My phone vibrated in my shirt pocket. I had remembered to turn off the ringer for this important client meeting. I pulled it out casually and glanced at the screen.
I think we should do it.
I couldn’t keep the grin from spreading when I read the glowing letters on the small screen.
“Good news?” asked Bernie Lefkowitz. He was an influential referral source for new clients. He seemed slightly annoyed that I was not giving him laser-focused, rapt attention.
“Just funded a deal,” I said casually. “A tough one. But we thrive on those.” I congratulated myself inwardly for turning my momentary rudeness into a selling point. Lefkowitz smiled—barely.
The rest of the meeting was full of droning voices, all spouting the same tired selling points. Metzger, my partner, sensed my distraction and took the lead. He wrapped it up in a mercifully short time.
“What the fuck was that?” He hissed at me as we left the meeting room.
“Some good news,” I said, still grinning. “A project I’ve been wanting to do for a long time is coming together.”
“Yeah, well, you’re fucking lucky I was there to save your sorry ass. Lefkowitz was pissed.” He body-checked me into the wall. This was how I knew he wasn’t actually angry. We had been bouncing each other off walls since we were roommates in college.
“No luck involved, sport,” I said. “I had that deal sewed up before we even walked in.” He pushed me into the wall again, but the broad smile he couldn’t hide showed he was as pleased with our negotiation as I was.
I hit speed dial. She answered on the first ring.
“That took you long enough,” she said, trying to sound petulant. Her voice was throaty and sensual today. I knew what she was thinking.
“So you’re up for the project?” I asked.
“Oh, yes,” she said. She lowered her voice and drew out the words. “I am SO up for the project.”
We had talked about shooting a video of the two of us making love. She had hesitated at first; you never know what embarrassing things might happen to a video. There would have to be absolute, unquestioning trust between the two of us. She wanted some time to think about it before agreeing.
When I got to my office, I started to write a treatment of our erotic video. I knew it would be for the two of us alone, but I wanted it to be well produced, with good production values, good story and technical quality. I sketched out a list of shots we’d need: she would be a writer working on a book at a quaint country inn. I would drive up, knock on the door of her room and offer to help her. She’d let me in, we’d show some chemistry, and soon we’d be having sex—all under the watchful eye of my HD video camera.
After half an hour, I looked at what I had written. “This is never going to work,” I said to myself. I realized that, even though I always plan our weekend retreats carefully, our lovemaking is always free and spontaneous. We are uninhibited and intuitive together, and those qualities have given us the best sex of our lives.
I deleted the treatment and list of shots. Instead, I made a reservation at a B&B in Northern California’s Sonoma Valley—the Wine Country. Our inspiration would come from the setting.
We drove up the coast to the inn. Even in early October, the weather was warm enough to put the top down. We could smell grapes being harvested and crushed as we drove. We arrived at the inn at 5:30. The innkeeper gave us our keys and directed us up the steep, narrow stairs to our room. It was sunny and spacious, with a king-size bed. The room overlooked a narrow country road. The light would be perfect for video.
She threw herself into my arms. Our mouths came together in a long-delayed kiss. We held each other for a long time, enjoying the familiar feel of our bodies together. She reached between us to unfasten my belt and unzip my pants. In seconds, they were around my ankles. As if by magic, we were quickly naked, holding each other in front of the large windows. Cars went by.
We fell onto the large bed, hungry for each other. Our hands and mouths roamed all over, desperate for the feel of the other’s skin. We made love urgently, all thoughts of video absent. All we cared about then was making love, about being as close as we could possibly be.
After a noisy orgasm, we lay on the big bed, caressing each other, feeling our heartbeats slowing to normal.
“Well, so much for shooting our first scene,” she said. “Do we call that the rehearsal?”
“We don’t need a whole lot of rehearsing,” I said. “I think we have it down pretty well!” She burrowed into my neck, laughing.
We had an intimate dinner in town, sharing a bottle of the local Zinfandel. When we returned to our room, I set up the camera on the tripod. A remote would start and stop it—very useful when we are actor, director and cameraman.
The only light available was from two table lamps. I framed the scene, checked the battery level and memory, then got into bed.
We quickly forgot about the camera. As we enjoyed each other’s bodies, I kicked off the covers. Even at the late hour, the Sonoma night was warm. We made love for the second time that day. I wouldn’t know until later whether there had been enough light. As we lay together in our post-lovemaking afterglow, I finally thought to turn off the camera.
The next morning, we made love again under the watchful eye of the camera. Then we set up in the large bathroom, where we took a long, sensuous shower together. The textured glass of the shower door showed only our outlines to the camera. Later, as I was editing the footage, I would see how sexy those hazy outlines of two people in the shower were.
I had found a spot near Lake Sonoma where we could have a private picnic. I had looked at the location from every possible angle using Google Maps and Google Earth. It looked idyllic and perfect. I couldn’t wait to get her there so we could enjoy our own Déjeuner sur l’Herbe—wine and cheese au naturel.
