How gay is too gay? That seems to be a question that the US movie censorship board, the MPAA ask themselves when considering a rating for a film.
Interestingly enough, 1996 lesbian-themed thriller Bound - yup, that's what the Wachowskis were doing before The Matrix - is a case in point, struggling to secure even an R-Rating because of too much 'hand sex.'
The scene is certainly authentic - well, I can only speak for myself here! - and was conducted under the guidance of lesbian sex expert/educator Susie Bright, who choreographed and advised the predominantly heterosexual actresses, Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly.
Check out the (totally NSFW) scene and see what you think...
The 'hand sex' almost landed Bound with an NC-17 rating, but a few cuts ensured a more mainstream theatrical release for the Wachowskis' directorial debut.
It certainly raises questions about just what is considered 'taboo' or 'edgy' in our culture. I don't see why 'hand sex' should raise any more eyebrows than any other kind... or maybe it's the relative rarity of gay and lesbian sex scenes in movies - in comparison with their heterosexual counterparts - that gets the censors hot under the collar...
Bound is certainly not a movie that uses sex gratuitously. The film cleverly uses imagery of closets, water, clothing and subtle gestures to convey the innermost thoughts and feelings of the characters.
- Consider the following scene which offers a wry, artistically lesbian take on the traditional porno set-up of the plumber coming over to see to more than the pipes... As of right now Bound is not available on Netflix but if you're in the mood: Best Lesbian Movies On Netflix You Need To Watch
Considering Bound got into trouble, one is surprised that these movies in which the actors had real sex actually made it to the big screen.