Everything you need to know to make your own sex video

This originally ran as a topic for my MailOnline column but it’s something I’m asked so often and is so timeless, I wanted to run it here so it stays in the archives.

Since the infamous Paris Hilton sex tape made its way onto our screens – a lifetime ago – plenty of us have secretly fancied making our own porn film.

If you’re a natural extrovert and always thought you’d look far sexier on screen than the average porn star, it seems like a brilliant way to showcase your sex skills.

If you’re long-distance lovers, what better way to keep you both sexually satisfied? And what long-term relationship doesn’t need a little wake-up nudge now and then?

What stops most of us actually following through is worrying that, rather than looking like sex gods, we’ll end up looking quite the opposite.

Idiotic. Unattractive. Ridiculous. Fat.

This is why I spoke to couples who’ve made more than a few sex videos to put together this foolproof, DIY guide to making your own – guaranteed hot and flattering – porn film.

Get naked and get filming!

Take baby steps

Start by taking photos of yourself naked or in lingerie, then let your partner do the same. This is useful for figuring out flattering camera angles.

Then take a few selfies while you’re having solo sex or sex with your partner.

Film little 10 second videos on your phone of you both doing different things and work out what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not.

Never feel pressured into doing anything you don’t want to.

Plan what you’re going to film

If it’s your first time, you’ll both feel self-conscious and awkward once the camera’s on: it helps to have a plan to follow.

Role-playing something works well for some people because of this. If you’re in character, you’re ‘acting’. Some people feel less self-conscious than trying to just be ‘yourself’.

If the mere thought of role-play makes you want to stick pins into your eyes, ‘acting’ might just add to the pressure.

In this case, make a list of things you love doing together and decide on three or four to film.

Props make things more interesting. Sex toys are the obvious addition and ‘outfits’ but you can incorporate everyday stuff as well.

Feed each other or lick food off each other’s bodies, run ice-cubes over thighs and breasts, spank with a hairbrush.

Get camera ready

Some couples love the natural, sweaty look of amateur porn because it looks more realistic. Others want high-end production and that means loads of make-up, hair done, other hair waxed or shaped. Fake tan covers a multitude of sins, so does ‘body foundation’.

A slick of some kind of body oil stops skin looking dull.

I’d strongly suggest investing in some great, flattering lingerie: it takes guts getting naked in front of a camera.

If you’re semi-naked, in something that you know makes you look fantastic, you’ll be far more confident.

Where to film it

The bedroom is the obvious place – but it might not be the right one.

It also depends on what you’re filming.

If you want to film your partner stripping, they need room to move. If you want lots of extreme close-ups of your parts, you need good light.

Most of all, you need privacy. If you don’t have it at home, consider renting a cheap hotel room and filming it there.

Can I film it on my phone?

Smartphones are the obvious choice because all have a video function (though take precautions to make sure the recording is safe, see the sidebar).

Phones are small and as long as you have good light, the quality is OK. Best of all, you already own one!

If you really enjoyed the experience, maybe then move onto a better quality camera or a camcorder.

Some swear ‘action cameras’ like a GoPro are fab for making DIY porn.

Tripods are inexpensive and really useful. You can buy them for your phone or a recorder or camera.

The right lighting is crucial

I can’t stress this enough.

Here’s what one couple told me, when they had a shot at filming DIY porn.

“In our heads, we were two attractive twenty-somethings having hot, dirty sex. Neither of us were prepared for the footage that appeared when we pressed play.

“Our skin looked blue and veiny and blotchy – horrible!

“But it was the wobbling fat that sent us both over the edge. The hideous lighting found deposits of it under our chins, on our backs, our tummies, our arms and the thrusting motion made it wobble, jiggle and wiggle in the most awful way.”

Learn from their mistake.

If one or both of you are body-conscious – and who doesn’t want to look good? – try candlelight. It changes the mood and is flattering on the skin. Or open the curtains and film in natural light.

Dimmers on lights are kind. Or leave one lamp on and create sexy silhouettes.

