We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.


Does awesome movie sex equal bad sex in real life?


I’ve written a few times about the many failings of how sex is usually portrayed in the movies. Most of the time it bares little relation to sex in real life and rarely is it actually sexy.

Things have been getting better. There seem to be fewer sex scenes where the woman is halfway through an orgasm at the moment of penetration. A few filmmakers have actually acknowledged that oral sex is received by women from time to time. Of course the MPAA threatened pretty much all of them with an nc-17 rating but that’s an article for another time.

Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls successfully and refreshingly showed the messy, awkward and totally unsexy side of sex in with a few of the most uncomfortable sex scenes ever seen on TV. Though I had some mixed feelings about the show in general I appreciated her sex scenes a lot. Because though sex can be amazing, it can also be uncomfortable and (I hate to say it) sometimes even boring.

Recently I was talking to some friends about bad sex and we realized that some of our most awkward sexual experiences are actually movie sex scene clichés, usually portrayed as the ultimate in eroticism. Which just goes to show the difference between theory and practice.

For example… having sex on the beach. It is cinematic sex scene staple so awesome they named a drink after it. The sound of the waves crashing, the soft sand beneath your… wait. As anyone who has ever been on an actual beach can attest, sand doesn’t stay under you. It gets everywhere. Everywhere. I don’t care how big your towel is, you are going to get sandy in places where sand has no business being. Ad a little moisture and you have a fine abrasive paste perfect for removing several layers of delicate skin. I don’t know any girl who is looking to exfoliate her labia and I guarantee the average guy doesn’t want microdermabrasion on his scrotum. Sex on the beach looks great in movies, but I’ll take sex in a bed with an ocean view instead.

Then there is the ever-popular sex in the pool or hot tub scene in movies. It too looks great on camera and seems like a lot of fun (thought the pool scene in Showgirls is so unsexy it is ridiculous). But when you think about it too much it goes from sexy to soggy… Water of dubiously cleanliness getting pushed into your nethers with every thrust. And once it is over, all the water that got thrust in will eventually come out. Few things ruin post-coital bliss more than when your vagina turns into a fire hydrant. I’m just saying.

Another movie sex trope that doesn’t hold up so well in reality is sex in the car. The idea of the ‘got to have you now’ moment while on the road is hot, but unless you have a minivan, chances are your car sex will be more uncomfortable than erotic.

And then there is sex in the sky. Joining the mile high club is at the top of the sexual to-do list for a lot of guys. But aside from the fact that the bathrooms in airplanes are tiny, they also are usually disgusting. I’d rather not have to pee in an airplane bathroom let alone have the sex in one. I know people use the term dirty as a euphemism for sexual but though ‘dirty’ might be sexy, unhygienic isn’t.

A lot of the non-bedroom sex scenes in movies are all about the couple being so hot for each other that they can’t wait to get home. Hence all the sex movie characters seem to be having in restaurant bathrooms. Are real people doing it in the men’s room at Chili’s every weekend? I have to ditto my thoughts on the Mile High Club here. You may have a little more legroom in the restaurant bathroom than you would on a plane, but it is no less of a potential petri dish.

And finally, there’s the up-against-a-fence/wall sex. The Last Seduction made against-the-fence sex seem like the hottest thing ever. In reality, not so much. Perhaps I’m overly cautious but I don’t really want to be worrying about whether or not I’m current on my tetanus shots when I’m about to have sex. And really, unless your guy is roughly your same height, or so strong that he can hold you up the entire time, you may run into some logistical issues. My guy is almost a foot taller than me. Things don’t line up super well standing up.

Am I alone here? Do movies actually have it right and am I just totally boring? I get the appeal of the ‘gotta have you now’ sex, but I just think the actual sex that often results is less than movie-worthy. What about you?

A Zeros Before the One Poll

Which of these cinematic sex tropes is the least sexy in real life?

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