After a long week at work, some people like to catch up on the latest episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" or escape into the fantasy world of "Game of Thrones." Though I enjoy crying faces and gratuitous beheadings as much as the next girl, sometimes I’m just really in the mood to cozy up with a little independent film—as in my very own sex tape.
On a recent Friday night, exhausted after a 12-hour day meeting deadlines in the office, I found myself feeling drained. And lonely. Is this all there is? I wondered—commute, work, sleep, repeat? So I decided to dig deep into my Gmail archives for a January 22, 2008 email titled “Enjoy” from my first post-college boyfriend, Kevin. (I never dared save the video on my computer. What if my mother stumbled on it, during a visit to my NYC apartment, while looking at vacation photos or something?) As I nibbled on Special K straight out of the box, I pressed "play" and was instantly transported back to a wild weekend adventure.
On a lazy Sunday morning, messing around in bed during the fall of 2007, I asked Kevin if we could tape ourselves having sex—like, right then. I had joked about making a little "production" before, but after a sophisticated date night of receiving lap dances at Lace Gentlemen’s Club in Hell’s Kitchen, it was on.
“Let’s do it,” Kevin agreed, immediately. Eyes wide, he sprung out of the rumpled bed, grabbed his Mac Book Pro, and placed it on the adjacent desk. After setting up the Photo Booth video app, he angled the camera at me. He jumped back into bed and resumed his spot on his back, erect and ready.
I climbed on top, slowly rocking back and forth to the beat of the Beastie Boys’ “Sure Shot.” We both remained quiet at first, a little camera-shy. I turned my head a few times to giggle at the camera, hungover bed-head hair covering most of my face. We paused a few times so I could adjust when Kevin’s penis slipped. "God we’re amateur," I thought. Suddenly, he broke up the monotony with two swift hand slaps on my ass. You can’t, you won’t, and you don’t stop!
I burst out laughing, and we picked up the pace. We were young, horny, and having a fucking blast. After Kevin finished, I turned around to shut the laptop with a shit-eating grin. We then watched our fresh video ... and fucked again. Life was good.
Months passed. Kevin and I broke up in a New Year’s Eve blowout fight (I thought he was too moody; he didn’t love my drinking). I asked him to return my hair dryer, my eyelash curler, and my "Arrested Development" DVDs, then pleaded with him to email me our special video. Eventually he obliged (he saved a copy too).
After our breakup, feeling a little lonely one Saturday afternoon, I re-watched the video by myself. I immediately felt horny. God, the sex had been good. And though I knew the relationship was rightfully over, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the fun times we had—relaxing in McCarren Park, dominating beer pong tournaments with his friends, making spaghetti and watching "South Park" on quiet nights at his place. It all felt so carefree and easy.
I'd never planned to hold viewing parties for friends, but a year later, hanging out in the kitchen of my Brooklyn apartment, I was having a heated conversation with my friend Matthew and his boyfriend, John, about celebrity sex tapes (I loved the extreme closeups and honeymoon giddiness of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s 1998 video; Michael enjoyed Colin Farrell and a Playboy bunny’s 2002 masterpiece.)
Naturally, I brought up my X-rated production—and about a bottle of wine deep, I offered to show it to the boys. Hey, I know that's a bold move, but it didn't feel that way at the time—I'd never had a problem being naked, changing in front of friends, even peeing in front of them.
So filled with liquid courage, I had little shame about my ass on the screen (Kevin and I didn’t exactly pick the best camera angle), and the fact that my cervix was essentially in full view. Matthew and John couldn’t stop laughing; Matthew even imitated the double hand-slap on my (now jeans-clad) behind.
The next day, I woke with some remorse about my impromptu screening, but quickly brushed it off. So I wasn’t exactly a prude, I shrugged. The guys could finally see for themselves just how impressive Kevin’s dick was, and I kind-of liked the attention being the "bad girl" gave me.
Soon, late-night apartment screenings became a semi-regular thing. It was like my party trick: the entertainment portion of the evening. Of course I made sure that everyone in the room was comfortable with it first; I didn’t offer the viewing opportunity to acquaintances, conservative friends, or any relatives (gross). I couldn't help but love the shocked reactions. “You are insane and I love it,” my college friend Mara gasped, eyes wide. “I could never do this!”
My sexually adventurous couple friends Mike and Lisa— who bragged about their history with dirty photographs— decided they should try making a video of their own. “Thanks for inspiring us to go there,” Mike said, giving me a high five. Wow, I thought. I’m helping people!
Now eight years have passed. I'm a 30-year-old professional who only shares great nights in bed with my pals Ben and Jerry (yes, I’m single). I no longer party all night or videotape my intimate moments. And now I understand the risks involved in making a sex tape—Kevin could have sent it to his friends after our breakup; someone could have stolen his computer and sent our video to friends, or even YouPorn.
Thankfully, none of that happened, and I live my life as a responsible adult who pays bills, gets to the office at 9 am sharp, and only dates emotionally available, financially stable men. I haven’t shown the tape to friends in a long time. I don't crave that sexual attention anymore—I guess I grew up.
But every once in a while, I watch it, alone, for the nostalgia factor—sometimes I want to be a sex-crazed, 23-year-old party girl again, if only for 12 minutes and 31 seconds. It’s titillating for the obvious reasons. I love watching Kevin running his fingers down my back, grabbing my hips, bouncing me up and down. And my God, that dick.
These days, when I’m having sex with someone new, the wheels are always turning: too much, too soon? What if I get attached? Why hasn’t he introduced me to his friends? The video takes me back to a simpler time, when life was a crazy adventure and I didn’t think about aging past 23. I always notice my chipped nails, haphazardly coated in my formerly favorite OPI gold polish. I remember the infamous strip-club outing, and a time when relationships didn’t have rules (Kevin and I fucked on our first date after meeting at an East Village dive bar). We didn’t have a lot in common, but we had fun. I wasn’t thinking about buying an apartment or raising kids with him someday.
And who doesn’t love to reminisce? With Facebook chronicling our every move since 2007, we’ve grown accustomed to revisiting the good old days whenever we want, from birthday parties to girlfriend getaways. But we rarely get such a vivid taste of our former sex lives. My tape feels almost like a yearbook, marking a milestone in my sexual history. Each viewing is a reminder for me to stop overthinking and enjoy each moment as they come.