Real-Life Sex Vs. Movie Sex: What Happens Before, During And After, That Film Sex Scenes Don't Show?

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This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Bart Loews.

There’s different types of movies and how they portray sex. A PG-13 movie might mention sex, but the most you’ll see on screen is a clothed kiss.

An R movie can show nudity and things happening under the covers, rarely will it show something along the lines of a “Skinemax movie”, though often you’ll see full frontal-nudity

A NC-17 will show more (since for some reason only sex can necessitate a higher rating rather than scenes of gratuitous violence and gore).

A straight-up porn will obviously show most of what can happen during sex, even if it is done in a way to titillate the viewer rather than the participants.

Let's assume you are talking about a mainstream rated R movie or lighter. There are exceptions for all of these, of course —  this list is not exclusive, just a few things I can think of right now.

  • Clean up: After sex, there’s often a bit of fluids that will need to be rounded up. With a condom, the condom needs to be carefully removed and thrown away. If there is no condom and the man came inside the woman, a considerable amount of fluid will be leaking out of her afterwards. She’ll want to tend to that. If the man didn’t come inside of her… that stuff all went somewhere. Most people don’t want it on their bed or wherever they had sex (usually on the bed in movies). Sex also can leave you feeling messy, generally sweaty, tired. I’m not usually in the mood for cuddling. Sex in the City had one character that always showered after having sex (I think with Miranda). This was portrayed as an oddity even though I can see the justification for it (sex can leave you feeling fairly dirty and sweaty).
  • Bathroom afterwards: I haven’t had sex with many people, but everyone that I have had sex with needs to go to the bathroom afterwards. I know that I always have to go to the bathroom after coming. You rarely see this happen in movies.
  • Foreplay: They don’t usually show much of this aside from kissing. There’s very little manual play or oral, though it’s often implied, though usually to the male’s benefit. Seinfeld actually broke this down a bit, often showing the male working under the covers. Sex in the City had one episode where Carrie had a man go down on her during a quickie and then she bolted. In a bizarre turn of events, she ended up feeling guilt about it.
  • How not different you feel after you lose your virginity: As a man at least, it was a fairly embarrassing experience, coming almost immediately. Even though I felt love for my partner, there was nothing special about it in any way. Later sexual experiences were much more exciting for me.

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