Remember when Violet let Corky “see” her tattoo in Bound? Or when Cay kissed Vivian in the pouring rain during Desert Hearts? Of course you do. Because every lez can recall a lesbian movie that changed her life… and confirmed her utter gayness.
For lesbian representation, seeing ourselves on screen not only ~turns us on~, but also gives us the courage to act on the passion we feel in our own lives. With those alluring and fearless moments in mind, we’ve rounded up the 10 hottest lesbian couples to ever be featured in cinema.
10. Adèle and Emma, Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)
In one of LGBTQ cinema’s most famous films, no other couple defines love at first sight like Adèle and Emma. Unbeknownst to them, their memorable walk-by moment would lead to a passionate, euphoric romance that lasted years. Whether it was the way they gazed at each other or the way they made love, their relationship was just as impactful for them as it was for the audience.
9. Syd and Lucy, High Art (1998)
Lisa Cholodenko’s moody classic centers a working relationship that quickly evolves into something deeper. Syd and Lucy grow as characters as their connection deepens, especially when they decide to run off to a secluded cabin together, tenderly consummating their simmering desire. Ally Sheedy, who brought Lucy to life, is almost too good at playing a dyke, which alone is enough of a reason for her High Art romance to make it onto this list.
8. Annabelle and Simone, Loving Annabelle (2006)
Inspired by Mädchen In Uniform (1931), the first-ever lesbian film, Loving Annabelle also takes place at an all-girls boarding school, where chemistry between the titular character and her English teacher is too intense for them to deny. The film takes its time with sensuality, but the wait is well worth it.
7. Kim and Maggie, Better Than Chocolate (1999)
Kim and Maggie were attracted to each other from the moment they locked eyes. Ani DiFranco’s lesbian anthem “32 Flavors” even played in the background as it happened, making their meet-cute even more memorable. From body-painting to having sex in the bathroom of a lesbian club, the leading ladies of this charming rom-com could barely keep their hands off of each other.
6. Sangailė and Auste, The Summer of Sangailė (2015)
The way Sangailė and Auste’s romance blossoms during their Lithuanian summer was beautiful to witness. Auste inspires Sangailė to become braver, but the blissful connection ends up leaving them both forever changed. Unlike most lesbian movies, The Summer of Sangailė includes not just one big sex scene, but TWO, which are both filled with lush cinematography that amplifies the experience.
5. Lorraine and Delphine, Atomic Blonde (2017)
Being on a deadly mission wasn’t enough to restrain Delphine and Lorraine from hitting on each other. That flirtation evolved into much more, allowing Lorraine to open up after building trust with her lover, something she’s rarely done before. Is there anything hotter than that?
4. Betty and Rita, Mulholland Drive (2001)
Mulholland Drive delivers a mysterious, thought-provoking romance on its own terms. The complex companionship between Betty and Rita eventually becomes deeper, revealed in a gorgeous love scene that’s undoubtedly one of lesbian cinema’s best.
3. Cay and Vivian, Desert Hearts (1985)
As many lesbian narratives explore, romance can inspire anyone to be more courageous, and the relationship in Desert Hearts embodies that. Cay is unapologetic about her gayness — and her crush on Vivian — which in turn makes Vivian question her own sexuality. The mutual attraction between them is a lovely slow-burn, eventually manifesting in a hotel room that acts as their own erotic utopia.
2. Ronit and Esti, Disobedience (2018)
Disobedience explores love as an urgent, liberating force of nature. The amount of intense passion displayed during Ronit and Esti’s moments together remains mind-blowing to me months after the film’s release. Both defying their Orthodox Jewish community to live their truths, the romantic bond these women have is exactly what drives their bravery.
1. Corky and Violet, Bound (1996)
One of the most admirable aspects of Bound is that its lead women are completely unapologetic about expressing their desire for each other. With Gina Gershon’s transfixing gaze and Jennifer Tilly’s raspy voice adding just the right amount of romantic tension, the connection between their characters displays eroticism and devotion. Just about every gay girl wants the Violet to their Corky, or vice versa, undeniably making this iconic couple top our list.
Who is your favorite couple in lesbian cinema? Let us know in the comments below!