For a very long time in Hollywood, it was impossible to show nudity onscreen. Although movies in the silent era included fully naked bodies, from to , censors monitored every studio film closely for explicit content, flagging costumes that were too revealing or shots that were too leering. But by the early s, a few stars were willing to test the nude taboo. One of them was Marilyn Monroe.
Sex scenes can be funny, they can be intense, and they can be romantic. They can involve puppets, or multiple people, or Sharon Stone. They can play into murder plots, explore dark fantasies, or simply be weird as hell. Throughout the course of filmmaking history, skillful directors have elevated the art form of capturing these onscreen encounters to new—and absolutely crazy—heights.
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Contrary to how effortless, natural, and erotic they seem on-screen, Hollywood sex scenes take a great deal of thoughtfulness, hard work, and preparation to create. Like any aspect of film or television, there are countless crew members — from those working on casting to camera work to editing — whose combined efforts create the movie magic we see in the final product. Because the subject matter of love scenes is so personal, those involved have a variety of secret tricks and techniques up their sleeves to make scenes convincing for audiences and as comfortable as possible for actors. If you're seeing a naked actor on screen, it's important to know that legal contracts that outlined the details of the nudity were signed prior to the actor accepting the role. SAG-AFTRA, the entertainment industry labor union, designates a nudity rider as a requirement in contracts for roles that require "nudity, partial nudity or simulated sex acts.