What is a work in which sex is SUGGESTED, but not described, and how does the implication of sex affect the theme or develop characterization?
One very good example of a suggestive, but not overtly descriptive, sex scene in a movie occurs in Dracula (with Frank Langella). In the scene Dracula and Lucy kiss and stare deeply into one another's eyes. There is cheesy music and even cheesier red lighting as the "lovers" float on the screen. Yet, at no point was there any nudity or the obscene noises often associated with sex scenes today. As a result of the tasteful, rather than graphic, nature of the scene, the viewer is left breathless with anticipation, and is able to develop a sort of affinity for Dracula. Because the scene is handled with dignity, the characters are left with their dignity, and the audience can appreciate the genuine affection Dracula seems to have for Lucy rather than being distracted and even conflicted by an onslaught of violent sexual behaviors.
In the film, American Beauty, there is a very strong implication and suggestion of sexual contact between Lester and the teenager, Amanda. This implication arouses a great deal of emotions regarding Lester. He can be seen as selfish and predator- like. It is obvious that he has feelings regarding beauty, but this implication is one that remains only a suggestion, a vague conception as it is not a fulfilled notion of the good. This enhances the characterization of Lester as one who is complex and filled with a great many contradictions and conflicting emotions that make direct judgement and moral clarity difficult to assess, at best.
In Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Biff goes to Boston to find his father. Upon Biff's arrival at the hotel room, he can't get in immediately. His father, Willy, shoos "the woman" into another room, and then allows Biff entrance. Biff is confronted by the woman as she exits. Although we do not actually see Willy having sex, and although Biff does not catch his father in the act, this scene is important because it is the beginning of Biff seeing his father for what he is - a philanderer - something which feeds into the illusion vs. reality theme of the play.