Netflix hit series Sex Education is finally back on our screens. As well as seeing Otis (Atis Butterfield) navigate a new sixth form, a burgeoning relationship with Maeve (Emma Mackey) and being an older brother, the series will of course deal with some fitting storylines about sex and sexuality.
What was once a recent introduction to the world of film and TV, intimacy coordinators have became a crucial part of any production.
But despite actors like Aidan Turner opening up about the importance of intimacy coordinators, other actors like Sean Bean have commented on the idea that including an intimacy coordinator could "spoil the spontaneity", saying: "I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise."
Similarly, director Claire Denis (Both Sides of the Blade) has stated that she would "never" use an intimacy coordinator.
Well, when asked about the importance of the role in light of recent criticism, Sex Education's lead intimacy coordinator David Thackeray told RadioTimes.com: "I totally understand. I completely get where they're coming from."
He explained: "It's the typical thing, because when I trained as an intimacy coordinator, before it was established, the fear was that ‘is this going to really just be a bit of health and safety? Is it going to get in the way of acting, or directing? Is it going to get in the way of a process?’
"But once you've gone through it, once you've actually worked with an intimacy coordinator, and had a brilliant process where you can go, ‘Oh, I found so much more detail. I can still respect what your acting process is, I still respect your directing process, and I'm just gonna give you a couple of tools to be able to go, ‘Oh, that's a lot easier, we'll just do that’."
Thackeray continued: "Or, ‘Wow, with having this open communication and consent, we can go even further’. And I won't have to be thinking about my scene partner in a way that I'm really worried about, when you've got an intimacy coordinator there and you've had that dialogue and communication.
"So for me, I think, find out what it's about and hopefully you have a great process with a great intimacy coordinator, and hopefully you will change your mind."
As well as being the lead intimacy coordinator for Sex Education, Thackeray has been an intimacy coordinator for a number of productions including Netflix's Heartstopper, Sky's I Hate Suzie, HBO's The White Lotus season 2, Industry and Russell T Davies' It's A Sin.
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The new series of Sex Education promises much change on the horizon as we follow Otis and Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) to Cavendish Sixth Form College. As per the synopsis: "Otis is nervous about setting up his new clinic, whilst Eric is praying they won’t be losers again.
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"But Cavendish is a culture shock for all the Moordale students - they thought they were progressive but this new college is another level. There’s daily yoga in the communal garden, a strong sustainability vibe and a group of kids who are popular for being… kind?!
"Viv is totally thrown by the college’s student-led, non-competitive approach, while Jackson is still struggling to get over Cal. Aimee tries something new by taking an Art A-Level and Adam grapples with whether mainstream education is for him.
"Over in the US, Maeve is living her dream at prestigious Wallace University, being taught by cult author Thomas Molloy. Otis is pining after her, whilst adjusting to not being an only child at home, or the only therapist on campus."
Additional reporting by David Craig.
Sex Education season 4 arrives on Netflix on 21st September. Seasons 1-3 are streaming now. Check out our lists of the best series on Netflix – or see what else is on with our TV Guide. Visit our Drama hub for all the latest news.
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