Rogue sex scene experts on film and television sets threaten the progress of the #MeToo campaign, the intimacy coordinator for BBC series Normal People has warned.
Ita O’Brien, who also choreographed intimate scenes for Gentleman Jack and Sex Education, prevents actors crossing personal boundaries and ensures they do not feel victimised by their co stars.
She believes romantic scenes should be treated "like a stunt of a fight" and is training a generation of sexual stunt workers to ensure performers can act without inhibition or exploitation.
Ms O'Brien noticed a rise in dubious practitioners on sets encouraging actors to take part in scenes without appropriate consent and warns it will ruin progress made by the #MeToo movement.
“People have jumped on the bandwagon,” Ms O’Brien told The Telegraph.
“I’ve had people that started training with me who then felt ‘I know what I'm doing’ and set themselves up as fully accredited.
“I feel aghast, because I know they are not, and haven’t got the experience.
“We don’t want to have situations where someone is going on set who is claiming that they have experience that they don’t have, and something concerning happens.”
“We don’t need to pussyfoot or feel embarrassed about the intimate content,” Ms O’Brien added.
“We need someone with skills and body awareness to choreograph hand holds, rhythm, how we physically make this.”
By not having these skills rogue practitioners risk compounding awkwardness and the risk of sexual transgression on set.
Ms O’Brien believes by making actors feel more comfortable actors sex scenes will become more realistic, diverse, and more celebrated, without viewers being offended or cringing on their sofas.
She said: “We need more of the reality and the beauty of our sexual loving on screen.
“It allows stories like Normal People and Gentleman Jack to be told.
“Writers tell me they can now write the scenes that I want because there is structure that means it can be created professionally.”
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