The first female breasts I ever saw were on that three breasted
mutant lady on Total Recall. You know how the ending to Casablanca
reminds you that, even with our propensity to do untold harm to each
other, human beings have the singular capacity to find goodness within
themselves, that no matter how bleak the situation might be, we maybe
able to illuminate it with the sliver of light within each and everyone
of us? That’s what it was like. Except replace the problems of “three
little people” with “three medium sized breasts.” And add one very confused boner. I turned off the vcr
and ran and told my parents. “That movie had scenes I shouldn’t be
seeing. Also, uh, couple of questions…”

I was raised Muslim, and we had strict rules
about movies. No sex. No sex at all. If I was watching a movie that
they had rented for me that had sex, I was to turn it off and go tell
them. And I did it everytime. What was worse, though, was when scenes
would show up during movies I would watch with my parents. The rules
were simple. Bury my head in the pillow as my dad fast forwarded
through the offending scene. It was worst when you could kind of see it

“Hey, thanks for helping me with the Nazi brigade back there. You wanna come up for some coffee?”
(Oh shit. No. No please don’t go up for any coffee. My mom and dad are right here.)
“I don’t drink coffee.”
“Well, honey, you won’t have to.”

Cue the very specific windy/whirry sounds of fast forwarding as I bury my face in a pillow.

felt horrible, just the implicit acknowledgment that sex was about to
occur, that I somehow knew the kinds of wordplay and verbal jousting
that led to these scenes. I certainly had moments where I mistakenly
buried my head in the pillow expecting love making. And then had to
emerge from my pillow of shame a little embarrassed when the scene
changed. “I totally thought she was into him.”

Here is the worst
of these occurrences. Watching a movie with my parents, the sex scene
happens, I bury my face in the pillow. Except there is no fast
forwarding. My mom yells my dad’s name. “Fast Forward it!” “I don’t
think the battery is working.” And then I sat there, my face in a
pillow, the sounds of simulated sex filling the air as my dad fumbles
with the remote control, trying to change batteries. The moaning gets
louder with each fumble, or maybe it just seems to get louder. My mom
is yelling my dad’s name, I can hear my dad trying to get the batteries
in the right way, as the two people on screen moan towards faked
ecstasy. One giant moan, and then silence. And then, when its obviously
too late, the windy whirring sounds of fast forwarding. There has never
been a bigger disconnect between the way characters have felt on screen
and the way that an audience has felt watching them. Or, in my case,
hearing them. What I felt was the exact opposite of having sex. We all
emerged from the episodes changed. That moment took something from each
of us.

The weird thing, however, was that we could watch the
most violent movies ever made. And that was fine. Somehow, watching a
man kill another man was better than watching the natural act of sex. I
watched all the Rambo movies, all the Rocky movies, and every single
horror movie I could get my hands on. I still don’t really understand
this double standard. We watched the most gleefully sadistic scenes
without a hint of awkwardness, but then would be reduced to quivering
heaps of embarrassment as soon as two characters decided to spoon. What
would get a worse reaction from my parents:

“Mom, dad, I had sex for the first time last week.”
“Mom, dad, I murdered someone for the first time last week. You know, one thing led to another, and next thing I know…”

Now that I think about it, I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it was the former.

“What did you do? Have you no shame?!? This is not how we raised you!”
“Go hide in the basement. We’ll bring you food down twice a day. We love you very much.”

What awkward sex movie moments have you guys shared with your parents?