I don't know about you, but in our hectic life the bedroom is generally strewn with dirty clothes that didn't hit the hamper, cat food bits, and dust bunnies. It's not super hot. But sex=yay!, so let's make a little promise to treat our bedrooms with more respect, starting now.
- Clear the clutter. Of the clothes on the floor, decide what's REALLY dirty and what you can throw back in the dresser. Take water glasses back to the kitchen. Pick your dental floss picks up off the nightstand. Put everything in its place — or, at worst, shove it under the bed. If you're feeling super energetic, do a little storage maintenance so you don't end up with so much clutter so often.
- Banish the TV. Don't worry; it doesn't have to be permanent. But how often is there a TV on the set of a sex scene in a movie? TVs just aren't sexy, so think about hiding it. Get a pretty patterned bit of fabric and drape the set — as long as that doesn't make it look like a goofy monster hiding poorly. Stash the remote and forget, for a while, there's a set in your room.
- Make it sexy. Don't just rely on your overhead lights. If you don't have lamps for mood lighting, set up a few candles or even bundle Christmas lights and stash them so they're out of sight, but put off a nice glow. Make the bed. You might even add some sensual surfaces to your room: a satin duvet or a textured painting.
- Stock up. You know, make sure you have enough of whatever you need: dental dams, condoms, lube, toys, tissues, incontinence pads. And then go a bit farther: add something new! Or unusual. It doesn't have to be sexy — maybe set out a plate of strawberries so you can luxuriously lounge in bed with your lovah, saying mushy things and nomming juicy berries. If it's all you, make it all about you: a date night for one.
There. Doesn't that feel good? Now I'm thinking, since you went to all the effort to set this up and style your love palace, this is a good time to talk about filming yourself doing it.
I sat down with my husband to get the scoop on how to get good results from sexcapade video shoots. He's handy for that: he majored in Radio & TV, worked camera on a film, and his first business was a video production company. And, you know, he's a big fan of sex. His advice will help make taking the dive worth it — and prevent you from making a shame flick you never speak of again.
Lighting and sound are all-important
Good lighting and sound will even make a cell phone video seem decent.
- Start with the settings: what can you change on your camera? Pull out the manual and see if you can figure out how to set white balance and exposure. You can change the tone of the scene by adding warmth or a cool cast: white balance on something cool to get a warming effect, on something warm to get a cooler set.
- Don't mix sources — it makes white balancing less accurate. All your lighting should come from windows OR lamps, not both.
- When possible, make lighting ambient and diffuse. Paper lanterns and lampshades are perfect, and you can also point bulbs at walls and ceilings to reflect on the scene.
- Low lighting is romantic and flattering and can work just fine on video, but it's a good idea to do a test run to make sure it'll turn out okay.
- Take a test run, and really listen to the room. What's the mic picking up? Fans? Furnaces? Electronic hums? If you're going to have music playing, test the camera on that as well. Make sure the camera isn't picking up beats at a hilariously loud level.
- Check for automatic settings. Most point and shoot photo/video cameras level sounds automatically, meaning you'll hear "PSSSSSSSH" during quiet foreplay when the camera's trying to boost levels, and then crushed sound when you're screaming holy Marys.
Pay attention to your directorial style
- Get closer. Yes, you want to capture all the action, but nothing improves composition faster than moving the camera closer.
- If you want to go all gonzo, remove any dangly bits so the lenscap and straps aren't getting into your shot, and beware handling noise. Get a good firm grip (always good advice in this situation!) and be deliberate about your movements.
- Whatever you do, for the love of god, don't turn the camera sideways into "portrait" mode. That doesn't work for video.
- Mirrors can be great for adding lighting and getting to see more of the scene without having a camera person. If you're using mirrors, make sure the camera isn't in the shot.
The most important takeaways: test your settings for a flattering home movie you'll actually want to watch again. Now, get out there and get busy!