Ah, the rom-com. The classic and predictable formula that consists of meet-cutes, cliches, some goofy sidekicks, and a heart-warming ending that we all saw coming is a tried and true one. Throughout the 2000s, Hollywood churned out rom-coms at a rapid rate, and we don’t blame them. These movies are the perfect re-watch, and their predictable endings provide a sense of certainty we could all use right about now.
While Hollywood may have mastered the rom-com formula in the 2000s, there were some major things they got wrong about sex. Watching these movies growing up, before experiencing sex and relationships for myself, I feel that I was grossly misled. What they show in the movies and what actually happens is like apples and oranges—and it’s time we called B.S. Here are some of the most unrealistic expectations rom-coms gave me for sex.
Lie #1: No Foreplay Necessary
An actual quote from the movie The Holiday:
Jude Law: “How do you feel about foreplay?”
Cameron Diaz: “I think it’s overrated. Significantly overrated.”
Jude Law: “You are quickly becoming one of the most interesting girls I’ve ever met.”
CUT TO: The worst sex ever
— Chloe Dykstra (@skydart) May 19, 2019
If you’ve ever been asked “are you ready?” 10 seconds into a hookup when you’ve barely had time to process what’s happening, you can thank 2000s rom-coms like The Holiday that teach us that after a mere 20 seconds of making out, you should be ready to have hot sex. Cameron Diaz’s character Amanda even told Jude Law’s character Graham that foreplay was overrated. I’m sorry, foreplay is never overrated, especially when it’s with Jude Law. These depictions of sex with hardly any build-up do women everywhere a disservice. You’re supposed to stretch before you run, aren’t you? The same is true of sex. Not only is foreplay essential in getting you in the mood, but it also makes sex less painful, according to expert Kiana Reeves, a doula, certified sex educator, Certified Innate Postpartum Care Provider, and Certified STREAM (Scar Tissue Remediation, Education, and Management) Practitioner, who told Betches that pain during sex can actually be caused by a lack of lubrication. Don’t sacrifice great sex for speed—take the time to get warmed up, you won’t regret it.
Lie #2: Orgasms Happen Quickly And Are Guaranteed
Not only are the women in these rom-coms having great sex with no foreplay, but they also have an orgasm in the blink of an eye, which couldn’t be further from reality. Take the famous “It still isn’t over” scene in The Notebook when Noah and Allie finally have sex. While yes, I admit, this is an iconic love scene that earned its spot in rom-com history, her speedy orgasm that takes all of 30 seconds and only one position change is just a bald-faced lie. I don’t care how many years of sexual tension you have built up, a female orgasm does not happen that quickly. In fact, only 8-25% of women can cum from just vaginal penetration. 8-25%! Why isn’t this a more well-known stat? Can we get this on a bumper sticker?
Lie #3: Your First Time Will Be Magical And Incredibly Romantic
If you’re one of the few people who had a romantic experience that wasn’t filled with awkward, painful and fumbling moments, please come forward and share your story, because you’re one in a million. Some of our favorite rom-coms led us to believe this moment would be more sweet and tender than painful (HA!). In Love & Basketball, Monica loses her virginity to Quincy, but not before they exchange a series of sensual looks as they slowly undress before the kissing portion of the program even begins. Quincy’s lips must have magical powers because there is NO way she’s ready when Quincy reaches for the condom. She inhales slightly, which apparently is to be representative of the pain she’s feeling? LOL. If they wanted to show us what it’s really like, Monica should’ve displayed a contorted facial expression and let out a blood-curdling scream. This depiction of losing your virginity is even further from reality than the most recent season of Vanderpump Rules.
Lie #4: You Will Wrap A Bed Sheet Around You After Sex
Again, if any of you have actually done this (and not just to imitate a famous movie scene) please come forward. I’m not sure which director started this rom-com trend, but it doesn’t make any f*cking sense. However, movies like Fever Pitch tell us otherwise. If you actually did this you’d have to wrap it around yourself a number of times to avoid tripping over it and you’d have to keep your arms tightly by your side to make sure it doesn’t fall. Why in the world would you go through all of that hassle to rip the flat sheet off the bed and wrap it around you like you’re going to a toga party when you could just throw on a T-shirt or stay naked? I’d consider this one of life’s greatest mysteries.
Lie #5: Sex In Cars Is Hot
Despite how sexy Katherine Heigl and James Marsden made it look in 27 Dresses, or how hot it was in Titanic, there’s no way drunk sex in a broken-down car is hot. Do you really think a 5’9” woman and 5’10” man can have great sex without injuring themselves or contorting their body into unnatural positions? I doubt it. Aside from the issue of the size of the car, don’t they have anxiety about the broken-down car? Maybe I’m high-strung, but the thought of being stranded forever would inhibit me from enjoying myself.
Lie #6: If You Meet A British Guy In A Bar, You Will Have Sex With Him
Okay so this is oddly specific, but when I saw the scene in Love Actually when Colin meets a group of American women in a bar who fawn over him and later bring him back to their apartment, I audibly groaned. I know the entire movie is based on the suspension of disbelief, but COME ON. Give women a little more credit, we’re not going to pull our dresses up just because a guy in a bar has a foreign accent. And even if we do, we’re certainly not asking our three best friends to join us.
So, who’s ready for a modern day rom-com that depicts what sex is actually like? I wish someone had warned me about the lies that are laced throughout 2000s rom-coms and beyond, maybe I could have avoided a lot of disappointment. Well, probably not but a girl can dream, right? I’d like to think adding some sense of authenticity into these movies would result in more realistic expectations for women and their sex lives going forward.
Images: WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock; Giphy; skydart / Twitter