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queen charlotte sex scenes

Bouncy balls and choreography: How Netflix producers filmed Queen Charlotte sex scenes

Who knew intimacy coordinators were the real MVPs of the show?


Bridgerton spin-off, Queen Charlotte has been filling the Jonathan Bailey-shaped hole in all of our hearts since its release at the start of May. The period drama features the story of Queen Charlotte and her marriage to the notorious British King, George III. But it’s arguably not the dubious historical accuracy of the show, or even its plethora of stunning Georgian ballgowns and wigs, but rather the Queen Charlotte sex scenes that have left viewers coming back for more. 

In the wake of Bridgerton, fans were fully anticipating Queen Charlotte to feature a variety of romantic, intimate and downright erotic scenes written purely for the female gaze and Netflix did not disappoint. Shondaland and Julia Quinn blessed us with six episodes of the formidable Queen Charlotte’s backstory giving us the ins and outs of her love story. The queen, known for her lavish outfits and stern demeanour is responsible for blessing one girl each spring with the title of “diamond of the season” giving these girls a serious advantage when it comes to finding a husband. However, although little is known in Bridgerton about Charlotte’s own love story and marriage to the infamously insane King George III, the prequel, Queen Charlotte, fills in the gaps for us and provides some explanation and context for how the queen developed her icy heart.

Intimacy coordinators for raunchy scenes in films and TV shows are not a new phenomenon but thanks to the rise of TikTok much more awareness is being brought to what it is they actually do. If, like me, you thought their role was similar to that of Martin Freeman and Joanna Page from Love Actually then you really couldn’t be more wrong. The primary role of an intimacy coordinator is to provide guidance on set to ensure the comfort and dignity of the actors in the sex scenes. They provide a variety of props and costume alterations to ensure limited physical touch between the actors, specifically of their private areas. They are also on hand to offer advice and advocate for the actors to the directors and producers. 

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Intimacy coordinator Jessica Steinrock uses TikTok to explain how sex scenes in popular TV shows and films are filmed in a way that respects actors’ boundaries. She described her role as being similar to that of a stunt coordinator “except instead of fake fighting we do fake sex” she tells her audience. She brandishes a variety of flesh toned fabric barrier pieces in order to demonstrate how actor’s are able to act out sex scenes without having physical contact between genitals. She explains that the amount of barrier methods and the details of the coordination vary from actor to actor depending on their comfort level. Pointing out that in Queen Charlotte, George’s backside is often shown, whilst Charlotte’s is not. 

Young Queen Charlotte actress corroborates the TikTok coordinators theories telling Buzzfeed: “It’s very much a collaboration. It’s mapped out like a stunt or a dance. We know exactly where each hand is going, or a leg. In that way, it’s very much choreographed.”

Arsema Thomas who plays the young Lady Danbury revealed that during her sex scenes with Lord Danbury played by Cyril Nri, a bouncy ball was placed between them to provide both a barrier and the iconic bouncing motion the scene became known for. 

She highlighted the importance of having an intimacy coordinator stating that her and cast members greatly appreciated “that somebody is there to remind you that your comfort is also your priority – not just the lines, not just the acting.”

Similar techniques have been used in Bridgerton with Jonathan Bailey telling Radio Times “it’s a wonder what you can do with a half inflated netball.”

I think we all need to show intimacy coordinations more gratitude for the work they do in our favourite films or TV shows.