Love & Sex

How a Former Porn Star’s Sex Tape Helped Him Reclaim His Sex Life

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How a Former Porn Star's Sex Tape Helped Him Reclaim His Sex Life

By Christopher Zeischegg aka Danny Wylde

Eight years into my porn career I landed myself in the hospital after swallowing too many boner pills for work. My erection wouldn't subside, and it had to be bled out. After I started, more established performers schooled me on the pills, herbs, and injections I could use to maintain a raging hard-on for hours on end, something that was a professional requirement. A doctor told me that if I continued to take the drugs, I'd risk losing my ability to achieve an erection altogether. I was psychologically – and probably physically – dependent on ED pharmaceuticals to do my job. The choice was to either risk my sexual health or stop working altogether. 

It was one of the most devastating moments of my adult life. I quit my job overnight and lost my professional identity. For the next two weeks, I followed my doctor's advice to avoid all sexual arousal. I refrained from touching myself because I had to. And because I was afraid I'd already gone too far – that I'd discover my inability to ever have sex again.

To make things even crazier, I was at the beginning of a new relationship. I'd gone on two dates with a girl and we were crushing hard. I didn't reveal the extent of my fears, but she knew we'd have to wait if we were to have sex again. And we did. The girl of two dates slept next to me during my recovery. Then she helped me to rediscover my arousal in its natural state. 

Shortly thereafter, the circumstances of her life changed, leaving her with a vulnerability that matched my own. Mutual uncertainty and emotional chaos allowed us to latch onto each other in the most intense way possible. If there's something called “falling in love,” our course was speed railing through it. 

I looked back on my sexual history and realized that I'd done my first porn scene when I was 19. Prior to that, I hadn't had a serious partner. My new relationship marked the first time in my life where I could experience sexual monogamy. Sex with my girlfriend was still a form of play, but something about it became more personal. After fucking a thousand people, I felt more attached to just the one. 

I didn't miss performing as much as I thought I would. But there was a part of it that I didn't want to lose completely. I liked the act of sharing my sex, and I liked the feedback. So I talked to my new girlfriend about making our own video — one that showcased the intensely personal sex we were having now.

We had to set a date or I knew it wouldn't happen. 

The morning of, we had sex. And again several hours later. It was normal. We were addicted to each other’s bodies. When we were alone together, I wanted as much of her as I could get. 

But the day was half over and we'd done nothing to prepare for our shoot. So I began to set up a couple of tripods and attach a few lights to the ceiling. She began to apply her makeup. Not that she wouldn't have sex with me without her face made up, but this was intended for an audience. She wanted to feel beautiful.

“What if our video isn't as good as the one you made with your ex?” she asked. We were going to use the same start-up company to host our video. The content I'd created with my ex-girlfriend was a big part of its launch. However, this attempt felt different. I was still a porn star the first time I shared my personal sex. The time away from performing made me feel like a boy playing games he hadn't meant for others to see. 

“Don't worry,” I said. “We're perfect together. It will be.”

We dawdled along. She joked about no longer wanting to do the video. I suggested that we call it off. Then she reassured me that it was still a good idea. “I want everyone to see how in love we are.”

Eventually, we found ourselves in bed together. The room was bright and silent. Two cameras pointed towards us. I'd hastily set them up. They weren't even running at the same frame rate. 

My girlfriend laughed. “Who makes love with the lights on?” 

She was nervous, so I tried to calm her. But this wasn't a way we'd ever made love. It was usually on her bed, but she'd have music or cartoons playing in the background. We'd already be touching, or I'd look at her a certain way and it would have to happen. We might be under sheets in the morning, or getting dressed to go out at night. Never with the covers purposefully pushed aside, drowned in silence, and peering over at a pair of prosumer lenses. 

The anxiety I'd felt as a young performer came back as strong as ever. We'd built this moment up to be the most perfect expression of our desire for each other. But my body was shutting down and I was beginning to panic. I could feel the cameras on me even though nobody stood behind them. 

I'd done it a thousand times with people I'd barely met, and in the most stressful environments. Yet, I couldn't get my cock hard while in bed with the girl I loved. I'd often whisper to her that I thought we could do anything together. Our post-porn video seemed like the worst act to prove me wrong.  

I moved on in hopes to repair my fractured ego, and to prove whatever it is I thought she needed to know. Her legs opened and I put my mouth on her. It should have turned me on. But I mostly thought of it as something that had to happen. 

In a porn film, she'd be sucking my cock. So of course I should have gone down on her first. This video was about real life and real pleasure. I wanted my girlfriend to feel like I'd do anything to please her. Except it wasn't working. My body was dissociating from my favorite act in the world.  

We tried having sex slowly, sweetly, while kissing, and laying close together. It felt like something that should be real, so I hoped that I'd be forced to believe it. Eventually, we stopped to laugh and smile awkwardly. We tried to take the pressure off ourselves. “This isn't for the video,” she said. “But it's cute what we're doing.” 

I knelt between her legs and touched her. There was an apology inside of me that I couldn't even speak. I think she understood. She moved beyond acceptance and offered something back. 

“You want to hurt me?” It was a game that had defined us from the beginning of our relationship. She saved our real world sex video by making it real. 

I didn't think of our sex as over-the-top violent, but we'd shoved needles through each other, and I'd slapped and punched her skin. Part of what made our relationship work was the constant affirmation of something slightly beyond reach. It was a mix of the utopian love seen in Disney films and the desperate, violent need to know someone written in Dennis Cooper novels. Our love had to be forever and our sex had to move beyond this life. We wanted our story to be some fucked up fairy tale come true.

So I choked and slapped my girlfriend and made love to her on camera. She responded in a way that made me forget about everything else. 

After years of porn, I thought I'd worked past the fear of performative sex. After ending my career, I thought it didn't matter. The video with my girlfriend wasn’t supposed to be a performance. It was supposed to be real. 

We eventually got there – to some degree. But the reality of the first 15 minutes (and maybe more that I edited out) is not necessarily the reality of our sex. It's our vulnerability, our attempt to share something we'd developed just for each other. 

What happens thereafter is hard to define. It's different than porn and different than reality. But I like the fact that not everything is accessible. I'm teaching my body to relate in a different way, and it feels good to know that some of that is only available to my partner. 

Our video shows how I make love to my girlfriend at home, but for “you.” It's my nervous dip into failure because I think there's something more you want to see. With the cameras off, though, it's different. I like that you may never know how.