10 Ways The Movies Get Sex Wrong

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We'd love to say that what makes sex beautiful is the little imperfections, but unfortunately, that's not really true. There are weird sounds, things end up hurting, hair gets accidentally caught in mouths, and people fall off beds. When we say "people," though, we mean regular mortals. Not people like Rachel McAdams, Nicole Kidman, and Daniel Craig, of course. No, everything always goes perfectly for them, and we know this because it has been captured on film many times, in movies like The Notebook and Batman Forever. Those of us who grew up watching too many movies know that the way sex is portrayed onscreen is very, very different from the real thing — so much so that you were shocked when your first time didn't take place in a barn with Ryan Gosling.

As a service to the world, and also as an excuse to watch R-rated YouTube videos at work (though, be warned some are NSFW), we have collected the most egregiously unrealistic sex tropes from the movies for your viewing pleasure. Please note, though: Unrealistic is not synonymous with really, really hot.


1. Couples orgasming simultaneously
The idea that orgasms happen at the exact same time, especially the first time a couple engages in the act, is one we are taught from the very first sex scene we see on film. But, in real life, this kind of timing doesn't exactly mean a couple is close or even deeply connected. It just means that everyone has a pretty great sense of control. In truth, especially in a first meeting, it's a rare occurrence.

See also: Every sex scene, ever



2. Skirt up, ready to go
Yes, there may be possible foreplay and excitement, but the 8 Mile notion of sex anytime, anywhere, without any adjustments or maneuvering seems pretty darn tricky. We all know what a man needs to get ready to go — but women need a little TLC, too.

See also: Sliver, 9 1/2 Weeks



3. Sounds, sounds, sounds.
In movie sex, the only sounds are swelling strings and Counting Crows songs. Incorrect. Squishing, air coming out of unexpected places, creaking, and squeaking are a more typical soundtrack than "Adagio For Strings" playing in the background. Also, it is always the women, and only the women, who emit darling squeaks, little mews, and ladylike gasps.

See also: 40 Days And 40 Nights, Thelma & Louise



4. Post-coital costuming
Who drags their entire sheet off of the bed to wear as an outfit? Who keeps a bathrobe next to their bed? Who, I beg you, who!?

See also: Friends With Benefits, The Notebook



5. Having sex in the shower is actually really hard
When I was 5, my brother-in-law told me a horrible story about how he was showering without a mat, and he slipped and cracked his head on the tub. This imagery has stayed with me for decades, and I am always reminded of it when a fictional couple gets freaky in the bathroom. Shower sex is very difficult, slippery, and those involved always end up with pruned skin. Related: standing-up sex. Unless you are an exact height or have some sort of helpful seat or prop, then you better have some serious upper-body strength.

See also: Showgirls, Atonement


6. Incident-free sex — outdoors
No bugs, grass stains, sticks on the ground, or sand in awkward places. We all believe the notion of doing it under the stars is truly romantic, and to be fair, it probably is pretty romantic for the mosquito couples enjoying an all-you-can-eat picnic.

See also: From Here To Eternity, True Blood



7. Most movie sex looks like one big UTI
Obviously, no one wants to see their heartthrob du jour politely excuse themselves in the middle of a steamy, tension-filled scene for a bathroom break. But, anyone who has had a UTI knows that the post-coital bathroom break is law.

See also: Crazy Stupid Love, Titanic, anything with heavy drinking or nobody getting up right after



8. Little-to-no discussion of birth control or condoms (unless it is a major plot point)
Yes, films are great for a bit of escapism. But, we do wish that more sex scenes would include just a quick acknowledgement of the importance of birth control. Asking about a condom and pausing to put it on doesn't have to be mood killing, and it kind of stinks that movies perpetuate that idea by not including such a crucial discussion. Of course, condoms do make an appearance when it's supposed to be funny — or if it's going to break and, thus, kick the plot into motion (looking at you, Knocked Up).

See also: Every sex scene ever


9. When sex is meaningful, it is only missionary.
In order to convince us that a couple is having meaningful or soulful sex, the go-to position is missionary. Of course, this could be a cinematography tactic — it's a good way to frame the two actors. But, when any other position is used, it tends to communicate a degrading relationship, an interaction that is pleasure only, or a meaningless encounter (see the stairwell scene in Unfaithful — hot, but not exactly romantic).

See also: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, That Awkward Moment, Game Of Thrones



10. Sex is very, very slow.
Different, erm, strokes for different folks, but the idea that sex moves at a glacial pace — complete with gazes held and unblinking eye-contact maintained — from beginning to end just isn't accurate.

See also: Pearl Harbor, any Tom Cruise movie, Out Of Sight, any film with a trip-hop soundtrack or a sex scene in silhouette