Before losing our virginity, we have great expectations and are very excited about taking that step, but is it as pleasant and awesome as we thought it would be?
We all go through a moment in our lives when we feel the urge of exploring our sexuality. Call it a natural instinct or even peer pressure, but most of us go through this in our teens. There's this romantic idea in our minds of how it's all supposed to happen and how we'll feel afterwards. Yet when we're finally in the moment, we realize it's not as life-changing as we thought. The thing is that somehow we learn about sexuality through TV and films, and let's be honest, most of those depictions are far from accurate at all. So, with that in mind, I kept thinking about how first times are depicted in films. Most of time they really fall into the same fantastic and unrealistic category. However, there have been some that, despite being used as a comic relief, show a more relatable and awkward experience.
Juno (2007) Dir. Jason Reitman
Actually, I got the idea of this article some days ago when I rewatched this movie. The fresh tone of the plot centers on a teenage girl who gets pregnant and decides to give her baby for adoption, and the very short sex scene is worth highlighting. We have Juno, the protagonist, retelling how she got pregnant, and without giving so much detail or showing much onscreen, we have a good picture of how it's not that experience is not sexy or even intense. Here, we see it’s both character’s first sexual experience, and for that reason, it’s clear they’re both inexperienced and don't have a clear idea of what to do (perhaps Juno knows a bit more about it than Paulie). Just like that, the scene lasts about a couple of minutes, which is much more honest than the long scenes we’re used to watching in films. All in all, it isn’t the passionate and heated sexual experience you’d think of, but a lame, short, and really awkward encounter.
American Pie (1999) Dir. Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz
I know you might be thinking that this movie is probably one of the dumbest comedies out there, but actually it works quite well to make a point. This is the classic nineties comedy in which they just put a set of random and not very witty jokes only to make the audience laugh. There’s no way of actually defending it otherwise. However, I do think it changed the classic motif of the teenagers wanting to take the leap to a, let’s say, more adult level with their sexuality. This isn't the first film to do so, but in American Pie they pay more attention to the pressure we all experience when it comes to first sexual encounters. In case you’ve been living under a rock or you haven't watched this movie, the story is about a group of friends who make a bet to lose their virginity before their senior year of high school ends. Through a set of irreverent and quite embarrassing situations, at the end of the movie, only one manages to fulfill the task, although it isn’t as special or hot as he envisioned it. Now, that’s actually the thing that makes our first sexual encounters so awkward. Regardless of how much thought you put into them, most likely no one ever reaches their expectations.
À ma sœur! (2001) Dir. Catherine Breillat
Now, let’s move on to this serious and creepy French Drama that somehow keeps coming to me and that can make a very good point in our discussion. The movie tells the story of two sisters vacationing in the seaside of France. During the first segments of the movie, they start discussing how they want to lose their virginity. Elena, the older sister, who in our social beauty standards has everything we aspire to, has a more conventional and conservative perspective on the matter, arguing that even when she’s got a lot of experience with boys, she wants her first time to be with someone special she really loves and that loves her back. Anaïs, her younger 12-year-old sister, strongly believes that the first time one has to be with someone you don’t care at all because it doesn’t seem to be as special as people tend to believe. During these holidays, Elena meets an older guy she falls for, and after flirting for a while, one night he sneaks into the girls’ bedroom to have sex with Elena. At first, she refuses and he starts threatening her by saying he will go with another girl if she refuses, and she ends up agreeing to have sex with him. From this point onwards, things get really dark with a very unexpected ending I won’t spoil for you. The thing here is that, no matter how much you plan things, at the end of the day, life doesn’t really work this way.
Our sexuality is probably one of the most intimate parts of our lives. But if you think about it, our first sexual experience isn't as private as we would imagine. I don't mean someone witnesses it, but it is such a milestone in our lives that it’s impossible not to share it with our friends or even feeling that social and public pressure to do so. So, besides the fact that we’re nervous and don’t know what to expect, at the end of the day, these experiences are awkward and weird precisely for everything that happens.
Here are other movie lists you might enjoy: