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Charlotte, Cambridge, 27, James Bond: Casino Royale
I guess because it happened to be my first time, I just assumed Casino Royale was a part of everyone's sex life. I was 17 and I had gone to meet my ex-boyfriend's best friend to ask why I'd been dumped. He suggested we discuss it over wine at his place. He was 19 and this seemed an incredibly sophisticated way to discuss things, so naturally I agreed. Wine turned into Casino Royale (in his dad's bed), which soon turned into sex.
That pattern of wine, Casino Royale, sex, has since become a mainstay of my sex life. Do I like the James Bond franchise? Not really. Could I tell you what happens in the middle of the film? Probably not. But for whatever reason, when a guy suggests we watch some Bond I have a Pavlovian instinct that we must be getting down. Take for example the first time I had casual sex at university: it was with an anthropologist who loved David Foster Wallace and always gave off the faintest smell of Camembert. Our first date was on Valentine's Day and rather than awkwardly sit in a pub surrounded by people who were actually in love, he suggested we go to his room and watch a film. When he pushed aside his small mammal bone collection to reach for Casino Royale, I knew immediately what was up.
Chris, 26, London, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
When I was 14 I got my first girlfriend. Obviously I was terrified. Most of our interactions involved her watching me pretend to do homework but then one memorable night we watched Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and halfway through she grabbed my hand and shoved it into her knickers. We stared at the screen in silence as I cupped her crotch for the remaining hour of the film. You know how sometimes when tennis players serve an ace they ask for the same ball back, in the hope that this will increase their chances of serving another? Well, the next night I put Austin Powers on again. And this time, when I plucked up the courage to go for the old cup routine, she actually managed to guide my fingers to her clit. I sort of jostled it about a bit and twenty minutes later she came as, on screen, Fat Bastard was pooing a homing device onto a towel. On night three she did me. I came during the bit where Austin discovers he’d never really lost his mojo and I felt like God was great and maybe I was a heterosexual man after all. After a few months we’d reached fellatio, but when it came to the final hurdle, somehow I just didn’t fancy watching Austin Powers again. Instead, I put on Finding Nemo, nobody came, we broke up, and I came out as gay.
Maria, Chicago, 26, Brideshead Revisited, the boxset
Brideshead Revisited, the TV series. I used to see a guy who would bring the video boxset over (VCR, though DVDs definitely existed) and it was so boring it would always lead us to start making out. It was magical. When we broke up I downloaded the same series on my laptop and would use it to seduce other people… Priceless and a highly recommended aphrodisiac. The main thing about that man and Brideshead Revisited was that he could never acknowledge being in a relationship, and we could never really hold a conversation for very long, but we were very physically in sync... so I guess the boxset did the talking.
James, Thailand, 25, Robin Hood
Our first date had been entirely innocent. We'd switched off obscure Spanish horror in favour of The Princess and the Frog. On date two it seemed a logical extension to put on another Disney film, this time Robin Hood. We settled down to the reassuring country crooning of a cartoon rooster, and pretty soon we were canoodling to the saccharine sounds of Maid Marion and an inexplicable tortoise child. About half an hour in, I looked up, mid-blowjob, to see an animated hen rugby tackling militarised rhinoceroses. And as he ejaculated over my chest, Robin and his beloved kissed behind a moonlit waterfall. We repeated this routine countless times.
Miranda, Kent, 27, Woody Allen films
A few years ago I got chatting with a guy at a friend's birthday. We bonded over a mutual love of Woody Allen movies. We got on so well that we decided to have a Woody marathon the next night; even now as I'm saying it I can't believe I didn't know what that meant. After the second film – Sleeper, as I recall – I was about to put on a third when he kissed me. To be honest, I wasn't convinced, and said so, but, in a creeper move no doubt inspired by his hero, he put forward an actual case as to why I should sleep with him. (He was in a long distance open relationship, he was really good in bed... I'm not making this up). I thought about it and was like 'yes, fuck it, why not?' And the sex was incredible! He stayed ’til 7am and then I sent him on his way. In retrospect I would never let someone 'talk me into bed' again, but luckily this wasn't the worst way to learn.