In the mood to watch porn, but not in the mood to deal with a bunch of HD penises on PornHub? There is a happy medium between explicit porn films and offerings that are just sexy enough to get the job done without skewing all of your internet ads for months. This is where softcore pornography comes in—a.k.a. porn for people who want a little more sensuality and slightly less sex. Softcore porn was big in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, particularly back in the heyday of the sexploitation genre.
While softcore porn is, admittedly, a tad bit harder to find these days, that doesn't mean it's impossible. Thanks to the glory of the internet, you can still watch plenty of vintage classics—and, believe it or not, there are still auteurs creating new material in the softcore subgenre. Is your interest piqued yet? If it is, but you're still feeling unsure of where to start your own softcore porn watching adventure, keep reading because we've collected a variety of options that showcase the range of what this genre has to offer. May we humbly suggest starting your softcore journey with these?
1.'Embrace of the Vampire'
Starring, somewhat amazingly, a young Alyssa Milano as—what else?—a college co-ed, this campy softcore classic has the perfect mix of silliness and sexiness. It's like if Twilight actually, you know, went all the way.
The plot of this movie involves a cop that wants to spice up his marriage by filming his wife in various sexual encounters with other people.
There's more plot that happens when this eventually gets them into trouble with a mobster—that classic tale!—but, let's be honest: With sex scenes this hot, you won't be watching it for the plot.
3.'Angels of Sex'
A steamy, Spanish-language film about gorgeous students who have a bunch of steamy sex with each other and, in the process, learn some things about love and growing up, too. We love a good coming of age softcore porn!
4. 'A Perfect Ending'
Featuring mainstream talent like Morgan Fairchild and John Heard, A Perfect Ending is one of those movies that checks the boxes for both "sexy AF softcore porn" and "actual movie with story and plot." The movie follows Rebecca, a housewife in an unhappy and unfulfilling marriage, who confides in two lesbian friends that she's never experienced an orgasm. At their suggestion, she enlists the help of a high-priced escort named Paris, who helps her discover—and take control of—her sexuality.
5. 'The First Turn-On!'
If you're looking for some softcore sexiness with a little more camp and humor, then give 1983's The First Turn-On! a go. The movie focuses on a group of campers (and their obligatory counselor chaperone) who find themselves stuck in a cave after a landslide and decide to pass the time sharing stories of their first times. As you do.
6. 'Erika's Hot Summer'
Nothing quite captures the essence of softcore porn like the '70s aesthetic and if you're feeling vintage vibes, Erika's Hot Summer is about as quintessentially '70s softcore as it gets. As for plot, the movie is about a photographer who travels the world taking pictures of and getting it on with a never-ending series of beautiful women—until he meets Erika, that is. Erika is his own personal playboy kryptonite and once he's been with her, no one else can measure up.
7. 'Room in Rome'
If you look for softcore porn that's a little more character-driven, give Room in Rome a watch. The 2010 Spanish drama is about two women who meet as strangers and have a passionate night together—all while sharing intimate stories about their troubled pasts.
8. 'Two Moon Junction'
If you love a healthy dose of '80s camp in your softcore viewing, Two Moon Junction is truly a must-see. The move follows April Delongpre, a 21-year-old Southern belle (and senator's daughter) who has been pushed into in an engagement to a guy named Chad Douglas Fairchild, who is just as Chad Douglas Fairchild-y as the name implies. April ends up falling for the least Chad Douglas Fairchild-y guy in town—a carnival worker/drifter named Perry. Sexiness ensues.
9. 'Love Camp'
Love Camp (also known as Die Todesgöttin des Liebescamps) is a 1981, West German softcore rock musical—aka everything you never realized you wanted a porn movie to be. The movie stars sex symbol Laura Gemser and is all about free love nad sexual liberation.
10. 'The Key'
This 2014 erotic drama (which is loosely based on the 1956 Japanese novel of the same name) stars David Arquette and Bai Ling and tells the story of a married couple who begin keeping sex diaries to document their love life.
11. 'Touch Me Not'
If you're interested in one of the more modern offerings in the softcore genre, 2018's Touch Me Not is a great option. The movie is part documentary, part fiction and follows a filmmaker (Adina Pintilie) as she engages with a group of character for a personal research project about intimacy.
12. 'Bikini Jones and the Temple of Eros'
If you like your softcore jollies with a heavy dose of camp, then 2010's Bikini Jones and the Temple of Eros (represented here with its foreign release DVD cover because the art is so much better than the English cover art) is for you. The plot revolves around Dr. Bikini Jones (played by Christine Nguyen), an archaeologist in the tradition of Indiana Jones, of course), who steals a golden idol that happens to be the key to the Temple of Eros. Bikini Jones faces off against her arch nemesis, the appropriately-named Evilla Cruella, for control of a magic Tiara that makes its wearer the supreme ruler of the country Moronica. No. Joke.
13. The 'Emmanuelle' Series
The Emmanuelle movies are a series of French softcore porn films that follow a woman who wants to amp up her sex life. The original (also called Emmanuelle), which debuted in 1974, was actually the first X-rated movie distributed in the USA (shout out to Columbia Pictures). It should be noted that. like many films made in the '70s, there's a lot that's iffy about this series—which has led to plenty of feminist discourse about whether Emmanuelle is a victim who's being exploited, or a woman owning her sexuality.
14. 'Red Shoe Diaries'
No softcore porn is more classic than Red Shoe Diaries, a Showtime series (yes, okay, this is a TV show, not a movie) about various women's sexual exploits—narrated by none other than X-Files star David Duchovny. The episodes are equal parts hilarious, iconic, and sexy.
1975's Emilienne is a French erotic film about a thrupple. Long story short: A man having an affair won't leave his wife for his mistress. The good news? The mistress and wife fall for each other and everyone enjoys a ménage à trois.
16. 'Man of my Dreams'
Winner of "Most Sensual Softcore" at the Feminist Porn Awards, this film features eight men, each of whom represents a different sexual fantasy. The Feminist Porn Awards describe Man of My Dreams as a "Choose Your Own Sexual Adventure," featuring appearances from porn tropes, like the sexy fireman, the sexy handyman, and the sexy masseur. Take your pick.
17. 'Eyes of Desire'
Nothing like some late '90s softcore porn, right? Eyes of Desire is about a photographer who explores some casual sexual taboos whilst staying in a "hillside mansion."
18. 'The Pleasure Professionals'
Sex positive erotic film company JoyBear gifted everyone The Pleasure Professionals in 2013, and it's so good that it won the Feminist Porn Awards' Most Sensual Softcore Movie that year. The film centers around "Executive Relief Consultants," which—as you may have guessed—is a special service for businessmen and women hoping to improve things in the bedroom.
Eros isn't *necessarily* a softcore movie, but there's definitely a lot of softcore sex. The 2004 anthology features three short films by Wong Kar-wai, Steven Soderbergh, and Michelangelo Antonioni—each of which are about love/sex.
20. 'Christine's Secret'
In the 1980s, former adult film star Candida Royalle decided to make a change in pornography game and established Femme Productions, a company focused on producing erotic films from a woman’s perspective. Christine's Secret, released in 1986, is a Femme Productions classic.
Aphrodite (sometimes styled 'AphrOdite' — get it? Emphasis on the 'O'), is a 1982 French-Swiss film based on the novel Aphrodite: mœurs antiques by Pierre Louÿs. The plot is simple: A group of people visit an island and engage in all kinds of sexy times.
Mehera Bonner is a news writer who focuses on celebrities and royals.
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