Sex Photos & Videos

Sunset Blvd movie close-up

Ready for your close-up?
From Sunset Blvd.

Ah, Monday, you are here again. Thus it’s time for another Q&A session on my blog. Here is a question posed in the comments section of my Q&A for J with HHH post:

Can you give some thoughts or advice on taking pics or vids of you & your spouse for you two to enjoy?

To be honest, I’m not a personal fan of taking sexual pictures and video. Why? Primarily because you never know when and how they might be discovered. Someone in your family might find the evidence or it could get culled from a computer. Recently, Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage did a great job of addressing related privacy concerns with Sexy Email? Think Twice Before You Send. Another issue is that I’m not sure I want to see myself naked that way; you know, without professional lighting, airbrushing, and Photoshop. Finally, I have the notion that overuse of this medium could get a couple hooked to being titillated through images rather than interaction with each other.

So given my own approach to this subject, it should not surprise you to learn that my husband and I do not have a private video collection — even though I’d give a thumbs-up and five stars to plenty of our performances.

Yet, I understand the appeal. There is something tantalizing about not only experiencing sex with your spouse, but viewing yourselves with one another. A photographic image is like a mirror, but one that you can look at over and over. I can also imagine how hot it could be to send your spouse a photo of the two of you entangled together with a caption like, “Let’s do this one again tonight.” Bring on the drool, baby!

Is it wrong? No, I don’t think so. Do you have to be wise about the way you do it? Yes, I think you should — for privacy’s sake and to ensure that such visual representations remain in their proper context, as teasers for the main event.

If you want to give it a shot, here are a few things to think about when taking sexual photos for or with your spouse:

  • If you try to hold up a camera and engage in something at the same time, you likely won’t get much. If you really want a good picture, follow general photography advice: Frame the shot ahead of time. Use a tripod and see where you want to aim the lens.
  • Remember that black-and-white photography is more forgiving when it comes to nudity. Color provides a starker image, and your physical features and blemishes will show up. You may want color, but you might want to try black-and-white too.
  • If you want to pose a shot, pose it and get your picture. But make that separate from lovemaking.
  • If you’re actually making love, don’t play to the camera. It might be tempting, but physical intimacy in marriage is not about performance but connection. And you don’t want to connect to the camera. You should be paying attention to your spouse! If you can’t focus on the sex itself, turn off the camera. It’s not worth it.
  • Be prepared to take a lot of photos or video . . . and then erase some of it. Those magazine covers you see do not come from a few clicks of the camera. Nor are movies filmed in a single take. Likewise, if you want something worth looking at, be selective. Not every photo or moving picture is worth saving and viewing later.
  • Don’t critique. Even though I think our “performance” has been red-carpet worthy at times, it’s really not a performance. Ever. Don’t judge him or even yourself. If you had sex, connected and grew together, and enjoyed your time, it’s perfect. If you start saying things like, “Look at how my thighs shake, ugh!” then the next time you have sex, guess what you could be thinking about? Remember, sex is about focusing on your spouse and the intimate experience.
  • Have a fool (or kid) proof plan for protecting the privacy of your images. Where will you store these photos and videos? How will you lock the files? What is your plan to prevent them from being discovered and gazed upon in horror by your mother-in-law? (She wants grandkids, but not details.)
  • Move beyond the images through the use of words and touch. When either or both of you view the pictures or video, add something personal to it. Include a suggestive caption with a photo, cuddle as you watch the video, talk about what you enjoyed about your time together and what you anticipate in the future. Remember that the photos/video are representations of the real you.

If, like me, you’re reluctant to put it all out there for the camera, you could always draw a picture of yourselves for your spouse. Here’s mine:

Stick figures

Not really. I’m much prettier than that.

So what about the readers? Have you taken photos or videos of yourselves? Do you have recommendations? What have you done to protect the privacy and security of such images?

46 thoughts on “Sex Photos & Videos

  1. Amy R

    I don’t think it is wrong if it is just between you and your spouse. My husband and I tried this one time while we were on vacation. I ended up deleting all the pictures and videos when we got home since I didn’t really care to look at them (my husband didn’t care either as I think it was the idea of video/photos that he liked). I was also worried about the kids getting them by accident. I am not a visual person – I am more of a feelings type person (close your eyes and focus on how it feels) so I think that is why I didn’t care to watch the videos. Good luck to those that want to do it!

    1. J

      I do think there is something about the IDEA itself that is appealing whereas the actual videos/photos may not be so great. Deleting them is, of course, the best way to protect your privacy. Thanks, Amy.

