Cinema Sutra: Showgirls

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The movie: The notoriously bad and gratuitously sexed-up Showgirls was universally panned when it came out in 1995, but has since evolved into a camp classic. Taking sex scenes to that hallowed place where the improbable becomes ludicrous, Showgirls wraps its exploitation around your basic trumped-up intrigues of a penniless woman trying to get by as a stripper in Vegas. This, my friends, is a film to be watched on mute — with your finger on fast-forward.

The scene: Wow, does Elizabeth Berkley know how to have a good time. After walking Kyle MacLachlan naked out to a backyard pool (with waterfall and neon palm trees), she gives him some submerged oral pleasuring. They then proceed to even greater wet wildness. A few mid-mount moments later, she arches her back and begins thrashing madly (presumably in climax) like someone auditioning for a tribal dance number. Next to Ms. Berkley’s response, most women’s big-Os seem decidedly teensy.

What you need:
• pool, hot tub, ocean, or lake
• willing partner

The mechanics: Sex under water isn’t inherently great or awful. Sure, the setting can be beautiful, but there are increased health risks (a greater chance of infection and the condom problems I’m about to mention) and pregnancy is still possible (even sauna water isn’t hot enough to kill sperm). There are also some physical advantages and limitations to consider, so if you’re going to play Poseidon among the Nereids, keep these things in mind:

• Buoyancy is great. As you can see from the clip, it’s easy for the woman to wrap her legs around the guy’s waist and for him to hold her up. However, she should probably hold on to something secure (if possible), or the man have very stable footing. Pool floors are obviously pretty slick, and it’s a lot easier to slip and hit your head when you’re paying attention to your lover, not your safety.

• Don’t trust your condom. If you’re going at it under water, you’re running a serious risk of the condom coming off (water gets inside and oops, off it goes). Also, hot tub and pool chemicals can weaken a condom, and the extra friction (see below) increases the chance of breakage. A female condom is safer, though still less effective than on dry land. And with either condom type, make sure to put in on or in before getting in the pool!

• Bring lube or go easy. Ironically, water can wash away a woman’s natural lubricants (and whatever’s on the outside of a condom), resulting in a dry vagina. That can lead to discomfort for either party and increases the potential of STD transmission. Water-based lubes will dissolve instantly in a pool, so use something greasy like baby oil if you’re not using a condom (oil breaks down the condom) or a silicone-based one if you are.

• Try not to force tons of water up into the woman. It’s not healthy and probably not comfortable. So remember: less in and out, and more straight grinding.

Lesson we learn: Both the joys and the dangers of sub-aquatic boinking are a little overstated, but with the right precautions and some gentleness, there’s no reason you can’t have a good time in the wide, watery world.

Click here to read — and learn — more in Nerve’s Hollywood Sex Scene Database.