Intimacy Direction

Inti­ma­cy Direc­tion is a process for craft­ing inti­ma­cy for a live per­for­mance as an inti­ma­cy direc­tor. This can take a form of more tra­di­tion­al forms of sex, nudi­ty or sex­u­al­ized touch between the char­ac­ters, but as an inti­ma­cy direc­tor I also love help craft­ing sto­ries of oth­er types of height­ened inti­ma­cy than the sex­u­al kind. I pre­fer to work as a com­pre­hen­sive sto­ry-teller from the ‘low-end phys­i­cal­i­ty’ of the first meet­ing between the char­ac­ters to the height­ened moments to make sure that we are telling a com­mon sto­ry through the whole performance. 

To me inti­ma­cy direc­tion is about col­lab­o­ra­tion. Inti­ma­cy direc­tor works as a lia­sion between all the peo­ple work­ing in the pro­duc­tion advo­cat­ing for the human­i­ty of every­one. This includes design­ing and chore­o­graph­ing the scenes of inti­ma­cy, sim­u­lat­ed sex and nudi­ty. I offer the spe­cial tech­niques and con­sid­er dif­fer­ent aspects of inti­ma­cy, and make sure that every­one involved shares a com­mon approach to the mate­r­i­al. My basic approach is to make sure that every­one has the infor­ma­tion to do their best pos­si­ble work. I see this as the pre­req­ui­site for telling impres­sive inti­mate stories.

My Training as an Intimacy Director

I am cur­rent­ly in my final steps on a path­way to cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in Inti­ma­cy Direc­tion with Inti­ma­cy Direc­tors and Coor­di­na­tors. More infor­ma­tion what cer­ti­fi­ca­tion with­in IDC means can be found at this won­der­ful arti­cle: The Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Ques­tion: Response.

The Inti­ma­cy Direc­tor cer­ti­fi­ca­tion itself means that I have gone through a min­i­mum of 9 weeks of online train­ing, 3 week­ends of in-per­son train­ing and have access to the com­mu­ni­ty spaces and con­tin­u­ous edu­ca­tion cours­es offered by IDC. More infor­ma­tion about this train­ing pro­gramme can be found here.

Me being cer­ti­fied by the IDC means that I am ded­i­cat­ed in my work to their Core Val­ues: Anti-Racism, Cre­ativ­i­ty, Excel­lence, Integri­ty and Sus­tain­abil­i­ty. This also means that I am account­able for my work with­in the IDC’s struc­ture: if you find I have not upheld these pro­fes­sion­al stan­dards, please be in con­tact with them through this form or direct­ly through In prac­tice my pro­file be found on their list of cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sion­als, but it also means a lot more.

Besides this one edu­ca­tion pro­gram, I have done a thou­sands of hours of oth­er train­ing in the­atri­cal phys­i­cal­i­ty, ped­a­gogy and inti­ma­cy in its dif­fer­ent forms since year 2016. I will be list­ing more of this at some point when I have time.

My Intimacy Direction Process

Inti­ma­cy Direc­tion is a process for live per­for­mance. I have gath­ered here a a rough descrip­tion of what kind of process­es to expect when hir­ing me. The process will nat­u­ral­ly be tai­lored to fit dif­fer­ent bud­gets and dif­fer­ent process­es. For the sim­i­lar process­es with record­ed media (film, tv, vir­tu­al real­i­ty etc), see my Inti­ma­cy Coor­di­na­tion page.

1. Research for the Production

Prepar­ing for inti­ma­cy is an intri­cate task. I will study the mate­ri­als and con­sult rel­e­vant spe­cial­ists to pre­pare for the work. This might include any spe­cif­ic kind of inti­ma­cy, rela­tion­ship style or forms. I will study any spe­cif­ic aspects of inti­ma­cy in ques­tion. I will also seek to bet­ter under­stand the con­tent and form we want to present. This helps me frame my spe­cif­ic approach­es and ways of work­ing for the project.

2. Intimacy Break-Down

I will cre­ate an inti­ma­cy break-down based on the pro­duc­tion plans. With a writ­ten ‘rough break-down’, I will then lead dis­cus­sions about any spe­cif­ic demands of inti­ma­cy and about any addi­tion­al time or equip­ment we need.  This break-down gives a rough sup­port mate­r­i­al for all the oth­er artis­tic design­ers when they do their work. My intent is to make sure that every­body knows way before­hands what kind of extra work­flow to expect to make the inti­ma­cy in a sus­tain­able way.

3. Concrete Plan

I will craft a blue­print-lev­el inti­ma­cy plan based on per­form­ers’ expressed bound­aries, direc­tor’s and design­ers’ vision list­ing the prac­ti­cal choic­es rel­e­vant to the all the areas of respon­si­bil­i­ty. The plan will then be dis­cussed and fleshed out into prac­ti­cal sched­ules and to-do lists as the dis­cus­sions con­tin­ue. I will often include some back-up plans and safe­ty go-to’s so that we know what to expect in case of any problems.

