Image Credits: (center) ‘Challengers,’ Amazon MGM | (top left) ‘Y Tu Mamá También,’ IFC Films | (bottom left) ‘Professor Marston & The Wonder Women,’ Annapurna | (top right) “Passages,’ Mubi | (bottom right) ‘Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,’ Columbia Pictures

Luca Guadagnino has already given so much in his directorial career.

The beautiful queer storytelling of his underrated HBO series We Are Who We Are. Tilda Swinton as a lonely housewife swathed in Hedi Slimane-era Jil Sander as she embarks on an affair with her son’s friend in I Am Love. Dakota Johnson as a ballerina and *spoiler alert* witch in his retelling of Dario Argento’s classic Suspiria. And, he introduced gorgeous twink prince Timothee Chalamet into the Hollywood stratosphere in Call Me By Your Name

With his latest, Challengers, the filmmaker continues his streak of knowing what the girls and the gays need in cinema.

This time around, Guadganino gives his take on the sports film, albeit one drenched in sweat and sex. Years after an injury derails the tennis career of Tashi Duncan (Zendaya), she takes to coaching her now-husband Art (Mike Faist), who ends up playing his former best friend—and Tashi’s ex—Patrick (Josh O’Connor) in a fateful challengers event. The reunion between the trio dredges up old wounds and old sexual tensions.Ooh, sure, and a lot of great tennis, too!

Inspired by the hot throuple at the pulsing heart of Challengers, we’ve assembled a list of 10 films that feature tension-filled queer threeways (or more!)—from testing the waters of a new arrangement, to full-blown love affairs, to domestic bliss, and even a little bit of crime thrown in. 

Y Tu Mamá También (2001)

Alfonso Cuaron’s tour-de-force Y Tu Mamá También follows Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael García Bernal) cosplaying as bachelors when their girlfriends leave for a summer trip. The pair are 17, have a whole free summer ahead of them, and are wildly horny. At a wedding they meet Luisa (Maribel Verdu), the wife of Tenoch’s cousin and invite her to “Heaven’s Mouth,” a beach they’ve made up to impress her. When she agrees to go on the road trip with them, the trio have a steamy, sex-filled and emotionally resonating trip where they all learn about themselves in the process. With Y Tu Mamá También, Cuaron cemented the ‘shipping of Garcia Bernal and Luna decades ago and thankfully the two besties have done nothing but fan the flames since.

Available to rent on Amazon Prime.

Professor Marston And The Wonder Women (2017)

Angela Robinson’s Professor Marston And The Wonder Women might be the strangest and most exciting “superhero” film in an era of sexless Marvel and DC slop. The film tells the story of William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), the Harvard psychologist who created the comic book character Wonder Woman in the 1940s. However, Marston’s initial inspiration for the now iconic superhero was even sexier than one could even imagine. Marston and his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) were involved in a polyamourous relationship with Olive (Bella Heathcote), and the film tells the trials and tribulations the trio went through to keep their arrangement secret and sacred—lest it get out and potentially ruin their reputations. Told with incredible emotional truth, Robinson’s depiction of the Marstons love story almost overshadows the creation of Wonder Woman herself. 

Available to stream on Tubi.

Love (2015) 

Murray (Karl Glusman), an American film student living in Paris has been in a tumultuous, sexually charged relationship with Elektra (Aomi Muyock) for two years when they have a threesome with Omi (Klara Kristin) who Murphy continues to see afterwards threatening his relationship with Elektra.  When Gaspar Noe’s Love premiered at Cannes in 2015 and the enfant terrible director announced that his fourth film—after a six year absence—would be released in 3D, both admiration and annoyance surfaced over his announcement. But the undeniable pull of what a c*m shot in 3D would look like intrigued even Noe’s biggest haters

Available to rent on Microsoft.

Angels Of Sex (2012) 

The 2012 Spanish language film, Angels Of Sex from director Xavier Villaverde explores the nature of sexual fluidity. Bruno (Llorenç González) is madly in love with his girlfriend Carla (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey) but when he meets a street dancer named Rai (Álvaro Cervantes) his feelings for Rai surprise him—feelings he soon decides to explore. The trio end up embarking on a messy whirlwind of a relationship filled with heightened emotions and plenty of steamy sex. 

