10 Lies Movies Tell You About Sex

Looking for reality or guidance from movies is probably a bad idea. They’re designed to be entertaining and it won’t help us enjoy them more if we start demanding realism out of everything we see. After all, Bill Pullman is charming and everything, but we wouldn’t necessarily want him as the actual president, you know?

But in an age when we’re demanding more realism in some areas of cinema- we want our war to look like real war and our talking animals to look like real talking animals- we’re still neglecting on screen sexuality.In fact, unless you’re straight and uninterested in kink, it’s rare for you to see anything that even vaguely resembles your sex life on screen. And even if you are straight? They’re probably still not getting it right.

According to Hollywood, only attractive women are doing it (though oftenwith significantly less attractive men if Adam Sandler movies are anything to go by). Candles light magically when you’re in the mood and everyone makes the perfect amount of eye contact at all times.

If that doesn’t sound right to you, never fear- it’s not you, it’s them. Here are some more lies that Hollywood is telling you about sex.

10. Standing-Up Sex Is Awesome

20th Century Fox

Now, let’s get this out of the way first. Standing-up sex can be enjoyable. All sorts of fun can be had with one or both or all members of a sexual encounter getting bipedal but most of them involve either the people facing away from each other or same gender pairings.

The usual “guy picks up a woman and she wraps her legs around him and they go at it without either of them seeming to get tired” look is just unrealistic. If this is your go to sex move, one question for you: exactly how many core exercises are you doing?

This move also assumes that women only sleep with men who are a lot taller and bigger than them which isn’t even true in Hollywood. After all, how often has Tom Cruise been a leading man?

9. Women Orgasm During Sex

Columbia Pictures

It is estimated that around 1/3 of women orgasm from penetrative sex and given that people tend to overstate these things in a survey situation, the real number could be even lower. Most women require stimulation of other kinds to orgasm and even then it often takes a little time.

But you wouldn’t know this from cinema. In movies, scenes often go from zero to full on intercourse in seconds and women appear totally happy about this situation, despite the fact that in real life it takes a little more prep than just jamming it in and hoping for the best.

Women also start to make major O-face within about 30 seconds of mindless banging away. And while we’re on this- why are the female orgasms on screen so graceful and delicate? Just a tremor and a gasp and it’s all over? Have these filmmakers ever actually witnessed female pleasure?

8. Married People Aren’t Having It

Universal Pictures

According to recent statistics, married people in America and England are having more sexthan unmarried people. Now, obviously this makes sense if you think of unmarried people as “single”. But that group includes people in relationships who are unmarried, too.

So if married couples appear to be enjoying a healthy sex life, why is the stereotype in films still that sex stops as soon as rings are exchanged? Sure, there are married couples who don’t do much getting down, just as there are single people and unmarried couples who do the same. But it’s not the default, as movies imply.

Perhaps this is because cinema is still pretty old-fashioned in showing relationship types of any kind. Most married couples on screen are still heterosexual, with a nagging wife and a useless husband. It’s not surprising they have trouble making that dynamic erotic.

7. Nobody Uses Condoms


Picture the scene: a man and a woman who have been fighting for months finally realise they’re meant to be together (sure, OK). The lights are appropriately dim and a bra is swiftly removed. He lays her down gently on the bed (remember, all men are strong enough to lift their female partners), climbs on top of her and…reaches over her head to open his bedside drawer and remove a condom? Nope. Never happens.

If we all had sex with us much regard for safety as they do in films, rates of pregnancy and STIs would shoot way way up. And the weirdest part is that it usually isn’t a plot point. It’s rare for a female character to wake up and say “Oh no, I accidentally had unprotected sex last night. I should head to the pharmacy for a morning after pill”.

Non-heterosexual sex is still so rarely shown on film that it’s hard to say if they get protected sex right in that case either. Regardless, a more realistic approach to contraception would add considerably to the realism of sex scenes generally.

6. One Same Sex Experience Makes You Gay


Studies show that fewer and fewer young people are identifying as entirely heterosexual or entirely homosexual. Sexual fluidity and bisexuality are hardly new concepts but they’re becoming much more widely recognised as legitimate and reasonably common.

