Man Talk Now's Blog

Testosterone Ain't Hormone Pollution
FEBRUARY 9, 2013 4:07PM

The Enduring Anxiety of a Sex Tape

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Let’s get this out of the way first: You’re right, and we can agree without reservation about the extreme degree of foolishness on my part.

When I was a bit younger and less wise than I am today, I said “Okay” when I should have said “No way!” Really, really should have nixed that notion. Dumbest thing I ever did. Except for all the other dumb things, I guess, but we’re not talking about them right now.

We’re talking about agreeing to allow oneself to be filmed in flagrante debauchery. And not just a quick phone video clip. Not even five minutes on a consumer-level camcorder. No, this was a labor of lunacy involving two high-end cameras, painstaking lighting, and strategically-placed microphones on two audio channels. The result was 43 very well edited minutes of me and a (soon to be ex-) girlfriend doing things men and women enjoy doing with each other, which should never be recorded.

Yes, she was a filmmaker. And yes, I’m quite convinced she was as nutty as a jar of Skippy Super Chunk. (And yes, I know peanuts are legumes.)

***

I gave her the nickname “Raven” on our third date, a hike in the Pine Barrens. It suited her. Not just for her long, glossy black hair. There was also something rather avian about her. Quick, deft movements. A preternaturally focused gaze. A hint of predatory menace. She made me uneasy.

Naturally, I was smitten. I immediately began spending all my free time with her.

***

Raven liked porn, which I do not. I have nothing against it conceptually. And I don’t think any less of those who consume it. We all have our “things”, don’t we? From what I’ve seen, I just think it’s pretty awful and unwatchable. People I don’t find attractive making human sexuality look frenzied, inelegant and ignoble.

My impression is that porn producers and performers take the art out of sex. They make it perfunctory and transactional. They don’t impart the delicious secrets of sex: the exquisite slow build of impatience and intensity; the acceleration of heart and breath; the senses expanding; the beauty of each inch of flesh unveiled; the hair-raising electricity of first caresses; and the sheer overwhelming thrill of being right here, right now, in this perfect shared moment.

Plus, the production values are poor, and the performers don’t do it as well as I do. So there.

But Raven liked porn. She liked having a DVD running on the big screen in my bedroom while we were actively engaged. I had no objection. Frankly, I was busy devoting my attention to the woman in my bed. Because, you know… there was a woman in my bed.

Yet Raven wanted me to watch along with her. I tried. And it was boring, dumb and frequently laughable. Sometimes I’d start chuckling. This irritated Raven. So I expressed my sentiments about porn.

And that’s when she issued her challenge. If I don’t like the videos she watches, we should make our own. Just for us. How erotic would that be?

I laughed it off, but Raven didn’t forget. I came home from the office one day to find my bedroom transformed into a studio. Curtains drawn, lights, cameras, sound live. Action?

No.

But then she took me into the living room, and poured wine, and engaged in some of that wily feminine stuff women do. You know what I mean. Anyway, I said “Okay” when I should have said “No way!”

***

Three or four times, we watched Raven’s film of the two of us. I had to admit, it was quite good. She was talented in the filmic arts. The video she directed, shot and edited was indeed better than the commercial erotica I’d seen. It was more patient, more elegant, more intense. More needful and appreciative. And the performers were excellent!

Still, I was uncomfortable that the video existed. The very fact of its existence felt like a yet-unspoken threat from the future. I asked Raven to destroy it. The DVD, the edit files, and the raw video. She agreed immediately. “I will,” she said. “Of course.” I understood, as the words crossed her lips, that she was lying to me.

***

I broke up with Raven a couple months later. I finally decided she was just too weird for me. She’d go for weeks without working, until various individuals and organizations were chasing her for money. She’d stay up all night doing God knows what online, then sleep into the afternoon. One time she became bizarrely aroused by a near-altercation between me and one of her ex-boyfriends we encountered at a pizza place. And I’d sometimes wake in the night to find her staring, Corvus-like, at my sleeping form. Time to get out.

It was not an easy break-up. For months afterwards, she would occasionally send me emails with no messages – just links to an FTP site where she had posted videos for me to watch. One was a clip of her arranging photo prints (of me and the two of us together) in a pile, I suspect on the roof of her apartment building, dousing them with an accelerant, and burning them, while she looked balefully into the lens.

The last video she sent was a clip from our personal porno. It was steamy and very explicit, and really, really well done. It was me and Raven enthusiastically doing what men and women enjoy doing with each other. Right there on my computer screen. And across town, on hers. A couple of clicks away from a scenario I didn’t want to contemplate.

***

When I broke it off, I broke it off clean. No more contact of any kind. No replies to emails, and no phone calls.

I was hoping. Hoping her interest in me would fade with time. She’d meet someone else soon. As crazy as I believed her to be, she’d hesitate before doing anything untoward with that Damoclean video. I was hoping.

It’s been a few years. I haven’t heard from her since that last email. I still think sometimes about what a freaking idiot I was to make a sex tape. With anyone. Ever. Because it’s still out there, and I’m still hoping it’ll never surface.

