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June 26, 2007

Should You Videotape Yourself Having Sex?

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Think of the camera as the mirror you've never looked into. After Katy viewed a bungled bedroom moment — she flung Mark's arm away when he tried to cuddle with her on the bed — we paused the tape. I told her I had a secret, then whispered, "Men have feelings, too." She started bawling, and we had to give her a few minutes to collect herself. She had no idea she was confusing her husband's attempt at affection with a quest to get in her pants.

This confusion between affection and sex surfaces often, and it's a multilayered issue. First, if someone isn't in the mood for sex and assumes her partner is, she usually chooses the wrong way to reject him (like Katy did). Second, this "all or nothing" mentality reinforces the idea that physical contact must be sexual. On film, these issues become all too clear.

Another couple, Bina and Mark, struggled with a related issue. Bina, whose sex drive outpaced her boyfriend's, constantly pressured him for romps. What she didn't know — until she saw herself clinging all over Mark — is that she was craving simple body-to-body contact as much as a good shag.

Bina's preoccupation with sex highlights a similar line of thought among many couples: that simply being a good lover can carry the rest of the relationship. You can brag all you want about how well you go down on your boyfriend, but if you act like a bitch all the time, he's probably thinking about somebody else while you're doing it.

If you want your sex life to bloom, you have to pay more attention to tilling the soil than planting the flower. That means making your partner feel good about you, himself or herself, and your relationship — the stuff we always hear but don't pay much attention to. Out-of-bed footage and video diaries reinforce that what happens at 8 a.m. clearly affects what happens at 8 p.m.

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