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BioWare has conditioned me to believe that sex only happens when I'm about to do something that will / should probably kill me.

This is the converse of "Glad to Be Alive" Sex, where instead of happening after the harrowing ordeal, it happens before. Knowing that they are about to face the final battle or some other potentially deadly or at least terrifying experience, the hero and heroine finally consummate their affair. More loosely, it can be any character or characters having sex before some climactic moment in the story. This is often preceded by someone saying, "You Don't Want to Die a Virgin, Do You?"

If the hero is then killed during the final battle, there's a good chance the heroine will be left with Someone to Remember Him By.

In Real Life, sex before a strenuous or stressful activity is usually not encouraged because of the energy that sex supposedly uses up. There is no scientific evidence for this. Even so, sometimes Truth in Television: natural selection in the tribal days may have encouraged an instinct for such conduct, because those who have sex before battle are more likely to reproduce and leave descendants than those who don't.

Examples of Pre-Climax Climax include:

Anime and Manga

  • Megazone 23 part 1. Shogo has sex with Yui before going off to probably die (though he ends up surviving for the sequel).
  • Happens offscreen with Goku and his wife Chi-Chi right before the Cell Games in Dragonball Z. This leads to them conceiving their youngest son Goten, born after his father's death in said games.
  • In Mirai Nikki, Yuno and Yukiteru have sex before the day the world is supposed to end. Doubles as Their First Time
  • The second-to-last episode of the anime of 11eyes. Oh sure, they claim it's for a Deus Sex Machina, but as events immediately follows shows, it didn't make any difference. Given that it was Snap Backed into being the main character's precognition power anyway...
  • Subverted in Fushigi Yuugi. Miaka and Tamahome decide that (just in case one of them dies in the ensuing battle with Nakago), they will consummate their relationship. However, Miaka's stomach grumbles, which ruins the mood. That, and the fact that Miaka has Virgin Power.
  • Takamura blames this for Aoki's championship fight loss in Hajime no Ippo.
  • In Shaman King, Anna and Yoh sleep together just before Yoh goes off to the Shaman Fight. It's not fully spelled, but the hints are laid very thick.
  • Maron and Chiaki in Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, though onl in the manga.

Comic Books

  • In Captain Atom issue 50, Cap and Plastique finally make love for the first time on the eve of the final battle with the Faceless One and his henchmen.
  • Before a climactic battle in Elf Quest the Go-Backs, Wolfriders, Rayek and Leetah partake in a mass orgy.
    • This is actually a tradition among the Go-Backs before major battles. Elves have very slow reproductive rates, so the orgy increases the odds of more children being born to replace the fallen.
  • Iron Man and Black Widow apparently bump uglies just before the big climactic fight at the end of the first Ultimates series.



  • The Matrix Revolutions just before the Battle of Zion.
  • King Arthur (2004) does this.
  • Reese and Sarah Connor did this in Terminator, and their son was created because of it.
  • A PG version was used in the Civil War-era miniseries The Blue and The Gray. The brother of the main character, a member of the Virginia militia, talks privately with the girl he's courting about what may happen in the war and that his last thought would be their kiss. After she replies that she's never kissed him, he convinces her to do so.
    • Minutes later, his younger brother (who had been eavesdropping) tries the same with another girl at the family's Christmas party. She replies that if she wanted her to kiss him, he should have just said so.


