The 1997 film, Titanic portrays Rose DeWitt Bukatter and her fiance, Caledon Hockley aboard the R.M.S Titanic and the love triangle involving them and Jack Dawson.

The movie is set in 1912. I was under the assumption that society was far more strict on an engaged couple than now. I always thought that it was common practice for a couple to not have a physical relationship until after the actual wedding ceremony.

Caledon makes a reference to the level of the intimacy level between him and Rose.

There is a scene where Caledon and Rose are having breakfast together:

CALEDON: I had hoped you would come to me last night.

ROSE: I was tired.

This exchange seems to be between a couple who are already familiar enough to have the other party claiming to be tired and uneager for any type of physical intimacy anymore.

Later in the same scene at breakfast...

CALEDON: Yes! You are! And my wife... in practice, if not yet by law. So you will honor me, as a wife is required to honor her husband!

Caledon is making the statement "My wife...in practice."
Does this insinuate that they are living as man and wife in every way except by law?

Later in the movie when Rose and Jack have sex, Rose appears to have been more at ease and comfortable than Jack:

ROSE: You're trembling.

JACK: I'm alright.

Is there any proof that Caledon and Rose actually had sex? Is there any evidence from filmmakers stating that Rose was a virgin when she and Jack had sex?


3 Answers 3


There has been debate over whether Cal and Rose had sex or not. Some sources say they had whereas others deny this.

As per the Titanic Question and Answer page from Movie Mistakes,

When he says at breakfast "wife in practice" he's saying that yes, they indeed sleep together which is also why she isn't hesitant about sleeping with Jack so quickly. She obviously was not a virgin.

While this one says

I'm quite positive that Rose was a virgin. Although it is easy to come up with different interpretations there are a few things that stick in my mind that make me think she was. 1. Cal said "I had hoped you would come to me last night." (This was the breakfast scene when he freaked out on her.) I think he was hoping that that would be their first time together. The "in practice, if not yet by law", in my opinion, simply means that she will obey him and honor him as if they were already legally married. Also, if you read the original script in the scene where Rose and Cal are setting up their stateroom right after they board the ship Cal says something along the lines of "And when I crawl between the sheets, I'll still be the first.The first and only. Forever. (Rose realizes how bleak a prospect this is for her)" Cameron left that out of the final cut. One more thing--the reason she's not nervous with Jack is because she believes in it and knows it's right. I also think her hand is pretty symbolic in that scene. She's going through a total metamorphosis.

The exact quote from Cal was

"my fiancée! Yes, you are, and my wife. My wife in practice if not yet by law, so you will honor me. You will honor me the way a wife is required to honor a husband."

So she was his wife in practice, therefore, we can say she has slept with him. However, she was not sleeping with him on board the ship, because

  1. She might have second thought. In other words, Jack.
  2. It may create a scandal since they are high-class people, and Cal couldn't handle this.

I was under the assumption that society was far more strict on an engaged couple than now.

At that time, it was highly inappropriate to engage in intercourse before marriage until about after World War I.

  • "Cameron left [Cal's confirmation of her virginity] out of the final cut" - although, if he left it out, it's not part of the story. (e.g. he might have left it out because he didn't want us to think she was a virgin!)
    – komodosp
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 9:21

The fact that Cal says he will “Still be the first, last and always” when it comes to “bedding” Rose, indicates to me that he was her first. Therefore she is NOT a virgin.


I would say yes she definitely was in fact a virgin. After Jack draws her the next scene is in present day and Old Rose says, verbatim, "My heart was pounding the whole time, it was the most erotic moment of my life; up until then at least." Now I suppose one could argue that she felt that sleeping with Cal didn't mean as much to her as the moment Jack drew her however in my opinion that means as it says the most sexual thing she has ever done.

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