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Christmas Video Visions

A word to the wise

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No matter our buying habits or even our religious affiliations, most of us will be on the receiving end of gift giving this holiday season. Gifts during the holidays take on a variety of themes: sentimental, extravagant, meaningful, expressions of love and affection, need, and that good old-fashioned treat, the self-serving gift. We all know what self-serving gifts are like, and they aren't too difficult to spot. It's like when your partner goes on and on about how he'd give anything to see you slinking around in a black lace Victoria's Secret catsuit and stiletto heels. Even though you shoot down the idea, all of a sudden you're pulling it out of a pink box in front of 15 of your closest family and friends while he sits there with a shit-eating grin telling you, "Merry Christmas!"

But the most dangerous holiday gift of all, at least in terms of the damage it can do to a relationship, is the video camera. It starts out innocently enough -- two lovebirds have a fantasy of what it would be like to star in their very own homemade porn flick. You dress up as a doctor and nurse, teacher and student, mistress and submissive, hey, it's your fantasy. If you're going to do it, do it right.

You start browsing around through the electronics sections of a local store. You compare prices, editing features, and special effects packages. You check out tripods to make sure you can handle the most elusive of all angles. Then you go through your porn video collection to get some ideas.

You finally select the appropriate model, and load the oversized box in your car. You and your partner giggle as you contemplate all the other reasons you used to justify buying the video camera. You talk about the anniversaries and upcoming Christmas parties, the house, your friends, and perhaps filming the birth of a yet-to-be-born child -- however, for now your mind is focused on filming an attempt at conception.

You drag the contraption into the house, and spend the next two hours going over the manual to find out where the power button is, and discover that you can capture video but no audio. Damn, what good is a homemade porn-flick without good audio? The complexity of this newfound toy causes you to dismiss your former cravings for the frozen margaritas that now sit melting in the blender.

Finally, you get the video camera up and running, pop in a tape, and you're ready to roll. Then the discussion comes up of who will be in charge of the tape, and promises are made to not ever show it to anyone else, and certainly not to blackmail each other with it in the event of a breakup. You contemplate where to hide the tape, to make sure it doesn't get mixed up with your other recorded movies.

It's an act of trust in a relationship. It's the one occasion where you probably need a notarized contract written in blood. You've heard enough horror stories to know that recording a sexual romp on video could possibly come back to haunt you either on a professional or personal level.

But who said that sexual attraction and a need to spice up your sex life at recordable levels had to be reasonable? When we get an idea in our heads of what would be kinky and different, how many of us really sit down and analyze how our decisions could affect us later? We are human sexual animals and the truth is, we don't think.

So after a few test shoots, you and your partner spend the next two hours making what you hope will be a sexy home porn film starring yourselves. You get out of bed excitedly, hit the rewind button and cuddle up on the couch in front of the television to watch.

Suddenly, the importance of proper lighting, the lack of luxurious satin sheets, the skilled art of a very-absent Brazilian wax, and the naked truth that you haven't been to the gym in six months start to come into focus. Instead of seeing two sculpted, bronze, hard bodies, you see two lumps of flesh with a random tan, rolling around like dogs in front of the camera. You start to wish you'd sprung for the pedicure during your last trip to the salon. You squint and stare at the TV when you see hair in places that don't seem possible. You didn't realize your partner's ass was that big! Gee, guys in the other porn movies always seemed so much more well-endowed. You take note of the waistlines and love handles an entire case of Special K couldn't get rid of.

The tape isn't half-finished and already you want to burn it. "Why wasn't this the big turn on I thought it would be?" you wonder as you stare at over $800 worth of new video equipment that has suddenly become useless.

The tape gets pulled out and shoved in a drawer, never to be seen again. Then, two years later, the once-happy couple gets into a fight and one packs up and moves out, leaving the video behind.

The moral of this story is that unless you fancy showing up on an internet amateur porn site, keep it sexy, keep it kinky, but just keep it off film.

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