The way movies and TV shows casually represent a character's sex life can be wildly misleading. If this fake person represents a distillation of life and its many ups and downs, then his or her relationships and sex life are a reflection of the things average people do. That's the theory, anyway. In reality, you'd have to be a modern day John Holmes, slinging dick so often that it becomes as involuntary as blinking your eyes.

But when you look at the statistics, people just aren't doing that in real life. For example, statistically speaking, not many people are having ...

Rebound Sex

4 Sex Tropes Movies Love (That Are Statistically BS)
Universal Studios

The term "rebound sex" is ubiquitous throughout all kinds of movies and shows. It was the central plot of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. In When Harry Met Sally, Sally is annoyed when Harry bounces from one girl to the next in the wake of a breakup. On TV, you can see it in pretty much every sitcom that features quirky 20-something friends. A character is going through a tough breakup, but the wacky and/or overweight best friend is urging him to knight up and crotch joust, because in Hollywood, the only cure for post-breakup depression is to ejaculate your sadness into a one-episode extra.

4 Sex Tropes Movies Love (That Are Statistically BS)
20th Century Fox Television

Her SAG credit actually lists her character as "Melancholy Cum Receptacle."

The premise is used so often that it's impossible to not exist in real life. There can't be that many writers just pulling those scenes out of their ass, right? Science, please tell me that all the scripted movies and shows I watch too much of aren't full of lies!

Well, shit. It turns out that rebound sex is actually "uncommon after a breakup," according to researchers who probably used their findings to prove to their friends that they're fine, no really, they're fine. They don't need to "get back in the game," because that's not a thing. At least not to average people who don't regularly learn valuable life lessons via montage.

4 Sex Tropes Movies Love (That Are Statistically BS)
Lindsay L. Barber

By my estimation, these graph lines appear to be doin' it cowgirl style.

People who just got out of a serious relationship aren't concerned with getting laid; they're too busy thinking they are sex-repelling garbage. Women tend to be more willing to move on to a new relationship in the long run, whereas after a while men tend to look up taxidermists with negotiable morals who will mount their retired penises on a wall for display purposes only.

This isn't to say that rebound sex doesn't achieve what we intend. It actually does help people move on from heartbreak. So if you ever have rebound sex, be sure to kindly thank your six-spoken-lines date before you kick them out of your bed forever. Just don't skimp on the cameras or lighting budget. You'll regret it during editing.

Tons of Sexual Partners

4 Sex Tropes Movies Love (That Are Statistically BS)
20th Century Fox Television

Scrubs, Seinfeld, How I Met Your Mother, Friends -- everybody on those shows is getting laid way, way more than the real-life averages indicate. As we've talked about before, George Costanza from Seinfeld is a woefully pathetic schlub of a man ... who has had sex with so many women that if his penis were a Pakistani train it would look like this:

4 Sex Tropes Movies Love (That Are Statistically BS)
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

On Friends, the lowest number of partners among the guys goes to Chandler with 10, and among the girls it's Monica with 14. Phoebe had sex with 32 guys, and Joey had sex with 51 girls. In Ted's quest to find a wife on How I Met Your Mother, he's had sex with anywhere between 20 and 31 women.

What that means is that there are people out there who enjoy tallying the exploits of fictional genitals. But more to the point, it's truly a wonder that there wasn't an episode once a season where Joey, George, Ted, Barney, or Phoebe had to call all past sexual partners and tell them that they might be the reason their diseased junk looks like a Walking Dead zombie's mouth.

4 Sex Tropes Movies Love (That Are Statistically BS)
AMC Studios

"Don't worry. Some penicillin and a shotgun will clear that right up."

In real life, men ages 25 to 44 -- the age group of pretty much every sitcom character -- average around six sexual partners. Women of that same age group average four. Over a lifetime, only 21 percent of men and 9 percent of women have had more than 15 sexual partners.

You may think you're watching a show about a group of funny, wacky friends, but what you're really watching are people who have hit the sexual jackpot yet bitch and moan about their sex lives for 20-plus weeks a year, for upwards of a decade. They are 1 percenters complaining about an import tax hike on Bulgarian diamond-studded caviar while the rest of us are lucky if we can afford the McDonald's dollar menu. (I'll take mine with extra nipples, thank you very much.)

