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
I have to be honest, I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day person. It probably stems from spending 19 Valentine’s Days as single as it gets. But regardless, I now have a boyfriend (yay me) and have no excuse to shove my face with chocolates and cry alone in my bedroom
every day of the year on February 14th. But even if you’re ~boo’d up~ Valentine’s Day kind of blows. You need to get gifts and shave your legs, and it’s a whole production I’m just not so down for. But staying in and watching the best Valentine’s Day movie with your SO doesn’t sound half bad. So I’ve done the research of rounding up the best romantic movies to watch with your SO. Or your galentines. Or by yourself. The point is, these Valentine’s Day movie choices will probably put you in your feelings and make you believe in the ~power of love~ or whatever.
Disclaimer: Titanic is not on the list because I’ve never seen it and I don’t need to ugly cry
this time in front of my boyfriend right before we are going to bang.
1. ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days’
This rom-com is the perfect Valentine’s Day movie because it’s a great balance between romance and comedy. Kate Hudson stars as a magazine writer (honestly, did any other job exist in 2000s rom-coms? And do they exist anywhere else, like in the real world? Asking for a friend) who’s tasked with dating and subsequently getting rid of a guy for an article. Fun, right? Not to mention Kate Hudson’s character will make your SO think you are way less crazy than you are. That is, unless you also decided to buy a dog to raise together after less than a week of dating, in which case I can’t help you.
2. ‘Definitely, Maybe’
The heartwarming story about a father telling his daughter about
his slutty days how he met her mother is adorable. Definitely, Maybe was also originally released on Valentine’s Day, which basically means Universal Studios agrees with me that this is the perfect V-Day movie. Even though the suspense is lost after you watch it for the second (or twentieth) time, it’s still a great movie and I’ll take any excuse to watch Ryan Reynolds, even if my boyfriend is next to me. Lol.
3. ‘Friends With Benefits’
Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, and lots of sex. Something for everyone, right? Friends with Benefits centers around the age-old question: can friends sleep together without someone developing feelings? (Spoiler alert: they can’t, at least not in Hollywood. Your sh*tty FWB, Tyler from SAE, does not apply.) But what’s great about this Valentine’s Day movie is how it’ll make you appreciate the uncomplicated nature of your relationship. I hope. Sidenote: I just realized Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher both starred in movies about being friends with benefits in 2011. Commence conspiracy theories here.
4. ‘What Happens In Vegas’
When Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher drunkenly get married in Vegas (as one does), and then one of them wins a ton of money, it makes for a hilarious Valentine’s Day movie choice. They need to remain married for at least six months to keep the money, which doesn’t seem like that long (especially for a cool $1.5 mil), but also Kim Kardashian only lasted 72 days with Kris Humphries so what do I know. This also results in a great conversation with your SO—what would you do with a ton of money? I said shopping, my boyfriend said to invest it. You can tell we are very similar people. However, I do NOT recommend asking your boyfriend what he would do if he won the lottery, unless you’re trying to have a fight on Valentine’s Day.
5. ‘The Proposal’
I think Ryan Reynolds may replace my boyfriend as my Valentine’s Day date. But anyway, this movie is phenom. Picture this: Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Green card marriage. Oscar from The Office as a stripper. Have I sold you on it yet? The Proposal is equally funny and romantic with its fair share of nudity—in not always the most romantic way (see below). Plus, Betty White singing “Get Low“—can any other Valentine’s Day movie top that? I think not.
6. ‘The Princess Bride’
I’m hoping by watching this movie with my SO that it’ll teach him to use the phrase “as you wish” from now on. This fantasy romance movie will definitely pull on your heartstrings and make you feel all warm and fuzzy. It is filled with torture, massive rodents, and suspense, while still remaining light-hearted and romantic. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, or the plot of a true crime podcast episode, but trust me, this movie is a classic! It’s also full of countless iconic lines, like “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die,” which is surprisingly easy to slip into a conversation. This movie is perfect for the couple that can never agree on a genre, because The Princess Bride is like a comedy, romance, and action movie all in one.
7. ‘Crazy Stupid Love’
One of my personal favorites, partly because you see Ryan Gosling topless. (Can you tell I have a thing for Ryans?) About a just-divorced man who begrudgingly finds a guide to single life, this movie proves that Steve Carell’s game has come a loong way since The 40-Year-Old Virgin. These intertwining love stories are hilariously dramatic, between Steve Carell rolling out of a moving vehicle and Gosling’s egotistic mentality. Crazy Stupid Love also provides hope for any person who has forgotten how to date. Rule 1: a tiny straw in your drink makes it look like you’re sucking on a tiny schvantz. Inspirational.
