Much has been said about the harm that porn films do to our sexuality. They create false expectations about timing, sizes and orgasm intensity. But not just porn affects our collective imagination. Romantic movies, erotic soap operas and even music videos also offer sexual scenes that are far removed from reality. Everything flows. The rhythms are perfect. The protagonists always want more. No one’s makeup ever runs. We all know that fiction doesn’t always reflect reality, but perhaps showing those mundane moments could help do away with myths and raise awareness about important issues. Here are some examples.
Sex scenes tend to be fast-paced. They get aroused, they kiss, and they move on to penetration seconds later. In film and television, it makes sense, because the screen time is limited. But as a result, we tend to think that when a couple begins an encounter, they immediately become aroused. That is not the case. “Beyond the fact that penetration isn’t the only practice, for it to happen, other parts of the body have to have been stimulated so that everything can flow. And even so there are times that, even though it happens after other erotic practices, extra lubrication is necessary, and it’s totally normal. That’s why we have lubricant,” explains sexologist Daphne Bastet. In fact, lube tends to be a key piece on the night stand, but its lack of visibility means that some still believe that it is used only for cases of vaginal dryness, such as during menopause. In reality, there are many times of lubricants for oral, anal and vaginal sex, to use with toys or with condoms, in order to make sex much more fluid.
Putting on a condom
The condom is usually absent in fictional scenes, especially when adults appear rather than adolescents. That moment of leaning against the door, climbing on the living room table or on the kitchen counter is just enough to show how pants and underwear are lowered, but not to see how the characters reach for a condom, unroll it, put it on, and begin intercourse. Since we never see that moment as something sexy, we don’t know how to do it naturally in real life. “The moment to go for the condom or the moment to put it on can be a critical moment for various reasons: because you disrupt the flow, because you stay there lying or in bed without knowing what to do or where to look, or because you get up and walk around the room naked,” points out sexologist Ana García. The expert says that showing this moment in the movies can be an opportunity for seduction and not a moment to cut. It can be solved visually with a mischievous look or a sexy dance to put it on, without need of a close-up.
The ponytail moment
In action movies we criticize “heroes” who walk unscathed from an explosion or a burning building. In erotic scenes we have not yet overcome that myth. No one gets their hair messy, despite wearing it down. No one smears their makeup, and everyone wakes up with a seductive white shirt of unknown provenance. “During the sexual act, it is totally normal for your pants to get caught, for a fart to escape (anal or vaginal), or for you to need to tie your hair in a ponytail so that it does not get in your mouth. Let’s stop going through those acts with shame and enjoy them. Many times they are funny moments that sex gives us and that can help create an environment of trust with the other person,” says Daphne Bastet.
“That position hurts today”
Sex shouldn’t hurt. But the reality is that our body does not always react the same to the same stimuli. The menstrual cycle can make the vagina or nipples more sensitive one day than the next. And sometimes what you like so much one day bothers you the next. But we will never see a movie where the protagonists say, “Wait, this position bothers me a little, can we switch?” Or perhaps: “Today I don’t feel like squeezing my nipples because I’m PMSing.” Once again, since we do not see this dialogue portrayed, we can feel more shy about expressing our needs in real life. “Penetration is not always pleasant: if we penetrate without lubrication, too early or too late, the sensations caused are very different. Let’s also demystify sexual positions: not always and not all are comfortable. There are times when certain postures are difficult, annoying or simply impossible. All this has an easy solution: communication,” says Ana García. If movies showed communication as something sexy, beyond having to intuit everything from the intensity of the moans, we would avoid many unpleasant misunderstandings.
The moment after and the importance of going to the bathroom
The couple begins to kiss, we see some shots of their bare skin in dim light and after refocusing on their faces concentrated in shadows, we go directly to the moment after. Embraced, in bed, happy and in love. And without any need to take a moment, as soon as they finish, to clean and readjust themselves in the bathroom. That is not only common, but is also recommended. “The most normal thing is to have to clean up, go get something to drink to regain strength and go to the bathroom,” recalls Daphne Bastet. As the expert insists, “going to urinate is very important, especially for people with a vulva, to avoid infections.” Urinating after penetration helps eliminate possible bacteria and therefore prevents infections, such as cystitis. Beyond romance, in sex, as in life, health always comes first.
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