What happens when actors get turned on during sex scenes?

Have you ever wondered what happens when actors get turned on during sex scenes? An intimacy coordinator can answer that question for you.

For most people, it would probably be really awkward to have sex in a room full of people watching you. However, for actors, this is simply a part of their day-to-day work. Just because this is ‘normal’ for them, doesn’t mean that their steamier scenes always go smoothly. It can happen that the actors involved get turned on. But how do producers and the rest of the team handle such incidents?

Keep things professional and comfortable

When an actor gets turned on during steamier scenes, it is important not to embarrass them and make sure things are kept professional and comfortable. David Thackeray, an intimacy coordinator for Hollywood Studios, told Insider that it’s important to:

[make] it really clear that's normal and that the worst thing you can do is carry on.

He also explained that it isn’t something that should be ignored, but instead acknowledged and reassure the actor that things like this can happen. He will let them compose themselves in a separate room and then check on them to see if they are ready to continue or not.

He then added:

I will say for the crew as well, making sure they're aware of what scene is being shot, what nudity is gonna be seen. You don't want them to be surprised,

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How often does this happen?

In an interview with Glamour in 2021, Phoebe Dynevor, who played Daphne, in the hit Netflix series The Bridgerton Chronicles said:

[The masturbation scene] was the hardest scene to shoot... You feel very vulnerable in those scenes,

She then talked about her steamier scenes with Regé-Jean Page, who played Simon in the series:

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. You always feel safe. I'd rehearse with Regé so much that we both knew what we were doing. It felt very practical.

For Justin Timberlake, he admitted that he found filming sex scenes very annoying and told BBC when talking about his intimate scenes with Mila Kunis on the set of Friends with Benefits

t's actually kind of annoying, you're there for 12 hours, it's exhausting. All those scenes revolve around the dialogue and physical humor, [it] is so tiring.
Bridgerton: How are the sex scenes shot? Bridgerton: How are the sex scenes shot?