10 Lies Pop Culture Taught Us About Sex

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Pop culture has given us so much, from the iconic movie lines of Mean Girls to the timeless wisdom of Clueless. How could we ever go on without Blair Waldorf’s #GirlPower mantras and Chuck Bass’s...well, Chuck Bass.

Whether we like it or not, pop culture has had a major impact on the way we grew up, and taught us some very important lessons about life, love and friendship. However, when it comes to sex ed...not so much.

Our favorite TV shows and movies have told us many lies about sex, and certainly didn’t prepare us for the jungle that is today’s hookup culture.

1. That every woman wears lingerie...at all times

Very rarely does a female star in a movie or TV show bare it all in a steamy scene in mismatched bras and panties. I don’t know about you, but the average female is most likely never coordinating her bra to her underwear, unless it’s a special occasion...or a special guy/girl.

2. That you will get pregnant immediately

Raise your hand if you feel personally victimized by The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Poor, innocent little Amy Juergens, gets pregnant at just 15 years old after having sex one time in a supply closet with everyone’s favorite Bandcamp heartthrob, Ricky. That’s some traumatizing material right there.

3. That sex is perfect every single time you do it

Sex is a sweaty, hot mess...literally. It can be smelly, and not nearly as picturesque as pop culture makes it out to be. Chances are, sex will not look like it did in The Notebook or Titanic, however, if you have sex in a car there will be steam.

4. That every person you have sex with will fall in love with you

Sex can be a magical, intimate experience when it’s with someone you really care about. But, it can still be magical (and fun) even if you don’t end up in a relationship with your partner. Just because you’re having sex with someone unfortunately doesn’t mean that their heart is in it for the long haul.

5. That using protection isn’t “cool”

When have you ever seen a movie where the guy meticulously puts on a condom before they do it? Probably never. Using protection is super important, to not only protect against unwanted pregnancy but also against sexually transmitted infections. Remember kids, wrap it before you tap it, even if they don’t show that part in the movies.

Related: 4 Reasons Why You're Not Having Satisfying Sex

6. That your life will dramatically change after losing your virginity

American Pie is probably not the best guide on how to lose your virginity. As if there wasn’t already enough pressure to have sex, pop culture movies take it to the next level. For example, in Easy A Olive Pendergast (Emma Stone) spends the whole film pretending to sleep with tons of guys so that they will no longer be *gasp* virgins. Your sex life is your business and doesn’t determine who you are.

8. That foreplay is an urban legend

You wouldn’t take a test without studying, right? Well, maybe you would under certain circumstances but in a perfect world, you’d make sure you were 100 percent prepared to ace the exam. Having sex is a lot like running a 5k — you need to warm up, stretch, and prepare before jumping in and running with all your might.

9. That your hair and makeup will look just as good after sex as it did before sex

This just simply isn’t true. If you begin sex with winged eyeliner, you can count on it being at least halfway down your face by the end. Movies give us that extremely unattainable standard that our hair will remain perfectly straight (or perfectly curled) post-sex and I am here to tell you that it simply isn’t possible.

10. That you can have sex anywhere, like in a library, without being caught

Anyone else remember that scene in Gone Girl where they have sex in a rather busy library, in broad daylight, without being caught? That is, while a fantasy for a lot of people, highly risky and most likely impossible...and also, illegal.

While we will definitely be borrowing lines from our favorite movies for Instagram captions, pop culture can keep their ridiculous standards for sex. 

About The Author

Logan is a junior journalism major, and serves as Campus Correspondent.  She is also the proud president of Delta Phi Epsilon, Delta Nu, her sorority. Logan is typically super busy, but still dedicates hours to reading a Cosmo from front to back...twice. Logan loves all things social media, especially following puppy accounts on Instagram. Her dream is to break into the magazine industry and help empower other women to pursue their dreams, whatever that may be.