It’s too bad Hollywood won’t hire me to write a few sex scenes. I’d like to change a few misguided myths of the screen. Albeit, I don’t know if anyone would pay the ticket price to see the nitty-gritty of real sex in real marriages.
While sexual intimacy in marriage outranks mythical Hollywood sex by a long shot, it may not look so visually appealing from the sidelines. Indeed, I’ve never personally had a desire to videotape a sexual encounter with my husband to watch later — because I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t titillate me, but rather make me incredibly self-conscious about every body motion and facial expression I made from then on.
I’ll take blissful ignorance and unbridled passion instead.
So what if I could write the sex scenes? How would I infuse a bit of truth onto the screen — while not repelling the audience?
1. No perfect-passion-night-becomes-long-lasting-romance. That happens all the time in movies: A couple barely knows each other, has a wild night of passionate lovemaking, and then realizes this is the person they want to live with, clean up after, and make little people with. In real life, that happens to maybe 0.0003% of the population. More often, a couple who has an amazing night of sex and decides to jump in with both feet find themselves months down the road screaming at each other and divvying up the furniture. Why? Because one night of hot sex does not a lifetime of happiness make.
Instead, my sex scene will occur at the end of the movie — as the culmination of a building of a relationship, learnings the ins and outs of this person, finding out if this is someone they want to be with for a lifetime, saying some much-needed I Do’s, and then tumbling into bed for a wild night of passionate lovemaking. Which now means so much more because the foundation is solid.
2. Her bra and underwear don’t always match. Am I the only one this annoys? So there will be some actress who had no idea she’d be making love that night, and she slips off her dress to reveal perfectly matched, gorgeous lingerie.
While I’m all in favor of wearing something nice to bed or under your clothes, there are puh-lenty of nights I wear something perfectly matched and sex doesn’t happen . . . and then I dig down to the bottom of the drawer for something to wear one day, and bam! hubby’s in the mood that night. And he doesn’t care if my bra is beige and my panties are green.
Instead, my sex scene would involve the wife pulling her last pair of underwear from the drawer, promising herself to do laundry, and then apologizing to her husband for the hole in her left cheek’s fabric. And hubby would say, “Don’t worry, sweetheart. You’d be sexy wearing a paper sack.” And then — be still, my heart — he’d offer to do the laundry.
3. They have to talk out the positioning. Somehow movie couples seem to move in tandem, in well-choreographed rhythm, like a Dancing with the Stars 10-out-of-10 performance. Whether they’ve made love once or a thousand times, the man and woman intuitively understand one another’s moves.
However, one recent moment of lovemaking in my house included this moment. “Hair! Hair! Hair!” I yelled. And my husband moved his arm and freed my hair from its painful entrapment. I don’t care how good a lover he is, yanking my hair follicles is not a turn-on.
Like it or not, quality sex can sometimes require communicating about how to move around and get everything lined up just so. It can also involve a few oopses from time to time, when unexpected entanglements happen. Or even falls. Like off the bed.
So maybe the married couple should stumble or fall now and then or say unsexy things like, “Can you move? You’re hurting my arm.” When you have that level of comfort in marriage that you can say such things, you’re likely to experience better intimate moments. That sex scene is well-coordinated, because it’s well-communicated.
4. Orgasms involve turn-taking as much as simultaneity. Movie couples tend to climax at the exact same moment, falling back onto the sheets in breathless fits of exhaustion and satisfaction. Every. Single. Time.
Sure, simultaneous orgasm is possible, even common in some marriages. But as a good friend of mine expressed so well, “This ain’t synchronized swimming.” Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Quite often in many marriages, one climaxes, then it takes a while to get the other there. Or maybe one climaxes this time, and the other doesn’t. It can vary. And not climaxing doesn’t make sex a failure. The closeness and intimacy still matter.
In my sex scenes, the couple would generously take time and help one another to figure out how to climax. If one achieved orgasm first, the other would receive additional attention until they reached the peak or decided to pass this time. Regardless, the deep physical connection and exciting sensations would be a satisfying part of the lovemaking.
Actually, if Hollywood let me write the sex scenes, very little sex would occur on the screen. I’d opt for the approach of many classic movies in which lovemaking was implied but not shown. After all, sexual intimacy in marriage is the sort of thing that should happen behind closed doors.
How would you rewrite the stereotypical sex scenes into something more like real married life?