Peter and Lara Jean's Sex Talk Scene in P.S. I Still Love You Brings Up Important Issues About Boundaries
P.S. I Still Love You, the highly anticipated sequel to To All the Boys I've Loved Before, was released on Netflix on Feb. 12, and viewers immediately fell in love. But between the adorable Covey family moments and swoon-worthy Peter Kavinsky lines, the film also featured an important scene that focuses on the concepts of consent and sex. While short, the scene still serves as an amazing example of how sex should be talked about between partners, especially when it comes to losing your virginity.
In the scene, Peter and Lara Jean are in the car after returning home from a party. After discussing the contents of a poem Peter read to her, the couple begin an intense make-out session. While things are heating up, Lara Jean's mind starts to wander, and she thinks back to Peter's past relationship with Genevieve, which makes her uncomfortable. She ultimately reveals her feelings and tells Peter she's not ready to have sex with him.
It's totally valid for someone with little experience with sex to feel this pressure with a more experienced partner, but it's also so important to stand your ground and respect your own boundaries.
While a lot of other movies depict teenage boys reacting to this type of situation in a negative way, Peter's reaction is what it should be for all partners across the board. He lets Lara Jean talk and process her feelings before giving a thoughtful and courteous response. He instantly reassures Lara Jean that he wasn't trying to pressure her, especially in the front seat of a parked car. But even despite this, Lara Jean understandably still feels pressure to have sex because of Peter's past experiences with it. It's totally valid for someone with little experience with sex to feel this pressure with a more experienced partner, but it's also so important to stand your ground and respect your own boundaries. Every relationship is different, and Peter is more than willing to let Lara Jean write the rules for theirs.
I've had experiences like this that have gone similarly and differently to Peter and Lara Jean's conversation. During one experience in particular, a boy got extremely upset with me for telling him "no," to the point of him yelling at me for being a tease. It's important to know that these experiences, though seen very often in movies, don't always happen. And they certainly are never OK. That's why Peter's well-mannered response to Lara Jean is important for young viewers to witness. Everyone should be exposed to this healthy conversation and know that it's their right to always have respect for themselves and their partner's boundaries, no matter the experience levels.
It's crucial to be open with partners about where your comfort levels are for anything, but especially when it comes to sex. Lara Jean does a great job of this by admitting she feels there's a need for it in her relationship with Peter because he was used to having it with his ex-girlfriend. "Do you miss sex? Is there a void in your life?" she shyly asks Peter. "No. No, not at all," he responds without hesitation. The two then continue to openly talk about it while using the reference of going base jumping. This is a good reminder that while it can be really scary and uncomfortable to talk about sex so honestly, there are ways to approach it to make it more manageable.
Both Lara Jean and Peter perfectly exemplify a healthy conversation about sex and consent between two young partners, and everyone should learn to embrace boundaries with the utmost confidence.