Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

'The cardinal rule of porn movie sets; Always bring your own bottle of water'

Catherine Townsend - Sleeping Around

Despite my best intentions to remain professional, I could feel myself getting turned on as I watched the lithe naked blonde with her boyfriend in the shower.

I was on a porn set. Not acting, just observing. I've been working on a TV show where I help couples try to save their marriages. (Talk about ironic!) As part of the show, one participant had to direct her own erotic video.

I chatted to several of the performers about their relationships. To my surprise, most of the porn stars had rock solid partnerships - no pun intended - while many are rewriting the rules for monogamy.

The cameraman, whose girlfriend is a performer, had this to say about his partner's day-job. "I'm not the jealous type, which is pretty necessary considering that she shags guys for work. But when I edit her stuff on screen, it can be tough."

Meanwhile, the stars, Richard and Sunset, are amateurs, but only have sex with each other and get off on being filmed. I asked him how he handles the fact that everyone sees his girlfriend naked, and for tips on avoiding jealousy. "The best thing to do is be honest with the guy," Richard said. "Who knows? He may be relieved." (Richard also taught me the cardinal rule of porn sets: "Always label your water bottle because, well, you wouldn't want to take one a performer has used!" )

Their upfront attitude to relationships was music to my ears. My relationship with Jamie has hit the "awkward" phase; we've slept together more than three times, but still view calling each other the next day as optional. I definitely don't want anything serious, but the "Are you sleeping with anyone else?" conversation can be tricky if you want the answer to be in the affirmative.

For me, the litmus test of whether I want to get serious with a man happens when one of us gets sick. Do I long to stop by, brandishing chicken soup and the promise of sympathy sex? Or do I want to avoid the germs?

The porn stars inspired me to take matters into my own hands. "I would love to keep seeing you," I told him, "but I can't promise exclusivity."

To my surprise, he was really cool with everything - and slightly turned on by my description of the porn set. In fact, he asked me if I would be interested in picking up women together. I was intrigued. Now that most of my girlfriends have settled into more serious relationships, multiple-partner sex sessions have been few and far between.

We went home, where I talked dirty about a fantasy I had involving two women. He tore my clothes off. I'm not sure I could handle a three-way with a serious partner, but Jamie is a sexual soulmate and I wouldn't mind exploring more fantasies with him.

In the afterglow, Jamie and I went online and found an invitation to a make-out party, promising that participants will "lose clothes and inhibitions". I RSVPed. Must remember to bring my own water.

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