I recently moderated a panel with three Intimacy Coordinators for OMPA and Women in Film Portland. Below are the top 3 myths we debunked for everyone about boundaries and consent on film productions.

These facts also apply to all creative productions, including theatre, dance, improvisation, and movement.

Myth #1: “If I say No, I’ll get fired.”

Myth # 1: “If I say No, I’ll get fired.”

Fact: Everyone has the power and is allowed to give and set boundaries.

The improvisation rule of saying “Yes, And…” has created a dangerous power dynamic for actors and other creative professionals to fear saying no. Additionally, in the past when people said “No”, they faced consequences like threats, coercion, discrimination, and harassment.

The #MeToo movement illuminated these negative practices and replaced them with Consent, which you can remember with using the acronym: C.R.I.S.P. It stands for: Considered, Reversible, Informed, Specific, and Participatory.

Myth #2: “Consent and safety are ‘actor problems’.”

Myth # 2: “Consent and safety are ‘actor problems’.”

Fact: Safety is everyone’s concern. Intimacy Coordinators advocate for the actors and the crew.

Intimacy Coordinators are sometimes dismissed as the “fun police”. However, everyone is impacted by what occurs in the creative space. When something dangerous or non-consensual occurs in one area of production, it ripples throughout the production, and it can have big consequences.

Myth #3: “Intimacy Coordinators are just for sex scenes.”

Myth # 3: “Intimacy Coordinators are just for sex scenes.”

Fact: Scenes involving different power dynamics or actor ages, nudity, specialized movement, or hyper-exposure can all benefit from an Intimacy Coordinator.

SAG-AFTRA recommends Intimacy Coordinators on union shoots involving simulated sex, nudity, hyper-exposure and when working with minors.

Other scenarios that could benefit from having an Intimacy Coordinator include, but are not limited to:

  • Touching children or minors
  • Elderly
  • Birth scenes
  • Medical procedures
  • Flirting, seduction, and sexual language
  • Sexual dancing
  • BDSM
  • Kink

What questions do you have about Intimacy Coordinators?

Have you ever worked with an IC?

Are considering whether to hire an IC for your next production?

Let’s Connect. Drop me a question question or use my Calendly Link to book a 30-minute Virtual Coffee.