One of my favorite lines in cinematic history is in Superbad when Becca says, “I’m so wet,” and Evan responds, “That is what they said would happen in health class.” It’s a pretty well-known fact that movies aren’t reality, but in this instance, the film completely understood the awkward and normal scenario of having sex for the first time (or even just with a new partner). However, not all movies are like this. Very few people could actually make it out of a love story like The Notebook without psychological damage and divorce. Sometimes, the facade is exactly what you need. While some movies portray sex and relationships incorrectly, there are a few that actually get it right. They understand that sex is complicated, that not everything is picture-perfect, and that consent is actually pretty simple.
As movie lovers, we had a long talk in our office about sex and movies, and to our surprise, there’s some good stuff we learned about sex from Hollywood.
Consent is simple
We all know this now, but as a teenager, I didn’t have a complete understanding of what consent was as it applied to me. I especially didn’t totally understand the ideas of consent when one or both parties were drunk. Although Superbad has its moments (there are a few parts that don’t stand up to 2019 quite well), they ultimately approach consent in a way that young adults can understand. Don’t have sex with someone when they’re drunk because they can’t consent. It’s that simple.
Slow and steady wins the race
While porn and some movies portray sex as this fast and passionate and hard, that isn’t always the case, and some movies have actually shown that it can be slow and fun at the same time. Movies like Friends With Benefits (a classic not to be confused with No Strings Attached, which is also a classic) show that sex can be fast or slow, and it’s all about what you want.
You can have sex on the first date, or you can’t
How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days taught me a lot about dating, but the idea that sex doesn’t have to come right away nor does it have to wait until the third date was new and inspiring. You can have sex on the first date, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the relationship. On the other hand, you can wait as long as you need to have sex with someone you’re dating. Those rules are arbitrary, and luckily, Hollywood somewhat gets that.
You don’t have to have sex to have a fulfilling relationship
There are so many romantic comedies that don’t even discuss sex. A fulfilling relationship doesn’t have to include sex, and your interest in a person doesn’t have to be determined by their sexual prowess. No one doubts the connection of Jenna and Matt in 13 Going on 30, but their relationship involves no sex (granted, she is 13 in the body of a 30-year-old, but whatever, my point stands). Do what feels right for you, not what you think is expected in a relationship. (To which I say, if you feel expected to have sex, they ain’t it.)
Always use protection
For as long as I live, I’ll never forget sex ed in Mean Girls. But I wouldn’t necessarily call that a fail. While the portrayal is somewhat of a satire of real sexual education, the idea that condoms and protection (even if you’re having sex with someone of the same sex) are important stands.
We’re always up for a hot tub makeout
Don’t lie, you absolutely rewinded that scene in To All the Boys I Loved Before a few times.