Does Nudity In Movies Matter Anymore?

boobs.jpgKnockers. Boobies. Tits. Canons. Mounts of Olympus. Jugs. Mounds of Joy. Ta Tas. Melons. Nipple Holders. Breasts. Lovely Lady Lumps. Baby Feeders. Bazookas. Cans. Cupcakes. Rack. Milkshakes. Hooters. Fun Bags.

Yes, young teen and pre-teen boys are so obsessed with women and their breasts that over the years we’ve come up with literally hundreds of slang phrases and variations of those phrases. That’s just how much we think about them. All the time. Non stop. It’s sad. It’s pathetic and juvenile, but the cold hard fact is that it’s also nature… and if women didn’t know that, they wouldn’t wear push up bras with low cut shirts. But that’s a rant for another blog.

Yes, our adolescent preoccupation with “boobs” doesn’t end in our teen years either. As we get older, some of us men just learn to mask and hide our genetic fixation and act more civil about it… but make no mistake about it my friends, it is still very much there and still very much alive, and any man who says otherwise is either A) Living out an alternative lifestyle, or B) LYING THROUGH HIS LYING TEETH OF LIES!!!

If you’re a woman, and you’re having a face to face conversation with a man… trust me… the moment you look away at something, he’s checking out the boob meat. A skillful man will let his eyes feast just long enough that he can get his eyes lined back up with yours just before you turn your attention back to him. In some respects, we are ninjas that way.

We aren’t objectifying you. We aren’t disrespecting you and we certainly aren’t belittling you. You simply have something we love, fixate on and are genetically driven to desire… and as kids, the only way most of us would get a chance to see the object of our desire was in movies.

Yes, for many of us, movies (not porn, just the regular ones) were our gateway, our conduit if you will to the wonderful world of nudity. Yes, the benevolent magical porn elves of the forest would sometimes leave dirty magazines around for us to find in the woods, but for the most part, regular movies held the potential to show us that thing we infatuated about the most… naked women. Yes yes yes, I understand how pathetic that sounds, but it is what it is.

I still remember my first “exposure” to a movie with nudity. I was 11 or 12 and I saw “Police Academy”. I was already in love with movies by that age because of Star Wars, but I was about to discover a whole new purpose for movies… to show me boobies! What man among us didn’t fantasize about Callahan at some point?

But now let me fast forward 20 or so years. It’s now 2008. The internet is here. As full grown men all of us have seen “boobies” in real life. Full blown porn is available to us for free… anytime… 24/7. We no longer need a Hollywood movie to provide us with images of naked women, because we can get that just about anywhere any time. And yet… we still obsess about it.

I’ll be honest, the main reason most men (including myself) had any sort of anticipation level about the new Woody Allen film “Vicky Christina Barcelona” was because we heard last year that there was going to be a threesome in it involving Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson. Just look around the interweb, and that’s the part everyone was talking about.

This week a new 80’s style comedy flick called “College” is opening up. The main draw of the film is that it promises nudity and sex (and hopefully it’ll be funny too). But the reality is that if I’m dying to look at some nudity or sex, I don’t have to wait till Friday, drive the the movie theater and pay $12 to get in to see it while surrounded by hundreds of other people. If nudity and sex are what I’m looking for, I don’t need the movies at all anymore.

So why do some of us still give any weight or importance to the idea of nudity in film as a drawing point, if nudity and sex are available 24/7? Why do some studios still rely on it as a selling point? Even kids today don’t need the magical porn elves of the forest anymore. Watching the scrambled channels late at night in hopes of a fraction of a second of clarity on a nipple is a thing of the past.

I’m not talking about artistic nudity, like Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises” fighting nude in the steam room. That made sense. It had a purpose other than trying to be sexually titillating. Sexually titillating scenes can also serve a purpose and the story at times when used right. No, what I’m talking about is gratuitous nudity for it’s own sake just as a selling feature. Does it matter anymore?

So let me ask you this. AND BE HONEST… we all know that the promise of nudity in a movie USED TO appeal to you a great deal, but does it anymore? Does the free availability of nudity on the web, or age or maturity negate the draw of sex in a movie for you? If it still holds some drawing power for you (I admit that it did for me a little with the “Vicky Christina Barcelona” example), why do you think that is?

53 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Ross

    But John….I am only 7 years old….what are these…BOOB..IES…you keep talking about?…

    ..Haha, just kidding….(or am I?:P).

    In all seriousness though, I agree with you. I don’t see why studios rely on nudity a lot of the time as a selling point, when we all know it’s available 24/7. Perhaps the studios know that people (well….men) can watch films with nudity in it without feeling guilty or ashamed. You can always fall back on, “But [INSERT MUM/DAD/HONEY/BABE etc HERE), it’s important as part of the movie.”

