How Does 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Compare to Other Films' in Sex-to-Runtime? (Yes, We Timed Them)

How do Last Tango in Paris, American Pie and Basic Instinct compare?

Photo: Chuck Zlotnick/Focus Features/Everett

How much sex is actually in Fifty Shades of Grey? A recent Washington Post article placed the actual runtime of “actual sex and sexual-related activity” at 14 minutes and 17 seconds out of the movie’s 125-minute runtime.

Fun trivia fact. But it also led us to the question, “How does that fit in with the pantheon of sexy movies?” That is to say, of all the movies that are ostensibly sex-focused in the history of films (and sex), how many of them actually devote large portions of their runtime to NSFW moments?

With a subscription to nude-scene compiling web site Mr. Skin, we embarked on a journey to find out.

Last Tango in Paris

A scant 5:03 of Last Tango‘s roughly 129-minute runtime (depending on the cut) is devoted to sex, though that’s all it takes to ruin butter for us forever.

Basic Instinct

Again, depending on the film’s cut, Instinct is 128 minutes long. Of that, 9:19 is sex.

Blue is the Warmest Color

Probably the film to garner the most hand-wringing – other than Shades – recently, Blue‘s 179-minute runtime has a robust 10:28 of sexiness contained within.

Body Heat

Just 2:05 of sex per its 113-minute runtime. Not so hot after all.


It’s made by Penthouse. Helen Mirren is involved. Both of these points, plus the fact that 10:38 of Caligula‘s two-hour-plus runtime (there are multiple cuts of the film) is sex, mean you should probably watch Caligula if you’re in the mood for a silly, trashy time. We’re just saying.


What Showgirls‘s 2:35 of sex scenes lack in length, they make up for in insanity. 130 minutes of runtime, but well worth it.

Boogie Nights

Boogie Nights runs for 156 minutes, three of which are sex scenes. There’s a lot of cocaine, too. And Night Ranger.

9 1/2 Weeks

116 runtime. 2:46 of sex. Many, many minutes of Mickey Rourke.

Y Tu Mama También

Y Tu‘s 106-minute-runtime contains 6:51 of sex, which is actually a pretty stiff ratio. (Pun intended.)

The Wolf of Wall Street

Martin Scorsese’s ode to unfettered greed, cocaine and Margot Robbie contains 3:05 of sex during its 180 minutes. We would have liked more Margot Robbie and less unfettered greed, personally.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

With so many teenagers, you’d think Fast Times would take up more of its 90 minutes with sex than just 2:29. And the principal sex scene is pretty embarrassing to boot.


5:22 of Shame‘s 122 minutes is sex. Carey Mulligan takes almost that long to sing “New York, New York.” We’re just putting things in perspective.

Nymphomaniac, Vols. 1 & 2

The title does say a lot, and taken together both uncut version of the films will set you back 325 minutes, with about 12:40 of that being sexy-times. Worth it?

American Pie

Probably the only film on here with a sex scene more embarrassing than Fast Time‘s, 1:29 of the film’s 95-minute runtime is NSFW.

Wild Things

It’s either 108 or 115 minutes of glorious camp, depending on the cut, and 3:11 of that is sex, including the scene that wins our unofficial “Best Use of Champagne in a Sex Scene” award.

A Kinky 50 Shades of Grey Workout!

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