Review of Video Sex

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Video Sex
by Kevin Campbell
Amherst Media, 1994.
ISBN 0-936262-26-7

As far as I can tell, this is the only book of its kind. In its polished, illustrated 218 pages, it goes through the basics of video production specifically as they apply to filming you and your partner having sex.

I liked the direct and valuable advice on helping your partner and yourself look good on the camera. I suspect that a lot of amateur pornography producers could SERIOUSLY benefit from reading this book. I definitely found this book to be approachable from the standpoint of a beginner, and learned quite a few tips that I didn't pick up on by reading more traditional books on cinematography. If you plan on filming your lover and yourself having sex, you should get this book.

However, it does have a few weak points.

It goes into detail about the fact that the reason most women give for not letting their lover film their lovemaking is "I'll look fat." I don't doubt that that is the case. HOWEVER, after commenting on this, after discussing the fact that most men wouldn't be turned off by seeing their lover on tape, and after going into the usual schtick about having a certain body type not being essential to feeling good about yourself, this book turns around and has EVERY SINGLE illustration in the book involve thin, muscular, "traditionally attractive" people. In this regard, Video Sex doesn't exactly walk its talk.

The book also is aimed at heterosexual couples. Although they go into detail about filming "lesbian" scenes with one's wife and another partner, they pretty much dismiss the possibility of filming "gay" scenes with one's husband and another man as being unacceptable to most men. Bleah. Probably true for a lot of "straight" couples, but bleah.

This book had some VERY valuable advice on camera mounting. However, I questioned the wisdom of mounting the camera using special clamps to the bed itself, as most beds would shake so much during sex as to overcome the auto-stabilization circuitry of even modern cameras and result in a shakey recording.

Finally, I think that this book could have benefitted from an appendix on the nuts and bolts of selling and distibuting your films, if that is your inclination. This book was made in 1994 (before, I believe, the stricter labelling requirements went into effect), and if they ever do a second edition this will in my opinion merit further discussion.

All in all, I recommend this book to any couple interested in filming their lovemaking. Queer couples will have to grit their teeth in places, but c'est la vie: this book is all that's out there on the topic.

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