Sex is a big deal, especially the first time. After episodes and seeming eons of longing and wanting, lusting and loving from afar, when a couple finally consummated, finally doing it is considered epic.
Except sometimes it isn't. The media has built up this idea that sex is earthshattering and awesome even the first time.
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In reality, sex can be awkward. It can be painful if you are a virgin. It can be strange if you are transitioning from a formerly platonic relationship. Or it can just be underwhelming.
Television doesn't always like to go there, but it is great when it does. A realistically awkward first time can bring a sense of reality to a show.
Of course, sometimes the reason for the awkwardness is exaggerated, cartoonish, comedic, or even catastrophic. Let's face it, even when TV tries to get real, it is still TV.
Chandler and Kathy -- Friends
On Friends Season 4 Episode 11 Chandler admits that he is holding off having sex with his girlfriend because he knows her last boyfriend was Joey and based on what he heard through their shared wall, the sex was really great. He is disappointed when Kathy does not get as turned on during their sexcapades. Chandler never says the sex is bad for him, but Kathy not getting into it sort of ruins it for him. His female friends tell him it can take time for girls. Monica then teaches him about the supposed seven erogenous zones on a woman. After that, Chandler and Kathy give it another try and Kathy thanks Monica emphatically.
Noel and Felicity -- Felicity
So, Noel and Felicity do not get to the sex part on Felicity Season 1 Episode 11, but it is still all kinds of awkward. Felicity and Noel make an "appointment" to have sex in his dorm. Noel prepares a romantic night, but Felicity comes at him, trying to take her research on the subject into account. She's aggressive, trying to "focus" and "get it over with." Some students walk in on them, and then everything catches on fire. Noel tries to keep things under control, still wanting to do it, but it doesn't work out. Eventually, Felicity realizes she isn't ready to lose her virginity.
Seth and Summer -- The O.C.
After months of back and forth, Seth and Summer finally got together on The O.C. Season 1 Episode 19. Afterward, Seth tells Ryan how awkward it was, describing sounds and faces he made. "I sucked so bad. I was like a fish flopping around on dry land. Ryan, I was Nemo, and I just wanted to go home." When the couple tries again, Summer ends up limping, and Seth has some trouble seeing out of his eye. Seth assumes he is the problem due to Summer's reputation, but she later admits to him that she was also a virgin. This was one of the earlier instances of a show "going there" with an awkward first time. And one of the best!
Veronica and Duncan -- Veronica Mars
On Veronica Mars Season 1 Episode 21, Veronica finally learns what happened to her on the night she can't remember. She was roofied and passed around to a lot of people. Her ex-boyfriend, who had also gotten roofied, found her passed out in a bed, and the two had sex. Considering they were both roofied, and Veronica couldn't even remember it the next morning, it can't have been the most enjoyable of first times. It doesn't help that Veronica woke up alone and under the impression that she had gotten raped. In fairness, she had been raped, just not by Duncan.
George and Meredith -- Grey's Anatomy
On Grey's Anatomy Season 2 Episode 18, George finally tells his long-time crush Meredith how he feels, and the two get together. However, on Grey's Anatomy Season 2 Episode 19, it is revealed that things went very bad between the two in the bedroom. Meredith was sad and drunk, and George was a sweet guy who cared about her so much, so she wanted it to work. However, she was in love with someone else and not really into George. She tries, but she burst into tears while George is on top of her. He storms out, hurt, angry, and humiliated.
Lane and Zack -- Gilmore Girls
On Gilmore Girls Season 7 Episode 2 Lane and Rory discuss the truth about sex. As Lane's highly anticipated losing of her virginity on her honeymoon was so miserable, she is convinced that sex is always bad for women and that the idea that it is healthy, wonderful, and sexy is a conspiracy by the media. Rory digs for details and learns that Lane and Zack attempted sex on the beach, which means dirty sand, cold nature, and shellfish crawling all over you. Lane is opting for a sexless marriage, but Rory advises her to try again indoors in a bed with a comforter.