Here’s What You Need to Know About Making a Home Sex Tape
Here’s What You Need to Know About Making a Home Sex Tape
The sex tape is a quintessentially modern art form.
While pornography has basically been around since humans could scrawl drawings of naked people onto rock faces, sex tapes are only as old as handheld, cheaply available video recording technology.
In the 1980s and ’90s, camcorders finally made sex tapes possible for the average person, but they only became seriously widespread with the popularization of the smartphone.
Today, in the 21st century, being able to videotape your sex life is no more complicated than taking a picture of your lunch. But just because you can take a video of yourself having sex with your partner (or partners) doesn’t mean you should, and it certainly doesn’t mean the final product will be high-quality.
That being said, there’s something undeniably tantalizing about having a recording of your lovemaking — otherwise, why would so many people make their own, despite running the risk of them being leaked?
To help you make a sex tape that’s both hot and unlikely to ruin your life, we spoke with two sexperts and an actual porn director to get a behind-the-scenes look at shooting undercover footage.
Why Do People Make Sex Tapes?
You might get the impression that the only people comfortable being filmed in the act are porn stars (and the occasional Hollywood celeb), but the truth is that sex tapes are both very common and an almost democratic concept.
“There are plenty of reasons to make a homemade sex tape,” says Kayla Lords, sexpert for JackAndJillAdult.com. “Some people want to relive the experience later. They get off on watching themselves (or their partner) experience sexual pleasure. Other people are exhibitionists who want to be watched and making a sex tape can be a great way to do that. And still others (who may also fall into one of the other categories) want to make money from their own amateur porn.”
Sex Tape Dos and Don’ts
1. Talk About It First
If you really want to film your own sex, don’t just whip your phone out and start shooting in the middle of the action. Instead, you should talk to the person (or people) you want to shoot with and see how they feel first.
“Talk to your lover in advance about your fantasies as well as your concerns,” says Jess O’Reilly, Ph.D., host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast. “Listen to theirs intently and only proceed if you’re both fully on-board.”
On top of consent and comfort levels, it’s also not a bad time to sketch out ideas for any narrative elements you want to explore. That’s not something you need to incorporate, but it can be fun if that’s something you’re into.
“Be original!” says Erika Lust, independent porn director and author the e-book Let’s Make a Porno. “If you want to incorporate a little story into your film then ignore the typical porn archetypes. No more pizza delivery boys, plumbers, school girls … be creative and talk to your partner about the different sexual fantasies you have. The more unusual the better!”
2. Don’t Forget the Setting
Once all parties are game, it’s time to think about where you’re going to shoot. If it’s at home, now would be a good time to tidy up.
“Clean up your room first, so you can enjoy the video and you won’t be distracted by piles of laundry,” suggests O’Reilly. Lust agrees wholeheartedly, adding that “an ugly doll, pet or ornament invading the picture can be completely distracting from the main section.”
That being said, there’s no rule tying you to the bedroom.
“The bed and the couch may be the most comfortable spots for you to have sex on, but don’t underestimate other, less-explored places in the home,” says Lust. “The laundry room, the shower or the kitchen can be great sets for your sex tape.”
Wherever you shoot, consider what it looks like — is it an interesting location or does it feel boring as scenery? A unique location can take your sex tape to the next level.
“If you’ve ever visited an amateur porn website, you have seen the greyish colors that dominate the scenes,” notes Lust. “White walls, grey sheets and curtains, dark brown bedheads, and yellowish light that casts shadowy hues on the skin. As much as you can, try to use color. Take advantage of colored walls in your house. Red or blue are great options.”
3. Think Like a Director
Now it’s time to think about camera angles and placement. Will you be holding the camera yourself, getting someone else to shoot for you or using a tripod? Whatever you’re choosing, start thinking about your sex not just in terms of how it feels, but in terms of how it looks.
“Make sure your camera can catch as much of the action as possible,” says Lords. “You’re not a cinematographer and this isn’t professional. Set up your camera as best you can to focus on the bed or wherever you’re having sex.”
It’s also a good idea to test out the quality of the lighting. Are you shooting during the day with natural light, or at night with artificial light?
