Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
I’ve always liked video cameras. When I was a teenager, my friends and I spent countless hours making amateur films. Topics ranged from drug deals gone bad to shirtless fights in the basement, with the occasional trippy dance contest. Our inspirations were easy to spot: we all loved Pulp Fiction, and we smoked a lot of pot.
Despite spending my youth making weird home videos, I never, ever, tried to videotape myself having sex. It’s not that I found the idea all that taboo; it just never seemed to work out in high school. Videotaping sex requires a lot of set up. You need a video camera. You need batteries. You need a tape. You also need a partner who is confident enough to go on camera, and trusts you enough to properly handle the tape afterward. Where would I find all that? College, of course!
For the record, I’m well aware that videotaping didn’t win my online poll. But I never said that I wouldn’t do the things that didn’t win. I only said that I would do the thing that did win. (I’m still working on arranging that threesome, by the way; easier said than done; any takers?) So, as far as I’m concerned, everything else is still fair game — and that includes videotaping.
The first step was obtaining a video camera. I didn’t own a real video camera, and I wasn’t about to borrow one from the Film Department. Them: “What do you need it for?” Me: “Well, um, sex. Myself. Having it. Having Sex.” I didn’t think that would fly. My only option was the video mode on my dinky digital camera. It wasn’t hi-res or anything, but I figured it would suffice.
The next step was preparing the set. There are a lot of important decisions to make here, like camera location. Unless you have a third party cinematographer, you need one location that will be sufficient for the duration. You want plenty of coverage of the sex, but you don’t want anything too close — this isn’t National Geographic. Also, you want plenty of room in the frame for movement. If you switch from missionary to reverse cowgirl, you don’t want anyone (or anything) popping out of frame.
How did I look on camera? I’m not going to lie; I have some body image issues. So naturally I was a bit concerned. But while watching the video I was pleasantly surprised. My body looked sleek, and my movements were smooth and sexy. The coverage was amazing, and we had a surprising variety of angles despite the static camera. Stanley Kubrick would have been proud. Still, there were awkward moments. Like switching positions. We’ve all been there: you try ever so carefully to go from one position to another while “staying in,” only to fall out when your bodies are in the most awkward configuration possible. But it was still sexy.
Perhaps most importantly, my penis looked awesome. Yup. I said it. Now, I’m generally comfortable with my penis. It’s sturdy, well-shaped, and long enough to serve its purpose. Still, it just doesn’t have a lot of hutzpah. My penis is kind of like the original Star Wars movie. It’s full of excitement and energy, and it’s a really solid effort; but it’s nothing compared to The Empire Strikes Back. That all changed on camera. My penis looked great: thick, long, and confident. They say that the camera adds 10 pounds. Apparently it also adds a couple inches. Although I’m not usually attracted to men, I was definitely attracted to my penis.
How long did I last on camera? In all my years of having sex, I’ve decided that this whole “how long do I last” business is more unpredictable than quantum mechanics. Sometimes I start having sex thinking I will last for half an hour, and then, 2 minutes later, “I’m coming!” Other times, I think it will be a quickie, and then, 40 minutes later, “What the fuck?!” This videotaping session was yet another lesson in unpredictability. When we first started the camera, we filmed about 20 minutes of foreplay, followed by about 2 minutes of intercourse — and I was definitely the one to call “cut.”
But that’s actually when the fun started. Instead of my usual post-sex activity — watching reruns of The Office — we decided to watch our video. It was hot. As I’ve said, we looked great, and watching ourselves having sex was a huge turn on: more sexy than any porn I’ve ever watched, and more palpable than any fantasy I’ve ever dreamt. While we didn’t use the video to “critique our form,” we did start emulating what we were watching, touching each other like we were touching each other in the movie.
Within minutes we were at it again, making sure to once again set up the camera and hit record. 30 minutes later we were done. It was some of the best sex I’ve ever had. The first videotaping session was hot because it was exhibitionist: even though no one was watching us per se, we both felt like — and acted as if — we were being watched. But the second videotaping was sensory overload. Not only was the sex great, but I had a clear image of what it looked like, and that only made it better.
Afterwards, sweating, panting, I grabbed the camera. And I saw the little “No Tape” message on the screen. The clock read “03:14”. 3 minutes! It only recorded 3 fucking minutes! C’est la vie. It actually hardly mattered, considering that I was instructed to delete both videos immediately. Sorry, dear reader. You won’t find this on YouTube. But I’ll be sure to videotape myself again. To quote my favorite track off the new Radiohead LP — “When I’m at the pearly gates, this’ll be on my videotape”.