Porn gets a lot of blame for depicting unrealistic sex—and rightfully so. But the movies are just as guilty of portraying sex in a way that’s inaccurate, unsexy, and just plain wrong.
Here are nine things the movies get wrong about sex.
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In most movies, people rarely talk during sex. While there’s plenty of over-the-top grunting and moaning, there’s never any discussion of birth control, STI prevention, boundaries, or desires, and not even any verbalized sexual requests or feedback. Many movie sex scenes also lack non-verbal communication; no subtly guiding a partner’s hand to the right place or breathing a little heavier when that hand reaches the right place.
In reality, communication is essential to great sex. You and your partner should be communicating throughout your encounter. Talking during sex doesn’t need to be clunky or embarrassing; telling your partner exactly what you want them to do to you can be unbelievably hot.
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Movies often show scenes of men luring women into having sex in borderline creepy ways, or having sex with women who aren’t in the right state to give consent. Even worse, these kinds of situations often appear in comedy movies where the awkward sexual encounter is meant to be a joke. But there’s really nothing funny about violating another person’s boundaries.
In the real world, I encourage my clients to follow enthusiastic consent. Not only do you both agree to experiment, you’re both excited about it. Other consent guidelines to note: A lack of a “no” isn’t a “yes,” and consent can be revoked at any time.
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No Condoms, No Lube
It’s absurd how rare it is to see a condom in a movie. Is it really that hard to show them? It’s even more rare to see lube. I can’t actually think of a single instance of lube being used during a movie sex scene. But the truth is that both items should be mainstays on a single man’s bedside table.
In a perfect world, there would be no STIs or worry of unwanted pregnancies and women would be able to get wet at exactly the right moment, but that’s not the world we live in. Get some condoms and lube.
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No Foreplay Necessary
Sex in the movies is usually shown as a few minutes of passionate making out followed by an immediate leap into intercourse. There’s almost never any foreplay, and when there is, it’s very limited.
Quickies can definitely be a lot of fun, but consistently skipping over foreplay is a bad idea. Most people need foreplay in order to relax and fully get into the mood. Many people can’t go straight to intercourse without properly warming up and getting the proverbial (and literal) juices flowing first. Skipping foreplay makes it less likely that you’ll experience performance issues and more likely that she’ll orgasm. Plus, foreplay is sexy and pleasurable. It shouldn’t be considered a chore.
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Women Always Orgasm from Intercourse
In the movies, women need just a few seconds of thrusting in order to have explosive orgasms. Women are even shown having their very first orgasms ever simply from penetration.
The truth is that the vast majority of women need clitoral stimulation in order to reach orgasm. Intercourse feels good, but it just doesn’t create the clitoral stimulation that a woman needs to reach her peak. If you want to help her orgasm, you’re more likely to get her there with your fingers, tongue, a toy, or by watching her touch herself in front of you. Plus, it’s not that hard to give her clitoral stimulation during intercourse.
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Simultaneous Orgasms, Every Time
You know the scene: The couple locks eyes in one fiery moment of passion. Their eyes roll to the backs of their heads and they moan in unison. They have their orgasms at the exact same second, then flop back onto the bed (without any cleanup) in ecstatic satisfaction.
In my practice, I encourage my clients not to aim for simultaneous orgasms. They can be really fun when they happen, but it’s not worth consistently making an effort to come at the same time. Trying to force simultaneous orgasms usually just ends up with one person frantically trying to slow down their orgasm, one person frantically trying to speed up their orgasm, and neither person feeling particularly satisfied.
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A Poor Understanding of Kink
It’s bad enough seeing all the mistakes they make with vanilla sex in the movies, but kinky scenes are especially cringeworthy. Screenplay writers just don’t seem to have an understanding of kinky sex, nor have they bothered to consult with kink experts. Couples are shown casually engaging in kink and BDSM without any idea of what they’re doing or anything kinky is overblown into something that’s dirty and wrong. Not only is it inaccurate, it could even be dangerous.
In the real world, kink can be incredibly sexy, but it’s important to do it in an informed and responsible way. If you’re using props or tools, you need to understand how to safely use those items. If you’re playing with domination and submission, you need to have conversations about boundaries and pick a safeword. If you’re doing any sort of pain play, you have to take safety precautions. Even seemingly simple things like choking a partner or pulling their hair have a technique behind them.
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Shower Sex Always Works
This is a relatively minor one, but it has always been a pet peeve. In the movies, the hottest sex seems to happen in the shower. No one ever slips or falls, bringing the shower curtain down with them. No lube is ever needed. The couple is always the perfect height match so that penetration can happen. Soap never gets in anyone’s eyes. No one ever feels like they’re being waterboarded.
In reality, all of the above actually happen during shower sex. It can be a lot of fun, but there’s also a lot that can go wrong. Pro tip: I recommend fooling around in the shower, but getting out and moving to the bed when you’re ready to have sex.
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Sex Is Never Awkward
Movie sex is always perfect. No one ever farts, makes a weird face, falls out of a sex position, or gets too sweaty. Even if there is a moment of awkwardness, it’s always temporary.
The truth is that sex is awkward and imperfect, but that’s perfectly okay. In fact, those awkward moments can make sex even more amazing and intimate.