“Don’t forget the lighting,” adds Lords. “If you plan to watch it later or you want to upload it as amateur porn, make sure you have enough lights so that you can actually see what’s happening.”
4. Don’t Try to Be a Porn Star
Once your camera is set up and the lighting is just right, it’s time to put the “sex” in “sex tape.” But what kind of sex are you going to have, exactly?
“Be yourselves,” advises O’Reilly. “Don’t try to be a porn star. Allow your movements to flow naturally and your sounds to emanate according to your authentic reactions. Remember that many porn videos are shot with moving camera operators, multiple cameras, directors and fluffers — all resources you probably don’t have on-hand.”
Stick to what you know, and if you’re not an Olympic gymnast who can bend into the wildest of positions, now’s not the time to try.
“Don’t suddenly start trying to do sex athletics or new moves and positions that you have seen in porn,” agrees Lust. “Stick with positions that you and your partner enjoy, that bring you genuine pleasure. In porn, performers often do positions that look good for the camera, but for your home video you don’t need to do this. When you’re re-watching it, you’d rather see yourself comfortable and experiencing pleasure than moving your body into awkward positions that don’t necessarily feel good.”
5. Have Fun With It
Next up? Watching the finished product. For starters, you should be aware that even if you’ve tried your best, it might not look like the mainstream porn you’re used to.
“Don’t worry about perfection,” advises Lords. “You’re not making professional porn. Getting the perfect angle when someone orgasms isn’t necessary.”
If you have the technology and the know-how, you might be compelled to do some post-production on the footage, particularly if you were using different cameras or camera angles over the course of the shooting. Here, Lust says, you’ll probably want to be straightforward rather than artsy.
“I would strongly advise against using ‘creative’ bumpers,” she notes. “Bumpers are the transitions between different shots and they come in the form of cuts, fading, a page-turning effect or a spiral. The latter, as well as being awful to watch, slows down the action and would dampen anyone’s libido. To move from one scene to another, a simple cut or fade are your best bets.”
Ultimately, though, a sex tape that makes you happy is the one that you and your partner like the most. If you want to throw out any of this advice, that’s fine.
“More than anything, this is about enjoying yourselves,” says Lust. “If you and your partner have a fantasy that you haven’t tried out yet, now is the time to make it happen and have it live on film. You’ll be able to go back and watch your fantasy being acted out by yourselves, [and] there isn’t anything sexier than that!”
Protecting Your Sex Tape
Of course, making the sex tape is only a part of the big picture. There’s also the question of what happens with it afterward.
If you’ve ever seen badly lit celebrity sex tape thumbnails pop up on online porn sites, you know that it’s possible for that private mementos to quickly turn into everyone else’s business.
If your intent is to become an amateur (or even professional) porn star, maybe you want as many people as possible to see it! That’s fine, but it’s also cool to want to keep your sex tape a secret.
“Some of the risks associated with making a sex tape are indisputable,” says O’Reilly. “The possibility of internet exposure in a world in which everything is permanent. There’s the horror of your kids, coworkers, parents, babysitter or neighbors stumbling across it, or the threat of a current lover becoming a vindictive ex and using the tape against you.”
That’s enough to make anyone think twice about filming (or keeping) a sex tape.
“You likely want to weigh these risks against the potential for pleasure and evaluate the relative costs to both you and your lover,” adds O’Reilly.
That being said, just because the worst case scenario is pretty bad doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun with the concept.
“If you’re worried about someone else stumbling upon your video or accidentally uploading to the cloud, consider these precautions:
“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 smartphone,” says O’Reilly. “You can always watch it on the camera screen or play it directly from a card reader without uploading it to your hard drive.”
If you’re shooting on your phone, simply watch the video together once you’re done shooting and then delete it. “The thrill of the recording may be all you need, so don’t feel you need to hang on to the video evidence indefinitely,” she continues.
Another option? Go low tech instead of high tech. O’Reilly suggests “using 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 your viewing pleasure has come to a close.”
If you really do want to keep a copy, you could always disguise your identities. “Take turns holding the camera and agree to avoid filming one another’s faces,” she notes. “Lower the lights so that your facial features are indistinguishable, or [just] wear a wig.”
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