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How to Relieve the Tension of Unexpected Sex Scenes in Movies with Your Parents

watching sex scene movie parents

Movie night with Mom and Dad can take an awkward turn when an unexpected pair of breasts appear on-screen

We’ve all been there. You’re seated between your parents on the couch, enjoying a fun movie and passing the popcorn, when a seemingly never-ending sex scene breaks out. For most, this is a terribly awkward scenario where you can only sit and watch and pray it ends quickly. You’d have no problem watching this on your own, but with immediate family practically touching you? No thanks!

What are your options? How can you react in such a situation that doesn’t make you look like a total prude but also alleviates the uncomfortableness?

One family’s movie night took an unpleasant turn with a graphic sex scene

Late on a Thursday night, Stevie’s parents landed in Austin to visit for the weekend. Stevie had recently graduated college from Nebraska and had moved to Austin where he found work as a UX designer. On the ride to Stevie’s plush downtown 23rd story apartment that he shared with a roommate, he sang Austin’s praises. “You’re gonna love the city, dad. You can see the bats fly out from under the famous Congress bridge from my balcony, and there are like fifty insane taco joints in walking distance from my place!”

“That sounds all well and good for tomorrow,” Dad said. “But after our big day of travel we just want to unpack and enjoy a quiet night in!”

Once Stevie’s roommate headed out, and Mom and Dad were changed into their pajamas and all settled in, the three flipped through Stevie’s roommate’s massive DVD and Blu-ray collection. “What about this—The Wolf of Wall Street?” Mom asked, examining the business-like image on the case. “It says it was up for Best Picture.” “Sure,” Steve replied. “I’ve never seen it. Let’s give it a shot!”

Stevie took a seat in the middle of his parents on the couch, passing his popcorn bowl back and forth as the movie started, all three smiling. “It’s great having you guys here,” Stevie said.

Not long into the movie, without warning, a man began thrusting a woman in a bathroom stall. Stevie, Mom, and Dad suddenly became quiet as the scene dragged out. Loud moaning noises from the actress rang out over the surround sound system. Mom coughed and re-situated herself. Dad’s legs were nervously tapping. He took a big drink of his water before letting out a weird grunting noise. The scene continued for what felt like eternity. Stevie’s face turned beat red as a bead of sweat formed on his forehead. “Please, God, end this scene now!” Stevie thought. Mom picked up and re-examined the back of the DVD case, probably looking for the run time.

Not a moment after the movie returned to normalcy and everyone felt relaxed again, more breasts flashed across the screen. What should he do?

Ways to relieve the tension of viewing unexpected sex scenes with your parents

These situations always seem to cause everyone in the room to freeze. No one wants to be the one to put an end to it, but secretly that’s exactly what everyone wants. So everyone tends to sit in silence and wait for the moment to pass. In some circles, an offended family member will immediately voice displeasure and shut off the TV, causing a mixture of shame and thankfulness amongst others in the room.

For most individuals, like Stevie, the delicate situation calls for something in-between impatiently waiting it out and simply turning it off.

  • Faking a phone call was Stevie’s first thought. With cell phones on vibrate mode, you don’t even have to fake a ring. Just jump up and say “Oh, excuse me guys, I gotta take this.” Stevie would then wait for the scene to end before coming back to the couch.
  • Sending a discrete text to a neighbor to help could be in order. Stevie could try texting their next-door neighbor in the building and have them short out the circuit, or barge in the room and say there’s an emergency.
  • Claiming he is very thirsty and needs a refresh on his drink was Stevie’s next idea. He could gulp down the rest of his beer and run to the fridge. “Guys need anything while I’m up?” Hopefully everyone wants a complicated drink that will require a few minutes of prep!
  • Faking falling asleep is another option. Simply dangle your head, close your eyes, and let out a snore. Fake-sleeping through sex scenes is a surefire way to avoid awkwardness!
  • Giving some verbal guidance to the family members in the room could be helpful. “Uh-oh, you guys, shield your eyes.” Because sometimes all it takes is someone to acknowledge the scene to break the tension.
  • A totally different interpretation could be to turn the awkwardness outwardly and start commenting aloud on the scene. “Oh, baby! Yeah, give it to her!” Stevie could playfully say, thereby hopefully alleviating the discomfort in the room.
  • A similar tactic could be to turn to film production notes and trivia. Right during the thrusting, Stevie could say “Did you guys know that they were laying on fake paper money during this scene, and Margot Robbie claimed she got a lot of paper cuts from the sharp bill edges as a result?” Hopefully this leads to a discussion that will get you through the scene.
  • Likewise, nervous laughter can help to ease the mood. Giggling like a school kid upon the sight of a boob on-screen can cause others to join in the laughter. That, too, can cause some awkwardness within the group.
  • Perhaps the best solution, difficult as it may be, is to be brutally honest. “Mom, Dad, I’ll be honest. Sitting in between you two with these graphic scenes is making me feel uncomfortable. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot more scenes like this, too. I think we should watch something else.” Everyone will probably gleefully agree.

In the end, Stevie asked to be excused, then hung out in the bathroom for a while. When he came back, he faked a look of relief on his face while rubbing his stomach. “Ugh, something I ate wasn’t sitting right. All better now!” Unfortunately, there were more sex scenes in the movie. He could really only pull that stunt once, so he was stuck sitting through the rest.

My Hot Take

This seems to happen to me quite a bit, whether it’s with my parents or in-laws or even certain friends. The story above is pretty close to what really happened with me when my parents visited Austin. We went to a matinee of Wolf of Wall Street at the Alamo Drafthouse and were the only three in the theater, and I was seated in the middle. And anyone who has seen that movie can attest that it featured many sex scenes. Since we were in a theater, my options to alleviate the awkwardness were very limited, so we just sat through it. I don’t know if those guys were as uncomfortable as I was. I also just didn’t think it was a very entertaining movie.

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