    1. J

      I have seen some very tasteful photography like this. I lean toward the classic of wearing something sexually appealing rather than sexually revealing to take a pic for the hubby. Thanks, Jess!

  2. Male Perspective

    A couple thoughts on this post, if I may…

    As a man I am very visual, much more so than my wife, therefore the temptation to videotape or photograph our passionate moments has crossed my mind more than once.

    Once again, as a man I am very visual, and one of my greatest struggles is in the area of visual purity. By the grace of God I am seeing victories, but it is a daily battle. My wife represents a tremendous blessing to me as God uses her to pour out his Grace, and cover me with Love and Forgiveness.

    That being said, I have decided that it would be wrong FOR ME to videotape or photograph my wife and I together in a passionate moment. I have decided this for the following reason:
    Porn is the unrealistic portrayal of what sex should look like. Every scene is choreographed to be as visually appealing as possible. This means that what society calls beautiful in human form is what we see on the screen, a standard most wives cannot live up to. The actors/actresses are doing exactly that; acting. So what we see is also not an accurate portrayal of what is even pleasurable. Lastly, porn often conveys the idea that people are objects, especially women. Sex is then about pleasure for a man, not love and intimacy. Why do I say all this?

    • First, a video or photograph of you and your spouse, for any man who has struggled with porn (In my experience the majority of men would qualify), would then be associated with his sinful behavior. If used during or before sex, homemade “porn” pulls your focus away from your spouse, the physical person, and draws you instead to the image. This then opens the door to objectify your wife, compare her to the actresses you’ve seen on screen, and even validate your sinful behavior.

    • The door is now opened for your wife to fall into sin a well. Porn, much to the surprise of some, is not just a male problem. It’s been said that 1/3 of internet porn viewers are women (I’m sorry that I can’t remember the source for that stat.). Why open the door for your wife to struggle with the same addictive behaviors you have been struggling with for years? What’s more, most women struggle with image issues, why proliferate her pain by reinforcing the comparison to an unrealistic standard?
    A couple suggestions for those who are visual, but agree that a video camera is not a good idea:

    One – put a mirror in your room. I am visual, and I love the visual blessing that my wife is in my life (which is as it should be!). During sex I, or she, may want to see what’s happening. In some positions, I may want to watch her face, and not be able to. A mirror makes it possible. Even a hand mirror can be fun to utilize (again, even for both of you). In this case you get the full visual experience, but it’s not a sterile screen you’re watching, you still get to interact with each other.

    Two – getting into what I would call the “grey” area. A personally taken photo of you or your spouse can be a good thing. Let me be clear that I’m not talking about explicit photos, which can open the same doors I spoke of earlier. I’m talking about the shirtless photo I’ve sent after a morning at the gym asking if she’d like a closer look tonight. Or of her in a towel saying she slept so good after last night she’s thinking she’d like to try it again tonight… The point here is that you can snap and send a photo, but send something that is not explicit, maybe teases a little, and primarily invites your spouse to enjoy the real thing. Let’s not open the door for our spouse to substitute true relational intimacy for false objectification.

    Criticisms? Critiques? What do you think?

    1. J

      Your thoughts are awesome! I have some of the same misgivings about this idea for men who have struggled with porn, or even those who haven’t. Images can be very powerful, but they are not a person. God’s design for sexuality is always about being engaged with your mate — which is why I think that if a couple does choose to do this, it needs to be limited and include a personal touch to point back to the relationship itself.

      P.S. I’ve heard that 1/3-women-in-porn stat bantied about too. I MUST look up the source for that. Somehow, I think 1/3 is too high. But I certainly could be wrong.

    2. Megan@DoNotDisturb

      Great thoughts and thanks for sharing. We have mirrors in our room that provide such a wonderful view. Also candlelight and reflections on the wall is anther very soft but alluring and enticing visual stimulation.

      I do agree with you though J. We have not used videos or pictures as a safeguard for our marriage and encourage people to make very informed and thoughtful decisions regarding this subject. There is great freedom in the bedroom but I personally believe intimacy is designed for face to face relationship and that is not possible with media alone. Thanks for bringing this up in a non-judgmental and informative way.

