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Five Things I Could've Learned From The Sex Scenes My Parents Wouldn't Let Me Watch
I didn't know there was a sex scene in Titanic until this year. My sex life has proceeded accordingly.
by Colette McIntyre
The first couple I ever watched having sex was a Confederate deserter and a preacher's daughter. Up until that point, I had been sheltered by my parents' policy of cinematic sex-clusion. If the McIntyre elders spotted even a suggestively raised eyebrow in a scene, I was immediately ushered out of the room to do an arbitrary chore, timed precisely for me to return just as the screen was fading to black. Then I secretly purchased Cold Mountain off pay-per-view, and one scene changed everything. Jude Law's ass melted between Nicole Kidman's splayed legs like a scoop of ice cream, and suddenly I was a teenager.
I thought of this recently when I went to see Titanic 3D, because it was then that I learned that Jack and Rose have sex in that movie. At first I looked on suspiciously: what was sex doing in my Titanic? But as I sat in that theater, watching Kate Winslet pull the glowing orb of Leonardo DiCaprio's head onto her breast, I realized I had missed more than three-to-five-minute chunks of well-lit humping and sideboob; I had been denied answers to questions that plagued me throughout my earlier sexual experiences. Had I been allowed to watch these movies in full, I might've saved myself a lot of trouble:
"Tender" is not an adjective that I would use to describe the dawn of my sex life. The little I thought I knew about getting it on I had learned from stories shared at my lunch table. One point was oft-repeated: guys don't want to snuggle. Being affectionate meant being needy, and being needy was the first step to Dumpsville.
Convinced that any show of vulnerability would condemn me to spinsterdom, I slipped out of beds and cars faster than I did my Old Navy camisoles. I pretended to be a Cool Girl who smirked a lot and kept her cool when guys didn't call back, because everything was cool, and whatever. I've been thousands of Cool Girls for my various Hims, none of whom needed to spoon.
Maybe if my parents hadn't kicked me out of our VHS viewing of Titanic, I wouldn't be so uncomfortable with sex that involves a lot of eye contact. Jack and Rose's brief but extremely steamy sex scene is more tender than Enrique Inglesias' gaze in this photo, and even after trying all that tenderness, Jack still begs Rose not to let him go. (Okay, he's dying, but still.) Seeing the whole story, I might've known sooner that while sex doesn't have to be candles and rose petals, you don't always have to bolt at the end.