Raw Footage

Meeting My Media Mate

I got an e-mail from a friend: A woman was looking to document local lesbians. The idea of being captured in history gave me the incentive to write a brief introduction and click the send button.

When we arranged to meet, three months later, my interest had begun to dissipate. She arrived, unfolded her tripod, and removed the video camera from its case. I talked for two hours, dripping my life onto celluloid as she prodded me with questions.

That was a year ago. We've grown close since then, and video has been an artifact in our history. For her, taping was like foreplay. As I prepared myself, she would turn the camera on, join me, touch me, coax me until its presence made everything hotter. The last time, she stripped me from the sheets in the early morning. It was our final day on vacation in San Francisco, and the rising sun flickered shadows of our bodies on the wall. She suckled my wetness, stopping only to press the power button. Was it in that hotel room when she slid her thighs between mine as the camera's LED counted 1, 2, 37, 69, or when she spread me, her three fingers thrusting in deep, on my living-room floor, that I came to share in her voyeurism?

Photograph by Barbara Kilpatrick
Photograph by Barbara Kilpatrick

I began to take photos because of her. I wanted to capture our positions, freeze our moments of intensity so I could marvel at them. I wanted to soak my eyes with the flavor of their rawness. I wanted a collection of befores, afters, and everything in the middle. Through my love, desire, and curiosity, I wanted to show the beauty I saw in her. She became my loving subject, sometimes asking me sweetly, quietly, to put the camera down.


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