Emilia Clarke recently spoke out about pressure she felt when filming nude scenes for HBO's Game of Thrones. HBO has since made it mandatory for crews to hire "intimacy coordinators" to consult on any scenes involving intimacy.
TV, film and theater have always recruited specialists to consult on fight sequences, stunts and even historical context. Now intimacy coordinators are increasingly being called upon to help make sure actors portraying sex scenes feel physically and psychologically safe at they work.
"Just like a stunt coordinator, you're bringing techniques to keep the actor safe… you're mitigating the risk" says Ita O'Brien, one of the U.K's leading intimacy coordinators and founder of Intimacy On Set. Her intimacy guidelines have been adopted by British actors union Equity U.K.
O'Brien has worked with shows including Netflix's Sex Education and BBC/HBO's Gentleman Jack. She sees herself as "a mediator of consent, to ensure that every touch and every reaction is comfortable and consensual for all parties involved."