The sex tape: reviver of careers, giver of fame. A means to either keep one’s name within the media or, in some cases, to even put one’s name in lights. Many are the celebrities that have taken advantage of the sordid medium to continue whatever lackluster careers they have or to elevate it to something greater, but few are they who parlay it into bona fide fame. While most recently it seems that the sex tape market has been saturated with what we here at Pajiba generally refer to as reality/fame whores, I like to remember the halcyon days of Pam and Tommy Lee. Back when a sex tape was actually a sex tape and it had bankable star power (not to mention giant fake breasteses and generous wang).
The website Asylum recently wrote a little blurb regarding a survey conducted by the internet dating site Can Do Better of their client base. I wish to state that everything I’m relating here is second hand as there is no way that I’m joining a dating site for the purpose of researching this write-up. I have enough indiscretions to explain to my wife (thanks gp) without having to add that one. In a poll of 2,800 members, which is actually a pretty impressive sampling, they found that 64% of young women would release a sex tape if it would help advance their careers as compared to only 42% of men. My first thought was, “Wow! That’s a pretty significant percentage.” but then my pants settled down and I thought it through a little more. I’d like to make it known that I’m not judging anyone who uses internet dating, but I have a suspicion that asking this question to that group is kind of like posting a Craigslist personal add asking if you like to fuck.
One has to inquire what constitutes career advancement? If releasing a sex tape gets you an additional $1.00 a hour raise, are you really going to risk the embarrassment and possible future career suicide? Can you imagine going for a job interview and your prospective employer asking, “Weren’t you in Probing Peffy Peet?” How does one respond to that? “Well…yes, but I was really good friends with the donkey.” Or perhaps, “Yes, but she said I wouldn’t have to touch the other guy. She lied!” I think any realistic merit that could be gained by a “leaked” video would immediately be negated by career fallout. Unless, that is, you are planning on a lengthy stay in porn a la Feisty which brings me to my second perceived flaw in this survey: sex tapes only work if you’re already famous. At anytime one can peruse the intertubes and find any number of amateur pornography sites and I’m pretty sure that none of those people are overly famous. At least, that’s what I hear, as I remain chaste and wouldn’t even think smirching my virginal virtue.
If we examine what’s happened with the sex tape trend over the last few years, they only seem to aid those who have already achieved some level of celebrity. Whether that fame is warranted or not seems to be all but irrelevant. Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Vince Neil, Dustin Diamond, Fred Durst, Chyna; the list goes on and on. None of them are anything close to being big stars or A-list celebrities but they made and released the tapes. Why not the true celebrities? Because they don’t need the publicity or the money that a tape would bring as they already make the sky-high stacks. This is why we will never see Captain Tight Pants, Monica Bellucci and Rachel Weisz in a sweaty, slippery ball of flesh doing the deed. The fact of the matter is, you knew of those Y-listers be before their visual sexcapades. You may not have wanted to, but you did. If you or I decided to broadcast I’m Banging Branded or The Sojourn of Sparkletits nobody would give two rabbit shits in a ten-gallon hat about it. Well, that second one could probably make a mint, but then I’d have to pay Dustin and Replica royalties. However some of those who make these tapes, and knowingly release them, do so to maintain celebrity status.
Take, for example, Paris Hilton. She’s never done anything to warrant being famous besides sliding out of Momma Hilton’s cooch yet maintains her celebrity status by creating this kind of publicity. Paris makes (or used to until her recent arrest for the alleged love of nose candy) a ridiculous amount of money for just showing up at a club. Add to that fashion lines, perfume and endorsements and you end up with quite a profitable business based solely on your media presence and nothing else. Kim Kardashian gets a reality TV show, Chyna becomes a realitywhore and Fred Durst (hopefully) falls off the face of the planet. It’s a remarkably effective business plan and one that neither you nor I could realistically implement which, I feel, makes the question itself redundant.
But, for the sake of shits and giggles, let’s ask a couple of questions. Disregarding the logic of my argument for the unlikelihood of it ever happening; if you could further your career and start making a significant amount of money for doing the deed for all the world to see and it wasn’t with anyone famous, would you? Now, what if it was with someone famous?