      Megan

    3. myemotionalhealing

      Thanks for sharing, that helps me a lot. My husband has struggled with porn for years, and by the grace of God, he too is finally breaking loose from it and experiencing freedom he never thought was possible. He has always enjoyed taking “explicit” pictures of me (not actual pictures during sex though), and I’ve never really seen anything wrong with it, except that his porn addiction has made me extremely insecure, so, now I don’t like the idea of him taking pictures of me and looking at them. I feel like he is trying to make up for the porn by using me as a cheap and more holy substitute. He tells me this isn’t the case at all, but I can’t help feeling weird and very insecure posing for him. He likes taking the pictures and having them to look at every now and then if he happens to be home without me. Then when I get home he’ll tell me he was looking at them and he’ll be ready to have sex. While on the one hand I’m glad he chose to look at me versus the alternative, but on the other I just feel weird… P.S. You can tell your wife that I’m praying for her; lately I’ve had such a heart for all of the other wives around the world who are choosing to stay with their husbands and be the helpmate that God has called us to be. I know the strength that it takes to love, encourage, forgive, and respect someone who has broken your trust.

    4. myemotionalhealing

      Thanks for sharing, that helps me a lot. My husband has struggled with porn for years, and by the grace of God, he too is finally breaking loose from it and experiencing freedom he never thought was possible. He has always enjoyed taking “explicit” pictures of me (not actual pictures during sex though), and I’ve never really seen anything wrong with it, except that his porn addiction has made me extremely insecure, so, now I don’t like the idea of him taking pictures of me and looking at them. I feel like he is trying to make up for the porn by using me as a cheap and more holy substitute. He tells me this isn’t the case at all, but I can’t help feeling weird and very insecure posing for him. He likes taking the pictures and having them to look at every now and then if he happens to be home without me. Then when I get home he’ll tell me he was looking at them and he’ll be ready to have sex. While on the one hand I’m glad he chose to look at me versus the alternative, but on the other I just feel weird… P.S. You can tell your wife that I’m praying for her; lately I’ve had such a heart for all of the other wives around the world who are choosing to stay with their husbands and be the helpmate that God has called us to be. I know the strength that it takes to love, encourage, forgive, and respect someone who has broken your trust.

    5. Joel

      Do you frequent The Marriage Bed [dot] com? I only ask because we know the couple who runs it and were heavily involved for years, and what you wrote was well thought out and nuanced, like someone who’s been thinking and/or writing about this topic for a while. Do you have a username on TMB?

  3. Sara with an H

    My husband has taken sexy photos of me in lingerie, but we’ve never done a video. I, too, can see the appeal of it, but I know I’d never want to go back and watch it again. I know that I would criticize myself so much that I wouldn’t be able to sit through it. I am, after all, my worst critic.

    1. J

      I personally think lingerie photos have more appeal. Plus, if that got discovered, it would be hugely embarrassing but not can’t-show-my-face-in-public embarrassment.

      And yes, we gals are often our own worst critic–although I bet you’re lovely and your husband thinks so too.

  4. Jennifer

    Another tip if you decide to take some pics, make up is your friend especially during these summer months if you are like me and spend a lot of time outside you’re likely to have some tan lines that aren’t very flattering in skimpy lingerie or nude and if you match your make up to your current color it can help blend in so the tan lines aren’t so noticeable, also i have all my photos in a locked folder where if someone does find it they have to enter a security code to view any if the pics.

    1. J

      Ah yes, make-up! Security-coded files are a good idea. Although, I once password-locked a file that mentioned sexuality with my husband, and I CANNOT remember the password. The file’s just sitting there on my computer wondering why it never gets opened. Thanks, Jennifer!

  5. Anonymous

    We have the Bliss iPad game which includes taking pictures and video. We’ve never used the video part but have done pictures. We used a micro-SD card that we don’t use for anything else. After the game we look through any pics together on the camera and then format the card. We still keep it hidden even though there’s nothing on it, just in case. It’s fun to take a few pics, but we make sure they’re only seen by our eyes.

    1. J

      I’m actually interested to know how you like the Bliss iPad game. I’ve seen the computer trial version, and it had some fun stuff. A dedicated SD card is a great idea. You hardly want “Sex Pics” next to “Brad’s 5th birthday” such that you misclick once and Grandma goes into a coma.

      Maybe that should have been the title of the post: For Your Eyes Only.

    2. Anonymous

      It’s fun every few months when the kids are visiting grandparents. It can get a little repetitive, and does have its flaws (um, can’t take off undershirt before taking off top shirt). Overall, though, it’s a good way to spend a few intimate, fun hours with your spouse and not feel the pressure of having to come up with your own agenda. You can just let the game be the guide and you can do or skip what you want.

      Plus, we can load it on the iPad when we want to use it (and it’s password protected) so you don’t have to worry about kids or guests finding it like some of the card and board games out there.

  6. Anonymous

    My king and I have talked about ‘making a video’….there have been opportunities but we just put it off, shy maybe? Our video camera, as most do I guess, has a live or play on tv mode and we’ve discussed using that before the actual ‘taping’.
    GOD blessed us with a new home and we plan to have ‘semi-erotic’ (no nudity) photo shoot together- these photos will be part of our decor.

