couple is having sex. That
couple is having sex. And that couple is having sex, too.
And a few other
couples are having sex, maybe. Usually all at once, but not necessarily
. Usually not an orgy. The narrative goes from couple to couple to couple, and sometimes singles and threesomes.
This trope can also be a tool to emphasize the one person or couple
who is not having sex — or the one person / couple engaging in very
vigorous and regular sex. May be used to contrast how Good People Have Good Sex
with how Bad People... don't.
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- At least two passages in Gravity's Rainbow feature a panorama of random sex acts. Probably more squick than sexy, however.
- House of Leaves features a brief part where Johnny reviews a list of his friend Lude's sexcapades of the past month, many of which involve some rather eyebrow-raising activites (golden showers, wetsuits, threesomes, etc). However, Johnny immeadiatly deconstructs this trope by mentally giving each girl a tragic backstory (abortions, rape, Parental Incest, prostution, etc.) It's that kind of book.
- Used in Best Served Cold, in a scene that initially looks like estranged lovers Shivers and Monza patching things up, but slowly reveals that they're not having sex with each other.
Live Action TV
- Big Love (a couple times, at least)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer did this in season 7, except with one of the couples (Buffy and Spike) very pointedly not having sex
- The opening ten minutes of the first episode of Dante's Cove.
- This is how Glee shot Like a Virgin in the Madonna Episode, with three couples. Until it turns out to only be a shared fantasy between the three virgins, and only one of the couples actually has sex.
- Queer as Folk All the time.
- The L Word (season 5 Liquid Heat)
- The TV movie The Rat Pack has a humorous take on this, showing the hotel rooms of the members of the titular group in sequence (made easier by the simple mechanic of giving them rooms in a vertical stack so all the camera has to do is a slow pan up the building). The activities depicted within become increasingly risque up to the penultimate shot of Frank Sinatra with two women... with the final shot showing Dean Martin sitting up in bed, alone, quietly reading a newspaper and drinking a glass of milk.
- The Secret Life of the American Teenager did a strange variant of this with the main female characters going solo night after night. They got bored of it within a week.
- Sex and the City (Season 4, What's Sex Got to Do with It?) Charlotte's having great sex with her ex-husband, Carrie's having great sex with a guy with ADHD, Samantha's having great lesbian sex, and Miranda is eating junk food and watching television.
- True Blood
- A run-of-the-mill episode of General Hospital ended like this—two couples reconciling after an estrangement, one celebrating their engagement, and for another two couples, it was simply a nice way to cap off a lovely day.
- A similar episode on One Life to Live. What's touching is that one of the couples in question didn't have sex. She was still recovering from her rape and so they settled for snuggling together.
- Avenue Q: You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Making Love)
- Danced around (literally) in Company: all the couples can be heard but not seen.
- Toward the end of the "Behind Closed Doors" storyline of Penny and Aggie, there's a montage of what Stan and Michelle, as well as various plot-unimportant couples, are thinking about.