  2. Jason

    I take great offense to this line … “young teen and pre-teen boys are so obsessed with women and their breasts…”

    I am 26 years-old and I am obsessed with women and their breasts. How dare you not include my age group?

  3. Jon H

    Well, there is an important difference between nudity on a theater screen and nudity on a laptop screen. That difference is what nudity in movies still something of a drawing power.

  4. Amaltor

    The fact is, there’s a difference between seeing some nobody’s boobs on the internet, and a threesome with Cruz and Johansson on the big screen. In the movies, they show us the stars. That’s why the promise of sex in a movie is still exciting, even with all the free porn online.

  5. spence

    Some random pornstar or Angelina Jolie’s boobs in Gia.

  6. steven

    i don’t think nudity is the same as it was before, especially due to things leaking on the internets. i have no interest of seeing Vicky Christina Barcelona, because i know if anything happened (nudity wise) i’ll see it online in a couple of weeks.

  7. bart

    we still need to see boobies in the movies, but now i’m seeing less bobbies and more mister longjohn than boobies.

    to certain movies it does matter like comdies and romatic movies.
    you see some in the horror movies too.

  8. Tommy

    For me nudity in movies is pointless these days. As you said John if I want to see some boobs I can just hop on the internet and see everything I want and more for as long as I want. In a movie you get like 5 to 30 seconds of boobs and sometimes that just isn’t enough.

    I remember when I was a kid and American Pie came out me and my friends were obsessed with the Shannon Elizabeth nude scene, but now when I look at it, it isn’t the same. I think we have grown desensitized to simple nudity with everything you can see on the internet. A simple tit shot just doesn’t do it anymore. Why watch that when you can have so much more?

    The only draw to movie nudity I still have is when you have a starlett like Scarlett Johansen apparently gonna show us her chest. I’ve never seen them and I think she is beautiful so that kind of draws my attention.

  9. Eric


    I think it has for me, somewhat changed. While I will the first to admit that I like the boobage, it seems to me that it’s been done so much that it has taken away from the magic. For me, seeing a woman dressed promiscuously is more enticing than partial or even full nudity. It leaves something to the imagination…

  10. Chuck Norris

    The promise of gratuitous nudity is enough for me to press “RECORD” on tivo, but definitely not enough for me to buy a movie ticket. My most recent nudity-driven tivo-ing: “Cyborg 2″ with Angelina Jolie.

    That said, there’s only one reason to actually buy “Ciao Manhattan” (Edie Sedgwick, anybody?), and I do in fact own that movie.

  11. Michael Dance

    Nudity in movies is absolutely still a draw, but even I’m not sure why.

    Last year I was watching HBO with a roommate and a movie came on with a warning of nudity. Both of us: “all right!” Then I asked him why, if we can watch porn whenever we want, we still care about three seconds of breasts. He thought for a moment and said, “because they’re awesome.”

    My best guess is that we’re seeing people naked that aren’t porn stars, and are often famous celebrities (and in the best cases already a member of the spank bank).

  12. chris (the real one)

    i mean random pornstar used boobies are cool every now and again but quality movie star boobies come far and between….im still waiting to see scarlett flash the jubblies on camera…..u know how long i already waited to see halle berry’s chesticles or selma’s gorgeous meat vest…..those two once evey 10 years are better that stale fake porn star tits every 10 seconds

    in conclusion pornstar tits are like a dime a dozen….but movie star titties are a sight to behold…and…sorry

  13. Kristina

    Male nudity DAMN SURE MATTERS to me because it’s so goddamn rare. I’ve seen millions of tits in movies, but male stars rarely whip out the magic stick. I don’t care how rotten a movie looks, if I have a promise of full-frontal Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler, The Rock, Christian Bale, Steven Strait, or any other hot male star, I’M WATCHING THAT MOVIE.

  14. BobaFett

    I think the draw for some of Theatrical nudity is to push the boundary between the illicit (no matter what you say, porn is still frowned upon) and what is seen as morally acceptable.

    I realize that my references are a bit dated, but Movies like the Brown Bunny, Basic Instinct, Angel Heart, and Chocolat pushed the envelope on how we think of nudity. As a society we are a bit repressed that we stress so much about a bit of nipple. I think that as a society if we were to be more open, we’d have less problems. Many of society’s issues come from people wanting to feel like they are doing something wrong. Underage drinking, drug use and sex are pushed to the limit, with younger and younge people experimenting with their bodies and illegal substances.

