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With Intimacy Coordinators, Hollywood Addresses The Post-#MeToo Sex Scene

A sex scene panel discussion with, from left:  Joy Blake, Alicia Rodis, Nicki Michaeux and Tanya Saracho
A sex scene panel discussion with, from left: Joy Blake, Alicia Rodis, Nicki Michaeux and Tanya Saracho
ATX Festival

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In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the film and television industries have had to reckon with one of their most essential and troublesome elements: the sex scene.

As recent as two years ago, it was standard for simulated sex to be solely the domain of the director, the cameraman and the participating actors. But without proper mediation, simulated sex made participants vulnerable to assault or harrassment, and perhaps unsurprisingly, they became a locus for many sexual misconduct allegations. As a recent New York Times piece explores, the controversy has since opened a space for intimacy coordinators--specially trained on-set advocates--to use nuanced movement training to create sex scenes that are sensual, properly supervised and consent-oriented. Under the watch of an intimacy coordinator, sex scenes are treated more like stunts or action scenes, which are facilitated for safety and choreographed so that they are easily repeatable in front of a camera. As a result, many actors and directors have said that the scenes are not only safer, but more fluid and convincing on-screen.

Today on AirTalk, we explore the role of intimacy coordinators and the future of intimate scenes in Hollywood. Are you an actor that has worked with an intimacy coordinator? What was the experience like? Call us at 866-893-5722.


Alicia Rodis, co-founder and associate director of Intimacy Directors International, an organization that trains and certifies intimacy directors and coordinators; she tweets @IntimacyCoordr

Lael Loewenstein, KPCC film critic; she tweets @LAELLO

Amy Nicholson, film critic for KPCC, film writer for The Guardian and host of the podcasts ‘Unspooled’ and the podcast miniseries “Zoom”; she tweets @TheAmyNicholson