How do actors who have to do love scenes not get turned on?

Most actors don’t get turned on when shooting a sex scene due to the pressure, awkwardness, and how uncomfortable it is to film those scenes.

But sometimes they can’t help it, like Henry Cavill, the Man who got some Steel, while shooting a scene in The Tudors:

You don’t think of sex scenes as showing your bum to the nation. It’s actually acutely uncomfortable being naked in a roomful of people. The very last thing it is is sexy. The actual physicality is very uncomfortable. All you’re doing is smacking your nuts against someone, and nothing is going in.

It’s only happened to me once [getting aroused] and it was very embarrassing.

A girl had to be on top of me, she had spectacular breasts, and I hadn’t rearranged my…stuff into a harmless position. She’s basically rubbing herself all over me and, um, it got a bit hard.

I had to apologize profusely afterward. It’s not great when you’re in a professional acting environment and somebody gets a boner, is it? No, not acceptable.

Another great example of someone who got aroused while shooting a scene is Ewan McGregor.

He has never been shy when it comes to showing his body, having done multiple nude, including full-frontal, scenes, but he did have a little incident once:

I was aroused once when I did a love scene in the BBC film, Scarlet and Black. It was with Alice Krige.

There was a scene in which I had to lie on top of her and they were pulling back the sheet. They wanted to see my naked bum and her naked thigh, so we could not wear any underwear. Because of gravity and things, I got an erection – which was very embarrassing.

It was a case of, ‘Cut! We’ll go again.’ I calmed my [erection] down and we just got on with the scene.

Those scenes that usually last from a few seconds to a few minutes can take a full day to shoot.

The actors have to do multiple takes, with people coming to oil them up in between takes, the crew looking at them throughout, the unpleasant temperatures, and the awkwardness of being face to face and having their whole body touching someone they barely know while wearing barely or any clothing.

This system is almost arousal-proof.

This article is written by Vitmor Gomes

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