Everything I Need to Know About Sex I Learned From…TV?
Originally published on SexReally.com on August 20, 2009.
Cue the seductive look. Passionate kiss. Clothes ripped from bodies. Heavy breathing. Sheets pulled over heads. Cut to an attractive couple, lying side by side, cheeks flushed, faces matte, hair coiffed. Just like real life, right?
Not so much. In the magical world of television, however, this is the standard protocol for a love scene, employed in almost every adult-oriented drama, sitcom and comedy on air. A show with romantic character development would seem incomplete, or maybe even implausible, without sex scenes. In actuality, the most implausible thing on TV is often the sex itself. In a society that is so greatly influenced by the media, what if everything we knew about sex came from television?
In a world where sex in real life is the same as it appears on TV…
To begin, everyone is incredibly attractive. Not a single pound too heavy, perfectly groomed and manicured. Under-eye bags and blemishes don’t exist and no one seems even remotely fatigued from a long work week. Use the last drop of energy you have left at the end of the week to try and drag yourself to the gym? Not here! With your boundless energy and perfect figure, you might as well apply that same motivation to bagging the attractive co-worker who has been giving you coy looks all week long.
The moment you think about your crush, your phone instantly rings. Isn’t dating convenient in Televisionland? Not at all awkward, never a lull in the conversation or secret mutual knowledge that each person stalked the other’s Facebook page prior to the date. And since this is a date, it obviously ends with…
Sex. Because everyone has sex on the first date. Even though this could be the first time you’ve slept with this person, you seem to know each other perfectly. It’s almost - dare I say - scripted. There are no accidental head bumps or awkward moments of uncertainty about where one should place a limb. Your clothes are ripped off effortlessly - in Televisionland, it is impossible for one to attempt to pull a shirt over their head, only to have the shirt stuck around their neck as they yank at the material. No month-old bikini waxes, no embarrassing tattoos from youth, and certainly no granny panties.
Discussions about using protection? Not needed, telepathy apparently has that one covered. In the rare case that a condom is used, it is slipped on easily and never even slightly disrupts the passion. Foreplay doesn’t exist because it’s not needed either. There’s no desire to laugh when the friction of body parts make embarrassing noises, as friction does not exist in television world. Then again, none of the funny sounds (or lack thereof) of sex can be heard at all because you have an expertly chosen soundtrack to background the most amazing sex of you life. How do you know it’s amazing? Because both of you reach intense orgasms simultaneously within 15 seconds (as you do every time you have sex in Televisionland) and collapse next to each other.
No one needs to use the bathroom after sex and everything, including the sheets, is mess-free. The sheet is tucked neatly under the female’s toned arms and wrapped around the man’s sculpted waist (and yes, sex scenes on TV generally consist of one man and one woman). Neither of you even thinks about a shower because you’re still perfectly coiffed, made-up and sweat-free. As you fall asleep, you spoon affectionately - no one struggles with where to put their arms so as not to suffer pins and needles.
The glorious morning after. Don’t cringe - it’s fun here! You wake up fresh-faced and, more importantly, fresh-breathed, no matter what you did - or how much you drank - the night before. Depending on the time of your commercial break, you may or may not have morning sex, and then you find your clothes, folded and clean, never in a ball on the floor, and look your partner straight in the eye as you dress. Walk of shame? What’s that? There is nothing awkward about sex in Televisionland - it’s always exciting and always satisfying.
Don’t just take it from us - we enlisted the help of friends, family and strangers to identify other ridiculous portrayals of sex on television. Did we miss anything? Leave us a comment!
- A woman never takes her bra off for sex (yeah, what’s up with that??).
- The first time is always perfect, and special, especially when both partners are virgins.
- Within 30 seconds of finishing, both partners are raring to go again.
- Personal clean-up doesn’t exist: co-workers go right back to work after a sweaty workplace romp.
- Men never say no. And all women want them.
- If someone does buy condoms (rare), someone they’d rather not see (parent, ex, boss, etc.) is always at the store when they’re making the purchase.
- Men are always ready to go immediately. (Erectile dysfunction is only seen in commercials.)
- The only women who say no are abstinence nuns.
- No one has abortions. Or even talks about them.
- All women have huge boobs.
- No one has parents or family members to help them figure out relationships. And if they do, these relatives are either precocious children or middle-aged buffoons.
- No one gets the “Sunday Sads” after doing it on the first date.
Lauren Mann works in The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s Entertainment Media department. She’s been blogging about sex, love and relationships among twenty-somethings since she first joined the Campaign as an intern in 2009. Check out her personal blog at whatjewtalkingbout.tumblr.com.