Not in films, though. Generally, mainstream cinema takes an extremely narrow view of sexuality. While most major characters are still heterosexual, there is a slowly increasing number of homosexual characters (though usually in smaller roles).

But if someone sleeps with someone of the same gender in a movie, even if they have slept with people of a different gender in the past and seemingly enjoyed both experiences?Or even if they’ve been in love with people of other genders before but are now in love with someone of the same gender? Bam. Definitely homosexual. Do not pass go, do not collect any nuance whatsoever.

5. Men Always Want It More


Or, alright, some women want it more and they are usually either bad, bad news or crazy or much older women pursuing much younger men (a woman in her 40s is allowed to be attracted to a man in his 20s provided she looks 10 years younger than she is and it’s played for laughs). Generally though, films will feature men desperately trying to sleep with women who are uninterested at best.

This is so far from an accurate reflection of reality that it’s bordering on self-parody at this point. Sure, maybe in the good (bad) old days, women were expected to steer clear of sex until marriage and even then only do it because their husbands wanted to.

But female sexual desire is finally losing its stigma, so why are films still acting as though male sex drives are always higher? Is every filmmaker’s fantasy and/or reality sleeping with reluctant women? That’s kind of messed up, guys.

4. Saying The Wrong Name Happens All The Time

DreamWorks Pictures

Have you ever said the wrong name during sex? As in, not the name of the person or people who you are, at that time, having sex with? If you have, do please tell us about it in the comments because we’re having a hard time believing this phenomenon is real.

A typical use of this trope in a filmis that, mid-coitus,someone will cry out the name of someone else and then things will get extremely awkward. What’s weird(er) is that often that’ll be the only thing they say. This isn’t a slip-up in the middle of some dirty talk. It’s just one, incorrect word.

If people truly do this in the throes of passion (whatever that means), then, Hollywood, our sincere apologies. But if not, maybe find a more creative way of causing conflict between a couple rather than blatantly having one half think about someone else?

3. Women Sleep In Bras


There were a lot of unrealistic things about the Sex And The City franchise. The expensive lifestyles on not-huge salaries. The amount of drinking that took place during the day which somehow never led to drunkenness or hangovers. But one of the most unrealistic things of all was that Carrie Bradshaw always slept in a bra.

And not just slept in a bra. SATC, along with many other TV shows and movies, would have us believe that women almost always leave their bra (which matches their pants, but that’s a whole other gripe) on during sex acts. This pattern has likely emerged due to nudity clauses in contracts but there are other ways around it.

Where is the woman having sex wearing just her partner’s uni sweatshirt and some socks? Surely that is more realistic than doing it and then falling asleep in your £300 matching set from Victoria’s Secret and waking up with no visible discomfort from 7 hours of underwire jabbing you in the ribs.

2. Lube Doesn’t Exist

Paramount Pictures

Here are a few times that people might use artificial lubrication during a sexual act. When a man and a woman engage in penetrative sex. When a man and a man engage in penetrative sex. When a woman and a woman engage in penetrative sex.

When having sex in water. When toys are used. For foreplay of almost any kind. For just about anything that anyone of any gender wants to do in the bedroom, if they feel it will enhance the experience or get things going faster or more pleasurably.

Here are the times lube is used during a sexual act in cinema… (crickets). The only time lube is even caught sight of in most mainstream movies is in conjunction with a drawer full of sex toys (or similar) and then it’s used to show that the person who owns it is a sexual maniac.

1. The First Time Will Be Either Perfect Or Horrific


Let’s be honest here: most first times are not amazing. And not just losing-virginity first times, but first times with new people or first times trying new things. No matter how attracted to someone you are, it can be a little awkward or underwhelming or just plain old fine when you first get together.

And that’s OK! But according to movies, your first time with someone will either be THE GREATEST NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE, with mutual orgasms and a killer soundtrack, or it’ll be THE WORST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO YOU, with zero orgasms and a fight.

It may not create as much drama but you’re much more likely to have a middling first sexual encounter than either a catastrophic one or a mind-blowingly good one. And if you are lucky enough to have a mind-blowingly good one? You’re probably not standing up to do it.

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