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Intimacy coordinator

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An intimacy coordinator, sometimes called an intimacy director,[1] is a member of a film or television crew who ensures the well-being of actors and actresses who participate in sex scenes or other intimate scenes in theater, film and television production. Intimacy coordinators work closely with directors, movement directors, and choreographers to help plan out intimate scenes with the actors and other crew members.[2]

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According to Intimacy Directors International, a nonprofit organization founded in 2016 by Alicia Rodis, Tonia Sina, and Siobhan Richardson[3] that advocates for the function, an intimacy coordinator is expected to ensure that:[4]

  • all staff and actors are aware of the context of the intimacy as part of the story,
  • communication about the intimacy takes place among participants and avenues for reporting harassment are available,
  • actors continually consent to all scenes of intimacy,
  • all scenes of intimacy are performed according to a previously agreed-to choreography, and
  • actors are encouraged to mark the end of each intimate scene with a moment to signal the return to real-life interaction.

The role of intimacy coordinator is not to be confused with that of an "intimacy choreographer", who specializes in the techniques of staging intimate scenes.[5][failed verification]


Demand for the role grew in the U.S. entertainment industry after the 2017 Weinstein scandal and the Me Too movement highlighted the often routine nature of sexual harassment and misconduct in the industry. Actresses such as Emily Meade began to demand professional safeguards for their well-being on set, noting that given the structure of power in a production, actors (particularly young, inexperienced ones) might otherwise not feel able to speak up if directors, staff members or other actors disregarded their consent or previous agreements regarding intimate scenes.[6] In 2017, the London talent agency Carey Dodd Associates fronted a campaign for an industry standard in handling scenes of intimacy using guidelines developed by Ita O'Brien.[7]

In October 2018, television network HBO adopted a policy of using intimacy coordinators for all its series and films with intimate scenes.[8] Intimacy coordinators and workshops teaching best practices for intimate scenes began being used in London theaters in 2018.[9]

In January 2019, Netflix released Sex Education, its first production that used an intimacy coordinator, Ita O'Brien.[10]

Industry reactions

Actors and filmmakers including Gaspar Noé, Mia Hansen-Løve, Toni Collette, Michael Douglas,[11] Michael Caine,[12] and Sean Bean[13] have criticized the use of intimacy coordinators. Emma Thompson, Sydney Sweeney, Kate Winslet, and James Gunn among others defended the practice.[14]

Sam Levinson's 2023 TV series The Idol satirized the use of intimacy coordinators.[15]

Further reading

  • Hegarty, Siobhan (2 May 2020). "From Normal People to Game of Thrones, sex on screen matters for actors and audiences alike". ABC News (Radio National - The Minefield). Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


  1. ^ Hilton, Emily (10 December 2020). "Let's Talk About Simulated Sex: Intimacy Coordinators Two Years On". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 15 September 2022. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  2. ^ Andrews, Travis M. (16 April 2019). "Inside the world of intimacy coordinators, who choreograph sex scenes for HBO, Netflix and more". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 23 July 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  3. ^ "Meet The 'Intimacy Directors' Who Choreograph Sex Scenes". HuffPost. 2018. Archived from the original on 4 March 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  4. ^ "Pillars of safe intimacy: Rehearsal and performance practice" (PDF). Intimacy Directors International. 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 June 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  5. ^ Collins-Hughes, Laura (15 June 2017). "Need to Fake an Orgasm? There's an 'Intimacy Choreographer' for That". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 17 December 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  6. ^ Kerr, Breena (24 October 2018). "How HBO Is Changing Sex Scenes Forever". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 18 April 2021. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  7. ^ Snow, Georgia. "Call for new 'Intimacy Director' role to safeguard actors in sex scenes". The Stage. Archived from the original on 18 January 2022. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  8. ^ Martinelli, Marissa (29 October 2018). "HBO Will Use "Intimacy Coordinators" for All of Its Sex Scenes". Slate Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  9. ^ Strick, Katie (2 May 2018). "How an actors' workshop is establishing the rules of intimacy on stage". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  10. ^ "'Sex Education' Star Asa Butterfield Says Working With Intimacy Coordinator Helped Cast "Find Our Boundaries"". The Hollywood Reporter. 21 June 2020. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  11. ^ Ruimy, Jordan (9 May 2024). "Michael Douglas Says Intimacy Coordinators "Take Control Away From Filmmakers"". WorldofReel.
  12. ^ Gearan, Hannah (26 September 2023). ""We Never Had That In My Day": Michael Caine Questions The Need For Intimacy Coordinators On Set". Screenrant.
  13. ^ Yossman, K.J. (8 August 2022). "'Games of Thrones' Star Sean Bean Says Intimacy Coordinators 'Spoil the Spontaneity,' Decries Censorship". Variety.
  14. ^ Harvey, Amelia (13 August 2022). "Celebrities Who Have Spoken About Intimacy Coordinators". The Things.
  15. ^ Hailu, Selome (16 June 2023). "An Intimacy Coordinator Reacts to 'The Idol' Pilot: 'I Felt Betrayed' That HBO 'Used Us as the Butt of the Joke'". Variety.


External links

This page was last edited on 17 June 2024, at 13:52
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