Hollywood movies can make anything look glamorous, from first kisses and heated arguments to painfully awkward encounters and getting the flu. But you know what? These things don’t hold a candle to how Hollywood has handled sex in popular films.
Every single sex scene is carefully choreographed, performed in front of a live cast and crew that watches along intently, looking for little things that could be fixed or fine-tuned. And then we, the viewers, see the final product and we think that it all looks so natural. We gaze in awe and we get aroused, sometimes asking ourselves: “Why in the world don’t I ever have steamy sex like that?!”
Well, if Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s the fact that they don’t aim to be authentic – they aim to entertain (or, in this case, to titillate). Most of us are already aware of this, but still, those over-the-top love scenes haven’t stopped us from setting the bar ridiculously high when it comes to our own sex lives… And that can be quite problematic.
See some of the biggest lies that mainstream films have told us about sex:
1. Orgasms happen instantly after penetration.
We see it all the time. It doesn’t matter if they’re doing missionary, getting oral, getting fingered, or dry-humping. Within less than a minute, ladies will always start to climax or scream their partner’s name. Not only is this unrealistic because a) it happens in too short of a time but b) achieving a female orgasm using doesn’t happen solely with penetration… but that’s a whole ‘nother topic altogether.
You may have also noticed that the character’s orgasm face always looks sexy. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When you’re in the middle of an orgasm, you just can’t control how your face contorts.
2. And simultaneous orgasms are super easy to achieve.
Because it’s so so easy to cum at the same time. …Not.
This isn’t to say that it’s impossible, but it’s extremely hard to do. There are actual articles out there that give detailed instructions on how to increase your chances of climaxing at the same time as your partner. So by encouraging this false idea that they’re oh so easy to master, they’re only tricking people into thinking that they’re doing something wrong or not doing enough. Shame on you, Hollywood.
3. Both partners always have enough stamina to go round after round (after round).
Yes, some couples actually do have the physical strength to endure several rounds. But let’s be realistic here – not everyone is that strong. There are couples who can barely make it to three minutes without feeling utterly exhausted, and then there are those who struggle to keep up with a partner who’s in much better shape than them. So while going for another round (whether it be the second or the tenth) sounds pretty easy on screen, it’s quite the opposite in real life.
4. It always looks sexy when you get undressed.
Well, guess their fine bods explain why these characters can keep their engines running for so long. Whenever people get undressed for sex scenes, they look like airbrushed models who visit the gym twice a day. To be fair, some actors probably do hit the gym several times a day so there you have it. They’ve got perfectly toned bodies with glowy skin (no stretch-marks, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, acne, or scars). But it would be so refreshing to see a variety of body types, shapes, and sizes that actually reflect what people look like. Especially because sometimes undressing is the least sexy part of the whole encounter.
Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal once said: “I am much more turned on when I see people’s bodies that look like bodies I recognize.” We couldn’t agree more.
5. Getting undressed is quick and easy.
We’ve seen scenes like this hundreds of times. The clothes always fly off in the blink of an eye. There’s no struggle to undo buttons or open broken zippers. And there’s no awkward pause where guys fumble to unhook a bra. The process is supposed to be quick and simple… but apparently, the entire world didn’t get the memo.
6. You and your partner only glisten lightly with sweat.
So apparently, you’ll have glistening, dewy skin that glows perfectly in every kind of lighting. You won’t sweat profusely. You won’t ever experience having your partner’s sweat drip directly onto your skin. And you don’t have to worry about leaving giant sweat stains on the sheets. It all sounds too good to be true…
7. And you look amazing the whole time.
If a woman with a full face of makeup has sex, she somehow finishes with all of her makeup intact. And even if she wakes up first thing in the morning with no makeup on, she has glowing skin and perfectly tousled bed hair that never gets matted or knotted.
Like, who are they trying to kid here? Sex is wild and it’s messy. You’re bound to look at least a little disheveled when you’re done.
8. Losing your virginity is a piece of cake.
According to Hollywood, you’ll instantly develop the skill of someone who’s sexually active and your first time will be mind-blowing. The pain will feel great and there will be no awkward or embarrassing moments whatsoever (…as if).
So for instance, remember how Bella gave up her V card in Breaking Dawn on her wedding night? Her first time with Edward was so steamy and intense that he actually broke a headboard. Yes, we’re well aware that this is a fantasy series about a human falling for a vampire, but still… it’s just way too over-the-top and it suggests that people having first-time sex can handle things like… that… effortlessly.
9. You can do the deed in broad daylight and in a busy setting without getting caught.
You can’t always help when you feel aroused. And the risk of getting caught is exactly what makes the experience so much more thrilling, so we get it. But, doing it on a regular basis and not getting caught once? Failing to be quiet and discreet and still not managing to get any attention at all? That’s just ridiculous.