    The remaining portion of theatrical nudity is rather gimmickish and/or marketted towards that young hormone laden crowd.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that Porky’s or Revenge of the Nerds (we’ve got bush!) were trying to be artistic, they were gratuitous and in fact were marketed to teenagers who couldn’t legally see them in theaters. Yet they were both hits…

    “Sex should not be in the movies and should be in the home,
    and violence should be in the movies and not in the home.”
    - Lee Tamahori

  15. chris (the real one)

    ^ lol

  16. Moviereign

    John… lol

  17. calviin

    I believe what killed the enticement of seeing boobies for a lot of people is the “unrated” version of most movies on the racks. Using the term “Unrated” makes it sound like there might be some gratuitous draw for the movie, but more often than not, the film didn’t deliver. I’ve been disappointed too many times.

    But, to be fair, the unrated version of Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay was much better than I expected.

  18. Rafa1215

    It’s not a draw to pay and see movies for that reason anymore. I think the last time I saw a movie just to see boobs was Halle Barry’s (swordfish) boobs. Sorry, guys, but, she was just a B cup and I prefer C or D’s.

  19. Ransom

    LOL John I think this is your best post ever and a hilarious discussion! Bravo!

  20. nautica

    absolutely agree with you john. just saw harold & kumar 2 and the bottomless scene though funny didn’t make me want to rewind/freeze like i used to with flashdance, sheena etc. 24/7 internet porn rules!!!

  21. calviin

    Damnit Chuck Norris

    Now I have to go get a copy of Cyborg 2!

  22. wahoomilko

    Boobs in movies may not be as great as they were back in the day, but one thing that will never change with nudity in movies is the awkwardness it brings when you are watching a movie with your parents and a set of chesticles appear on the screen. I’ll never forget watching Braveheart on VHS with my parents when I was around 13, and seeing william wallace’s new wife undress and show off her boobs. The silence was unbearable.

  23. Mr. Chris

    Crazy. “Police Academy” was my first encounter with boobs too. I remember mom throwing her hands over our eyes and dad laughing at her choice in renting family movies.

    Nudity can still be a draw, but it has to be something we haven’t seen before, or have been craving to see. If there’s a 20-minute threesome between Natalie Portman, Keira Knightley, and Scarlett Johannson, I’ll be there opening day with advance tickets. If it involves Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Madonna - not so much.

  24. George

    Its all about whose boobs it is.

    If I want faceless boobs then I can get them anywhere but if you want famous boobs I want them well lit and on a set not paparazzi nonsense.

  25. Kristina

    And if Ben Barnes whips it out, I’ll be at the midnight show.

  26. George

    I do think screen nudity has a very unfair balance though.

    where is all the cock? I mean we have definitely seen a big improvement lately - jessica marshall, walk hard.

    I am not gay just a firm believer in equal opportunitites.

    haha I said firm.

  27. Ransom Betty

    Chuck Norris,

    You gotta love Cyborg 2!!! Hell yeah!

  28. Film-Book dot Com

    Rent American Pie: The Naked Mile. Trust me. It’s actually funny, has decent dialog ( and acting) and some really hot girls that get fully nude.

    Breasts helps to sell some crap movies. I don’t know how many direct-to-video flicks I have seen with sorry-ass acting but with tons of nudity and hot chicks.

  29. Papagena

    “I’m not talking about artistic nudity, like Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises” fighting nude in the steam room. That made sense. It had a purpose other than trying to be sexually titillating.”

    BAHAHAHA! Well, if you’re straight guy or a gay girl, yes. It’s there for artistic purpose. If you’re not, *snerk*.

  30. Chuck Norris

    Re: “Cyborg 2″…

    Angelina Jolie was only 17 at the time of production!!! You do realize that this post means that I can never run for president, right?

    Also, Jack Palance is freaking creepy in this. Just try maintaining an erection during his spooky TV monitor appearances. Seriously, “Cyborg 2″ is like a continual battle for the control of your libido, with Angelina Jolie in one corner and Jack Palance’s mouth full of gravel in the other.

    Oh, and one thing that I learned from “Cyborg 2″: Apparently, in the year 2074, all TV’s are 25″ Sylvania’s, you know, the kind you bought for $300 at Wal-Mart back in ‘92.

  31. Chuck Norris

    Holy crap!

    I just remembered that I was actually planning on seeing Mike Nichols’ “Closer” in the theater when I thought that Natalie Portman (playing a stripper) was going to go full Monty. When I later read that she didn’t show anything, I passed.

    I just looked “Closer” up and saw that it brought in $115 million worldwide.

