What a Sexpert Thinks About the Sex Scene in 'Top Gun'

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

If you are going to be a real maverick, you're going to need the right moves. Although Tom Cruise may have flown some impossible flight patterns in his iconic '80s classicTop Gun, apparently Maverick wasn't pulling off any spectacular stunts in the bedroom.

One of the most notable scenes of the movie is no doubt the torrid "Take My Breath Away" encounter he has with that Amish woman from Witness who also plays his incredibly attractive and spunky flight instructor (score). It ranks as one of the film's most memorable moments, along with the bomber jackets, daring flying, and rugged game of homoerotic volleyball... Man, Top Gun was GREAT.

We know that scene is cheesy in the best kind of way, but we wanted to delve deeper. You know, for science. After all, it likely played a role in many a teenage love-making fantasy. But, if played out in real life, would it be a real showstopper? We asked sex expert Barbara Carrellas to provide commentary on Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise's performance, before offering some real-world, under-the-sheets advice that we can all put to use. She is the author of both Urban Tantra and Ecstasy is Necessary. Her job is to spice up bedrooms, and when she took a crack at Maverick's, here's what she found...

Paramount Pictures

The sex is totally uninspiring

"I have seen a lot of sex in my time, both in person and on screen. I can truthfully say that I have never seen sex this uninspiring. I certainly have heard about boring sex, of course, as helping people improve their sex lives is what I do for a living. But, I have never actually watched anything quite so dull. I wonder, was this scene as boring to film as it was to watch? [Can't remember how boring it was? Well, rewatch it here.]
Mercifully, this is also one of the shortest sex scenes I have ever seen. The actual sex is only 107 seconds long. And -- it’s filmed in slow motion, so the actual length of the encounter is probably only 50 seconds. Now seriously, people! Who has ever had send-me-to-the-moon and rearrange-my-molecules sex in 50 seconds!"

Paramount Pictures

The best part about the sex is the foreplay car chase

"I am not an action adventure fan, but I did think the car chase (which was actually longer than the sex scene if you factor in the slow motion) was hot. Far hotter in fact, than the sex that followed. Which, of course, pretty much sums up Hollywood values about action/adventure and violence being more appropriate in entertainment than sex and love.

Unfortunately, all too many of us have based our ideas about great sex on Hollywood movies and porn. Scenes like this one in Top Gun teach us that:
1. Forbidden love (the two characters work together and apparently a relationship would be inappropriate) is the highest form of love and leads to the hottest sex.
2. A good fight is the best foreplay.
3. Penis-in-vagina sex in the missionary position in the dark is the most satisfying and the most 'normal.'

All of this is nonsense."

Paramount Pictures

Hollywood is lying to us. Here are lessons for a real Maverick...

"Here is what is true:
Letting desire build until you’re ready to explode can be a very effective turn-on, but unless you are in a monogamous long-distance relationship it won’t fuel great sex in the long run. That takes communication -- and by that I don’t mean a contest to win the loudest argument. A sustainable path to great hot sex includes sharing your desires and fantasies and working toward making them come true. If you want to build in some adventure, pick something that gets your blood pumping but doesn’t risk your life or someone else’s. (Ever wonder why Coney Island’s Cyclone roller coaster is so popular on date nights?)
Try some new positions! Did you know that only a small percentage of women can orgasm from penis-in-vagina sex? It’s true. While the missionary position is great for eye contact (it’s a wonderful intimacy and love builder) it’s not the most satisfying position for lots of folks. Get creative!"

Paramount Pictures

Finally, that music...

"One more thing -- the music! Take My Breath Away, the song running underneath this oh-so-dull sex scene, has got to be among the worst pop songs ever written. Unless really cheesy music is your kink, play something with some heat and a beat!"

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