Pulse List: 7 things you should know about sex scenes in movies and TV shows

Posted on Aug 20 2018 - 5:25am by admin

There’s no shortage of sex scenes and nudity in movies and TV shows.

However, while sexually explicit sex scenes may be thrilling for the audience watching, it’s not exactly an exciting experience for the actors.

What exactly goes on behind the scenes of some of these sex scenes? Pulse Movies has put together seven things you should know about sex scenes.

Check them out:

1. There’s often nothing appealing about sex scenes for the actors

In most cases, there is nothing enjoyable or satisfying about shooting sex scenes for actors.

Jean-Marc Valle – director of some of the sex scenes in HBO’s ‘Big Little Lies”  – told New York Times that while he has never seen an actor with an erection during shoot, it’s normal for the actors to get excited because they are “humans, and they’re naked, and they touch each other.”

During an interview with Punch, Nollywood actor Bolanle Ninalowo admitted to being turned on – once or twice – on set while shooting an intimate scene. However, according to the actor, nothing gets to happen as his eyes and mind are always on the price.

Hollywood actor, Michael Shannon, once described shooting those scenes as having sex without any of the pleasure, but all the horror, fear, anxiety, sadness, and loneliness are present.

7 things you should know about sex scenes in movies and TVplay

7 things you should know about sex scenes in movies and TV


2. Those sex scenes can be really awkward

This is probably because the scenes are technical and with several crew members present. Also, you’re in an intimate position with someone, who you’re actually not intimate with.

“You’re alone with a man who’s not your husband who also has a husband. He’s in his underwear, you’re in your underwear, and you’re sort of dry humping on a bed,” Rosamund Pike told Seth Meyers about her sex scene with Neil Patrick Harris in “Gone Girl.”

According to Michael Douglas, the hardest thing about sex scenes is that everybody on set is a judge.

“I don’t know the last time you murdered somebody or blew anyone’s brains out, but everyone has had sex and probably this morning, which means everyone has an opinion on how it should be done.” he told The Times UK.

Talking to Pop Sugar about his sex scenes in Jane Eyre, Michael Fassbender said sex scenes can be quite awkward and the actor has to ensure that the actress doesn’t feel like she’s being taken advantage of.

play Rosamund Pike And Neil Patrick Harris’ sex Scene in “Gone Girl”


3. Sometimes, nothing ever happens

In a country like Nigeria where most filmmakers still shy away from sex scenes for several reasons, filmmakers use tricks like prosthetics and camera angles to create watchable sex scenes.

In an interview with Pulse, Omoni Oboli talked about how she shot the scenes in “Okafor’s Law.”

You thought you were seeing things that you really weren’t seeing. If you remember the scene on the couch when Terminator was having sex with his ex girlfriend, you couldn’t see anything.

All you could see was the couch moving until he stood up and you saw a bit of his bum crack,” she said.

According to her, when it’s shot in the above-mentioned way, the audience get what is going on: they get that two people are having wild sex, but they are not really seeing anything.

play Shia LaBeouf And Stacy Martin In Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013)


4. And sometimes, the scenes aren’t simulated

While most of the sex scenes are simulated, few others are very real. One of such examples is the 2013 Lars von Trier two-part art film, “Nymphomaniac,” which features several scenes of real sex.

Before the release, there were reports that Shia LaBeouf and Stacy Martin had real sex. However, it was later revealed that the sex was performed by porn stars, and LaBeouf and Martin’s bodies edited in with CGI.

Another example is “The Brown Bunny,” which saw Chloe Sevigny give Vincent Gallo a blowjob on screen.

play A sex scene from “Fifty Shades of Grey”

5. The actors aren’t always naked

When shooting a sex scene, the actors are required to be naked. However, in most cases, they aren’t. To appear naked on screen, the actors sometimes wear skin-colored lingeries or a clothing called cock sock to cover their private parts, preventing any real intimate contact between co-star.

For “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Jamie Dornan had to cover his penis, while Dakota Johnson had a patch that covered her pubic area.

The coverings had to be hidden and more natural details added to make the nude scenes appear real.


6. Alcohol and water often help in the creation of great sex scenes

In some cases, alcohol was used to reduce an actor’s uneasiness. Adrian Lyne, who directed “Fatal Attraction” once said she had to use champagne and margarita to loosen up Michael Douglas and Glenn Close.

Also, according to a report by The Independent, to make the sex scenes appear real, the production team often sprays actors with water and glycerin, which adds an oily layer to the skin, and comes off as real sweat on camera.

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Kunle Remi in "Alter Ego"play

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Kunle Remi in “Alter Ego”


7. Chemistry between the actors is very important

OC Ukeje told Pulse Nigeria that sex scenes are difficult to shoot when the actors are not comfortable around each other.

To perfectly interpret the sex scenes in “Alter Ego,” Omotola Jalade Ekeinde had to create a chemistry with her co-stars – Kunle Remi and Wale Ojo.

During an interview with Pulse, Ekeinde complained about how actors have gone away from preparing for roles, which eventually affects sex scenes. 

“If you don’t prepare for your role and you don’t have chemistry with your co-actor, and you’re on set doing something of that nature, if it didn’t show in any other scene, it will show in that one,” she told Pulse.

It’s instincts. Someone you’re not very free with is just coming to give you a peck. You know you’re supposed to allow him peck you, but your body just reacts.

According to the actress, an actor should always be relaxed if they intend to shoot sex scenes in a movie.

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