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Guest Thinkers

Why Cinema Sex Is Uncomfortable

They may be getting more graphic, says Harriet Walker, but sex scenes in the movies are no more true to life than they ever were—and no less uncomfortable to watch.

How times have changed since the first on-film French kiss between Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood in Splendor in the Grass. That snog celebrates its 50th birthday this year, but it’s nowhere near as grown-up as what’s currently going on at the cinema. This year alone we’ve had extensive oral sex and lesbian kissing. … “Sex scenes are responsible for many people getting very dissatisfied with their sex life,” argues sex expert Tracey Cox. “They’re radically different from real life and they make people compare. And when it’s not perfect, we’re a bit shocked.”


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