While you may envy actors who get to film intimate and steamy sex scenes with other beautiful people for a living, simulating sex is more difficult than it seems. Think: wardrobe malfunctions, intense choreography, awkward positioning — and even the accidental boner. While not every actor and actress despises filming love scenes (take Mindy Kaling, for example), most find it awkward to be in a vulnerable position (pun intended) in front of 20-odd people and a bunch of cameras.
But don't take it from us — check out the intimate details from stars like Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) and Jennifer Lopez (The Boy Next Door) on what filming a down-and-dirty sex scene is really like.
Members of the Game of Thrones cast are certainly no strangers to sex scenes, but Natalie Dormer, who plays Margaery Tyrell, says they don't get any less awkward, no matter how experienced you are. Plus, she says the technicality of it all can take away from the romance or passion.
"Anyone who says they're laid back about sex scenes is a fibber," Dormer told Women's Health UK. "It never gets any less… not traumatic, that's the wrong word… not embarrassing… it can be a bit awkward. The choreography of sex scenes is so unsexy and un-glamourous. It's all about camera angles; you have to recreate the moment so many times. It's just timing and technical."
Dormer isn't the only GOT star to open up about filming a sex scene; check out what Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) has to say about her steamy scene.
In her 2015 mysterious thriller, The Boy Next Door, J.Lo plays the seductive older woman opposite Ryan Guzman. While she drips of sex appeal from head to toe in the film (and IRL, of course), she told E! News that she actually felt embarrassed during the sex scenes.
"It was intense," Lopez said. "Those scenes are embarrassing. They are uncomfortable, but your job as an actress or an actor is to make it believable, and this movie in particular…hinges on if that was believable, that it was enough to make this guy go insane."
If you've been completely charmed with Justin Timberlake's performance in Friends With Benefits ever since 2011, you're about to be floored: It turns out he was mostly annoyed during all the love scenes opposite Mila Kunis.
"It's actually kind of annoying," he told BBC Newsbeat. "You're there for 12 hours; it's exhausting. All those scenes revolve around the dialogue and physical humor is so tiring."
"It's hard to have a sex scene, period," she said. "It doesn't matter if it's a friend, a male, a female. You're with 100-something crew members, lighting you, repositioning you, there's no comfort whatsoever."
Schumer made us laugh out loud when she described her sex scene with John Cena in her 2015 comedy Trainwreck. During a press interview around the film's release, Schumer discussed Cena's muscular physique, saying "it's a whole universe, that butt ... it's not even human."
"It felt like having a refrigerator on top of me," she joked.
But the comedian also opened up to The New York Times about feeling vulnerable during her other sex scenes in the movie. "I am sort of a boundary-less person, which is something I'm working on. In our house, nudity wasn't a big deal, so that was never an issue for me. It was about the crew. The sex scenes that are funny, I don't care, but the ones that are actually sexual, it's like these people are seeing me be really vulnerable," she said. "Frank, who's holding the boom, is seeing, 'Oh, this is what Amy is like when she really means business.' In between every single take, I think I screamed, 'It's so embarrassing!'"
Speaking of funny women, Mindy Kaling (who is reportedly pregnant with her first baby) also opened up about filming sex scenes from her show The Mindy Project, writing in her collection of essays, Why Not Me?, that every actor secretly enjoys filming sex scenes. Why? Because it's fun!
"There must be lots of other actors who love doing sex scenes too, right? Wrong. If you interview any actor about having to do sex scenes, you always get the same answer: they 'hate' doing them. I am here to tell you they are all lying. Every last one of 'em," she writes. "Obviously on-screen sex is not actual penetrative sex, but as any religious high-schooler will tell you, simulating sex can be pretty damn enjoyable as well."
While Kaling may say that actors secretly enjoy sex scenes, Dakota Johnson says otherwise, especially when it comes to some of the more outlandish scenes from the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise.
"There's a scene in which Christian uses a flogger on Anastasia," she tells TIME of working with Jamie Dornan. "Filming a sex scene is not a sensual or pleasurable environment. It's really hot — not in a steamy, sexual way. It's just sweaty and it's not very comfortable. And on top of that, my hands and legs were tied, and I was blindfolded, and I was being hit with this bizarre tool."
Dornan agrees that some of the unconventional tools used in the movies caused issue during filming. He told PEOPLE that the "spreader" sex toy in Fifty Shades Darker was actually invented by EL James, the author of the Fifty Shades trilogy, and therefore presented a challenge when the props department had to build it from scratch.
“The spreader bar, they made that,” Dornan said. "They were actually really struggling to get their hands on that."
"It didn't work a couple of times and held us back a little bit. It didn't quite achieve what we wanted it to achieve, but when it mattered it worked, so it was all good."
Photo Credit: Instagram / @jlo