I love watching myself have sex. Looking in the mirror while canoodling makes me so lusty. I would like to approach my partner about the possibility of inviting a professional photographer to take in–action boudoir shots, but I don't want my partner to feel weirded out or think I have a voyeuristic thing. I just really want quality pictures of us having sex! What are your thoughts and/or advice on this situation? — Female, 2020, Heterosexual

First of all, kudos to you! Hannah is fairly sure that if she saw pictures of herself having sex it would be like seeing inside her rawest self, and it would not look pretty. John often wishes he was flexible enough to see what was going on from behind, but he’s not! We think it’s incredible that you feel so turned by your own sexuality, and that you want to really capture it.

That being said, let’s talk about the things that you might want to keep in mind. First of all, a totally candid conversation with your partner comes before anything—explain why this is something you want, and make sure they are being honest and open with you about their feelings toward it. It’s alright if they aren’t comfortable with the idea, and neither of you should feel embarrassed. Sometimes, kinks don’t totally align, and maybe you can compromise on something that makes you both happy (audio recording, photo booth computer recording that you can ditch after watching, who knows). Believe it or not, honest and open communication throughout the entire process will be key.

Our photographer friend, Johanna, gave us some important advice surrounding the logistics of a photo shoot. First, you may want to discuss what kind of photographer would make both of your experiences feel safe and comfortable. Age, gender identity, or sexual orientation might be considerations in such a discussion. Then, make sure to do your research, and find photographers that would shoot you through a human, artistic lens, rather than an exploitative one. An artist who will take this seriously will not be cheap either, so think about how much you’re willing to pay for a quality and professional experience. Be prepared to reach out to multiple photographers to find one that will work best for you.

Now let’s put ourselves in the bedroom. Johanna brought up another good point: taking quality photos takes a lot of work. There’s special equipment and lighting involved, and having to work with the subjects in order to get the right positioning and angle can be tedious. This might mean in order to get some sexy shots, you might end up having some unsexy sex, and the third party might seem way more present than you would have hoped them to be. It’s worth considering how this would impact the mood.

Finally, in this Internet day and age, it can sometimes feel like nothing is private or sacred. Make sure you feel in complete control of what is being photographed and saved. When we first read your question, "revenge porn” was one of the first things that popped into our minds. First and foremost, how much do you trust your partner? Additionally, where will you store these photos? Will they be prints or digital? You should make sure all these details are clearly planned between you, your partner, and the photographer in order to ensure your safety and privacy before you seal the deal.

Maybe a photographer who is well versed in Polaroids is the answer to all of this. All we’re saying is, live out your sexy dreams, but always be ten steps ahead of potential problems. It never hurts to be too careful. Have fun, and say cheese! 

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