4. Starting Workshop

I can hold a work­shop day (3–5 hours) to the whole work­ing group about rules around inti­ma­cy, con­sent and eti­quette around the inti­mate scenes. This work­shop includes pre­sent­ing some of the best prac­tices, the inti­ma­cy spe­cif­ic to the pro­duc­tion and pre­sent­ing rel­e­vant hand­outs to all the mem­bers of pro­duc­tion team. Hand­outs are pre­pared for every par­tic­u­lar pro­duc­tion so that every­one in the ensem­ble knows the safe­ty prin­ci­ples, expect­ed timeta­bles and what to expect in their role in this pro­duc­tion. When we include the whole work­ing group, work­ing in a sus­tain­able way becomes a group effor.

5. Choreographical Work

Chore­o­graph­i­cal work has already start­ed dur­ing pre­vi­ous steps. We have dis­cussed the char­ac­ters and sto­ry focus­ing on the choic­es dur­ing the scenes of inti­ma­cy with every­one involved. This same work will then con­tin­ue with key peo­ple in the same rehearsal space. After we cre­ate a com­mon sto­ry base, we’ll go into prac­ti­cal act­ing choic­es, “chore­og­ra­phy”.

Depend­ing of the actors, pro­duc­tion and the inten­si­ty of a spe­cif­ic moment this might take a form of very sub­tle move­ment choic­es to describe the com­plex growth of a par­tic­u­lar human rela­tion­ship through­out the whole per­for­mance — or some­thing very sim­ple to just give tools for actors to con­fi­dent­ly play with. The cho­sen moves serve the sto­ry in a way that allows the peo­ple to do their best pos­si­ble work. Some­times the moves affect the sto­ry too: a moment that sim­ply ‘works’ does still need a rea­son to exist in the story.

6. Check-ins

After we have fleshed out the sto­ry in chore­o­graph­i­cal form, I am avail­able for check-ins dur­ing the lat­ter process now and then. As the sto­ry evolves, some pieces of block­ing might need to be re-chore­o­graphed to bet­ter solid­i­fy the new con­text. This also hap­pens when some­thing changes in the set­ting: clothes, light­ning, music and scenog­ra­phy will cre­ate changes that need to be addressed. Check-ins might hap­pen when some­thing has sud­den­ly changes between the per­form­ers — or in some­one’s pri­vate life — which makes it nec­es­sary to rebuild some of the work. I am also just hap­py to sit in a room while peo­ple rehearse any scenes to get a pic­ture of how peo­ple pre­fer to work.

7. Audience Lectures/Workshops

Dur­ing the process, I am hap­py to also give open lec­tures or work­shops about the­atri­cal or filmed inti­ma­cy if they are want­ed. My per­son­al project is to make the dif­fer­ent aspects of the work more inclu­sive and acces­si­ble to every­one inter­est­ed in the ‘mag­ic tricks of inti­mate moments’. If the basics of the work is made more acces­si­ble, it becomes eas­i­er to for me to work as an inti­ma­cy direc­tor in the future.

8. Check-ins after the Rehearsals

My work most­ly fin­ish­es at the first night, but as an inti­ma­cy direc­tor I am avail­able to be con­tact­ed in case some­thing unex­pect­ed hap­pens and inti­ma­cy must be re-addressed. This is all part of the pack­age we have dis­cussed in the beginning.

My Rate Table as an Intimacy Director

I list below my stan­dard rates to give a pic­ture of the typ­i­cal amounts of mon­ey I ask for my work. If you are using any col­lec­tive agree­ment, I am also hap­py to just be hired accord­ing to the pay­ment of inti­ma­cy direc­tor or fight direc­tor in that agreement. 

I pre­fer to have the full dis­cus­sions about get­ting paid for any spe­cif­ic project and make sure that we are on the same page before I even start working. 

If any of my tasks demands me to trav­el, dai­ly allowances and any actu­al trav­el expens­es are added to the invoiced sums. 

Prep Work

1000–8000 € (+ VAT)

At the begin­ning of the project, I will give you an esti­mate of what kind of prep work is need­ed for a giv­en project. As with any artis­tic design­er role, I will need 1–5 months of prepa­ra­tion time depend­ing on the scale of intimacy.

Daily Rate

800 € (+ VAT)

This means a day when I am work­ing in a rehearsal space with actors: typ­i­cal­ly a max­i­mum of six hours of on-loca­tion work and the prac­ti­cal prepa­ra­tions for the day.

