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7 Misconceptions I Had About Sex From Watching Too Many Movies

From an early age, I was fascinated by movies and storytelling. And it was not uncommon for me to sneak downstairs in the middle of the night and put on movies that I was definitely too young to be watching — mostly because I viewed these “more mature” movies as part of my formative experience.

That said, getting most of your sexual education from movies certainly has more than a few drawbacks. Namely: I was seriously unprepared for the actual realities of sex.

Here are just a few misconceptions I picked up from the world of cinematic sex:

7. There’s no cleanup.

Filmmakers have consistently chosen to ignore the fact that semen is, in fact, a liquid, and that its leakage does require a bit of post-coital cleanup. While I can totally understand how two movies characters handing each other toilet paper and wiping up after could probably take the air out of a “hot” sex scene, it definitely gave me a false impression of what happens in the afterglow.

6. There are no weird or embarrassing noises.

Okay, sex is great, but it’s not like it’s a completely silent and dignified experience only punctuated by moans of pleasure, or something. When you have two bodies slapping together, that tends to produce … some noises. Bodily noises. And sometimes, those noises aren’t that sexy. In fact, they can occasionally be downright embarrassing.

In movies, though, the only sounds you really hear are, like, the rustling of sheets, heavy breathing, and The Weeknd’s latest single or something.

5. You must cover yourself IMMEDIATELY afterward.

I’m sure this cliché has to do with ratings and celebrity vanity/modesty, but pulling sheets up to your armpits immediately after coitus is a pretty ridiculous expectation that movies seem determined to perpetuate. Like, you just spent the last 15 minutes engaged in cardio, raising your body temperature, and NOW you’re going to snuggle up under a comforter? I don’t think so.

4. Having sex in the back of a car/in the shower/in the bathtub is easy and fun.

So, here’s the thing about sex in unusual places: the idea is often much sexier than the execution. If you’ve ever tried to have sex in water, then you’ll understand what I’m talking about. In movies, actors don’t actually have to f**k each other, so it doesn’t matter if they’re contorted into totally untenable positions. (Like, don’t even get me started on the sex scene in Titanic. That car was TINY, there is NO WAY they were having missionary-style sex.)

In real life, it’s difficult to concentrate on the sexual experience if you’re developing a cramp in your leg from trying to keep your balance — so, it’s usually best to forego the “exotic” locales in favor of more feasible ones.

3. A woman can orgasm after a man has been inside of her for all of three seconds.

Okay, okay, okay: seriously? This is the most unrealistic expectation of all.

It’s notoriously difficult for women to climax from P-in-V penetration alone, but you’d never know it from the movies. In the world of cinema, women can climax from pretty much the bare minimum of sexual effort, which usually involves no more than a few minutes of zealous thrusting. In the real world, this is generally not the case (unless you’re a very, um, responsive lady), and you’re left feeling utterly confused and disappointed when a guy assumes that penetration alone is going to “seal the deal” for you.

2. Foreplay? What’s foreplay?

The “orgasm from intercourse alone” complaint leads me to this question: where’s all the sexual lead-up in popular movies? Half of these movie characters just whip their pants off and are ready to go, no foreplay required. It took far too long for me to understand that foreplay is actually a standard step in the sexual process, thanks to the fact that so many movies choose to omit it altogether.

Obviously, I’m sure there are exceptions, but by and large: very little finger-banging or cunnilingus in these so-called “steamy” sex scenes.

1. Guys are always hard immediately.

If you’ve never experienced this awkward sexual reality, then you’re probably lying. It’s simply a fact of life: sometimes a guy is unable to get it up immediately and requires a bit more TLC before he’s ready to go. In movies, though, a naked woman can walk into the room and then be having sex with a guy, like, 30 seconds later. Which is impressive, to be sure, but who the hell has a boner at the ready like that?