Maddy and Nate from 'Euphoria'.
HBO | HBO

Yes, Actors Get Aroused During Sex Scenes And It's As Awkward As It Sounds

There's no length an elite actor won't go to in order to heighten their performance. Most fans make the mistake of presuming that physical stunts or fight scenes are the most demanding — but this isn't the case.

If you were to do a random pole of your favorite actors in Hollywood, the overwhelming majority would say that the scenes they hate filming the most are sex scenes. Mostly, because the actors really do get aroused from time to time — and it's as awkward as it sounds.

Being a professional actor is ripe with its own set of challenges.

Camera man and actress.
Unsplash | Jakob Owens

The most believable performances require a full immersion on the part of the player. You want the audience to not be able to discern where an actor ends and the character begins.

The majority of moviegoers and TV fans tend to think that the most difficult scenes are those that are the most physically grueling.

Like when Tom Cruise had to hold on for dear life while strapped to a cargo plane in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, or when Keanu Reeves had to learn kung fu in The Matrix.

But if you ask any actor to tell you what scenes they find to be the most challenging, they'll unequivocally tell you the same thing.

Rue and Jules in bed in 'Euphoria'.
Giphy | euphoria

It's sex scenes — nothing else even compares. Not only are they awkward and uncomfortable to film, but they can also lead to real-life arousal when not performed in a proper manner.

That's why it's become common practice for movies and TV shows to use an intimacy coordinator on set.

Jaime and Cersei Lannister in 'Game of Thrones'.
HBO | HBO

An intimacy coordinator is responsible for helping to ensure that love scenes stay on track. They are the ones that choreograph the intimate movements, and also help to make the actors comfortable.

Actor arousal is incredibly common and in most cases unavoidable, intimacy coordinator David Thackery explained to 'Insider'.

Jules with thumb in her mouth in 'Euphoria'.
HBO | HBO

“Just making it really clear that’s normal and that the worst thing you can do is carry on,” David said. He also notes that it's important for coordinators to understand fully well that “Hey, this can happen.”

So to make sure that these scenes unfold as professionally as possible, David implements a "time out" method.

Michael Scott doing the "time out" motion in 'The Office'.
Giphy | The Office

You probably don't need to stretch your imagination too far in order to imagine when or why a "time out" might be called.

“Give them five minutes, then I come in and check-in,” he said. “Then we come back into it when they’re ready.”

Daphne and Simon in 'Bridgerton'.
Netflix | Netflix

Thackery, who has worked on various projects for Netflix, Warner Bros., and HBO, said the worst thing you can do is make a big deal out of arousal.

David also stresses the importance of bringing the crew into the fold before filming is to begin.

Daphne and Simon kissing in 'Bridgerton'.
Netflix | Netflix

David explained that it's important that they know what nudity is going to be seen, adding that "You don’t want them to be surprised.”

Phoebe Dynevor, who stars as Daphne in 'Bridgerton', further expanded on the importance of intimacy coordinators to 'Glamour' last year.

Simon licking a spoon in 'Bridgerton'.
Giphy | NETFLIX

“We did the intimate scenes like stunts — we blocked them out, so you have yoga balls, in between you and all sorts of things that never make you feel exposed in any way,” she said.

Phoebe went on to say that although love scenes may appear natural and effortless, in reality, they are incredibly difficult.

Daphne in 'Bridgerton' wearingblue dress.
Netflix | Netflix

“The stage directions are very specific: You have to have an orgasm. It’s a difficult thing to rehearse, which means you don’t. You just do it,” Phoebe conveyed.

Without an intimacy coordinator, Phoebe noted that it would've just been her male director informing the performance.

Michael Scott screaming "No!" in 'The Office'.
Giphy |

As Phoebe so eloquently concluded in her interview, “No one wants to be told how to orgasm by a man.” You can say that again.

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