Love & Sex

I Did It For Science: Voyeurism

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imageI Did It For Science by Grant Stoddard

To watch and take pictures of a couple’s lovemaking session.

State your hypothesis in the form of a prediction that can be verified by the results of the experiment.

In the name of science, I’ve watched couples shag before, but it’s always been in a group setting. I’ve long wondered what it would feel like to be alone with a twosome — to be the third wheel, the peeping Tom who got invited inside to take dirty pictures.

Please list all the materials required for this experiment (including, if applicable, how they were obtained).

Canon S30 digital camera
Bottle of merlot (one)

In this portion of your report, you must describe step-by-step what you did in your lab. It should be specific enough that someone who has not seen the lab can follow the directions and recreate the same lab.

Self-proclaimed “digital pimp” Brian Battjer recently brought a Hooksexup personal ad to my attention. It was posted by a woman in her early twenties. She was looking for a photographer to take pictures of her having sex with her boyfriend, then possibly join in. I composed a reply, playing up my scant photography experience. (In truth, what I know about picture-taking could be written on the back of a postage stamp.) After a few days, I got a reply from a couple named David and Anita. It was on. Saturday, noon, their apartment.

As I waited for the doorman to buzz me into David and Anita’s respectable uptown building, I decided that noon was a funny time to watch two yuppies banging away at each other. They must have fit me in between strolling hand-in-hand through Pier 1 and finishing the Times crossword in the comfy chairs at Starbucks. David greeted me at the door. Apparently they had timed my arrival to coincide with the peak of the afternoon sun, which was streaming into their charmingly cluttered apartment. “Great light,” I said, in an attempt to convince both of us that I knew what I was doing with a camera.

David was a good-looking fellow, six feet tall with an athletic build and shaved noggin. He shook my hand and introduced me to Anita, who was sitting on the edge of their bed looking slightly anxious. She was lean, pretty and on her second glass of red wine. They told me they had never done anything like this before. To break the ice, we swapped all the necessary demographic information about ourselves and then some. Anita was a recent graduate of a private university. David was older and an entrepreneur. They’d been dating for a few years, and Anita had recently moved into his pad. David even showed me photos of his numerous nephews and nieces, most of whom the couple had earmarked for athletic superstardom. As we chatted, I was immediately struck by how intelligent and affectionate they were. If I hadn’t been minutes away from taking snaps of them doing the nasty, I might have accused them of being a little too cute: they were finishing each other’s sentences, holding hands, constantly seeking affirmation from each other (“We go to the gym quite a lot, don’t we, David?”). They lamented that a recent bout of the flu — which they suffered together, of course — had prevented them from picking up a dumbbell in more than a week. They confessed that they’d almost canceled on me because of their decrease in muscle tone.

David and Anita’s apartment was chock-full of laptops, computer casing, mixing boards and all sorts of futuristic doodads, including a combination Palm Pilot/camera/iPod/video monitor. David started asking me questions about the dpi of the camera I was using. Because I had snagged it from the office and had no clue, I gamely changed the subject. They offered me two other cameras to use. The sun was now perfectly aligned with the window and lit up the room beautifully. We gave each other the look: It was showtime.

Quantify the effects of the experiment.

As I acquainted myself with the technology at my disposal, the couple faced off. “Ready?” David asked Anita, giving her hips a squeeze. She nodded. By the time I raised the camera to my eye, David was stark bollock naked. Anita yanked off her sweatshorts and T-shirt with equal velocity. Crikey, I thought. They obviously weren’t planning to give the camera a little make-out and striptease before getting down to business.

It’s weird: no matter how many times you’ve seen people naked, it can really take your breath away, especially in the sexual context. Anita’s body was lithe and sinewy; David’s was pale and strong, just a month’s supply of creatine away from being a bruiser. Fused at the mouth, the couple fell back onto the bed. I paced around the room in search of interesting angles, trying to strike a balance between artsy and gynecological. The three of us hadn’t talked about how much personal space they’d need, so I initially gave them about four feet, taking pictures at a rate of five per minute. As I became hip to their Herculean sexual prowess, I realized that I’d need those other cameras soon enough. After a few minutes of watching them perform reciprocal oral sex, I decided that I could probably come a little closer, maybe a foot from the bed.

Judging from Anita’s thankful screams, David was really representing downtown. Kneeling, he had picked her up by the hips, bringing her crotch to his mouth like a large segment of watermelon. With Anita’s legs doing the hangman’s jig behind David’s head and back, only her shoulders were making contact with the bed. It looked hot.

Meanwhile, David showed what a sweat one can — and quite possibly should — work up when giving head. Rivulets, then drops, then full-on streams of perspiration gushed from his brow onto Anita’s hairless, prominent pubic bone. (Sorry for getting all anatomical and shit; we usually call that part of the body “the VW Bug hood.” Think about it.)

