The media loves to talk about sex. Unfortunately, some of our most ubiquitous forms of media get a lot wrong when they take on sexual education.
You know that notorious sex education scene in Mean Girls when Coach Carr tells his students not to have sex because they’d get pregnant and die? When the movie aired in 2004, it was legal for him to tell his class that false information because at the time, Illinois didn’t mandate sex-ed to be medically accurate.
Today, only 13 states require high schools to teach comprehensive sexual education, leaving millions of students susceptible to believing harmful myths about sex. Studies show that many teens first exposure to sex-ed comes from television, and that the sexual content they see is linked with their level of sexual activity.
Hollywood has the potential to be an excellent source for sexual education, but instead of portraying the realities, most movies and TV shows perpetuate sex myths.
1. There are no awkward moments during sex
Sex with new partners is always the worst because I have to learn what makes their toes curl. Every touch, moan and squirt is a surprise, and it can be awkward navigating each other’s bodies. Unless you’ve had sex, you probably don’t know how weird it can get because of movies like Endless Love and The Titanic. David deflowers Jade next to a romantic fire on a wooden floor, and Jack takes Rose’s virginity inside a car. To all the romantics out there, I’m sorry to burst your bubble but cars and floors are like, the most uncomfortable and awkward places to have sex.
Awkward sex leads to incredible sex, and it’s never going to be great the first time. But that’s ok! The only way to improve is to communicate with your partner and verbally tell them what you like and what you don’t. Don’t be afraid to share what turns you on, because everyone’s different — that’s what makes sex so exciting!
Header image illustrated by Marcy Gooberman