Study Guide

When Harry Met Sally Sex

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HARRY: Because no man can be friends with a woman he finds attractive, he always wants to have sex with her.

SALLY: So you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive.

HARRY: Nah, you pretty much wanna nail 'em too.

SALLY: What if they don't want to have sex with you?

HARRY: Doesn't matter, because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.

Well, this is illuminating. Harry has basically admitted that he wants to have sex with Sally. And a few moments later, she agrees that they can't be friends. Here, Harry's got all the power: it's the man who decides whether or not they can be friends, because he's supposedly the one with the sex drive.

SALLY: I just didn't want to sleep with you, and you had to write it off as a character flaw instead of dealing with the possibility that it might have something to do with you.

You tell him, sister. Here, Sally takes back some of the power Harry asserted over their relationship when they first met. See, Harry, it's not so much about your feelings. Women have a little say, too, says Sally.

HARRY: What are you saying, that they fake orgasm?

SALLY: It's possible.

HARRY: Get outta here!

SALLY: Why? Most women at one time or another have faked it.

HARRY: Well they haven't faked it with me.

SALLY: How do you know?

HARRY: Because I know.

SALLY: Oh, right, that's right, I forgot, you're a man.

HARRY: What is that supposed to mean?

SALLY: Nothing. It's just that all men are sure it never happened to them and that most women at one time or another have done it so you do the math.

HARRY: You don't think that I could tell the difference?


HARRY: Get outta here.

You know the rest.

SALLY: I see people!

HARRY: See people, have you slept with one person since you broke up with Joe?

SALLY: What the hell does that have to do with anything? That will prove that I'm over Joe, because I f***ed somebody? Harry you're going to have to move back to New Jersey because you've slept with everybody in New York and I don't see that turning Helen into a faint memory for you! Besides I will make love to somebody when it is "making love," not the way you do it like you're out for revenge or something!

Here, the two besties call each other out for their problematic sex lives: Harry's having too much sex (according to Sally), and Sally's not having enough (according to Harry). We think Sally wins this one, though, mainly because Ms. Hospital Corners drops a rare F-bomb. Trump card.

HARRY: The doing part was good.

SALLY: I thought it was good.

HARRY: But then I felt suffocated.

SALLY: But then I guess it wasn't.

JESS: Jesus I'm sorry.

MARIE: No worries.

HARRY: I had to get out of there.

SALLY: He just disappeared.

HARRY: I feel so bad.

SALLY: I'm so embarrassed.

JESS: I don't blame you.

MARIE: That's horrible.

Phew. How's that for whirlwind dialogue. This scene perfectly exemplifies how quickly it all went wrong for Harry and Sally. They've crossed a threshold and there's no going back.

SALLY: It was a mistake.

Well, at least she got to say it first? Although, based on her face when Harry vehemently (and a bit too quickly?) agrees with her, maybe she was hoping she'd never have to say it at all.

HARRY: It's just like most of the time you go to bed with someone, she tells you her stories, you tell her your stories. But with Sally and me, we've already heard each other's stories, so once we went to bed, we didn't know what we were supposed to do, you know?

Hey Harry, that thing you're describing? It's called intimacy.

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