Don't Call Her Shirley! 6 Leslie Nielsen Love Lessons

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Weirdly, the Naked Gun and other Leslie Nielsen movies offered great love advice.

Movie lovers everywhere were saddened this week by the death of beloved comic actor Leslie Nielsen, whose signature snowy hair and deadpan delivery made him an icon. Tributes to the funnyman have cropped up across the internet, and we've had a blast revisiting his amazing spoofs and parodies. As we watched, we realized there are plenty of nuggets of truth in between the slapstick and gags, especially when it comes to love and romance.

A few of the love lessons we've learned from the movies of Leslie Nielsen:

1) Don't call her Shirley, unless she's into that. Seriously. Girls hate being called the wrong name, especially in bed, and especially if the name in question belongs to your ex or her sister. Write it on your arm if you have to.

This helpful(?) nugget aside, the movie Airplane! rings just about every romantic bell in the book, reminding us between snort-worthy lines of dialogue that true love is worth fighting for, and that even damaged relationships can be fixed if the spark's still there. The movie also provides a hilarious visual reminder that, despite its seeming romanticism, sex on the beach is to be avoided (unless it comes in a glass).

2) Don't keep tabs your exes. In one of the Naked Gun movies, Frank Drebin asks his partner for details about his ex's new love interest. "What do you know about him?" The cop replies: "Not much... just that he's an Olympic gymnast, and that it's the best sex she's ever had."

Ouch. Drebin has a pretty good excuse for snooping around, but unless you're flashing a badge, we recommend you refrain from doing your own detective work. De-friend or hide your ex on Facebook until you're absolutely sure that seeing that pic of them cuddling Hottie McHotterson won't shred your heart. Romantic Comedy Lessons From 90s Rom-Coms

3) Don't be afraid to boldly go to where no man has gone before. In The Forbidden Planet, a (strikingly hot!) young Leslie Nielsen plays intrepid captain John J. Adams. When he's warned away from docking on the forbidden planet, he does it anyway, and discovers not only a nubile, nude Anne Francis, but also a robot that can make awesome things like industrial metals and evening gowns.

You should try a similarly adventurous approach in the bedroom, though we don't recommend docking without permission. The point is that trying new things can seem scary, but sometimes results in star-sapphire silk gowns. Er, better sex.

4) Love is amazing, but it can also stink. In Spy Hard, Nielsen cradles his sexy Russian paramour, and explains: "Love is a dew drop on a rose petal... a drop of rain pure and shimmering and trembling. And those tiny little drops of love come together and pick up dirt and dung and deer droppings and flow out into the sea."

While we're not sure we'd be as turned on by the mention of dung as she seems to be (there are rockets and everything!), the point is well-taken. Love hurts and heals, and is generally weird and wonderful and awful, and the more we expect it to be that way, the healthier our approach to it becomes.

5) Always practice safe sex. Safer sex is always the smartest option unless you and your partner are fluid-bonded, so we loved this Naked Gun safe sex scene. Added bonus: Priscilla Presley's sultry delivery of the line "You should know that I always practice safe sex" is proof positive that it's possible to ask a new partner to raincoat up in an incredibly sexy way. Follow her lead (to a point: we recommend leaving the full body condoms at home. So much squeaking!). 5 Funny Sex Injuries

6) Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Perhaps most importantly, Leslie Nielsen's body of work reminds us that humor can put a bleak situation into perspective, and can help us approach topics that are difficult to deal with seriously.

His movies deal with dark themes like crime, flight disasters, and crumbling civilizations, and they're hilarious but also insightful. (Imagine what a bit of humor could do for your conversations about leaving wet towels on the floor.) A light touch can go a long way, and an eye for finding the absurd may keep you laughing even when things are rough... and keep your lover laughing with you.

So long, Leslie, and thanks for all the tips.

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