When we arrived at the spot, we saw what Google maps did not show us: it was much steeper than I had thought. She looked at the hill, then at me, smiling ruefully.
“Nope,” she said firmly. “I’m not getting up that hill.” I knew from experience she was right. It was definitely too steep for her.
“How about if I give you a piggy back?” I said hopefully. She gave me a mock frown. “Okay, Plan B it is,” I said.
We drove a short distance down the highway to another turnout. There were grassy hills with old oaks, and a manageable slope. We carried our blanket, picnic basket, camera and tripod up the path. After a hundred yards, we came upon a small clearing shaded by an ancient oak tree. We could see the lake far below us on one side, a short section of the highway on the other. I spread out the blanket and set up the camera. I opened the bottle of Zinfandel I had bought at a local winery and we drank it from plastic glasses. We lunched on the three artisanal cheeses and salami I had bought on the way.
We sat in the shade of that old tree, enjoying the view, feeling the warm breeze in our faces. She put her wine glass down and began undressing. I started the camera. In seconds, she was naked. She reached for me and began undressing me. Then we were both naked, feeling the soft breeze on our bodies. We lay on the blanket, caressing, kissing deeply. She reached for me, feeling how I was already hard for her.
She held me in her cool hand, kissing my chest, sucking at my nipples. She worked her way down my body, until she had me in her mouth. As always, I felt my eyes roll back in my head, surrendering to the pleasure of her greedy mouth on me. Always the director, I looked up at the camera. I saw that we could have a better angle. Reluctantly, I pushed her away for a moment so I could take the camera off the tripod. I held it close to her as she sucked and licked me, bringing me to the edge, holding me there.
Finally, I exploded into her mouth, whimpering with pleasure. Somehow, I managed to keep the camera more or less trained on my subject. We lay on the blanket afterwards, drinking our wine, enjoying the late summer’s day—and each other.
Later, we had our customary fancy dinner, then returned to the inn. We smoked cigars on the porch and shared the last of our picnic Zinfandel. The day had been perfect. We climbed the narrow stairs to our room. I set up the tripod and camera and framed the bed. The light was very dim, even with the two lamps, but it would have to do. We undressed and slid between the sheets. I started the camera with the remote. We quickly forgot it was there.
Later, I would download over an hour of video to my laptop for editing. I trimmed the clips, created transitions, corrected color and exposure as best I could, boosted the audio volume where needed. As I did that, I re-experienced our time together. At times, I was so aroused that I had to stop.
The final product of our weekend was 50 minutes long. It may lack technical finesse, but it is a perfect memoir of the sweet time my beloved and I had together. No one but she and I will ever view it, but that audience of two is just perfect.
We watched our video dozens of times after that weekend. Since we live so far apart, we sometimes watch it together, connecting on the telephone. It is a poor substitute for being together, but it is sweet to be able to relive that lovely time so vividly together.
One day, after we had watched our video for the twentieth time, she said, “You know what would be cool?”
“We are so hot together, we should share that with other people.”
“Yeah, right,” I said. We can put it up on YouTube as an instructional video for teenagers and newlyweds.”
“No, I’m serious,” she said. Her voice was earnest. “There’s a startup site called ‘Make Love Not Porn.’ It’s videos from real people—not porn actors. I thought it was hot—but not as hot as we are.” I was quiet for a minute. There was so much that could go wrong. You never knew who might watch our little erotic oeuvre, then spread it around where it could do some damage.
“Let me think about it,” I said.
The idea of strangers seeing us make love was strangely arousing. I went to the site to see what these “real world sex” videos were like—and what kind of people were willing to risk their reputations by putting their private sex videos on the internet.
I saw couples of all descriptions, ages and appearance making love. There were straight people, gay people, solo people. There were middle-aged people with wrinkles and cellulite and jiggly bellies. There were shaky videos taken with phone cameras. There were cats walking in front of the camera. There was laughter.
Pornography has its place—but it is far away from the world most of us inhabit. “Real World Sex” is people who don’t worry about holding in their gut. They aren’t obsessed with camera angles, gynecological-style close-ups or lighting. Some of the women have stretch marks, and their breasts have never been under the surgeon’s knife. The men are not endowed like buffalos and they don’t fuck like machines.
In other words, Real World Sex.
I found many of these videos to be quite moving. The people in them (I won’t call them actors, because there was no acting being done) often framed their shots so as to conceal their faces. They sometimes kept their faces averted from the camera; still, they struck me as genuine and sweet.
Could I edit our video so that it would be safe for release to the great unknown we call the Internet? Could we be recognized by family or co-workers? I decided that with a little creative editing and cropping, we could pull this off. I felt a thrill as I realized I probably could. I dialed her number. The phone felt warm in my hand.
“I think we should do it,” I said.