Intimacy Co-ordinators are Changing Sex Scenes for Good | 23 August 2019

In the wake of #MeToo the way in which sex scenes are handled on film and TV sets has been under the spotlight. Increasingly the role of intimacy co-ordinators is seen as imperative.
In South Africa, Sisters Working in Film and TV (SWIFT) has produced a series of Public Service Announcements in response to reports of pervasive sexual abuse in the industry.

"If you have to do a sex scene with a director who has never done a sex scene and is in a state about it, and a crew that does not respect a closed set, it is traumatic. And for many, many, many actresses, it's so traumatic, they stop acting," SWIFT Chairperson, Sara Blecher, says. Blecher was instrumental in inviting Kate Lush from Intimacy on Set to introduce the concept of intimacy co-ordination at Durban International Film Festival.

A director's attitude to a fight scene would not be: 'You guys grab your weapons and do your own thing and we'll have a look.' A sex scene should be treated in the same way, Lush says. Intimacy co-ordination is as important as stunt co-ordination. If actors are left to work out a scene on their own, the personal takes over and the actors are no longer honouring the characters and the emotional content of the scene.

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