Jun 01, 2016
Hollywood feeds us a portrayal of sex that is at once romantic – filmed through gentle, misty filters – and sanitised. You know what I mean. The white sheet – always white – is draped strategically to sheath the woman up to her breasts and the man up to his torso. They share the same piece of 300-thread cotton, yet the fabric manages to hide unequal portions of their bodies. It might be sorcery if we didn’t know it was film-set engineering.
Porn is different – at least the porn of today, and not the gauzy Emmanuelle school of soft porn popular in the 1970s. Today’s pornographers feed us an altogether more raw portrayal of sex, consensual or otherwise, which relies less on filters and more on graphic immediacy. Lame attempts at dialogue and even set design are the exceptions that prove the rule that subtlety is deliberately ignored in favour of explicitness and jarring close-ups of private parts in non-stop, in-out pounding action.
In real life, sex can be epic, but not necessarily cinematic. For one thing, the top sheet doesn’t wrap around the body with grace, exactly. Most of the time both sheets end up inelegantly rumpled and – let’s face it – soiled. Depending on your state of inebriation or the vigorousness of your exertions, the bedroom – if that is where the action is – can be transformed into a scene of chaos rivalling the mayhem of a hotel suite trashed by rock stars.
Pornographers have a penchant for depicting sex in unauthorised places – from the mundane office desk or doctor’s examining table to taxis, lifts, aeroplanes and even parks. Anywhere vaguely forbidden or vaguely public will do, the idea being that the place and the possibility of being caught in the act add an extra dimension to the excitement of otherwise standard sex.
If you are tempted to be adventurous in your choice of locales for sexual congress, beware the pitfalls of making love in a gym, for example, or in a car. For one thing, gyms are rarely empty. For another, think of all the sweaty bodies that have bench-pressed on the leatherette-covered bench you are lying on. Neither is very conducive to seduction and sex.
Making out in cars is a rite of passage, but after a certain age you find that even the sleekest and swiftest models fail to offer interior comfort to match their looks and performance. It’s fun when you’re young, your hormones are raging and privacy is in short supply, but later in life, unless you’re in a limo, you’ll be fumbling around while you try to get into a position that doesn’t lead to a cramp, a strained neck or a slipped disc. And in a limo, well, you have a driver, who would see everything and hear everything – unless, of course, it’s the driver you’re in the back with, which is a different story altogether.
And then there’s that other fairy tale peddled by Hollywood and pornographers alike: that men and women find their rhythms so naturally when making love – even if it’s their first time together – that they climax at the same time, and their simultaneous orgasms are amazingly, mind-blowingly out- of-this world. In the movies, the quality of the orgasms is signified by the couple’s satisfied sighs and groans, and their subsequent basking in the post-coital glow. In porn, the quality of the deed is depicted by the money shot, the man usually pulling out to leave his mark on but never in her body.
In real life, orgasms do not always mesh. Coming at the same time can seem like a mythical goal, especially as studies have found that women sometimes fake orgasms to please their partners. But practice makes perfect. Just make sure to communicate to your partner what exactly it is that gets you off because you deserve it as much as he or she does.