemy.” But Padmalatha refuses to understand the urgency to blame women for their own plight. Women, she says, are a part of the same society that has confined them to gender stereotypes for several ages. In her opinion, the question to ask is, “When will men realise that women are people too; and that women need not be a means to show off their machismo?”

Just like the hijab has, in France, a special power to inflame public debate, in India too, what women should wear has been a point of argument, for decades. Can clothes  really be a yardstick of virtue? Padmalatha firmly believes that this is the biggest myth that has been perennially recycled. “Sexual violence is never about lust, it is about power and domination. It will happen no matter what clothes women do or do not wear, as long as the man thinks it is normal to subjugate a woman,” she explains. Campaigns such as Pink Chaddi and Sampat Pal’s Gulabi Gang were born of these attitudes.

While both movements garnered an equal amount of brickbats and bouquets, they have often been trivialised by pseudo-moral conformists. More recently, actor Kalki Koechlin and VJ Juhi Pandey hammered home with a satirical online video, Rape, it’s my fault!, which lamented the deep-seated patriarchal belief system wherein women are invariably held responsible for inviting sexual harassment. Sustained campaigning is the need of the hour, according to Padmalatha. Many outspoken traditionalists have openly declared that women should cover themselves, not go out after sunset, be ‘good girls’ and obey other moral bindings.

It’s a matter of perspective, she says. “Many of the dance forms that we are so proud of today were once considered immoral. In the early days, only Devdasis and courtesans performed, not women from ‘decent families’. Today, we respect artists and revere their art forms,” she elaborates.

Good Girls Don’t Dance, was recently nominated to be a part of the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival. While it didn’t win an award, Padmalatha was moved to see that, “young women took away the fact that you cannot be blamed for what you are wearing.” She now plans to have screenings of the film at various colleges and start a sustained discussion. While a well-known college in Bangalore turned her down, “because the subject was too controversial,” Padmalatha continues to be hopeful.

When will men realize that women are people too and that women need not be a means to show off their machismo? — Padmalatha Ravi


Henry Sapiecha