Sex Several Times a Day

4 Sex Tropes Movies Love (That Are Statistically BS)
ABC Studios

You may have had a day -- probably in your mid to late teens -- where, for a moment, you thought about tossing aside all of your hobbies because from there on out you were going to be too busy having sex to do anything else. And then real life kick-stopped your genitals while maniacally laughing, which is good in a way, because who has the time to have that much sex? Answer: fictional people, who bend to the will of real people who have screenwriting software and a notebook loaded with unfulfilled sex fantasies.


A Pandora's box of a sitcom writer's pathetic sexual hopes and dreams.

On TV, being a doctor equals getting laid a lot. Grey's Anatomy is a show where the sexy doctors have sex with each other so often that in one episode everyone sexes syphilis into each other's genitals. The sex kind. Yet even within the pantheon of sexually hyperactive fictional doctors, J.D. from Scrubs is the sex marathon king.

4 Sex Tropes Movies Love (That Are Statistically BS)
ABC Studios

Somehow, this guy is Exhibits A through Z.

On multiple occasions throughout the series, J.D. -- very casually, as if this were the norm -- mentions that he and his girlfriend of the week had sex more times in a single day than you've had casual flirtations throughout your life. If you pull open the latch on the underside of his penis, you'll find two exhausted migrant workers feverishly turning large cranks to power his sexual appetite.

In real life, almost all sexually active people on Earth are having sex a maximum of five times a week. This means that characters like J.D. who regularly turn the pure joy of sex into a test of humanity's ability to endure probably have a serious sex addiction that none of the other characters seem to even remotely notice. And as you're laughing at J.D.'s hilarious sexual escapades, a dark void festers in the deepest recesses of his forever hungering soul that not even a perpetual gauntlet of fucking can fill.

Sex on Prom Night

4 Sex Tropes Movies Love (That Are Statistically BS)
Universal Studios

Sex on prom night is a staple of the high school movie genre. It's been either an element or the central plot of Degrassi, American Pie, The Girl Next Door, and She's All That, because in North America, high school kids having sex is a story that we will absolutely pay good money to hear.

4 Sex Tropes Movies Love (That Are Statistically BS)

"You fuck that pie, kid! You fuck it good!"

The idea of sex as a race to an arbitrary finish line has always been around, but the specific movie trope of doing it on prom night has wormed its way into real life. Google search "sex on prom night" and you'll get page after page of people asking if they should do it, or articles explaining the dos and don'ts of prom night sex.

If you click through that Google search and read what people are saying, you'll find a lot of people who can't wait to tell you about how sexless they were on prom night. In the rare case that someone says they did go through with it, the answers are all some variation of this:

This question is closed. Answers (24) Votes Newest Oldest Yup got pregnant too. Hello teen mom statistic lol Answer by at 11:34 AM on Feb. 27, 2012

LOL: The most efficient way to convert horror into levity.

If you didn't have sex on prom night and feel like you missed out on some grand American rite of passage, don't worry; most people don't have sex on prom night. Only 14 percent of high school girls have, and the other 86 percent are proving their love for language by never having to use the phrase "baby daddy." But what about the classic plot of guys losing their virginity on prom night? Surely they're living out their climactic coming-of-age tale filled with a number of comical yet endearing sexual misfires that culminated in one beautiful ascension to manhood. Nope: three percent. Girls? Five percent. Three and five goddamn percent, and somehow they became the basis for an entire subgenre of storytelling.

I understand that if all movie and TV characters had realistic sex lives, they'd be boring. But holy shit, they don't have to go the polar opposite direction and turn them into creatures born of celestial sexual prowess. Seeing that on screen gives us a new goal to shoot for, and we're just not ready for that. Not without a couple thousand more years of evolution jammed into our crotches.

Luis is currently in the midst of an unrealistically witty sexual situation with a quirky girl. While he's away, you can leave him a message on Tumblr or Twitter.

4 Sex Tropes Movies Love (That Are Statistically BS)

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