Catherine Townsend: Sleeping Around

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Paul recently confessed that one of his biggest fantasies has always been to make an amateur porn film. So I bought him a digital video camera for Christmas. A few hours after opening the box, he was ready to roll. I was a bit sceptical, because other than the obvious trust issues raised by filming myself in such a compromising position, I was worried about suffering from performance anxiety.

Watching myself on TV is stomach-churning at the best of times, even when I'm not obsessing over the top-of-thigh overhang from my fishnet stockings. But despite my apprehension, filming amateur porn is something that I've always wanted to try. I admit that I was a bit disillusioned after our first clumsy attempt featured mostly shots of a lone breast flashing in and out of scene.

So I downloaded a few amateur internet porn clips to do a bit of research. I learned the importance of lighting (and not answering my mobile mid-coitus!) after the green, slightly sinister grainy hue of Paris Hilton's infamous One Night in Paris, shot using night vision, reminded me of an episode of Most Haunted.

Our next hurdle was experimenting with camera placement. We found that leaving it on the bedside table the entire time looked a bit static, but relying on hand-held shots looked jumpy, and reminded me of that bit in The Blair Witch Project when the kids are running through the woods. Eventually we decided to do a few "test shots" and mark the spot where we would be "in frame" with an X. As it turns out, his bedroom bookshelf was ideal.

I also picked up a few tips online about editing software, which could be used to get rid of embarrassing noises like my growling stomach.

I ruled out eating beforehand, because I felt a bit self-conscious about being on top after inhaling half a pint of pistachio ice cream. According to the pros, arching my back would help "streamline" my stomach, but after a while I started to get dizzy.

Since I felt a bit self-conscious, I decided to leave my bra on for the first bit, despite Paul's reassurances that I looked amazing. There were moments when nerves took over: I was worried about pulling cartoonish faces, and the inevitable money shot.

But after a while, I realised that shooting a sex video wasn't about being waxed to perfection or having a perfectly choreographed presentation. It's about feeling sexy and adored, having fun, and doing something that Paul and I can enjoy together.

So by the end, I stopped worrying about camera angles and started really getting into our storyline. We ended up with more than an hour of footage, and afterwards retired to the front room to watch the entire thing play back on TV before I took the tapes home - relationships may be fleeting, but video is forever.

Paul made popcorn, and I finally cracked open that ice cream. After focusing on sucking my stomach in all night, I was ready to let it all hang out.