These Sex Situations from Film and TV Are Definitely Uncomfortable

These Sex Situations from Film and TV Are Definitely Uncomfortable

We all love some spontaneous sex, but why bang against a staircase when there's a nice bed nearby?

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Screenshot: Netflix

TV and film proliferate a lot of lies about sex—sorry, no, a woman is not orgasm-ing just because a man jackrabbited into her three times—but perhaps one of the most egregious lies is where people get it on in TV and film.

Look, we’re all for fucking in a bathroom if the moment calls for it. But if there’s a bed or couch or other soft surface available, who’s going to choose to bang one out on a staircase or while standing against a wall? Yes, it’s the passion! The drama! The blood rushing away from the brain to the genitals!!! However, we the viewers can only suspend our disbelief so far. If we are to really believe that someone is being carried away in a wave of ecstasy, we should be able to look at the situation and say, “Yeah, I get it,” as opposed to, “How can you cum with your back like that?”

That question comes up a lot more than it should during onscreen sex scenes. Here are our top choices for places people have had sex in TV or film that would certainly not lead to completion:

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New Girl: Playground equipment 

New Girl: Playground equipment 

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Screenshot: Netflix

In season two of New Girl, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) runs into the man (Dylan O’Brien) who got away. (He literally walked away when they ran into each other in a hotel hallway after Jess’s failed attempt to lose her virginity at senior prom.) When adult Jess asks him to “do it,” they don’t know where to go. She’s sleeping on a friend’s couch and he’s living in his car. Cue a lightbulb: the child-size castle on a school playground. In what universe was having sex in a child-size castle on a playground a good idea?! The lack of horizontal space is even further impacted by the lack of ceiling height! Eventually, they get stuck, and the sexless pair is there until morning. Go have sex outside at least once if you must! It can be fun! But don’t do it in such a cramped space that will likely get you a spot on the sex offender registry. —Caitlin Cruz

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Bridgerton: Getting eaten out on a staircase

Bridgerton: Getting eaten out on a staircase

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Screenshot: Netflix

This scene comes after bride and groom have had some issues (I’m not unpacking them, just watch the horny show) and vowed to not fuck. Obviously, because they’re both hot for each other, they throw caution to the wind and embark on oral sex in the middle of a hallway. Realistically, I can totally see a hallway makeout and maybe some fingering happening, but their bedrooms are right there. Getting eaten out with my back up against several concrete stairs, and doing the eating out while kneeling on said stairs, sounds and looks terrible. No one is having a good time here. Stop lying!!! — Jenna Amatulli

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Showgirls: Making waves in a neon-lit pool

Showgirls: Making waves in a neon-lit pool

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Screenshot: MGM

If one’s entire concept of sex were defined by how it was portrayed in ‘90s movies, particularly erotic thrillers, one might reasonably have been scared celibate for decades to come. Think Madonna’s grind of death in Body of Evidence, Sharon Stone’s penetration-by-icepick in Basic Instinct, Jennifer Jason Leigh’s stiletto-to-eyeball move in Single White Female. But nothing, I mean nothing, is as singularly uncomfortable—to the point of being transcendently hilarious—as Elizabeth Berkley’s wounded dolphin flailing astride Kyle MacLachlan in Showgirls’ pool scene. To quote a Showgirls character in another scene regarding Berkley’s Nomi Malone: “She’s no butterfly. She’s all pelvic thrust. I mean, she prowls. She’s got it!”—Rich Juzwiak

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The Lion King: Improbable feline missionary

The Lion King: Improbable feline missionary

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Screenshot: YouTube

The discomfort in this case is not so much a question of where, but how. Simba and Nala were obviously getting it on during “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?,” and as we’ve learned during Horny Week, animals can be picky about positions when it comes to their sex lives. While lions can mate more than one hundred times per day, they don’t seem to be big fans of missionary (though it’s apparently not unheard of). Which means that, gazing into each other’s eyes on that randy night under the Pride Lands stars, Simba and Nala might have been pretty uncomfortable. —Gabrielle Bruney

