Trending: Sex, replies and videotape

Caught on camera while on the job? As Tulisa's proved, it doesn't matter what you're getting up to – it's how you conduct yourself afterwards that counts

Share
Related Topics

Social historians of the future will stroke their chins over a phenomenon that flourished at the start of the 21st century. Scores of European and American movie, television and recording stars, all blessed with fame, money, adulation and public exposure, were seized by a sudden desire to be filmed having sex.

Not only that: in almost every case, their joy in being able to watch the deployment of their limbs and fleshy extremities in acts of penetration and emission swiftly turned to dismay as the resulting private footage was released commercially, to be gawped at by prurient members of the public.

The combination of extreme exhibitionism and mortified embarrassment was a new milestone in the evolution of the human ego. The appeal of making a sex tape may be hard to fathom, but they've been popular for a while.

The first example of in flagrante filming wasn't a tape but a Polaroid photo – that of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, fellating an unknown man (thought to be Douglas Fairbanks Jnr) while wearing nothing but a triple string of pearls. The compromising snap did the rounds of high society and turned up as evidence in the Argylls' bitter divorce case in 1963.

A sex tape allegedly showing Marilyn Monroe pleasuring herself with a Jurassic-era vibrator has been around for years.

Another, showing Jimi Hendrix enjoying the eager attentions of two hippie girls in 1967 was locked away for 30 years before being made public.

More recently, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Colin Farrell, Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian have all expressed horror, in varying degrees of plausibility, at discovering the great unwashed have been able to examine and criticise not only their naked crevices but their Reverse Cowgirl/boy technique.

The responses of the participants have been many and varied. Some claimed the tapes were fake. Some, such as Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson, shrugged off criticism of their behaviour, content in the knowledge that their bodies had been revealed as impressively awesome.

Kim Kardashian initially denied that a sex tape of her and an ex-boyfriend existed, then, when the tape became a bestseller in adult video stores, sued the distributors for violating her right to privacy and won an out-of-court settlement for $5 million.

None, until now, has tried to put a human face on what is generally held to be typically sleazy "celebehaviour".

This week Tulisa Contostavlos, of the N-Dubz rap combo and The X Factor judging panel, startled the gossip community by making a five-minute tape, not of sex, but of explanation, after mobile-phone footage of her was leaked online allegedly by an ex-boyfriend called Justin "Ultra" Edwards.

With her hair scraped back and her face lit like the girl at the end of The Blair Witch Project, she explained how "devastated" she was by the betrayal of someone once so close to her.

"I practically moved in with him," she tearfully explained. "I loved him deeply, had a lot of respect for him, we talked about kids and marriage. I got my record label to give him a singles deal."

She revealed that she'd learned, six months earlier, that Edwards was threatening to release the footage "for whatever reason – to make money, or ruin my career" and had confronted him, to be met by his denial. She asked viewers to understand that, "When you share an intimate moment with someone you love, that you care about and trust, you never imagine that at any point it will be shared with the rest of the UK or people around the world."

It looked and sounded like a genuinely heartfelt confession in a milieu where couples routinely abuse and attack each other. But it wasn't clear whether Tulisa was apologising for the existence of the tape, or asking for sympathy that it had gone public.

Her video was an indignant rejection that she should be thought a woman of loose morals just because she has joined the ranks of Kim, Pam, Britney et al. That seems to be the moral in this story: the fact that your naked body and hungry mouth are splashed all over cyberspace doesn't make you a slut. It means you've been taken advantage of by someone you trusted, even while he was filming your "intimate moment".

Also, although your PR might say the video was "100 per cent fake", you can later admit that it was 100 per cent authentic, provided you tell the world "I'm not going to sit here and be violated or taken advantage of" – as though the truth captured on videotape is contingent on another form of truth, to which only you have access.

The rules that operate in Planet Celebrity are inscrutable indeed.

There is, however, one rule which should by now be self-evident: the minute your sexual partner brings out the iPhone, the Canon or the Nikon, put your pants back on and call a taxi.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Newspaper stands have been criticised by the Child Eyes campaign  

There were more reader complaints this year – but, then again, there were more readers

Will Gore
 

People drink to shut out pain and stress. Arresting them won’t help

Deborah Coughlin
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?