Sex tapes are so common these days that filming one seems like a milestone for any couple, like moving in together or farting in front of each other for the first time. But sex tapes are still hella risky. One day you're reenacting "Deep Throat" for the camera, the next you're watching in horror as Grannie Gert hits "play" on what used to be footage of her 80th birthday party.

To create a sex tape that's less boom-chicka-boom and more boudoir classy, follow these rules of engagement. And be sure to pay special attention to the advice we give on keeping it private in a digital age. (If only McSteamy had read this article before hitting "record," huh?)

Be Very Selective About Your Co-Star
You wouldn't let a random one-night stand film you (go read Tucker Max's book if you need the fear of God scared into you), even a boyfriend can't necessarily be trusted with a sex tape. (Just ask Paris Hilton and a thousand women whose jilted exes have gone public.)

Save your screen debut for a loving partner whom you trust implicitly. You should also have a firm agreement before making the tape on how it will go down, who keeps the evidence and what to do with it in case you two split. It's all about protecting your bottom line -- literally.

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Set the Scene
You may not even notice dirty sheets or those newspapers piled up at the foot of the bed, but it doesn't exactly scream sexy upon screening. So create a little love nest: nice sheets, porn-worthy lingerie, dim lights and candles (dark lighting = less cellulite on display). Add props or toys if you want to -- it's your video, after all.

Get Ready for Your Close-Up
Using a tripod or setting the camera across from your bed will leave your hands free, but you'll also only get one angle. So take turns using a handheld camcorder. It's more intimate, you can get each person's perspective, and you have more control. You can also edit out awkward moments or pauses that interrupt the action -- such as when he puts on the condom, or if either of you has to run to the bathroom -- by switching your angle and focusing the camera on something else.

This approach also works if you're self-conscious -- you can keep the lens trained on him. If he's the one with the camera in his hands, do your best to act natural. Staring straight into the lens or vamping it up Paris-style won't seem natural or sexy.

One final note: Splurge on a new tape. Using your old VHS of "Troop Beverly Hills" or your sister's wedding video can only lead to trouble. Plus, "Troop Beverly Hills" is better than sex anyway.

Pop a Cork
A glass of wine or tequila shot before disrobing can help you relax, but don't overindulge. Too much booze can lead to either passing out drunk or engaging in embarrassing behavior that you definitely don't want recorded.

Zip It
Moans are fine. Lots of chatter about how your workday went or attempting to mimic what porn stars sound like is unnecessary, unsexy and is likely to make you cringe when you hear it later. Less talk, more action.

Hide the Evidence
Here comes the important part: protecting your tape from prying eyes. The safest approach is to watch the tape once and then delete it. But if you're going to keep an original, it's in your best interest to maintain possession of the tape.

Store it under lock and key in a safe with a note that says "Private -- Please Destroy" in case you get hit by a car and your grieving parents come to clear out your stuff. In other words, guard it with your life. Do not make a copy or let anyone copy the digital file -- this isn't "The Ring."

The Breakup
If you and Loverboy split up, the right thing to do is delete the tape and any copies (which we told you not to make!). Burn it, stab it, run it over with your car -- whatever it takes. Don't just throw it in the trash and think, That's that.

A sex tape is like Alexander Godunov in "Die Hard" -- you may think it's dead, but it's not. Shoot that sucker between the eyes and wipe your hands of the situation.

Tell Us: Have you ever made a sex tape? Was it fun, or did you regret it?