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Lights! Camera! Breath mints! The world’s first intimacy coach tells how she guides A-listers through the awkwardness of faking orgasms

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  • Lights! Camera! Breath mints! The world’s first intimacy coach tells how she guides A-listers through the awkwardness of faking orgasms

    Alicia Rodis faked her first orgasm in front of hundreds of people at just 17. ‘Which was long before I actually had an orgasm with anyone in real life,’ she says. Alicia was performing in a play at her local theatre, but nobody gave her any coaching for that scene. ‘The director’s attitude was just, “OK, go!”’ she recalls. ‘People tell actors to “be a professional”, but there is no professional protocol for simulated sex.’

    However, Alicia, now 36, is changing all that as the entertainment industry’s first and foremost ‘intimacy coordinator’, making sure that actors have – or at least look as though they’re having – great sex on screen. Her role isn’t seedy – this is not pornography – but, just like off-screen sex, on-screen sex is potentially awkward and difficult to talk about.

    ‘I know people who, in their real-life intimate moments, can’t bring themselves to say: “Can I put my hand here? Are you comfortable with that?” And we’re asking actors to do it, often naked, with someone they may not even know,’ she says. So, part counsellor, part negotiator and part choreographer, Alicia, who was hired by cable channel HBO for its drama The Deuce (set in the porn industry in 1970s New York), is taking the awkwardness out of sex scenes as well as helping to dodge the potential legal and emotional pitfalls when nudity, cameras and feigned passion are involved.

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