  • In On the Edge, Rose tries to argue with Declan that she should be the one to risk her life, not him. Declan's fascination with her lips is not related to what she's saying. Finally they compromise that both of them will go together, and he carries her into the bedroom for a pre-death-defying-last-stand romp.
  • In Stephen King's short story The Raft, two of the characters have sex on the titular raft shortly before the girl is killed by the creature in the lake in a spectacularly nasty fashion.
  • Narrowly averted in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn -- Francie has a brief romance with a soldier who tries to get her into bed with a "could be my last night in America and I've never been with someone I love" story, but she relucantly turns him down, and he goes home to see his mother and fiancee instead. Later it seems he wasn't quite in the emotional crisis he professed to be, but Francie still wishes she'd slept with him because she knows she'll never feel that way about anyone again.
  • Also averted, in flashback, in The Great Gatsby. Daisy tried to go to New York to see Gatsby before he shipped out, but her parents stopped her.
  • Star Wars novel X-wing: The Bacta War: Corran asks whether Mirax is proposing this. Mirax answers it would be useless, since they sleep together anyway.
  • Played straight in Ali and Nino, just before the battle at Baku.

Live Action TV

  • In the third season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Oz and Willow make love for the first time on the eve of the final battle with the Mayor.
    • And Xander and Anya before the final battle with Glory, though not for the first time.
    • Joss loves this one; this trope was actually the whole basis of the episode "Touched" near the end of the series, with even a bit of Deconstruction by the incorporeal First. Though it was still a few episodes from the final battle, the stress of a half-season-long war resulted in Willow and Kennedy having sex for the first time, Robin and Faith hooking up, and Anya and Xander having sex despite being technically broken up, all at the same time (and rather noisily, too). As for Spike and Buffy, they just held each other through the night. Aw.
  • Also used by Joss in Dollhouse, when Paul says that the only times Echo has "let him in" are when she's pretty sure they're going to die.
  • In the mini-series 1915, the two couples consummate their relationships before the boys ship off to World War One. One of the girls becomes pregnant.
  • Parodied in the Community episode "Modern Warfare", in which Jeff & Britta hook up before the final climactic paint-gun battle.
  • Done in an episode of Supernatural, except a girl (actually, an angel who has lost her "grace") suggests that to Dean, who is a little put off by the fact that it's usually him who tries to do the same. It doesn't stop him, though (then she tries to kill his parents in the past).
    • Averted in another episode, where Dean tries to do it with Jo, only for Jo to say that if this is really her last night on this Earth (it is), she'll spend it the way she wants (i.e. not with him).

Real Life

  • In Real Life, people who are about to ship out to battle. They used to get married, now they know.
    • Getting married would be a wise idea anyway. After all, the government won't recognize your girlfriend/fiance (or a child the two of you conceived) as your dependent (and thus entitled to support in the event of your death in combat); they will recognize your lawfully wedded wife.

Web Comics

  • In Red String, Kazuo and Miharu consummate their relationship after he's been ordered to dump her by his father, a very tense build-up to previous events. Although he tries to defy his father, he does dump her (without telling her why), and it completely changes the dynamic of the story.

Video Games

  • In Mass Effect where, before the narrative climax, Shepard can (assuming the player has completed all previous relationship subplot tasks) have sex with Ashley, Kaidan or Liara (depending on the gender of Shepard and which character they romanced during the game).
  • Ditto in Mass Effect 2, with the respective new love interest before the final showdown... unless the protagonist chose to stay faithful to their Mass Effect 1 love interest, that is, in that case he/she "only" gets to stare longingly at the absent love interest's picture before the final battle...
    • Garrus talks about how he did this with a recon scout when he was running with other turians, to let off some steam before a big mission. A female Shepard has the option to propose the two of them do the same now.

 Garrus: I had reach, but she had flexibility.

Shepard: We can test your reach, and my flexibility.

Western Animation

 Apu: [reading from a script] Gee, Betsy, it's such a nice night. Why don't we go all the way?

Manjula: [also reading] But Greg, my Dad will kill me! And, you have that scholarship to Ivy League State.

Apu: Loosen up, baby. Tomorrow, I'm shipping off to Vietnam. [looks up] I, I thought I was going to Ivy League State.

Homer: My mistake, stay in the moment.

Manjula: Just don't forget me on your dinosaur bone-digging-up trip. [they kiss]


  1. Although this likely has less to do with tempting fate and more to do with five different characters slipping them fertility drugs.
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