    1. J

      I’m wondering what “semi-erotic” would look like. Do remember that at some point, your plumbing will break or you’ll want to replace the bathroom tile or whatever, and some worker will go through your bedroom to get there. I do think that some beautiful photos can be taken to remind a couple of their unique love.

  7. Anonymous

    As a man I can say unequivocally that this is a bad idea. I know that is a bold statement, but really given that men are so much more visual than women, this is simply too dangerous for most men. The chance of this leading to something other than connectedness is just to great.

    There you have it, I have spoken!

    1. J

      To be honest, if you asked me what percentage of couples could have an entirely positive experience with sex videos/photos, I’d say less than 20%. I do think it can be done, but I agree that it is “simply too dangerous for most men.” Add in privacy concerns and body image issues (mostly for women), and it’s an even more dangerous territory. I don’t want to denounce it because I don’t think it’s wrong and I can imagine a scenario in which it would be fine, but I think spouses need to tread carefully here.

      Thanks for your input. I love getting the guy perspective on this.

  8. Cheri Gregory

    So, when we were newlyweds and had a brand new video camera, we thought, “Let’s see what we look like!”
    O.M.G. Worst idea EVER! No words in the English language for how awful those few seconds of watching were (before we both lunged for the “off” button and destroyed the tape!) We laugh about it…and still twitch. No more amateur video for us! We’re “old pros” at the real deal and love being in the moment. NO interest, whatsoever, in watching replays! 😉

    1. J

      Hilarious, Cheri. Not everything that is wonderful to experience is worth watching. Glad to know you chucked the video and focused on becoming “old pros” instead. LOL!

  9. Anonymous

    Another man here…

    The sex alone should be more than enough. Godly, pure sex between a husband and wife should be enough to satisfy and “hold” us. Pictures, videos, etc. seems to be digging into the “lust” for more. Man takes what God gives and must insist on making it more, improving upon it. Given the vast problem with pornography, I just don’t see why I need a video of my wife and me having sex or photos of us readily accessible on my iPhone. What is it I am seeking? Why do I need a “hit” or a “fix” of watching a video? Isn’t the memory enough? Why must I feel the need to capture it or enhance it in some way?

    We are too focused on sex. Sex becomes a god. Our devotion and attention and worship needs to be on the Creator of sex not the sex itself. Only He can truly satisfy.

    “Lord, please turn my eyes away from worthless things.” (Ps 119:37)

    1. J

      I agree that we can focus too much on sex itself. When a couple begins to simply look for sexual highs rather than connection, I grow concerned about the focus. But God did create sex to be pleasurable and fun.

    2. Southern man

      ummm….yes, it is pleasurable and fun….exactly how God intended it to be. My comment in no way implied a prudish view of sex. We should worship the creator, not the creation. Pictures, videos are temples we build to focus on the sex itself rather than He who created it. Again, man is taking something incredible, beautiful, fun, pleasurable and unspeakable and is trying to add to it, improve it, capture it and in so doing, is shifting the focus of the worship. All this crap – the pornography, the videos, the pictures, the sex toys, the lubricants, the ipad apps, the books, the obsession IS the problem. We’ve made sex our god. It is an empty, dead-end street. If we focus on it and obsess over it we will find it is a drug that cannot truly satisfy. Then we want more of it and the hits don’t have the impact so we seek more and we go into areas we never dared venture in the past. It really is no different that beer to wine to booze to pot to cocaine to….

      Our society is absolutely DRUNK on sex and the Christian community is every bit as guilty. It is a battle ground and Satan has tricked us into focusing on the act itself rather than the Creator. He’s shifted our focus. Remember the Garden? It’s his same pattern. God gave you ALL of this. You are naked and unashamed. There are no weeds, there is no threat, the water is pure, the food is fulfilling and you two can have it all…except one thing. And man steps up and takes God’s creation and tries to improve it. “I know I can have all 9999% of this but it is that last 1% that I want.” All of this discussion and obsession over sex is the same thing.

      Listen, don’t get me wrong, I’m just transitioning out of this phase. For 15+ years, its been way off base for me. I’ve just had a breakthrough. I love my wife. I delight in her body. She’s the only one I’ve ever had sex with. She’s a stunning beauty. But I spent WAY too long obsessing over “its never enough, I want more”. I worship the Lord because He gave her to me. I am amazed my her body and the wonder of His creation in her. But I worship Him, not her. The sex we have is the sex I need. Any sex is great. I don’t “have” to have it 3x a week. I must not demand to see it in a mirror because “I am a visual person and this stimulates me”. I’m making love to my wife. Not her image in a mirror or the playback on the camcorder.