10. Having sex in public places is never uncomfortable.
Jack and Rose made it look so perfect in Titanic when they had sex in the back seat of a car. Vivian and Edward screwed each other on that grand piano like it was a king-sized bed in Pretty Woman. Chuck and Blair went at it with ease in a public elevator on Gossip Girl. But what do all of these pairs have in common? Well, they didn’t have to deal with the reality of, say, dust build-up, bugs, rug burns, cuts, and bruises.
Don’t get us wrong – the idea of spontaneous sex in public places can sound awesome. But it’s not always a breeze and it can be so, so uncomfortable.
11. Shower sex is all the rage and very easy to maneuver.
Shower sex is probably the worst kind of sex you can ever have (especially since people tend to assume that water is a substitute for lube). It can get cold and slippery, it’s uncomfortable, and it could actually be dangerous. Not to mention, if you and your partner have a major height difference, then that can make things even more awkward.
Of course, Hollywood films won’t show you those things. Because according to them, shower sex is hot, it’s easy, and it’ll come naturally to everyone who tries it.
12. …As is pool sex.
Underwater sex is like that one risky thing you try out for fun, just so you can show off and tell your friends that you actually did it. It’s not at all pleasant and it’s actually kind of gross. That water could be swirling with bacteria, bodily fluids, hair, sweat, and even more disgusting things that I don’t even want to mention. But even if the water is completely clean, trying to have intercourse while you’re in it is like trying to run full-speed in a giant puddle of mud. It’s just not pretty.
13. Foreplay is not a 100% necessity.
You already know the deal. Step 1: The clothes come off. Step 2: It’s on. (Well, in most films at least).
Rushing right into it all the time might sound like a sexy idea, but it’s just not realistic. Of course, there are instances where couples feel way too horny to have the patience for foreplay, and that’s fine. But usually, an engine needs some time to warm up before it’s put into full throttle.
14. Women wear sexy lingerie 24/7.
They could be in a ratty old tank top and sweats to start with but if they’re about to get it on, rest assured, they’ll peel off those clothes to reveal some impressive looking lingerie.
That’s not how it works in the real world, though. On a typical day, most ladies wear comfy bras and old, faded out underwear (and if we’re lucky, we’ll find pairs that actually match!). No one walks around every day in expensive lace bras and thongs.
15. Those complicated sex positions are not awkward to try at all.
You know those insane Cosmo sex positions that look way too complicated for human beings to do? Well, they actually are as tough as they look. And trying them out for the first time can be humiliating and awkward AF.
Don’t believe us? Try a difficult one out with your partner and then get back to us.
16. Penises will glide right in with little-to-no effort or guidance.
According to Hollywood’s logic, penises have an in-built guidance system that’s designed to make them automatically glide right into vaginas with ease. So apparently, there’s no need for lube and you don’t need your hands to guide it. Makes total sense, right?
Wrong. Guys can’t just penetrate from the get-go… which by now most of us probably know already.
17. All guys are strong enough to lift and hold you up for standing sex positions.
Um, no. It looks really easy on screen, but not all guys have the strength of muscular body builders. So we honestly can’t expect to be held up the entire time during stand-up sex. And also, what’s the deal with smashing ladies against the wall with full force? If guys tried that out in real life, they’d risk injury and probably kill the mood because they caused their poor partner so much pain.
18. Oral sex always goes smoothly for both parties involved.
This is hilariously inaccurate. When someone goes down on you, let’s just say it’s not always 100% enjoyable — there are things to navigate! And don’t think for a second that the person on the receiving end has it easy either. Both guys and girls tend to get extremely self-conscious about being that exposed to someone, and it can get really uncomfortable if that person isn’t very good at it. Wouldn’t it be interesting (though albeit a tad cringe-worthy) if we saw more of these things reflected in films?
19. When it’s over, you get all cuddly with your partner.
According to most films, couples will cuddle together and gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes while gently stroking one another. If it’s not that, then they’ll just assume the perfect cuddle position and lay there until they quietly fall asleep.
It sounds like a fairy tale… And that’s because it is. Here in the real world, after you’ve had great sex, both you and your partner are sweaty, out of breath, and way too exhausted to lift a single muscle. And besides, each couple is different. So after that exhaustion wears off, there’s no guarantee that there will be cuddling.
20. There’s no actual cleanup involved.
When sex scenes are over, we’re always left with this one burning question: Does no one ever bother to clean themselves up afterward?
On screen, one person will carefully wrap themselves into a crisp sheet, go grab themselves a drink, and then settle back in. Or maybe they’ll get up and start to dress without even bothering to grab a towel to clean up. Because it’s totally normal to let bodily fluids and extra sweat linger for a long time. Right? Plus, word to the wise: all women are supposed to pee after sex to prevent UTIs… not that we’d learn that on-screen.
21. Women like to keep their bras on.
We can understand that some films are trying to keep things PG-13. But still — we just can’t ignore how inaccurate this is. Unless you’re having a quickie, no guy will let you get away with keeping your bra on the entire time. Okay fine, maybe some would… not all guys are the same. Also, you probably won’t want to! When it comes time to undress, you’ll notice that shirts and bras are usually the first things go.