Point lights at the ceiling to make lighting less harsh or put a desk light above you, on a piece of high furniture, pointing down. Try lighting from below, either side as well.

Play around with all this before the action starts. Getting up to constantly adjust lighting completely ruins the mood.

It takes practise to get the right camera angles

Porn is shot at very odd angles with performers putting themselves in unnatural positions so you can see what’s going on.

Have sex how you normally do, and all you’ll see are lots of shots of the back of your heads and backs. Be aware of where the camera is.

You might want to change the camera position when you move onto a new activity: filming you giving him oral sex, while on your knees in front of him, is very different than filming him giving you oral sex.

Try putting the camera along the side of the bed, if you don’t want to be up and down changing the angle. Or put one at each of the bottom corners.

Don’t be scared to hold the camera in your hands and experiment with different points of view.

In non-filmed sex, our bodies stay close. During filming, move them apart to let light in and get a better, more interesting shot.

Mirrors are great for seeing yourselves at more than one angle at once.

Do a trial run

This is just as important as getting the lighting right.

“We put the camera on a self-timer to run for 10 minutes, thinking that was about right, then jumped into position and basically acted our arses off until the timer went, moaning loudly and sucking our tummies in and being all active when usually we’re both lazy and try to just lie there in hope the other one will do all the work.

“It was a lot of effort, quite frankly, and I think both of us were secretly relieved when the time was up.

“The first minute of the video was great. Then the camera wobbled and dropped and the rest was of our knees. I probably don’t need to point out that not a lot happens in sex from the knees down.”

Get into position, jump around a bit. Check the camera isn’t going to move. Check the angle. Check the lighting.

Then and only then….

Have fun!

Start filming after you’ve had some foreplay to relax.

One drink calms nerves and can get you in the mood. Too many is usually a disaster. Everyone looks better sober than drunk!

If things go wrong – which they will – have a laugh about it. If you hate the result, get rid of it.

Most couples I spoke to have a rule that if one of you doesn’t like the footage, it’s deleted.

Not only is this fair, you’ll relax more knowing the video’s not forever if you hate it.

Choose flattering positions

If he’s worried about his gut looking big, do it doggy style in front of the camera so his stomach is hidden and just his shoulders are in view.

If you’re worried about yours, lean on your forearms. It not only hides your tummy but squashes your breasts upwards between your elbows.

Don’t be scared to go up close on just your faces. Watching your lover’s eye glaze over with lust while you’re pleasuring them is hugely erotic. Watching each other’s ‘orgasm face’ is fascinating – and a bit of a laugh, if truth be told!

Ham it up!

Do everything you want to do but over-exaggerate it.

Don’t stick to one activity for too long, either. It feels nice but it’s boring to watch.

Make noise. Moan. Groan. Talk dirty. Laugh.

Don’t watch it straight away

We’re all a lot better at watching ourselves on video because of our phones – selfies and videos are part of everyday life for lots of us.

But there’s a difference between being clothed on camera and being stark naked on camera, having sex.

Even if you’re well aware that professional porn stars are bleached and waxed, have maybe had labiaplasty to make themselves look totally symmetrical and chosen for their bodies as well as performance, it’s hard not to compare.

You put a filter on your Instagram posts. Why not sprinkle fairy dust over your sex tape?

In other words…

Edit the hell out of it

If you’re shooting it on your phone – as most people do – play around with the basic editing software to check out how you can make yourselves look (even) better.

Filming or editing it into black and white makes everything look classier.

All sex videos are better when the boring bits are cut out. (There are many online instructions on how to edit videos, so I’ll leave that bit to you!)

All done?

Now sit back with a glass of bubbly, clink a toast to each other, and settle in to admire your handiwork.

“Making a sex video was one of the best things I’ve ever done,” one 48-year-old woman told me.

“I was worried I’d focus on looking past it but instead I was shocked at how hot I look when I’m aroused.

“We only made one or two videos but we watch them over and over and they never fail to turn us on.”