      Lord please turn my eyes away from worthless things. Sex isn’t worthless. It is magnificent. But I don’t worship sex. I worship HIM.

      peace.

  10. Anonymous

    I would love to have sexy pics of my wife as a surprise gift. It would let me know that she thinks of me in a sexual way when I am not there. It would make me feel loved. I think of her as very sexy, but she does not see herself that way at all. She never has. I would love for her to see that she really is a beautiful woman. When I say that to her, she just says “Oh, you are my husband, you are supposed to say stuff like that!” I think good tasteful pics would give her confidence.

    1. J

      For us gals and body image, the cliche is often true: We are our own worst enemy. I wish I could convince some wives that their husbands really do think they are beautiful, even if they don’t look like the magazine cover. Most guys are smart enough to know that cover isn’t real anyway, and they’d far rather see and touch the real thing! Thanks for your input.

    2. Greg

      I think it’s safe to say that for most men, it’s not so much the /implementation/ of the anatomical differences that’s most appealing and attractive to us, but rather the differences themselves.

  11. MrsS

    I don’t think we should all assume that the way we look in a video making love would be pretty. I don’t know as if I want to see what I look like when I have an orgasm.

    Another thing about this is the question of how this promotes intimacy in marriage. If it is just done as a way to arouse desire, I say it’s a bad idea. If you depend on visual elements to be aroused, you’ll be in trouble, especially when you get over 45 and foreplay needs to last longer.

    Sexual content, even between man and wife, is divorced from they have in actually engaging in the activity. Seems like there are too many things working against to to make a general recommendation. Mirrors may be a nice idea.

    I have sent pictures of myself when my husband is out of town, maybe just a shot down my blouse. But he deletes them immediately. There really is a fine line between what is or is not pornographic, and we need to really think it through.

    1. J

      I agree, MrsS. In fact, I’d go say far as to say I’m downright scared to see how I look when I have an orgasm. Indeed, there can be a fine line, and I suggest people think this through as well. Great comment.

  12. Anonymous

    I’m not interested in the videos, but DH and I have done photos in a few particular situations.
    One year for his birthday I made him a photo book. I took pics of myself in suggestive poses and clothes, printed them at home and gave it to him. He keeps it in the nightstand (it is just the 2 of us in the house) in an envelope. The files are in a hidden folder on our external hard drive, and I’m thinking of transferring them to a locked USB drive instead.
    The other thing I sometimes do is use my phone to take suggestive pictures of myself in dressing rooms then send them to him. We enjoy the pictures but we both delete them off of the phones when we get home.

    1. J

      I personally think that suggestive pics are awesome because they don’t reveal too much but enough to arouse interest for later—when the two of you are together.

  13. David S.

    Some good thoughts here about wise boundaries and good practices around this. Academic for me, since we don’t practice this (I wouldn’t mind, but it isn’t anything I have a burning need to bring up). That said, over at The Marriage Bed forum (boards.themarriagebed.com) we have some “techie” members who have come up with some great, foolproof ways to lock down and safeguard private photos and videos. Worth a look if you’re interested.

    1. J

      Excellent question! I am among those who believe that long-term absences call for creative measures. The parameters are still that whatever sexual activity a couple engages in should be focused on one another and should provide both intimacy and pleasure. So sexy pics and messages, etc. seem like they’d be okay to keep one another’s minds focused on being together.

      I’d be curious to hear from military spouses about what they have done to keep their hearts and minds focused on one another during long deployments.

    2. J

      Also, Anonymous (military couples), if you are on Twitter, could you shoot me a direct message(@hotholyhumorous)? I’m also on Facebook, if that works better.

    3. Emma

      I have been a military spouse – in 7 years of marriage, we have been separated for almost 3 years. Not so much fun, especially in light of maintaining a positive intimate relationship! My hubby also struggles with porn, made much more challenging by long absentees. We have made a couple videos – heavily security protected on his devices – and for us it’s been a huge help to maintaining trust in our marriage cause I know where he’s “going” and what he’s seeing. I have also gifted him with boudoir photos for an anniversary – suggestive, but tasteful 🙂

  14. Mommy Joys

    I’m not a military wife, but twice when my husband and I had to be separated for longer periods of time, I gave him the gift of sexy photos of me. The first time he took them while I posed; the second time I took them myself as a surprise for him. We have also engaged in sexy conversations on Skype paired with self-pleasuring to climax when we’ve been forced to be apart for several weeks. Cyber sex was a novel experience and seemed an odd idea at first, but it was amazing how close it drew us across the miles!

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