That last email with the naughty clip was the only one that included text. She wrote:

Can’t wait til your famous! Love ya!  J

 

 

Now saying odd things on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mantalknow 

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Fame is a thing devoutly not to be wished for.
This is good stuff.

My wife of 30+ years and I did this 20 years ago.

Thinking about askin' wifey to video her "servicing" me for my birthday next week.
And let that be a lesson for all you kiddies out there. Guess we'll never see you running for high office. Seriously, while I can't imagine doing that myself, I can imagine once upon a time getting talked into it. So long as you don't run for office or head up an august institution, nothing would come of it were it to get out. They're so ubiquitous now that an eventual release shouldn't amount to much more than a brief, slight embarrassment. If you ever get hitched though I guess you'd have to consider telling your wife.
Pay attention to toritto. I'd change Pine Barrens to Fir Grove or something less revealing than a real place on a map.

Next thing you know it will be obscure poetry and references on some writer's site which will cause you to lose sleep trying to figure out if it's really you mid-stanza.

At least you can recognize yourself in the video.
Dude, the part with you wearing the gorilla mask and asking her to eat your banana is laughable. R
ohhoohohoooowwhoooo, I can't stop....ahhaaaahha. ::tears::

This is one of the more memorable pieces I've read from you, MTN, for several reasons, not the least of which is veracity. The way in which you braid the comic with the dramatic, and the unspoken threat from the future ~ very real.

The odd thing is my own shallow mind will remember this for "she was as nutty as a jar of Skippy Super Chunk" and "she made me uneasy...Naturally, I was smitten".

(You also garnered points with 'filmic arts' [resume laff track]).

Very well done. I can't wait until you are famous either. J.
MTN, thanks for the fascinating story! By the way, if sometime in the future the tape is marketed I have two ideas for the title:

1. Man XXXX Now

2. Bare In The Pine Barrens
Piping in titters on the soundtrack now... Well, counselor, I see your advice on What Not To Do comes from the VOE. I will try to avoid this particular mistake, having made most of the others already.

I have commented on porn elsewhere, viewing it as junk food for the libido, but OMG, now I am gonna look all over for Raven Maniac has sex with Wolf. hee hee...be afraid....:-)
so it hasnt surfaced yet, but when it does, you'll be sure to let us all know the youtube url right?
long live pam anderson, the first internet viral video star. & many others afterwards. its become more conventional nowadays. sort of like married sex.
oh and congrats on getting 4x the hits I got on my latest comprehensive drone post, wink
Follow alsoknownas's advice ASAP: Change your location to "Peoria" or something far away from Jersey. ("The Appalachian Trail" might work.)
fiction, right? because if its not, you're the only guy on the planet who doesn't like porn.

and trudge gets the prize for best comment. Hee!
Why're you worried about your sexcapades surfacing? These days a sex tape going viral is a strategic career move. (Unless it's not as good as you say it is - then it's headed for a show like Tosh.o.)

I'm strangely pleased to think I might have something in common with "Raven." Although I agree with you about your take on most porn: "People I don’t find attractive making human sexuality look frenzied, inelegant and ignoble."

I would guess it's because 1. Most porn is made by men; 2. The makers of porn assume that's what men want; 3. If women made porn it wouldn't be anything like this; or all of the above.

Maybe when she gets tired of making sweaty dirty controversial movies Kathryn Bigelow will get into porn.
Aww. You & Kim K. are living it down! Don't knock Porn - I wrote Dialogue for a Script - okay, it was 2 lines - but it was good! R
I think it sounds like the kind of video I would be proud of. I don't like porn either but with you as the star it might be good.
I remember back in the early 60s that some liberals claimed that while they didn't "oppose" pornography, they found it boring. So they rejected it on aesthetic grounds. And they said it with astraight face. Kudos for the throwback.
@designanator: If this video ever came to light, and we were to give it a title, there is simply no play on the name of my blog that could ever come across as anything but gay porn. "Man [insert something here] Now" would end up linked on websites featuring glistening hair-free gentlemen gazing lustfully at each other. Of course, actually clicking the link would lead to some disappointment for the gentleman consumer.

(I nearly giggled when typing "Man [insert something here] Now".)

@femme forte: No way! I think there are lots of guys who aren't into porn. 1. Actually doing the deed is obviously better. 2. If you need a visual aid to help you take care of business yourself... ? I realize I don't speak for everyone, but the production values in my imagination are *way* better.

@toritto: "Raven" being on OS would rank among my worst nightmares. I actually never thought about the possibility that she might stumble upon this. Thanks you so much for generously offering me something new to worry about. ;)
@Margaret: If Kathryn Bigelow decided to make a dirty film, I think I'd give that a whirl.

@Abrawang: No way would/could I ever run for office. That 18 wheeler following me around is carrying my baggage. And there's more in storage.

@alsoknownas: You're right. I should have changed the Pine Barrens to Fur Grove, or Mount Venus. Or Reservoir Tip.
Algren's Third Law: "Never fall for a woman crazier than yourself."

Believe it, live it.

(Though busting it does make life more exciting for a few years - each time.)
Daniel, I'll tell you something. I suspect I have some faulty wiring somewhere. The odd ones always draw my attention. And sometimes it's not immediately clear whether it stops at "quirky", or extends all the way to "Aaaaaah!"