How TV & Movies Get Sex Wrong and Those That Got it Right

50 Shades of Gray MovieWhen you think about sex in the movies, it’s almost always flawless.

From perfectly timed one-liners to impeccably made-up bedroom faces, sex the movies looks all-around awesome.

Sometimes when it comes to accuracy, the big and silver screens miss the mark. But when they get it right, it feels so so good. 

Guilty Culprits, What’s The Deal?

It’s pretty obvious Hollywood knows how to produce anything they could ever want in a sexy moment. The romance, the tension, the picturesque dream of every person’s fantasy coming to life before their eyes…

Let’s face it: fictional sex has a way of being so much easier than the real thing.

There’s rarely any prep work or clean up. Not to mention zero discussions before, after or even during the act. You don’t see anyone asking the other about birth control or health history. And couples often seem to orgasm at the same time, after just about 30 seconds of penetration alone!

Sure, we get that it’s a lot more arousing to see Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams skip the foreplay and get straight to the pleasurable punch in The Notebook. It’s also hotter to watch Josh Hartnett bring Shannyn Sossamon to such a “forbidden” orgasm in 40 Days and 40 Nights by blowing flower petals around her pelvis, but really—we can do better!

Luckily, we totally have…

Champions of Reality

Sex IRL isn’t always pretty or perfect, but depictions of the not-always-so-glamorous act do in fact exist on screens both large and small.


Friends With Benefits

Few things are as charming as JT and Mila Kunis teamed-up together, but even better was their ability to paint a fairly accurate picture for what pre-sex festivities should entail.

They actually talk about the sex they have, shouted their own personal preferences, and put foreplay on a well-deserved pedestal. They did this all while owning up to a healthy amount of silliness that can totally go along with it, too.


10 Things I Hate About You

Before jumping into the sheets, showing consent is obviously critical. Heath Ledger’s character proved to be admirably ahead of “me too” times when he refused to kiss his crush Kat because he saw she was too drunk to consent to any romantic antics. Way to go, Heath!


Netflix’s Love

As Micky and Gus eased into one of their first big intimate moments, she asked if it was alright to whip out her good ole friend the Magic Wand.

Love Gif

Which definitely goes to show you can use sex toys without your partner thinking it’s weird (even though it can – and should – be a much hotter scenario than how things quite played out here).



While every day’s a perfect occasion for sex, we loved Wade and Vanessa’s special spirit when she busted out a harness to use on him for International Women’s Day.

Although it was quick, the scene still proves the point that anyone can go for the strapped-on gold, regardless of orientation.



Not many people would complain about a sex scene starring Don Draper. But his performance as Annie Walker’s f-buddy leaves little to lust about. He’s the ultimate let down in the bedroom and if that’s not realistic, I don’t know what is.



Of course, we can’t talk about television sex without HBO. They have a rich (and long) history of breaking through mainstream sexual taboos, especially when it comes to the female point of view.

They’ve got Samantha’s same-sex relationship in SATC where she finally learned her way around pleasing another vagina for the first time. They’ve got Marnie’s infamous analingus debut in Girls. These examples go to show perfectly normal parts of sex that totally happen, yet aren’t the most common threads of a theatrically shown story. Go figure!


So although it risks harsher ratings and isn’t as picturesque, realistic representations of sex onscreen are far more convincing and commendable than their fairy-tale counterparts. We know it, we do it, so come on, Hollywood! We’ve wised up to your cliché games. Perhaps it’s time for you to start doing the same.


Alex Anderson is an LA-based lifestyle designer proactively raging against the cultural grain. By day she works in television production, and by night enjoys writing, sewing and seeking guidance from the stars. She also finally has an all black kitty named “Cher.” You can follow her website and on Instagram!


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