Sex Education's Isaac on filming intimate scenes with Maeve

·2 min read

Netflix's Sex Education is a drama known for exploring the dynamics of sex and relationships in an open, inclusive way and being unafraid to tackle hard-hitting topics including sexual assault and homophobia.

From the aftermath of Aimee being assaulted on a bus to Adam's complex relationship with his own sexuality and how he feels about Eric, the show has given us plenty of powerful moments, and that's certainly the case in the brand-new season.

One sex-positive storyline earning praise in the latest series is the developing relationship between Isaac and Maeve.

After his introduction to the show, Isaac (played by George Robinson) has been somewhat of an antagonist and we doubt he's a favourite of those who are hoping for Maeve (Emma Mackey) and Otis (Asa Butterfield) to get their happily ever after.

Whether you're rooting for Isaac or not, intimate scenes between him and Maeve represent a disabled character as complex, multi-faceted and sexual - something that's unfortunately all-too-often missing from TV and film.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Robinson, who's a wheelchair user, told BBC News that the intimate scene works so well because it "doesn't pander" to its own significance and instead flows naturally within the story of Isaac's growing relationship with Maeve.

Robinson and Mackey spent a long time working with intimacy coordinators and disability charities ahead of filming the scene, which sees Isaac and Maeve discussing each other's needs.

Robinson's co-star Emma Mackey spoke to ELLE about the work that was put into the scene to make it powerful on-camera and comfortable on set.

"There was a lot of back and forth-ing on the intimacy scenes. It's always really important to to get the right messages across, to make sure they're done in a way that takes into account where the characters are and who they are," she said.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

"I wanted to be a friend for [George] and to make sure he felt safe and that he was listened to. He was so kind and so generous and so patient with me. Yeah, he's just a lovely, lovely boy and a lovely friend."

And as for the result? George is pleased with what audiences are seeing.

"I'm really happy where we got with it. What makes that scene so beautifully crafted is the way it speaks to how sex isn't always about the physical stuff but the intimate act of opening yourself up to one another. That's really what sex is," he said.

"I just show that disabled people are everything: We're fathers, we're sons, we go through economic problems, we have problems with relationships, we have all of these things. And yes, we are intimate sexual beings just like everyone else."

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