Actors Should Be Trained For Sex Scenes Like Sword Fights, Say Campaigners

Movement director Ita O'Brien has created a set of guidelines for theatres to promote 'transparency, openness, agreement and consent'.

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Whether it's a fast-paced combat scene requiring months of sparring practise in the gym, ice skating training by former Olympians, or gun-firing lessons by specially-skilled SAS officers, it appears there's no expense spared in Hollywood when it comes to providing actors with the best ways to ensure their safety and well-being.

So, that's why members of the performance industry are now urging theatres to train actors for sex scenes in the same way they would for on-stage sword fighting, to protect them during intimate moments.

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The Telegraph reports that a set of rules designed to prevent exploitation, entitled the Sex on Set guidelines, have been drawn up in the hope it'll protect vulnerable actors and actresses.

Such rules include the banning of sex scenes and nudity from auditions and insisting on a closed set for rehearsals.

Movement director Ita O'Brien, who is a self-proclaimed 'intimacy director', devised the guidelines in an attempt to raise awareness of the need for theatres to improve their care for actors when it comes to intimate scenes.

'There is an assumption that people don't know how to fight with swords, so you get somebody in to teach them, and people assume you don't know how to do a foxtrot, so you get a choreographer in, but the thing with sexual contact and sexual expression is the idea that everybody knows how to do it so we don't have to take care,' O'Brien told industry magazine The Stage.

'Invariably whenever there isn't transparency, whenever everybody isn't in agreement and knows what's going on, that's when actors are left vulnerable,' she added.

O'Brien has already reportedly implemented her guidelines in several productions and is now calling, with her agents at Carey Dodd Associates, for them to be adopted throughout the industry to help encourage 'transparency, openness, agreement and consent'.

In the weeks following the sexual harassment and sexual assault scandals at the hands of accused members of Hollywood including film producer Harvey Weinstein, comedy Louis C.K. and director Brett Ranner, we couldn't applaud this idea more.

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