Film Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About Filming Sex Scenes  

Ann Casano
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It takes a lot of movie magic romance to make it appear as though actors in a sex scene are actually in the throes of passion. Most famous movie sex scenes are choreographed right down to each passionate kiss and every gentle caress (although, in rare cases, actors actually did have sex on camera). Ever wonder how sex scenes are filmed? Here are some juicy details on what it's like filming sex scenes.

It’s best to think of an elaborate sex scene like a choreographed fist fight, with the director acting as cheerleader. “Put your right hand on her left boob, now kiss his neck, and slowly unbutton her shirt. Good.”

Although it all looks intimate and exciting once the raw footage is edited, filming sex scenes is usually pretty painful for the actors. Even on a closed set, there are still crew members present. And even if the final scene only runs for 30 seconds, it may take hours to film, while actors are in various states of undress. Thank goodness for flesh-colored privacy undergarments.

Read all about some of cinema’s most awkward behind the scenes moments and discover how sex scenes are filmed.

Details On Nudity And Sex Scenes Are Worked Out During Contract Negotiations

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Photo: Summit Entertainment

Before production begins on a film, an actor signs a contract. On a film with scenes of a sexual nature, that includes a nudity clause, which is a legally binding document. A nudity clause includes all the specifics of what an actor will be asked to do, how the scene will be shot, and who will be on set. These specific details are not in the script. Actors also usually meet with a director before shooting, to discuss all the details of the scene (and, obviously, a lot of other stuff about the project).

The Set Is Cleared To Only Essential Crew Members

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Photo: New Line Cinema

Usually, while filming sex scenes, only essential crew members who absolutely have to be onset are present. This skeleton crew typically includes the director, camera operator, assistant camera if necessary, boom operator, and script supervisor. Once the director calls action, if possible, crew members turn their backs to the actors.

Alcohol Has Been Used To Help Actors Lower Their Inhibitions

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Photo:  Paramount

Just like in real life, movie stars use alcohol to lower their inhibitions. Fatal Attraction is known for its extremely R-Rated sex scenes between Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. Adrian Lyne, who directed the film, said the actors were "loosened up with Champagne and margaritas."

Sometimes You Just Gotta Keep The Mood Light

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Photo:  NBC Universal

The first two Fifty Shades movies are known for their erotic, explicit sex scenes which often featured some scintilating BDSM. But that doesn't mean Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) was always in the mindset of his dark character.

The Northern Irish actor revealed on The Graham Norton Show that he pranked his co-star Dakota Johnson while filming one of the more intimate scenes in Fifty Shades Darker. "My temptation is always just to try to make Dakota laugh, so sometimes I'll do things like, when there's a moment where I'm meant to, you know, orgasm, I'll be like, [makes the sports game organ "Charge!" sound]," Dornan said.