Whilst sat in the Leicester Square Odeon, awaiting the premiere of the latest Fifty Shades film, Fifty Shades Darker, I let my mind wander to a place where Jamie Dornan, skulking Northern Irish sex god, got to put his kinky fuckery on me. It went like this…
I excused myself from the film to go for a toilet break. Jamie, going to the loo himself, spotted me and smiled. I smiled back. The eye contact lingered that extra second long enough to give me a fanny flutter. Once I left the lav, I saw him waiting outside. He spoke to me about why I was at the premiere and told me I looked stunning. I explained about my blog and he asked if he could give me something to write about (inference: his penis). I agreed and we found ourselves hiding in a dark corner and well, the rest I’ll leave to you. Except it wasn’t really me in this fantasy. I mean, it was my face, hair and killer chat but I looked different. I was wearing skyscraper heels which never happens because ha, rugby player calves and I was wearing a tight red dress that hugged my tiny curves in all the right places. Double ha because rugby-player-beer-drinking-bod. So, in my fantasy, where I take the starring role in my sexy imaginative scene with Jamie Dornan, I didn’t look like myself.
I took this to Twitter. I asked, ‘If you have a sexual fantasy play out in your head, do you look like yourself?’ A resounding amount of women said virtually the same as me – my face does but everything else is ‘better/slimmer/photoshopped/sexier’.
But why is that? I try to be body positive and confident with what too many hungover Dominos has made me, but when I’m imagining myself in full sex kitten glory, I have to admit, where my face is the same, my body just ain’t.
When we play out sexual fantasies in our heads, they’re movie like. We imagine every detail of the protagonist – perhaps it’s our latest crush or a complete stranger. We imagine the conversation, as if it’s a Richard Curtis script and we lift the sex scenes right from our own experience – or if we don’t have much of it, what we’ve seen from Hollywood.
I’d go as far as to say the reason my sexual fantasies involve a Hollywood version of myself is because the only sex scenes I’ve ever been presented with, visually, have been the scenes you hate watching with your parents in the latest film that you sit down to watch together (apart from porn obvs). The scenes you excuse yourself from, with a cough, to go and make a cup of tea.
Hollywood has saturated us with scenes of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s long, slim stems being bent over a desk and spanked in Secretary and Baby’s petite, boyish frame being whirled around a bedroom before being ravished by Patrick Swayze’s massive hands in Dirty Dancing.
The closest anyone over a size 6 has ever gotten to a relatable sex scene in a movie, is Hugh Grant discovering ‘size 12’ (excuse me while I choke on my cheeseburger) Bridget Jones’s spanx in that famous scene. So excuse us for our warped sense of self whenever we imagine ourselves in a movie style sex marathon.
As I sat down to watch the Fifty Shades film, or when I thought back to the first one, I wondered what the films would’ve been like with a girl who looked like me in it. A girl whose boobs would be out of shot on a close up because they hang just that little too low. A girl whose stomach rolls would flop over the Agent Provocateur lingerie and whose legs would look bumpy and cellulite ridden in the Monique Lhullier dress. I just couldn’t picture it at all. As you watch the films, as a woman who is slightly bigger than a size zero and slightly less Glamazonian than the modelesque Dakota Johnson, you find yourself wondering how some of these scenarios would’ve panned out for a woman like you.
When Christian Grey lays Ana down flat for a sex scene in the first film, the camera pans down her beautiful body and skims over the curves of her breasts and hovers on the view of every single one of her ribs. You see Grey’s finger trace each one delicately. Me though? You wouldn’t know where my boobs ended and stomach began as it’s one block of flesh. Soft, pale and sexy flesh mind, but you see what I’m saying.
When he takes her to his Red Room of Pain and tells her to kneel and put her hands on her thighs, sorry but at full splay my hands couldn’t cover the circumference of my thighs and I daren’t even describe what that kneeling on my heels position would do to my bottom four stomach rolls.
In Fifty Shades Darker, he insists she takes off her ‘panties’ (boak at that word) and proceeds to finger her from behind whilst in a lift. I genuinely watched that scene trying to work out how it would be logistically possible on me. He’d need two hands to prize apart my thighs and I’m sure my overtly sized bottom would have something to say about trying to covertly slip a finger in.
Lastly, in the scene where Ana discovers some leg spreaders and Grey holds up both legs and the device with basically a finger because I imagine her legs to be as light as two candy canes, I am completely bewildered when he manages to flip her over to her stomach in one fell swoop. If that were me, it’d take the count of three and me assisting with a well timed jump to flop over like a beached dolphin.
And herein lies why we change the image of ourselves in our fantasies. When we imagine our beau to be devouring us with one look, we want to be looking our best. Maybe we’re 100% body confident so that our best is completely us the way we are, or maybe, in our heads, we flatten our stomachs so you can see ribs, or elongate legs so they look better in suspenders. We don’t play out sex scenes where a nipple has flopped to the mattress and a guy leans on it with an elbow (been there) or where we’ve had to hold our thighs open to sit on someone’s face because it’s just not Hollywood enough for the scenes we play out in our heads.
So what’s there to do? We can’t exactly insist that Hollywood, with its complete focus on ‘suspension of disbelief’ be crazy enough to cast a more diverse selection of women in the role of Anastasia Steele because the character is written to look a certain way. But on the other hand, we cannot just expect women to be so body confident that imagining themselves, truly as they are, in their own movie sex scenes be something that happens over night. I just don’t have the answer here.
But maybe as we move forward in time, we can hope that stories and movies become more diverse. Because HELLO I want to read about a hot billionaire that picks up Tracey, mum of one, at the local bingo hall (#relatable). We hope that stories about all kinds of women, with all kinds of figures get to be told on the big screen. Until that happens though, maybe we could put ourselves in these sexy scenarios in real life. We need to wear the lingerie that makes the guy bite his lip. We need to be blindfolded, fingered in a lift and have worn our Ben-Wa balls to dinner (if that’s your bag) and see that the person we’re experiencing it with is completely attracted to us, just as we are. Maybe when we have enough of these scenarios in our minds to flick back through, imagining new and fantastical ones might be a little easier. Or maybe not – like I said, I don’t have the answers. Holla at me if you do though!
But alas, next time I watch a sexy scene, or fantasise about a triple threat with Dornan and Hardy, I might try and imagine them pawing at my saddlebags and needing 2 hands to grab hold of one arsecheek and see where that gets me.