Should you make a sex tape?
The short answer: It depends…* Let’s examine the potential risks and rewards:
Some of the risks associated with making a sex tape are indisputable: the possibility of internet exposure in a world in which everything is permanent; the horror of your kids, coworkers, parents, babysitter or neighbours stumbling across it; the threat of a current lover becoming a vindictive ex and using the tape against you; the professional and social impact of a potential leakage. You likely want to weigh these risks against the potential for pleasure and evaluate the relative costs to both you and your lover.
Aside from the privacy issues, you might also want to consider the fact that making a sex tape, like many fantasies, doesn’t always translate well into reality. Between awkward angles, unflattering shadows, the challenges of “performing” for the camera and the fact that real, hot sex often looks nothing like fake, porn sex, it’s possible that the whole experience will be less than sexy.
Wendy Miller, Creator of Adult Film School, a reality show that guides real couples through the process of creating their ultimate fantasy sex tape, says that homemade versions can often be disastrous. "Many couples make their own sex tapes and then are shocked at how bad they turn out," says Miller, Vice President of Development and Current Programming for Playboy TV. “We've heard from so many couples who make their own sex tapes and then while watching them they're faced with the sad realization that any movie shot with an iphone taped to a nightstand is not going to look like The Great Gatsby. You really need good lighting, better camera work and at the very least make the bed first."
While the risks associated with making a sex tape cannot be ignored, the thrill of performing for the camera is also undeniable. Making a sex tape offers the erotic benefits of defying taboos, experimenting with role-play, exploring your inner exhibitionist and voyeur, cultivating playful anticipation and stroking your performer’s ego. If you’ve been together for a considerable amount of time and trust your lover, making a sex tape may be just what the doctor ordered! But how long do you need to be together to develop this sense of trust? I certainly cannot assign an arbitrary number of years (yes years — not months), however, I will remind you that research suggests that couples are now most likely to divorce just before the five-year mark and that those who remain coupled for a full decade are likely to stay together for the long haul. Ten years may sound like a long time, but we’re not talking about buying a goldfish here. We’re talking about entrusting another person to record your most intimate moments, so eliminating risk is of paramount importance.
If you and your lover decide that making a sex tape is an option you want to explore, there are some precautionary steps you might want to consider for the sake of protecting your privacy and improving the overall experience:
- Use an old VHS camera that records directly to tape. I’m sure they exist in pawn shops and on Amazon and they offer the added benefit of being able to physically destroy the “evidence” once you’re viewing pleasure has come to a close.
- Lower the lights so that your facial features are indistinguishable.
- Record directly to a memory card and agree to a download/upload ban so that the video never makes it to your laptop, tablet or smart phone. You can always watch it on the camera screen or play it directly from a card reader without uploading it to your hard drive.
- Record. Watch. Rewind. Re-watch. Delete! The thrill of the recording may be all you need, so don’t feel you need to hang on to the video evidence indefinitely.
- Lock your video in your personal safe.
- Enjoy the exhibitionism of performing for the camera without actually hitting record. You can work this into a role-play scenario.
- Wear a wig. I just keep lobbing up these role-play opportunities for ya!
- Take turns holding the camera and agree to avoid filming one another’s faces.
- Use a filter or the night-vision feature to obscure the images.
- Be yourselves. Don’t try to be a porn star. Allow your movements to flow naturally and your sounds to emanate according to your authentic reactions.
- Talk to your lover in advance about your fantasies as well as your concerns. Listen to theirs intently and only proceed if you’re both fully on-board.
Miller offers a few additional pointers: “Soften the lighting in your bedroom with mosquito netting, invest in a nice camera, make sure you have beautiful sheets on the bed, don't have piles of dirty laundry in the background and figure out the most flattering angles for both of you. It seems simple but if you want a high quality sex tape you have to put a lot of thought into it first.”
*Doling out sex advice via the interwebs is no easy task. The emotional responses I receive (ranging from notes of gratitude to some rather serious threats) are evidence of the fact that sex is a highly subjective, powerful and personal issue. Accordingly, I’ll open this piece with a reminder that my perspective is merely one of many and I formulate my advice based on the evidence I review and the stories I encounter working with couples from all corners of the globe.
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