Monthly Rate

1000–3000 € (+ VAT)

This is used when I work for a longer peri­od of time as an in-house inti­ma­cy direc­tor avail­able to work in a flex­i­ble way in a per­form­ing arts com­pa­ny. If we make a longer con­tract and I work with the same peo­ple, my rates are low­er, that is.


200–500 € (+ VAT)

The con­sul­ta­tion tasks are such tasks where I help in a small way with a pro­duc­tion with­out being the assigned an actu­al inti­ma­cy direc­tor. This can be just hav­ing a dis­cus­sion about the prepa­ra­tions for the inti­ma­cy or a work­shop in a spe­cif­ic aspect of the inti­mate illu­sions or inti­ma­cy safe­ty structures.

Special Cases for Live Performance Projects

There are cur­rent­ly four rea­sons that make me able to tai­lor pro­duc­tions for any bud­get and any tar­get audi­ence. Check if any of these ‘pro­grams’ apply to your production. 

Help with my Intimacy Director Final Exam!

I need pro­duc­tions to be used for IDC’s Inti­ma­cy Direc­tion Program.

This can be of a pro­duc­tion of any kind, but has to include height­ened inti­ma­cy (sim­u­lat­ed sex or nudi­ty), and a pos­si­bil­i­ty to work as an ID with the pro­duc­tion. It can be com­mu­ni­ty the­atre, uni­ver­si­ty the­atre, pro­fes­sion­al the­atre, and any kind of live performance.

Dur­ing the project I will con­sult my men­tor and after the pro­duc­tion I will for­ward a link to some peo­ple that I have worked with over the course of pro­duc­tion to ask for a ref­er­ences attest­ing to the safe­ty and excel­lence of my work (at least one from a per­former and one from a director). 

As tak­ing part in my cer­ti­fi­ca­tion needs work from a pro­duc­tion in the form of ref­er­ences, and it will gre­al­ty ben­e­fit me, I am hap­py to be very flex­i­ble with my prices for any pro­duc­tions that would be hap­py to serve as part of my final exam.

Stockholm University of the Arts Research Project

I am cur­rent­ly work­ing with my MA degree at the Stock­holm Uni­ver­si­ty of the Arts. This includes me delv­ing deep­er to the pro­duc­tion: study­ing the pro­duc­tions I am work­ing with by com­ing to the rehearsals even when I am not need­ed and learn­ing about the rehearsal process­es in more detail. You can read more of the project here. If you would like to con­sid­er your pro­duc­tion to be part of the research project, I would be hap­py to tell you more.

For this kind of project, I am hap­py to work with any project that has in it some kind of phys­i­cal­i­ty what­ev­er the inten­si­ty, but I will need to have dis­cus­sions with the work­ing group to learn also of your work­ing methods.

Independent and other Indie Productions

After hav­ing worked in the eco-sys­tems of Eskus ( and Teat­terikeskus ( here in Fin­land for a while, I am hap­py to work with small­er pro­duc­tions with more flex­i­bil­i­ty and even with a rea­son­able per­son­al risk if the pro­duc­tion needs to start work­ing before fund­ing deci­sions. If you are hon­est and clear about it, I am hap­py to work with you: the min­i­mum I need is to sim­ply get my own expens­es cov­ered. Oth­er than that, every­thing else is nego­tiable. If you are work­ing with such pro­duc­tions, see pro­duc­tion plan­ning process guide­lines by STST and Teme (Eet­ti­nen toim­intao­hje tanssin ja sirkuk­sen ken­tälle | TEME) .

Student Productions

I under­stand that some­times stu­dents have dif­fi­cult time find­ing the fund­ing for their pro­duc­tions. My prices can seem over­whelm­ing for such a pro­duc­tion, but there are always solu­tions to be found, so please be in con­tact with me. 

To name a few, there are Kansan sivistys­ra­has­to and Sven­s­ka studie­fonden which might be of help, or if a project has spe­cial artis­tic val­ue, there are oth­er ways for stu­dents to find oth­er fund­ing. Most schools can also offer some fund­ing for their projects. Let’s not make the mon­ey the obsta­cle for sus­tain­able learn­ing processes.

The Necessary Productions

Some­times a pro­duc­tion leaves the world a bet­ter place. See my Eth­i­cal Guide­lines for more information.

A nec­es­sary pro­duc­tion works under a respon­si­ble employ­er. The sto­ry it tells is an impor­tant one. Maybe the peo­ple doing the pro­duc­tion belong to a minor­i­ty — and we can make sure that they can take steps to make their voice heard in this pro­duc­tion. Maybe you have decid­ed that a cer­tain side of inti­ma­cy needs to be shown. All these might count as Nec­es­sary Pro­duc­tions, so if you have such pro­duc­tion, let me know. I am always hap­py to make the world a bet­ter place.

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May I con­sid­er your pro­duc­tion as any of the following?

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+358 (0) 40 717 2486

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