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Sex Advice From … Projectionists

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Chuck, 34

Ever had sex in the projection booth?
Oh, yeah. If you’ve been in the business for more than two or three years and you’re sexually active, it had to have happened at some point. I think 99% of projectionists have done something.


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You’re taking a girl to the movies, and you’re hoping for a sexy night. What kind of movie should you see?
A romantic film is risky: the leading actor might be more attractive than you. A comedy could work. I mean, American Pie, no. But any Tom Hanks comedy would probably work.

What is the least sexy movie of all time?
Showgirls is pretty high on the list. I’d say anything with Schwarzenegger in it. Actually the worst is The Specialist, with Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone, two people so horribly past their prime, trying to get it on in the shower.

What’s your favorite sexy movie?
A Fish Called Wanda is actually kind of a hot little film. Watching Jamie Lee Curtis writhe around on the floor is always a good thing.

Kenji, 24

You’re taking a girl to the movies, and you’re hoping for a sexy night. Should you see an action film, romance, comedy, or drama?
Romance. It’s worked before.

What kind of self-portrait should a girl send a guy if she wants to leave him speechless?
I would not say nudity. Something where she’s in sexy lingerie. Something lacy. If it’s not lacy, then it’s gotta be silky, see-through. Maybe a picture of you on the bed — nice sheets, dim lighting, stuff like that. No clothes thrown all over the place. It’s gotta look inviting. You should be sprawled out on the bed like you’re ready. Like you’re waiting for me to hop into the picture with you.

What is the least sexy movie of all time?
Starship Troopers.

What movie is an instant aphrodisiac?
Original Sin, with Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie. A lot of girls really like Angelina Jolie.

Nerve just ran an article by a straight male writer who, after seeing Troy, developed a thing for Brad Pitt.
I haven’t seen Troy, but I know do what you’re talking about. There are scenes in Fight Club where I’m like, "Man, if I could get with that, I’d be in."

Projecting a film is a very specific and delicate process. What can your job teach the rest of us about sex?
Finger dexterity.

Noel, 27

You’re taking a guy to the movies, and you’re hoping for a sexy night. What should you see?
With 90% of men, comedy or action is the best choice. Laughter or testosterone will put him in the mood.

What is the least sexy movie of all time?
Waterworld.

What cinematic scenes have you played out in bed? Are there some you’d like to try?

I’ve never re-enacted any. I thought the scenes between Mark Ruffalo and Meg Ryan in In the Cut were pretty hot. Also, the scene in The Bridges of Madison County where Meryl’s gossipy neighbor phones her right as she’s about to sit down with Clint and she can’t get rid of her. As she’s standing behind him, she adjusts his collar. Oh baby!

Projecting a film is a very specific and delicate process. What can your job teach the rest of us about sex?
Lubrication is essential. And proper roller alignment.

Jason, 30
Did you ever get busy in the projection booth?
I have a couple of times. Not sexual intercourse, but some other things.

Have you ever masturbated in there?
I have. Not regularly.

What kind of self-portrait should a girl send a guy if she wants to leave him speechless?
I always find swimsuits noteworthy. They always leave a lasting impression.

If someone is taking a picture — say, in a swimsuit — where should she be? What should she be doing?

In the shower would be sexy. Maybe with her hair wet.

What is the least sexy film of all time?
Napoleon Dynamite.

What film is an instant aphrodisiac?
Color of Night with Bruce Willis.

Projecting a film is a very specific and delicate process. What can your job teach the rest of us about sex?
Pay attention. Handle things delicately. And don’t scratch the film.

Unless the film asks for it.
Right.

William, 59

You’re taking a girl to the movies, and you’re hoping for a sexy night. Should you see an action film, a romance, a comedy, or a drama?
That depends on the woman. If she’s a frisky one, take her to an action film; if she’s timid, take her to a romantic movie. A romantic movie is my favorite.

How much sex have you seen going on in the movie theater?
Oh, that depends. (laughs) What year?

Was there a big year for sex in movie theaters?
When I came into the industry, I worked in the the porno houses, the sixteen millimeter houses. There, you saw a lot of things. But the regular films? Maybe twice I’ve seen a sexual scene.

What was going on?
Once, right here in this theater, this theater we’re sitting at — masturbation! She was in her seat, put her legs up on the next chair, opened her legs, and the man finagled with her.

What cinematic scenes have you played out in bed?
If you’re asking me what my favorite move is, it’s sneaking down in an old building, all right, with a staircase running down, it’s raining, and grab her on a corner and woo, boy — in public, you know? Somebody could come and see you, oh yeah! That’s like a scene in 9 1/2 Weeks.

What can your job teach the rest of us about sex?
I don’t think it could teach you anything. It’s a tedious job, it’s constant, and that’s no good for sex.

John, 22

You’re taking a girl to the movies, and you’re hoping for a sexy night. Should you see an action film, a romance, a comedy, or a drama?
I’d say a romantic comedy. Something involving Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan.

You wouldn’t be bored?
I think you sacrifice an hour here for an hour later, do you know what I’m saying?

Ever had sex in the projection booth?
I once received and gave oral sex in the projection booth. It was on the splicing table, if that helps you.

Have you ever spliced porn frames into a film?
Thought about it constantly. In fact, we kind of pulled a reverse bit at the place where I worked at. We actually used to take out some good frames from the sex scenes. So like, we were showing American Pie and there was that scene with the Russian girl? I actually still have a couple of frames from that.

But you never inserted those frames into another movie?
No, we never put anything in. But I heard from the old guys who’d been working for years that when Deep Throat originally came out and there weren’t very many copies of it, so it kind of just moved around the country from theater to theater, and by the last couple of theaters a lot of the great scenes were almost entirely missing because people had taken the frames out.

What’s a good position that most people haven’t tried but should?
I’ve always found that using a desk is very good — putting the woman on the desk. Getting a high bed would work also…something that’s about crotch-height for the man.

What is the ideal volume for sex noise?
During the heat of the moment, probably just a bit louder than normal conversation level in a restaurant.

Projecting a film is a very specific and delicate process. What can your job teach the rest of us about sex?

The projection booth gets very steamy; the air conditioning never really cools down the heat lamps that work in there. Especially when a film burns or breaks, and you are in the projection booth — which can be upwards of 110, 115 degrees — it’s important to stick with it, because there’s really nothing else you can do but finish what you started. And I think that’s important with sex. No matter how hard it gets and how hot it gets, you’ve always gotta finish what you start.
 

Interviews by Gwynne Watkins

Sex Advice From… appears every Thursday. Do you have sex-advice questions for the general public? Send them to sexadvicefrom@nerve.com.

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