Advice

Cinema Sutra: True Lies

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True Lies

The movie: The governor of one of the country’s most powerful states watches a woman perform an erotic dance just for him — no, it’s not New York, it’s the film True Lies. In addition to this famous scene, the film has a pretty amusing plot where the two Arnolds (Tom and his Californian gubernatorialness) are covert operatives and orchestrate a fake mission for Jamie Lee Curtis (whom they suspect of infidelity) while getting embroiled in an actual cloak-and-dagger crisis. Bill Paxton plays Curtis’ would-be polyamorist, a decade before Big Love.

The scene: Thinking she’s on a mission where she has to impress an important john, Curtis tears the bottom off her good-girl dress (not in this clip) and wets her hair to transform her look into full Robert Palmer-background-singer mode: slicked-back bob, aggressive red lipstick, and black everything else (in the clip, just heels and a nice bra/thong ensemble). Little does she realize that the shadowy stranger watching is actually Schwarzy, her husband. She manages an impressive dance routine before they are rudely interrupted.

What you need:
• black bra and panties
• black heels
• red lipstick
• a four-poster bed, if possible

The mechanics: When Curtis begins, she’s quite nervous, as any of us at home are likely to be as well. So to get started (and maybe to relax and even get herself a bit more in the mood), she simply rubs her hands on her body, down her clavicles and over her breasts. It’s a perfect beginning, as it accentuates what’s to come in a delightful tease. And who doesn’t like teasing?

From there she does some simplistic swaying (easy to copy), and then makes the smart move of turning around, bending over, putting a hand on the ground for balance, bending her knees and bouncing her ass up and down a few times. As a man, I can vouch that that’s an excellent tactic.

This scene takes place in a hotel room, a more replicable environment than last week’s stripclub stage with pole. Curtis next makes full use of one of the bedposts, working it like a pole, holding on to it as she bends backward and sways to and fro. (She falls once, but she stays in character. Don’t let mistakes derail you!) You might not have the right bedframe for pole-dancing, but you still have options: you can lean backward off the edge (carefully), lie on your back with legs spread, or get on all fours (be sure to arch your back). Rest assured that if your audience is watching you from a chair a few feet away, he’ll want to give you company on the mattress.

Lesson we learn: As with Demi Moore’s character last week, Curtis is an amateur called upon to do her best — in other words, she’s a lot like you and me. She begins tentatively, but gains confidence as she goes along. By the time she’s halfway through, she’s fully into it, feeling sexy and discovering moves she didn’t know she had. And guess what? If you let yourself relax and just let go, that’s what’s likely to happen to you as well. Erotic dancing for an audience can be really fun, and it’s not hard to get into a pleasant cycle working of feeling hot/dancing better/feeling hotter/discovering even more ability/and so on. Try it, you’ll see.

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