Then Anita returned the favor, going about the task as though David’s penis contained some kind of precious antidote. I tried to instigate some eye contact, coughing, humming, and making occasional comments (e.g. “Nice!”, “Wicked!”, “Oy! Can’t fit many of them in a glove box!”). But it wasn’t happening. David had eyes only for Anita, and Anita’s eyes were screwed up so tight her lids seemed to be knitted together.

A half hour and a hundred pictures in, the couple warmed to the idea of actually fucking. If I gave you a play-by-play, we’d be here for a week — the two of them provided a live-action version of the Kama Sutra and then some. I wasn’t entirely sure if the sexual gymnastics were being performed for my benefit, or if they usually got down like that. Needless to say, they put the rest of America to shame.*

When you’re watching people have sex, you become very aware of how things smell. Supposedly, scent is closely related to memory, and the faint aroma of shagging left me feeling a teensy bit jealous and left out. An hour in, David leaned across Anita and retrieved a vibrator from the dresser drawer. It was shaped like a fat candy cane, and if it hadn’t been three o’clock in the afternoon, we would have been able to see it glow in the dark. The vibrator ended up on, under, in or around a dozen erogenous areas before finding its way into Anita’s mouth — still whirring — as she was getting squarely fucked from behind.

It was at this point that I remembered the “possibly a third” part of David and Anita’s personal ad. It seemed they were illustrating exactly where a third party might fit in. Feeling a bit too coy to just throw myself into the mix, I started to be less shy about giving them direction. “Anita, throw those shoulders back . . . gorgeous!” “Grab her bum, David, really dig in . . . magic!” By the way they reacted to my instructions — the voicing of my photographic vision, if you will — I could tell they were kind of digging it. They began forcefully slamming their bodies together with a pronounced thud/clap sound, making kind of a racket. I decided that now was as good a time as any to get on the bed with them.

After two hours, I’d used up the memory cards of three digital cameras. I was worried that a) I’d have to ask David and Anita if they had a spare memory card while they were mid-thrust, possibly spoiling the moment; and that b) David was in danger of sweating all the liquid out of his body and drying up like a fig in the sun. Torrents were pouring from every inch of his skin, which now resembled a glazed donut. To my relief, David started the “vinegar strokes” (so called because during the last twenty or so thrusts, you look as if you’ve just downed a glass of the stuff). As David pulled out and sent a copious amount of come over the small of Anita’s back, I managed to get in a few final shots of my own.

Phew! The three of us said almost in unison. After all that, I felt shagged out myself. “It’s a blessing and a curse,” said David, taking deep breaths and wrapping his arms around Anita. “It takes me forever to get off.” Anita looked up at me and sighed. “It’s a blessing.”

The two of them took turns rinsing off in the shower, which they did with the bathroom door wide open. I found this more personal than the sex. They were just being themselves, shamelessly soaping their bits and pieces while talking about the resolution discrepancies among the three cameras. After they dressed, we had a celebratory glass of water and David started downloading the images from each of the cameras to his computer. I had to leave the room. I was a lot coyer about them seeing my pictures than they were about showing me their impressive sexual repertoire. “Don’t worry,” said Anita. “It doesn’t matter if they look bad — we had a great time.” As the pics appeared — all three hundred of them — I breathed a sigh of relief. They looked pretty fucking good! As we chatted, David and Anita said that a threesome with two guys and a girl made more sense “from a mathematical point of view” and said something about the input ratio. David and Anita are nerds. After another hour of making small talk and saying “we should do this again sometime,” I walked out into the last of the afternoon’s pale winter sunshine, utterly spent.

Summarize your findings. Don’t forget to attempt to identify possible variables that could result in different findings for others trying to recreate your test results.

I suppose that I’ve always been a voyeur. As a teen, my problematic hair, bad attitude and worse complexion taught me the joy of fantasizing about other people having sex. But at the time, it seemed too far-fetched to believe that I might actually do it someday. The experiment led me to think about the other times I’ve been a voyeur, from watching smut to attending an orgy to catching a glimpse of a neighbor changing in front of a window. This was the most positive experience by far. I really felt part of David and Anita’s moment; it was great to see how much they cared for each other and how comfortable they were in their relationship. After it was all over — as hot and naughty as it was — I got the warm fuzzies, I really did.

* – According to a survey in Cosmopolitan magazine, the average married couple usually spends fourteen to seventeen minutes on foreplay, and the man typically reaches orgasm after six minutes of copulation.

Do you have an idea for Grant’s next I Did It for Science? .


© 2003 Grant Stoddard and, Inc.

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