Or, alternatively, Everybody Has Relationships Which Inevitably Lead To Premarital Sex But Not Necessarily Marriage
The idea here is that in fiction, broadly speaking, hardly anyone waits for more than a week before getting their sex on. Usually all it takes is realizing that they've met "the right person" for someone to decide to take the plunge. Every so often, of course, they realize that this was an extremely stupid thing for them to do. However, being more abstinent is not typically considered a good response. Just "showing better judgment". Expect a Wall Banger
if they do the exact same thing two weeks later.
Any character who does not conform to this belief pattern can usually be expected to appear as some sort of villain, or will have their minds changed on the subject by the end of the story.
While being near-universal today in works that deal with romance and sex, this trope is a fairly recent arrival, since time was the Moral Guardians
would have heavily frowned on the implications. It's also somewhat justified in modern society, which does not have as much of an emphasis on abstinence as it used to. It can just as easily be unjustified, though, in that your typical Hollywood Dateless
is liable to have five times as many sexual partners as most people have in their lifetimes.
This idea is most obvious in settings where the characters are ostensibly supposed to be "normal". If they're explicitly sex freaks, or it's a story that doesn't really involve romance, the trope is far less relevant.
For men, often justified since I'm a Man, I Can't Help It
- Appears rather bizarrely in Big Love, where this attitude is held by multiple teenage Mormons. Word to the wise- just because everyone at BYU dates all the time does not mean they're having sex all the time.
- Shows up in Forever Amber, with a fair amount of Truth in Television since the story is set during the reign of Charles II in England, who was notorious for having a veritable harem of mistresses and illegitimate children. Ironically, his legitimate wife did not have any children, it's implied because she suffered mental duress and never fully recovered from the fact that the English court did not value monogamy. Further driven into the ground by the fact that Frances Stewart is the only woman who does not consent to become his mistress, and is punished with small pox disfigurement shortly after marrying someone else.
- Of course, it's up to debate whether any of the main characters are actually supposed to likable.
- Subverted in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, where clearly everybody does have sex- and not one of them are better off for it. The movie which starts off firmly on the note of "man, Steve Carrell is weird", slowly turns to the realization that he's the Only Sane Man in a world where people are so obsessed with sex that it usually clouds their better judgment.