There’s no doubt that performing any sort of sexual act on-screen is one of the toughest things an actor has to do. While it might sound like an easy and fun task, filming a sex scene can get real awkward at times.
Here are some people who revealed their interesting experiences while filming sex scenes! Ready? Let’s roll.
1. “Had a scene with an actress who had a boyfriend, who also thought it was a grand fucking idea to bring said boyfriend on set (you should NEVER do this). It’s a very intimate scene where she rubs on me a lot, I’m going up to her thighs and we end with a kiss. Honestly, everything went pretty well but her boyfriend just standing on the sidelines watching was more than weird for me.”
2. “Funny story, I had to get a BJ during a scene in a live show. The show was site-specific and took place in and around three scaffolds built inside the space. So the audience could stand basically anywhere to watch the scenes unfold. During the final scene of the first half, I climb up one of the scaffolding and the scene goes on, pay the women and get the deed done not a bother in the world. During the interval, I check my phone and I have a text from my mate, “I don’t know what was funnier, your face while getting your dick sucked or your nanny and ma’s faces looking up at you.” Couldn’t look my nanny in the face when the show was over.”
3. “What’s a nice niche to fit. I was shooting a short non-explicit sex scene for a short film while being so freakin sick. I had to take breaks from shooting a film to go shoot diarrhoea out of my futile weak body. Thankfully everyone was professional about it.”
4. “The show that I was rehearsing for before the pandemic featured intimate moments, albeit not full-on sex scenes, and we had an intimacy coordinator. So before any physical work starts, they lead conversations between partners about what their no-gos are and what is okay. They will also help establish a tap-in between partners, which is a little shared gesture, like a high-five or handshake, between actors that indicate that what they are about to be doing is work and separate from them as people.”
5. “I’m an amateur actor and have done sex scenes: they are incredibly awkward and a tiny bit sexy. One time, the director was just off-camera, reading out instructions line by line, which felt incredibly strange like having a parent with you in the bedroom. A parent who had written a script for you and your girlfriend to follow, but didn’t trust the two of you could get it done without live instructions. Another time, the dude my co-actress was dating placed himself in my eye line so that I locked eyes with him every time I kissed her. I had to tell him to go and stand somewhere else.”
6. “I was in a theatre show where I had to sit next to a girl and feel her boob. The second I read it in the script I started feeling anxious about it. When I was talking to the actress about the scene she seemed totally cool with everything so for the whole two week run of the show she got her boob groped every day and twice on Wednesdays and Sundays.”
7. “Actor here. I’m more of a “charactery” type, so intimate scenes for me are few and far between, but do still happen. In one TV show, in particular, I had to be in “the sock” (basically a flesh-coloured thong) while my scene partner was topless with nipple covers and a flesh-coloured thong. We had little time to prep, so it was: change, hop into bed, block the scene with the director and then talk through comfort amongst ourselves before the shot began. I was very sure to make it clear that if my acting partner had any qualms or hiccups during the scene that she should stay STOP. Also, I talked through the choreography beat by beat to make sure we were on the same page. This is just common courtesy, and for myself extremely important for my scene partner to know that I have their back as well as my own.”
8. “In my cousins’ first every stage performance, he had to kiss the main leading girl, slap her on the arse and then say ‘leave the house’. He kissed her and then slapped her on the arse as scripted and then she farted. Both of their personal mics picked it up and amplified it through the whole theatre.”
9. “In my experience, not very awesome. Unfortunately, I had to perform a rape scene, which as you can imagine was very uncomfortable. It’s very very rehearsed, but coming out of it is very disturbing. I found myself regularly asking the actor I was working with if she was okay because the subject matter was so grotesque. A lot of actors state how they want to stay in character as long as possible on-set, but in this case, you can’t wash the scene off fast enough.”
10. “I had a scene with a lesbian. She was not very into me, which is fair, but she was also a very new actress so she couldn’t really bring herself into me. I tried to make her as comfortable as possible. Outside of the scene we were always joking and laughing and just having a good time, but that makeout scene really put her on edge. The director had someone come in and “coach” her. It took them every shooting day just for this one scene (to be fair it’s a very important scene, so it had to be right).”
11. “I was reading this and suddenly remembered I had done this for a short film in college. It was literally the least erotic thing ever. There were at least five other people in the room (lights, sound, camera, director and the girl’s roommate), and you are just trying to remember what you are supposed to do, while acting naturally. Super, super awkward. This wasn’t a sex scene as much as an implied sex scene.”
12. “Had a scene with someone who was engaged. We were both able to turn the intimacy on and off on a dime. We’d laugh and joke between making out. Her fiance actually ended up role-playing a character opposite of us. This scene didn’t have and making out just flirting and what not so it was fun for all of us.”
13. “I was in a show where I had to kiss another actress. Nothing fancy, but it was supposed to be this romantic gesture where I tilted her back and had this moment. At first, the actress was cool with it, we practiced it a few times in rehearsals and it went well. One day, about a week prior to the show, she pulled me aside. Come to find out, her boyfriend at the time was NOT comfortable with this much kissing. She was a close friend of mine but there were no romantic feelings, something he had a hard time believing. So out of respect, we tried to alter the scene. We ended up using hand placement on my face and part of my shoulder to hide our lips and give the illusion of kissing, and really just rubbed noses together while I counted to 3 and broke apart. It ended up being a huge hit and the audience had no idea. Even our director wasn’t convinced we weren’t kissing. The actress’s boyfriend was quite pleased though.”
14. “When I was 13 I had to perform a somewhat sexual scene with an adult actor, he was around 26. It was a student horror film about a paedophile. I got to know the adult actor for weeks before and we filmed that scene last so I became comfortable with him. The cameraman couldn’t even watch, I remember he was like ” (directors name) you’re going to have to do this”. Everyone was way more uncomfortable than me and my acting partner! We kept laughing during takes. I honestly just remember having fun with it and being confused why the crew was acting weird. I thought it was funny when he acted crazy and I got to debut my crying skills! That was probably my favorite film I worked on as a kid. So yeah, filming awkward scenes can actually be pretty fun with the right cast.”
15. “I was playing a dominatrix (no it was NOT a porno, just a funny yet cheekily sexy bit) and the actor opposite me played a geeky, total virgin that had no clue what to do with this leather-clad mace wielding woman. It was very scripted, we each said what our ok’s and not ok’s were and we went for it. Overall, it was pretty fun! We joked in between takes about how our families probably wouldn’t/shouldn’t be invited to this film’s premiere. He was married, which I think made me more comfortable in a way, knowing he was fully committed to someone and (hopefully) wouldn’t see my actions as a potential “thing”. I also got to keep the costume since it was tailored to me! So now I have a dominatrix get up if I ever need it.”
Uh, now these are some interesting answers!