Images: Gipgy (7)
Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Personally, I think it’s the world’s stupidest holiday. Mainly because I have an icy black heart and mushy shit makes me want to jump off the fucking roof. But that’s just me. Regardless, it’s almost here, and in addition to tacky flower arrangements and teddy bears and chocolate, love movies are going to be everywhere, which means you’re not going to be able to escape all 5,000 of the depressing af Nicholas Sparks movies even if you try. So here you have it, a definitive ranking of every last one of his flicks, so when you’re flipping through the guide over the next two weeks you know which ones are worth watching, and when you should just settle for a Criminal Minds marathon instead.
11. Nights in Rodanthe
You’re probably thinking to yourself “what tf even is this?” but I promise this is actually a real movie and it’s actually terrible. If you’re craving a little Richard Gere and Diane Lane, do yourself a favor and rent Unfaithful instead. Or better yet, go back to your retirement home.
10. The Choice
Okay, to be fair, I didn’t even see this one because it looked like literal garbage, but I do know it’s about two people who live next door to each other and fall in love and, in true Nicholas Sparks fashion, someone gets critically injured. Oh, and I can still hear the main dude saying “come bother me” in the trailer. Not sure what the movie’s namesake “choice” is, but I’d say that if you have the choice, skip this.
9. Message in a Bottle
This one actually isn’t as bad as the ranking makes it seem, but like, it’s so old and depressing and there’s really nothing that makes it stand out. Any movie with Kevin Costner in it where he’s not playing baseball is just fucking pointless, and any movie whose title immediately gets a song by The Police stuck in my head for the next three hours is an automatic no from me, dog.
8. The Best Of Me
Back when this came out, I had really high hopes for this one because James Marsden is bae, but it really fell flat. There’s nothing memorable, nothing terrible. It’s basically the movie equivalent of butterless, saltless, air-popped popcorn.
7. The Lucky One
Bonus points for Zac Efron also being bae and for Piper from OITNB being in it, negative points for their nonexistent chemistry. They’re both so hot. How tf was it so weird? Answer: It was like watching Zac Efron make out with his aunt. The only reason this pseudo-incest film didn’t rank lower is because there’s a shower makeout scene in which you can see a wet Zac Efron.
6. The Longest Ride
Tbh, I thought this one was going to be shit so I was never planning on watching until it was on HBO every other minute, so I figured why tf not. It was actually way better than expected. They’re both attractive and I have no clue who either one of them is, so the idea of these two nobodies being in a relationship was believable. The only thing that I could have done without is the whole bull riding thing—which I get is like, a big part of the plot, but I really DGAF about a country boy’s deep need to ride an animal that wants to kill him. And like honestly, can anyone with an education level beyond high school relate to this? Loss of points for niche redneck premise.
5. Dear John
Now we’re getting to the good shit. I could look at Channing Tatum all fucking day, especially in a uniform—so for if no other reason, this one is worth the watch because of that. It loses cred because there’s no way in hell Channing would obsess over Karen Smith for years, and there’s really no way Karen would dump him for some not hot dying dude while he was away at war. Nope. Not real. Dear John also sucks for inspiring a Taylor Swift song of the same name.
4. Safe Haven
This one gets less credit than it deserves. Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough are totally adorable. The storyline is actually somewhat exciting rather than just a cry-fest. And the twist at the end you never see coming. Did I just describe every Nicholas Sparks movie out there? Maybe.
3. The Last Song
Remember when Miley was a cute innocent teen from Tennessee with big teeth and a life that seemed relatively together? Yeah, me too. And you can reminisce when you watch The Last Song. But more importantly, this was the first real time I can remember that we were introduced to the younger Hemsworth brother. As for the movie, it’s got some classic Nicholas Sparks sadness but neither one of them dies so like, fine. Watch this and then cry-sing “The Climb” and try not to text your ex from high school.
2. A Walk to Remember
Get the tissues ready because this has to be one of the saddest movies you’ll ever see—besides My Dog Skip, but that’s for another time. It came out when we were all young little betches and we dreamed of scoring a popular bad boy like Shane West when we got to high school. Sure, Mandy Moore’s character was the nicegirl to end all nicegirls and a total Jesus freak (not to mention socially retarded and weird), but that song she sang at the school play was the fucking jam. Even if it was shadily Jesus-y, it was still the slow dance song we all wanted to hear at our middle school dance. And it would have almost gotten away with being the #1 Nicholas Sparks movie, if it wasn’t for…
1. The Notebook
Name a more iconic love story. I’ll wait. I’m not going to go into why this is No. 1 because if you disagree you can go shave your fucking back. Long live Allie and Noah.