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Sex in Movies

It surprises me, though it probably shouldn’t, how sex is often portrayed in popular movies. What gets me is how quickly it occurs. Two people are having an intense conversation and suddenly clothes are coming off (or not) and without so much as a kiss or a lingering caress, they are having intercourse.

While this does occasionally occur in real life, it’s not the norm. And it sets the bar really high for viewers whose sexual experiences may look nothing like what’s on the screen. I understand, that’s part of why we watch movies. But there’s a subtle way in which what we see on the screen works its way into our minds and shapes expectations. In my twenties I noticed that after watching an action movie, when I left the theater I was driving faster, taking corners faster, somehow still “in” the movie I’d just seen.

What I’m protesting here is when directors use an abbreviated version of sex to communicate the notion of sexual passion and personal connection in a movie. Maybe I just want to linger with the part of the story that shows how two people can feel very intense feelings, take the risk to reach out for a sexual connection, and experience deep pleasure. It’s confusing when parts of the story get left out.

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