I was recently reading a romantic novel “The Duke who didn’t” by Courtney Milan.  What stood out for me the most were sex scenes that were modeling behavior that I often teach my sex coaching clients and hardly ever see depicted in pop culture.

How often do you see a couple in a romantic novel or movie worried about sex, contraception, STIs? All very reasonable and common concerns. Romantic heroes are always perfect lovers who know exactly what to do and never once have anxiety about their performance or how to satisfy a woman in front of them. Romantic heroines don’t need a warm-up; they are perfectly content with immediate penetrative sex; with any position their partner suggests, they will have no problem orgasming from penetration without extra stimulation.

And indeed, a lot of us grew up with a fantasy that once passion is there, nothing else matters. No wonder then that there is so much pressure for sex to work flawlessly without any need to talk about it and so much disappointment with what actually happens.

So, what can we learn from sex scenes in “The Duke who didn’t?”

For starters, the leading lady expresses a desire to have sex (instead of passively waiting for Prince Charming to make a move.)

What does it tell us?

  • It is not just men who love and want sex.
  • You don’t need to wait for a guy to make the first move. 
  • It is perfectly ok for a woman to initiate.  

Next, before having sex, the male character expresses nervousness about doing it and shares he is a virgin even though his lady assumed he had been with plenty of women before her. 

His behavior communicates that:

  • It is ok to be inexperienced and unsure about how to please your partner.
  • It is ok to be vulnerable.
  • You don’t need always to be strong and invincible to be loved and appreciated.
  • Honestly sharing your insecurities will give your partner permission to do the same and support you better.

Then there is a scene of him going down on the heroine and getting her to cum before any penetrative sex.

There are several things it communicates to women: 

  • A woman’s pleasure is important, and if your partner cares about you, it will be prioritized.
  • It is a great idea to warm up fully before penetrative sex, and it will serve both partners at the end of the day.
  • Your whole body is beautiful and accepted; there is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • To see a woman receiving with abandon is hot and exciting.
  • It’s ok to relax and receive fully without worrying about reciprocating.

Finally, during penetrative sex, the heroine tells her partner to stop and change the position because it wasn’t working for her. They end up adjusting several times before it is pleasurable, which results in a second orgasm for the lady.

Our takeaways from it:

  • Speak up! Don’t tolerate sex that hurts or is uncomfortable.
  • Respect what your body is trying to tell you.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask your partner to pause, slow down, go lighter, etc.
  • You deserve a lover who is happy to do what it takes to get your needs met.
  • It’s ok not to get it perfect the first time.
  • Your partner is your teammate, and you can figure it out together.

Final thoughts
I’m quite excited to see more examples of sex scenes that are female-centric, authentic, connected, include better communication and more pleasure for women, as well as permission for everyone to be real. I wonder what sex would look like for the young generation that grows up with these kinds of sex messages.