helping directors & talent safely navigate scenes of nudity & sexuality
still from short film, Pachisi.
photo credit: Terrence Drake
2022 update: As my psychotherapy practice continues to expand, I am no longer available as an on-set IC for major productions.
The position of Intimacy Coordinator is relatively new. Sprouting from the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, it is the formal response by the film, television, and digital media industry to help avoid exploitation of talent on set.
Though helping directors and talent navigate scenes of nudity and sexuality has often fallen on various crew during production, a dedicated IC can now take on that collective effort, and help keep the production running smoothly. A good IC is trained in:
sexual health safety
mental health first aid
Closed Set Protocols
movement & choreography
modesty garments, barriers, & prosthetics
nudity & simulated sex riders
harassment laws & resources
COVID-19 safer set protocols
An IC can even assist in the communication of casting requirements and the creation of riders. Throughout production, an IC will chat with the Director and talent to help make sure everyone is on the same page regarding what is desired. Working with the relevant departments, the IC will be available throughout production to help ensure scenes requiring anything intimate (this includes implied/actual nudity, kissing & sensuality, simulated sex, sexual violence) are done safely, sanely, and consensually (SSC).
An IC does not replace directors
We are on set to assist directors and talent tell their stories. We’re there to support cast and crew, and help reduce any surprises during prep and filming.
Intimacy Coordinators go through intensive educational training to become certified. The film & tv industries in Canada, the US, UK, and Australia all have started using ICs for production in recognition of safety needed for intimate scenes (including HBO, Netflix, and Amazon). As it is a fairly new position, we look forward to seeing the IC position become a staple line item when budgeting & shooting. I am the first IC in Canada certified by the Intimacy Professionals Association.
My own extensive experience in the field of sexuality, as well as producing erotic content has prepared me to be a knowledgeable and enthusiastic IC. Along with being an advocate for sexwork, I am also part of the LGBTQ2SIAA+ community, and versed in kink/BDSM practices utilizing RACK ethical principles. Becoming a psychotherapist also gives me the expertise to address the mental well-being of all parties involved, especially for the production of emotionally intense scenes.
I can also apply a sensitivity/authenticity reading to your screenplay or manuscript for issues surrounding consent, gender, and sexuality. This helps point out areas of concern wherein the author may not be aware.