It is a well-known fact that teen movies have a tendency to romanticize real life. They gloss over the grit of relationships and make everything seem picture-perfect. All too often, sex scenes shown on screen don’t match up with the sex people experience throughout their lives.
The reality is that sex is sometimes awkward, funny and uncomfortable AF, especially when among teens who are still learning how their own bodies work… let alone someone else’s body. So, when a movie has a sex scene that is realistic enough to happen in real life, or believable yet romantic enough that you hope that’s how it’ll be for you one day, you take notice. Here are eight teen movies that got these specific intimate moments right:
The Fault in Our Stars
The John Green young adult book turned blockbuster film focuses on Augustus (Ansel Elgort and Hazel (Shailene Woodley), two teens who meet at a cancer support group and fall in love. While that plot point may not be the most common among teens, the sex scene feels authentic.
During their trip to Amsterdam, the two partake in a super romantic date and then go back to the hotel to well… have dessert. (Too far?) When Gus struggles to remove Hazel's clothes and she giggles, "We are a hot mess," she authenticates the moment for the film's young audience.
Photo: Fox 2000 Pictures
The Spectacular Now
This romantic comedy-drama starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller features a sex scene in which Shai's character, Aimee, loses her virginity to her first boyfriend. The actress said in an interview that the sex scene was her favorite scene in the movie. "I can't think of one single lovemaking scene where I could be like, 'Yeah, that's real or that can actually happen that way,'" she told MTV News.
The First Time
The only thing more complicated than sex for the first time is falling in love for the first time. The dynamics of a teenage relationship are heightened because everything is new, exciting and, well... scary. That's why the sex scene in The First Time is so adorably humorous. Dave (Dylan O'Brien) and Aubrey (Britt Robertson) go back and forth together, so by the time they actually hook up, it seems inevitable.
Photo: Samuel Goldwyn Films
The Longest Ride
It's not a coincidence that Britt Robertson was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for her portrayal in the film and Scott Eastwood won a Teen Choice Award for his. Was this success based off the sex scene? Debatable. But, what is NOT debatable is the tension that is felt while watching this intimate moment. It captured the real-life experience of wanting someone so much that the sex becomes larger than life.
Photo: Fox 2000 Pictures
If you consider yourself a hopeless romantic, then your ideal steamy session with your S.O. would look a lot like the scene in Dear John. If the chemistry between Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum wasn't palpable enough, this scene guaranteed it. Since the couple had been separated due to John's deployment, they didn't exactly have the time to find a bed. Instead, they went into an old and secluded barn. This moment in the movie wasn't just a sex scene, but an actual love scene.
Photo: Screen Gems
Very Good Girls
Judging by the title of the movie, you might not think it was a coming-of-age story about two girls who fall for the same guy. Yikes! In the scene, Dakota Fanning's character, Lilly, has sex with an older man. Dakota said, "I wasn't very uncomfortable with it… It's just something you kind of have to do. It's really not that big of a deal, it's just a technical thing. Everybody is really respectful and I wasn't uncomfortable. You just kind of have to just go for that and get it done, like anything else."
Her character also has sex with Boyd Holbrook's, so you can really feel her realistic struggles with her emotions.
So. Much. Awkwardness. We're about 100% sure the title of this movie was referring to this exact scene. Michael Cera's portrayal of Evan adorably trying to turn down his half-naked crush on top of him is so uncomfortable, you feel embarrassed for him. This scene is realistic because Michael's character actually turned down sex due to the fact that he and the girl were intoxicated. This movie highlighted the truth that just because one person wants to have sex with the other doesn't mean they will or even should.
Then there was McLovin's virginity loss scene in which he literally says, "I have a boner" and "It's in!" Very realistic.
Photo: Columbia Pictures
Is it a coincidence we kept the least sexy scene at the bottom of the list? We think not. The scene with Jason Biggs' character, Jim, prematurely ejaculating is very accurate. Romantic? No. Realistic? Yes. The hard (pun intended) truth is that sex is oftentimes messy… in more ways than one.
Photo: Universal Pictures