As a writer who specializes in the symbolism of movies, I often find that people ask me about the symbolism of sex in movies. Sex appears to be the most prevalent in action movies in action, and in the deeper symbolism that drives directors to sex scenes in action movies in the first place.
One of the most important aspects when talking about the symbolism of sex in an action movies is the male ego. By having sex during an action movie, the main male character is able to say that he can take time out of his battle with evil to focus on his most primal desires. He knows that the evil can wait, but his woman can’t.
A perfect example of an action movie character that uses sex to quench his ego would be James Bond. A most of the sex scenes in James Bond movies could be taken in this context, and would be too numerous to make note of directly in this article.
Along with the quenching of ego, sex in action movies works for the audience as well as a tension breaker. More often than not, the climactic fight scene comes soon after the main character has sex with the main female character. While riling up certain emotions in the audience, it gives them a break from the white-knuckling action that they paid to see.
To find an example of this kind of sex scene in an action movie, Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Arc comes to mind. For that matter, this placement of a symbolic sex scene in an action movie flows throughout much of the series.
The Grand Reward
Think about sex in an action movie as the grand reward for the main character. Since the dawn of remembered time, creatures and gods have been appeased by virgin sacrifice. This was done to ensure that the creatures and gods either continued to provide (like the action star) or left the people alone (think about making sure that the action star does not turn on you). Similar stories of sex in action movies could date back to Homer, and beyond.
Even though action movies have progressed a long way since the days where a simple punch from the main character could render a foe lifeless, sex scenes in action movies have kept with these four general examples. It will be interesting to see in twenty years if there are more topics to add to this list, or if these four will continue to stand.