Sex Advice from . . . Photographers

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Michael, 32

My girlfriend and I want to take pictures of ourselves having sex. What equipment would you recommend?
I’d set up a mirrored half-room like Guy Bourdin did, like the one that inspired Madonna’s “Hollywood” video. Have two cameras, one pointed directly at them and one from above.

I want my model to have that “just fucked” look. Aside from actually getting him or her fucked, how can I achieve this?
There’s nothing better than a little dribble. Don’t overdo it. Just a little dribble in the hair, and a doe-eyed stare.

What’s a sexy setting?
Shoot them from under a desk, like if you were to shoot Tina Fey’s and Amy Poehler’s lady business on “Weekend Update.” That “at work” thing is sexy. They’re working hard, sweaty, getting out the news. It’s unexpected.

What are the sexual proclivities of a photographer who shoots:


With an old-school Pentax manual camera?
He’s a dirty old man. Meets all his sex partners on the street.

All digital?
Thinks they’re the best at sex, that they’re doing it better than anyone else ever has. They know all the positions, they know what lube goes best with what hole, but in the end, they’re just sort of boring.

Spontaneous. Fun. Horny at the drop of a hat. Boner-on-the-go. Premature ejaculator, but ok with it, because there’s always another one coming right behind it.

Very physical, dirty. Eccentric. Wants to lie under the glass coffee table while a Japanese hooker takes a shit on it.

Part of the global scene. They consider themselves very international with their little camera that was invented in Russia, built in China and sold in the U.S. They like accents, they’re into the group scene. They’ll eventually be swingers, but not yet.

My boyfriend and I want to role-play, but all the usual scenarios like teacher/student and boss/secretary seem too cliché. What else could we do?
Illegal immigrant and border patrol.

What words should be avoided when talking dirty?
Avoiding grunting. When talking dirty in bed, you really want the fully developed vocabulary that only a quality public-school education can bring.

Cory, 28 cory

How can becoming a photographer get me laid?
It can’t. Only drinking can get you laid. And money. I’ve never had anyone fall for the “I want to photograph you” trick. Then again, I was asking other photographers.

We’re visiting my boyfriend’s parents for a week. What are some ground rules we should set for having sex in their house?
I once had great sex on a porch in a sleeping bag at an ex’s parents’ house. I have such a hard time following the no-noise rule in any location, we had to take it outside.

What’s the best song or album for sex?
I’m pretty sure you don’t need music during sex. Unless you need to drown out all the moaning, but that’s the best sound of all. I don’t even notice great music during sex, but I do notice bad music, so probably better to just skip it entirely.

My girlfriend and I want to take pictures of ourselves having sex. What sort of equipment would you recommend?
I think Polaroids were made to document sex. The click of a Hasselblad shutter makes me hot and the pop of a flash is nice, but the Polaroid is a no-brainer.

When talking dirty, what word should be avoided at all costs?
One time, during a one-night stand, a guy said something to me about “respect,” but what he really meant was “tits.” Never patronize the customer.

Todd, 28 todd

I want my subject to have that “just fucked” look. How can I achieve this?
Have them strip down, do push-ups and run around until they get sweaty. Then, right before you take the photo, slap them. They should be below you, of course.

What’s the sexiest setting to photograph someone in?
Stuff your subject into a filthy New York City trashcan, ass first.

My girlfriend and I want to take pictures of ourselves having sex. What sort of equipment would you recommend?
Get a bright light or two and bounce them into a corner. This works especially well if it’s a white room. Then get your digital camera, set the timer and put it on a dresser or a tripod if you have one. If you guys are really moving around, use a flash.

What advice can you give someone who’s going to join the mile-high club?
Do it first-class on an international flight. If you’re going to go coach, you’d better be a sicko because those coach bathrooms reek.

What’s an atypical role-play scenario my boyfriend and I could try?
Yakuza and kidnapped reporter.

What’s the best song or album to have sex to?
Hot Chip’s “Escalade,” Neil Young’s “Best Of” or Baby Dayliner’s “Raid”

Kara, 31

My girlfriend and I want to take pictures of ourselves having sex. What equipment would you recommend?
Just use whatever digital camera you have — the smaller the better.

How can I convince a reluctant model to pose nude for me?
Wine works wonders. If wine won’t work, put your camera on a tripod, get naked and shoot yourself. Hopefully your model will join you.

What atypical role-play scenario could my boyfriend and I try?
Matthew Barney and Bjork.

What’s the best song or album to have sex to?
“Glory of Love” by Peter Cetera.

When talking dirty, what words should be avoided at all costs?
Vagina and penis. No matter how sexy your voice is, they sound totally weird in the heat of the moment.  

Interviews by Will Doig. Sex Advice From… appears on Thursdays. Have questions for the general public? Send them to

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