    How much more would have it made if Portman went full nude?

  32. RonSalon

    Well, there certainly are a lot of men answering this thread. Hmm, I wonder what that has to say about nudity and movies.

    i for one don’t see a lot of the dong in movies now a days (not that we ever did), but that is probably becasue females don’t get to make a lot of movies.

    There is a great documentary by those who made Breasts for, I think, HBO about the penis. Perhaps you should watch it and it will enlighten you as to why we see lots of boobies (and as a gay man I really do like them) and very few dongs. Oh well, like so many have said before me, that’s what the internet is for.

  33. Mattiac

    Yes, nudity in movies still matters!

  34. entertainmenttodayandbeyond

    Depends on how old you are. I remember watching PRIVATE SCHOOL with Betsy Russell when I was a kid and enjoyed watching her do a nude scene. She was hot! Nowadays with the net, its more of a distraction in a film!

  35. lone ranger

    i think this paragraph “If you’re a woman, and you’re having a face to face conversation with a man… trust me… the moment you look away at something, he’s checking out the boob meat. A skillful man will let his eyes feast just long enough that he can get his eyes lined back up with yours just before you turn your attention back to him. In some respects, we are ninjas that way.” is a landmark in the history of this blog.
    I think is sexier a scene that suggests, but not shows. For example, when giselle bundchen checks the woman cop for guns in Taxi or Megan Fox repairing the car in Transformers.

  36. Mashi

    I really thought it was Doug who wrote that! Well, I am certain in for some women like Alyssa Milano, Jolie, Courtney Cox or Selma Blair, not for boobs but they are incredibly hot, and besides movies you wont get anythig.

  37. Naught

    I’m subtracting The Rock and adding Adrien Brody and James Mcavoy to Kristina’s list. God bless Crank and that split second of Jason Statham’s uhm, gentleman’s equipment.

    Daniel Radcliffe did whip it out, but on stage, and that is the abomination of the decade.

    And there’s a reason I love The Tudors (tv series), and it sure as hell ain’t historical accuracies.

  38. Serge G

    I would like inform you that Scarlett Johansson (actress)actually is a clone from original person,who has nothing with acting career.Clone was created illegally by using stolen biomaterial. Original Scarlett Galabekian last name is nice, CHRISTIAN young lady!I’ll tell you more,those clones(it’s not only one)made in GERMANY-world leader manufacturer of humans clones,it is in Ludwigshafen am Rhein,N. Bavaria, Mr. Helmut Kohl home town.You can’t even imaging the scale of the cloning activity.But warning! H. Kohl clone staff 100% controlling their clones spreading around the world,they are very accurate with that, some of them are still NAZI type disciplined and mind controlled clones,be careful get close with clones you will be controlled too.Original family did not authorize any activity with stolen biological materials,no matter what form it was created,it all needs back to original family control to Cedars-Sinai MedicalCenter in LA.Original Scarlett is not engage,by the way!

  39. RonSalon

    Oh, and Kristina, I’ll bring the popcorn if Jackman and Butler ‘whip it out the magic stick.”

  40. leeloo

    holy shit. lol.

    i dont have a problem with nudity at the movies.

    - but sometimes the air conditioning can be uncomfortable. >rimshot<

  41. Anti-Ceptic

    I think the difference between watching a real movie with limited or partial nudity versus porn is simple. With porn you get about 5 minutes of really cheesy dialog and then sex, and most times its boring sex. Wait did I say that? lol People tend to zone out after about ten minutes watching a porno, they become desensitized.

    I dare say that a limited or partial nudity scene in an enjoyable movie is much more erotic than any porno movie made, your mind is fully tuned in and you really remember that boob flash, or that exotic lingerie.

    Besides, most teenage boys can have a picture of a movie starlet on there wall and fantasize about her without much feedback from your mom, but try and put a porn starlets picture on the wall and wait for the reaction from your mother. It only makes sense your parents will object, I know I would.

    Just my thoughts


    My take on the whole nudity/boobies thing has a lot to do with the purpose it is shown in the flick. Seriously, I thought that WAY TOO MUCH was made out of Halle Berry’s topless scene in Swordfish, as it was uncalled for and only done for the $$$$, whereas in “crappy movies” (like Naked Mile) it was used because it flowed with the story.

    I’m more a legs and ass man myself, but won’t be too upset when I see a nice pair of breasts, however, it’s got to flow into the movie (sex appeal) versus just “being there” and a blatant “we put it here because we paid the actress a few extra bucks so we could be the first movie she was topless in” bullshit.

