How to Film Your Own Sex Tape

The experts at Make Love Not Porn claim it’ll lead to better, hotter sex. So we asked them for tips.
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The experts at Make Love Not Porn claim it’ll lead to better, hotter sex. So we asked them for tips.
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If you’ve read about sex tapes recently, chances are the words “sex tape” were paired with “leaked” and “celebrity.” We get it: Between those constant scandals and a less-than-airtight understanding of how the cloud works, filming yourself having sex sounds like a bad idea at best and a life-ruiner at worst.

The folks at Make Love Not Porn are trying to change that perception. Founded by Cindy Gallop in 2012, the site allows you to share and watch #realworldsex — that is, intimate sex tapes submitted by people who aren't porn actors. Billing itself as “pro-sex, pro-porn, and pro-knowing the difference,” MLNP is a revolutionary community attempting to promote better sex for everyone. And for starters, they claim that filming yourself having sex leads to a much hotter sex life.

So who better to give us some tips for filming a great sex tape than Sarah Beall, Madame Curator for MLNP? Aside from having the best job title we’ve ever heard of, Beall is responsible for vetting every single #realworldsex video submission on MLNP — which means she’s seen a whole lot of naked people doing it every which way. She can also attest to how and why filming yourself can lead to better sex. “It facilitates communication,” Beall says. “It opens people up to talking about their desires and things that maybe they’ve been thinking about trying but maybe haven’t had the nerve to bring up. We’ve had people who have gone and shot a video, watched it back and then shot another one right away, because they got so turned on.”

If you’re up for giving it a try, we’ve tapped into her knowledge and that of some MLNP stars, to get you going.

1. Communicate with your partner beforehand, and don’t film anything without consent. This shouldn't even need to be said but: don’t film yourself having sex with someone if they don’t know about it. It’s seriously fucked up and very illegal. If you and your partner have talked it through, and you’re both game, then decide what you’ll do after filming. Are you gonna watch the tape once then delete it, upload it to MLNP, or invite all your friends over for wine and cheese and a screening? (If it’s the latter, your friends sound fun.) Make sure you’ve talked this all through beforehand — and if either of you want to delete it at any time, it’s done, no questions asked.

2. Morning sex or afternoon delight are best. “Nothing beats natural light,” say seasoned MLNP stars LoveandLasagna. “And try to avoid recording towards the source of lightning.”

3. Make sure the camera’s on. “My camera likes to turn itself off if nobody is playing with it...I missed multiple orgasms and cool shots because of that!” laments MLNP star Corkle. Don't let this happen to you. 

4. Get equipped. It’s not necessary, but if you’re a gearhead and want to take your tape to the next level, Beall recommends a king-sized GorrillaPod, a universal glif, a pocket spotlight, a mobile boom mic, and a lens clip for wide-angle shots.

5. Film around your sex life. Can you think of a worse buzzkill than being half-naked with your face planted in between your partner’s legs, then suddenly jumping out of bed to get the tripod set up? “Sex in the real world comes out of a real-world context, so we ask people to shoot a little bit before and after,” says Beall. Having the camera running before you start to get it on to help you relax and get comfortable. “When you’re turning a camera on, it shouldn’t really be different from what you do in your everyday lives,” she adds.

6. Don’t just go for close-up genital shots. While that’s all well and good in porn, Beall recommends straying away from porn tropes like that in your own sex tape. “Pull the camera back and represent the whole experience in all of its awesome, real-world glory,” she says. It’s also not that easy to capture that P-in-V business when you’re DIYing it.

7. It’s just sex — so relax and have a good time. “At first you'll think the camera expects something of you, but you'll get over that as you're melting all over each other,” say MLNP stars Colin/Gray. Bodies are just bodies, man. LoveandLasagna add, “Just keep judgment and fear out of your head, making love is beautiful. Have fun and let the creativity flow.”

Photos by Juhasz Peter / Getty Images