They filmed themselves, then watched it in bed. “We did more laughing than anything else,” David, a 30-year-old public relations executive, admits. “But it still made us want to repeat our exploits off-camera.” Take note: Within hours of making the video, they erased it.
Even fully clothed, many people react like cornered baboons when someone tries to take a simple snapshot, so the idea of being filmed while naked, vulnerable, and sticking their ass God-knows-where is essentially unthinkable. But, ironically, the phobia may provide the cure: If you can screw up the courage to watch even a few seconds of yourself on camera—cellulite, silly faces, unfortunate noises, and all—you may see yourself in a whole new light.
“Women, especially, are typically much easier on other women than they are on themselves,” says Berman. “So they can use the video to take a step outside themselves and look on as though it was another person. They might find that she’s quite attractive.”
Kim, 27, a modern dancer in New York, also found freedom. “I realized that being overwhelmed is like the opposite of being handcuffed, which limits what I can do and gives my boyfriend power over me,” she says. “When we film, he’s freeing me from being what he expects me to be—or what I think he expects me to be. I can be another person playing a character, and do things I normally wouldn’t do without feeling inhibited.”
For flattering lighting, use Japanese paper lanterns or candles. “Positions where the woman is stretched out look best,” adds famed porn star Gina Lynn of ginalynn.com. “But really, if it’s just for you, there’s no reason to worry about how you look. Just have fun with it.” Oh, and did we mention you should erase the tape?
A lightweight, small camera is ideal. (Samsung’s SC-X105L comes with a hands-free lipstick cam you can fasten to your head, arm, or other appendage.) Any camera will have a zoom function, but to avoid dizzying, too-quick zooms and blurriness, try simply holding it nearer and farther.
Alternatively, you could set up the camera on a tripod, but that may take some of the fun out of it. “Part of what makes it so exciting is getting frustrated with having the camera in the way, so that you finally throw it aside,” says Robert, a 37-year-old art dealer from Los Angeles.
While having sex with his girlfriend, Anya, on a vacation two years ago, he grabbed his digital point-and-shoot, which also could record 20 seconds of video. He shot just her face, without sound, and they enjoyed watching it so much that they bought a video camera. “It’s incredibly hot and fun to watch later and step back and wonder what she was thinking or feeling.”
So if taping sex makes it even more memorable, who needs a visual record lying around the house? Allow the otherwise eloquent Voyeur to hammer home the point by coining an asinine, yet incisive, phrase: After you embrace, erase.
Ky Henderson is a writer in New York City.
*Names in this story have been changed.