    The reason movies like Porkies worked (and succeeded at the box office - but more so on TV) was the fact that it was still risky to show nudity. It’s not a huge draw anymore, as you and others state, as it used to be because of the availability of the net. It will definitely be a draw though, if a high profile actress decides she’s going to do it, especially if it’s her first nude scene. You bet your ass there will be a lineup of guys taking their date to see the threesome with Cruz/Johanssen.

    And to (I think it was) George that mentioned Closer (with Natalie Portman)… NP did have a nude scene (or two) in that movie, however, she also had control over the edits that if she felt uncomfortable, they’d be removed. I believe up until a month after filming stopped, she was ok with it, then changed her mind and the director cut the scenes.

  43. Ransom

    Who cares about nudity? Lesbian make-out sessions is where it’s at.

  44. giren

    Honestly, and sadly, YES, it still works. If the movie was bad, it will safe it from ‘the worst movie ever’ to an ‘okay’ movie. If the movie was good, it will make it better.

    Sad, really how men got so much influence by his ****.

    BTW, your line about A) Living out an alternative lifestyle
    was sooo funny!!!

  45. JAY


    The 24/7 exposure in the web does not have the same attraction or drawing power of the subtleties placed strategically in the movies; that’s why it works….for me at least.

    Case in point: Megan Fox’s famous photo shoot with the car in Transformers gave me a wedgie

  46. sfsilver

    I don’t think I would go out of my way to see a movie just because of the promise of nudity, but I think nudity matters in film because nudity is part of life. Sex is part of life. At least it’s part of mine, and I enjoy seeing the world reflected on the screen. It’s not purely prurient interest or desire for me.

    That said count me in for a chance to see Hugh Jackman’s huge jack man! yum. The heterosexual male perspective of tits tits tits is overdone. Give us more balance in our naughty bits shots.

  47. Jamie

    You missed big bangers.

  48. Jamie

    I’m sorry, i missed everything after the picture.

  49. Dragonslayer

    I wanna see Helena Bohnam Carter naked

  50. boobies

    do people really love me??

    @dragon slayer
    Helena Bohnam Carter was naked in a movie and i cant remember the name of that movie

  51. Brandon

    I think that because nudity is not such a big deal anymore the new Kevin Smith film my not be the breakthrough he is capable of, It will be a good film but sex in movies just dosen’t hold the drawing power it once did.

    That said, I remember my first movie seeing nudity: American Werewolf in London (Who the hell was that girl in the movie anyway) It was also the first time I ever heard Creedence Clearwater Revival. Still one of my all time fanudity fave flics even though I mostly despise horror movies

    I agree with those that say a good sexy scene without nudity is almost better: Leia in Return of the Jedi, the Tranformers girl, Natile Portman for sure in a few diffrent movies and many others.

    I think American Pie was the first movie that I realized that the movie had to be good to justify paying to see the nudity. I though Shannon Elizabeth was hotter in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back honestly.

  52. Watch Full Free Legal Movies Here

    “Cannons” are here to stay. I always like a good ‘bouncer’ every now and then, but don’t over do it. Steamy love scences are good but trashy “show the body” stuff is not “film making”, it’s just money making.

  53. Anthony

    Sex on the screen has always played one role - FANTASY. It has nothing to do with reality, and it has nothing to do with people. It is all about IMAGE. Yes, we may cater to the image of Scarlett Johansson over another female, but ultimately we love the sight of it. Yet at the same time there is the fantasy that drives us there. It might be similar to going to a strip joint where, instead of the dollars going into a G-string, they go into the Studio pocket (you know the one close to the groin - thats where we keep our money, near our privates). But there is little expectation of taking a stripper home, and even less of taking Scarlett home, so its all based on fantasy and image.

    If nudity is relevant to the story, or spices up the drama, then it will help the films box office. If not, then you have the sexploitation film, which is reliant upon sex and nudity. But a standard film like the Woody Allen film and even the recent Boleyn Girls (both with Scarlett) dealt with sexuality. I think Scarlett is a good example because here is a woman who has a great rack, knows she has a great set, and yet, has not done any nude scenes. By doing that, she in effect has more control of her audience. If she did nude scene after nude scene, ala Angelina Jolie, then the films become less interesting.

    At the same time, however, nudity can enhance a films interest, curiosity and, perhaps, even hold your interest longer. I think if all movies were void of nudity, they would become dull. Seeing nudity is also a way to view PRIVACY without getting arrested. Seeing a nude person is about intimacy, or maybe voyeurism in the case of watching. But the fantasy allows us to be involved on an intimate level, even if it is only to watch. The fact that we are allowed and even invited to watch, is one reason we go to see it.

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