No, The Pandemic Won't be the End of the Sex Scene in Hollywood

No, The Pandemic Won’t be the End of the Sex Scene in Hollywood

As the ongoing spread of COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, both in terms of health and the economy, it makes sense that people are speculating about all the ways the pandemic could change the world, both in the short term and long. Doubtlessly, many aspects of life will change, some a great deal, some in subtle fashion.

Some of the questions people are asking, though, some of the things they speculate might disappear in the aftermath of the pandemic, strike Calico as overblown, or even ridiculous. She half expects to see a headline in the days ahead asking: “Will Overblown, Panic-Inducing Clickbait Headlines Survive the Pandemic?”

One example of this silly speculation is a question asked by a recent CNN headline that tops an article about the pandemic’s impact on a specific element of Hollywood movies and TV shows. Will this element, which appears in hundreds of films and shows each year, survive COVID-19? Of course it will, Calico answers.

What is it that some speculate Hollywood might drop in the wake of COVID-19? Is it the cherished action movie car chase? Depictions of hand shakes? Anything remotely involving the possibility of someone saying “Wuhan”, perhaps? Find out in Calico’s latest post, “No, The Pandemic Won’t be the End of the Sex Scene in Hollywood.

by Calico Rudasill,, Hollywood Style Porn Movies!

hollywood pandemic sex

Read on…

As we slowly slog through the COVID-19 pandemic and the horrendous economic impact stemming from public health efforts to fight the spread of the virus, it’s only natural that people would wonder what aspects of life might be permanently changed by the pandemic.

The internet is rife with such questions. Will Disney survive the pandemic? How about gig economy service jobs and side hustles like Uber and Lyft? Will my local gym still be there for me when the dust settles? (Granted, the only thing I ever do at my local gym is drive by it, but technically I do still have a membership…)

I get why people worry about those things. But there are other questions people are asking that seem to me hyperbolic. Yes, the pandemic will change many things in life, some short term, some long. But it’s not going to change things so fundamentally that people will never return to behaviors and pastimes that have been with us for centuries – and, crucially, that have been with us through other, arguably even worse pandemics.

In other words, I think the answer to the question recently posed by The Atlantic, “Will Sex Scenes Survive the Pandemic?” is a resounding YES.

Sex Scenes Aren’t Going Away – And Neither Should Intimacy Coordinators

Look, I’m not saying that adult performers, filmmakers, mainstream actors, intimacy coaches and everyone else involved in the creation of sex scenes, both explicit/actual and nonexplicit/simulated aren’t going to have to make adjustments, including pausing their productions, in response to the pandemic. All that has already happened, clearly.

To be fair to The Atlantic, the article beneath the headline question doesn’t seem to take very seriously the notion that sex scenes might go the way of the dodo because of COVID-19. The real concern seems to be with the future of the “intimacy coordinator” as a career option.

“(A)s filming begins to pick up, the essential work of intimacy coordinators runs the risk of being overlooked,” writes Shirley Li. “As much as the #MeToo movement led to more interest in guidance and oversight around sex and nudity, intimacy coordinators haven’t been the most welcome on sets. Creating a space to talk about boundaries can feel burdensome for filmmakers, like added pressure on top of the already exhausting task of making a shoot run on time and within budget.” 

As I read it, the concerns in the above quote are less about COVID-19 and more about the culture of Hollywood sets – a culture which just about everybody agrees needs a swift kick in its collective ass, anyway.

If Hollywood directors, producers and/or studios seize upon COVID-19 as an excuse to drop intimacy coordinators from their sets, the response should be a noisy calling out of those directors, producers and studios, by both intimacy coordinators and the performers who the position was created to protect and serve.

A Vaccine is At Most a Couple Years Away, Not a Couple Hundred

The question of whether sex scenes will disappear from future productions is, of course, separate from the question of whether intimacy coordinators will still have work in post-pandemic Hollywood. It shouldn’t be a separate question, because intimacy coordinators are a good and necessary thing, but given that Hollywood produced sex scenes without intimacy coordinators for decades, I suspect the executives who run the major studios are confident they could do so again.

In any event, what won’t change is the viewing public’s desire to see sex scenes, just as the viewing public won’t suddenly lose interest in watching porn, or sports, or any of the other popular entertainment forms which really can’t be produced or conducted while adhering to strict social distancing protocols.

Over the last week, my husband (who recently returned home from his out-of-state sheltering in place) has been able to watch Premier League football again, as the league has resumed play – albeit in stadiums empty of fans.

Obviously, soccer can’t be played with strict social distancing (it’s quite difficult to execute a slide tackle without coming within six feet of the opposing player you’re tackling, after all), so all those involved are shouldering a risk to play the game, or to be around those playing and coaching the game. At some point, if it hasn’t begun already, sex scenes will continue to be produced, with all involved taking similar risks of their own.

Beyond that, it’s important to remember that while experts say we’re still several months, or quite possibly over a year away from having a vaccine for COVID-19, they aren’t saying it will be a couple generations – and I just can’t see Hollywood (or the porn industry) changing so much in a matter of a couple years that sex scenes even become less common in the future, let alone die out altogether.

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