Available to stream on AMC+.

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

First of all, who doesn’t want to watch a film starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore playing a married couple directed by Lisa Cholodenko? Bening and Moore star as Nic and Jules, respectively, partners raising their two teenage kids, Laser (Josh Hutcherson) and Joni (Mia Wasikowska) in Los Angeles. When Laser and Joni reach out to the sperm bank to find out who their biological father Paul (Mark Ruffalo) is, they strike up a relationship to get to know him. When Paul catapults into their lives, the rocky relationship between Nic and Jules becomes more frayed as Jules and Paul grow closer. The film is a funny, loving portrait of a modern family and the different places desire can unexpectedly take us. 

Available to rent on streaming platforms. 

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)

After attending a spiritual retreat, Bob (Robert Culp) and Carol (Natalie Wood) decide to embrace complete openness and honesty in their marriage, which includes spilling about purely physical affairs they both have with hot younger people. When they share their new life outlook with their best friends, married couple Ted (Elliott Gould) and Alice (Dyan Cannon) are shocked by Bob and Carol’s admission and a couples trip to Vegas breaks all the tension between the foursome—sexual and otherwise—wide open. It’s a sexy comedy of a different era, that was way ahead of its time in 1969. 

Available to rent on streaming platforms.

Wild Things (1998)

For many teenagers growing up in the late ’90s, Wild Things was a hallmark of sleepovers—going frame by frame on the VHS tape to hopefully see a sliver of Kevin Bacon’s d*ck. Matt Dillion plays Sam Lombardo, the sexy guidance counselor and consummate bachelor of Blue Bay, located in Southern Florida. Lombardo is accused of rape by wealthy student Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards) and a second accusation comes forward from other side of the tracks, Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell). Lombardo’s sterling reputation is ruined as a hack lawyer (played by Bill Murray) represents him. But when Detective Ray Duqette (Kevin Bacon) begins to investigate the crimes, he suspects the whole case isn’t what it seems. Twists, turns, and tits abound in the smutty thriller including the threesome that likely ushered in a generation of bisexuals. 

Available to stream on Netflix.

Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

The director of Midnight Cowboy, John Schlesinger, followed up the 1969 hustler drama with Sunday Bloody Sunday—a stirring portrait of an unconventional relationship. Murray Head plays Bob, a sculptor in his 20s who is involved with both a middle aged gay doctor Daniel (Peter Finch) and a divorced woman in her 30s Alex (Glenda Jackson). Daniel and Alex know that they are both seeing Alex—and even know one another through mutual friends—as the trio navigates the bounds of their relationships. At the time of its release, it was praised for having a positive depiction of homosexuality unlike other films of the era, including Midnight Cowboy

Available to stream on Pluto TV.

Passages (2023)

Passages from director Ira Sachs is a crash course in the slippery nature of sexuality and the mass destruction one unbridled narcissist can do to many lives. Tomas (Franz Rogowski) is a film director married to an artist Martin (Ben Whishaw) who, after a wrap party for his latest film, sleeps with Agathe (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a school teacher. While Tomas tells Martin about the affair, he continues to see Agathe, saying it has stirred something in him that he hasn’t felt for a long time. Even after the couple separates, Tomas bats both Martin and Agathe around at the tide of his own whims. It’s a sexy (Ben Whishaw in a filmy red robe!), compelling and frustrating romantic drama. 

Available to stream on Mubi.

Shortbus (2006)

Hedwig And The Angry Inch’s John Cameron Mitchell followed up his directorial debut with Shortbus, a no-holds-barred exploration of relationships and sexuality in New York. Centered around a salon called Shortbus hosted by Justin Vivian Bond, Shortbus’s wide cast of characters really go there in hopes of figuring themselves out. Sofia (Sook Yin-Lee) a sex therapist struggles without being able to orgasm and connects with a dominatrix.  A couple James (Paul Dawson) and Jamie (PJ DeBoy) look to open up their relationship with a third. When the film was released it courted controversy by featuring un-simulated sex—which Cameron Mitchell has long defended being imperative to the film. 

Available to stream on Pluto TV.

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