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first sex scene

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first sex scene

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Screenshot: Disney Plus

If you don’t count just about every WattPad or Tumblr fan fic ever written about Captain America and his pal the Winter Soldier, then the MCU’s first sex scene took place in Eternals last year. The scene in question featured titular eternals Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Ikaris (Richard Madden), a couple of extraterrestrial beings sent to Earth thousands of years ago to protect mankind from other extraterrestrial beings, and not only was the scene underwhelming, but it also looked pretty damn uncomfortable. Yes, Chan and Madden are possibly the two most beautiful human beings alive, and really any scene in which both of them are present is, in my book, a sex scene, period. But what is going on here, really? Who is having stiff, loveless missionary on a random rock in the middle of nowhere? Sounds quite unpleasant to me, but I do hope Marvel keeps trying. —Kylie Cheung

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Outlander: The cobwebbed cunnilingus

Outlander: The cobwebbed cunnilingus

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Screenshot: Netflix

In the very first episode of my favorite soft core porn series, Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) and her husband Frank take a little gander in the countryside in hopes of reviving their romantic connection. After a long road trip, they finally locate what they’ve been looking for: Castle Leoch, the ancestral home of the Mackenzie Clan, who lived there between the 12th and 19th centuries (based on the very real Castle Leod). The couple enters the decrepit old home, shrouded in vines and rotting wood. Shining a flashlight to reveal more moss and crumbling stones, they shove open a door, and Claire decides to sit on top of a somehow perfectly preserved table, spread her legs, and ask for a “bath.” Problem #1? You can’t just enter a historical monument, let alone fuck on ancient objects without pissing off some very tightly wound groundskeepers. Second: cobwebs. Dust. Like guys, creepy crawlies? Don’t care at all??? Claire even notes there’s not proper lighting or ventilation before she gets her tongue bath, and that that very room might have been inhabited by trolls or the castle hermit. Seems like a very improbable place to get head, but whatever, you little freaks. I appreciate the screen time. —Emily Leibert

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Atonement: The library scene

Atonement: The library scene

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Screenshot: Atonement

On paper, this sex scene is perfection. James McAvoy, fresh off stealing our pubescent hearts on hooves in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Keira Knightley, who’d just finished acting her ass off in a trilogy that showed us our inner lady pirate potential. A green dress that takes your breath away. Standing-up sex, which movies and TV would love to have us believe works wonderfully for both parties every time. Books. All of it indicating hotness! But age makes you wise to the fact that standing-up sex isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The angles are pretty damn tricky. And being fucked while your body is halfway between standing and sitting on a shelf and splayed in jumping-jack formation? That sounds like a lot of work—core work. No wonder this scene is when everything goes downhill fast in Atonement.

It also seems poor form to say “I love you” for the first time, which is what Knightley’s character does to McAvoy’s, when someone is inside of you. Their head isn’t exactly...on straight. You sort of hold them hostage. Then again, if they’re holding you spread-eagle against a bunch of book spines, have at it? —Sarah Rense

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True Blood: Owl sex

True Blood: Owl sex

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Screenshot: True Blood

True Blood seemed to pride itself on its sex scenes, which were often impressively athletic or aggressively weird. A lot of the acrobatics were made possible by the fact that half of the show’s characters were vampires or other supernatural creatures with amorous capabilities that the rest of us can only imagine, but one episode took it all to a whole new level. In it, Bill is hate-fucking Lorena, who turned him into a vampire against his will, condemning him to an eternity of bloodlust and watching all his human loved ones die. Not nice. So, to get his revenge, he twists Lorena’s head around a full 180 degrees during sex. She takes it in stride because apparently that’s the sort of thing that will leave a vampire with just a minor crick in her neck, but it’s truly one of the grossest sex scenes ever committed to film. Uncomfortable really is the least of it. —Gabrielle Bruney

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Titane: Automobile insemination

Titane: Automobile insemination

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Screenshot: Titane

Titane is a body horror triumph, but it also featured one of 2021’s weirdest—and definitely most uncomfortable—sex scenes. In it, car show model, traumatic brain injury sufferer, and serial killer Alexia (she wears a lot of hats) takes her love of automobiles to new heights by having sex with a car. With the seatbelt straps wrapped around her arms and the hydraulics going full tilt, she appears to be having a whale of a time. What exactly was going on penetration-wise isn’t shown, but given the fact that she becomes pregnant with a car baby, something must have been happening down there. And nothing that’s usually present in the backseats of cars suggests that it was particularly comfortable. —Gabrielle Bruney

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