I’ll never forget the day a friend of mine referred to “2 Girls 1 Cup” as a “sex tape.” I never really associated shitting with an orgasm (I know some people do, and they won't be seeing the inside of my room), but to each his own. It hit me at that moment though that I must not really know what the hell a sex tape is. It was Kanye West, though, who really changed that whole game when he said, “My girl a superstar all from a home movie.” Sure Kim K wasn’t eating shit out of a cup in her video (then again she was having sex with Ray J, so I’m not sure which I’d rather do), but he called it a “home movie” like it was an American Idol audition that led directly to a record deal. No Yeezus, it was a trust fund baby getting banged out by Brandy’s brother, and from that she became a mega-mogul. HOW, SWAY?
The concept of “fucking on camera” is far from new, obviously. It’s probably the first thing most people did back when camcorders were first mass-produced, since we’re all heathens deep down. In theory it’s the vainest thing anyone really can do—get naked, get it in while the camera rolls, and then watch it later with kettle corn like, “My, look how wonderful we look during sex.” Years back, the term “sex tape” (and more often than not, some nudie non Playboy-funded pictures too), was publicly known as the dirty little secret celebrities were hiding during the early days of their careers. It was the “I was young and poor” confessional, where some scumbag with a Bob Saget-sized camcorder filmed the celebrity either having sex or just awkwardly standing around naked and posing.
It wasn’t synonymous with the porn renaissance of the 70s and 80s, since that was deemed organized and professional, birthing stars like Linda Lovelace, known for bionic throats and other orifices. To the average Bible thumper, it all feels pretty sleazy. But in reality, one ultimately became a vessel for commerce and the other a vessel for arrogance. Now, the two worlds have collided, and that’s not really “new” either. It’s just that in the current landscape of the entertainment world—where 90% of its inhabitants come with the looming question “So who exactly are you?”—the filmed sexual experience just becomes another cog in their promotional vehicle. They have no real jobs in the game; only blow jobs. And while we’re on the subject, it becomes a total win for women, while men just come across looking like perverts.
From dick pics to filmed sexcapades, the initial response to celebrity males having sex is “that’s gross.” Sure, back in the 80s when Rob Lowe’s sex tape was unearthed, it was discovered that one of the girls was underage. Let’s not get into R. Kelly pissing on teenagers, or politician Anthony Weiner taking nude selfies in the midst of his campaigning (his last name is Weiner though). But all scandals aside, the sex tape business sucks for men. Dustin “Screech Powers” Diamond, Fred Durst, any of them. All of them. It’s just poo-poo’ed. Tommy Lee got off (pun fully intended) because he was sharing a slut swing with Pamela Anderson. And Ray J? Well he isn’t actually a celebrity, right? So Kim Kardashian was the star before even becoming a star. Hell, she got her own TV show on E! because of that “home movie.” Men, you thought you had it all. And somehow you've managed to fuck up while fucking. How sad for you guys.
Vivid Entertainment has become something of a powerhouse for this kind of fuckery. The front page of their site is fueled by random ass “celebrities.” Of course Kim Kardashian’s sex tape with Ray J remains their prized pony, despite tons of other tapes dropping since then, but over the last week or so, the main frame of the site has been dedicated to a trailer for reality star Mimi Faust’s sex tape with Nikko Smith, which dropped, in full, on Monday.
For those unaware of what a Mimi Faust even is, she’s one of the wives from reality show Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta, formerly married to producer/songwriter Stevie J. Stevie is known for producing your favorite songs like the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Mo Money Mo Problems,” “Notorious Thugs” and a bunch of others from Biggie’s back catalogue. He also produced for Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, the list goes on. Mimi is his ex, who owned a cleaning service on the show. Now they’re not together and she’s caught on camera giving the business to her new man Nikko Smith. In case you were unaware, Smith is a “singer-songwriter” who came in ninth place on Season 4 of American Idol. This is the link to music people! Tenuous, yes, tenuous indeed. Is this a situation of "star-on-star" action? Eh, no, but at midnight on Monday, everyone and their whorey cousin were on the internets waiting to download this shit show.
It’s been the trending topic of the moment, and Vivid sits at the heart of it, housing the tape on its site. The main image for the preview was of Mimi looking like Lil’ Kim’s debut album cover, with the words “Coming Soon” (Vivid lost for not writing “Cumming Soon,” but I digress). So here’s the gist of the sex tape: the pair loves oral, Mimi loves anal, and then of course the newly infamous “shower scene.” Here comes Mimi, naked with a string of Mardi Gras beads, swinging from a metal shower rod as Nikko is quite the cunning linguist (get it?). Hardware stores have already started selling their versions of Mimi’s rod (before the sex tape even released), so that housewives everywhere can put down their copies of 50 Shades Of Grey and buy a rod in the hopes of having an orgasm without the inevitable concussion (that shower rod bends in one of Mimi’s sex scenes, and you’re an idiot for trying it at home).
The film was as “professionally” shot as any amateur sex tape, yet every facial expression looks calculated and there are more tongue twirls and erotic gazes than legitimate intimacy. Beautiful, right?! Both Mimi and Nikko are now publicly discussing the tape in this weird hedonistic “we-love-being-sexually-expressive-come-visit-our bedroom” manner, which makes sense since they’re the ones who signed off on the tape’s release for a flaccid $100K (ROOKIES).
Now the internet is flooded with both porn and reality stars offering their take on the tape (who knew porn stars could actually talk?), along with an overall “You go girl!” tone from everyday sexual plebeians (but, like, for real: you go girl). And If we can dig deep into the psychology of the whole thing, we can deduce the following. Love & Hip-Hop fans will recall Mimi discovering her ex Stevie J being a loose-dicked infidel on national television. That’s surely a blow to the ego for anyone. The best revenge? Show how awesome your sex life is without that person! So while we watch “Steebie” deteriorate before our eyes, Mimi is here dangling from a shower rod, totally eclipsing Beyoncé’s “serfboardt” movement. What a power move.
So now the whole “being cheated on” thing is replaced with her being some sort of sexual dynamo. Pretty sneaky, sis. It’s not seen as a sad attempt at regaining control of her life at all. DUH! That’s because she’s a woman.
Is it because the majority of porn consumers are men, so watching women have sex is much more desirable? Or is it that men are expected to act with a certain level of decorum and if a woman isn’t a prude then she’s a whore? The truth is somewhere in there, but women are cashing out, taking pride in fucking on camera. No one “finds” these sex tapes randomly; they’re authorized. And maybe Mimi lost by only getting $100k for the tape itself, but just think about the possibilities that will come from this. And let's keep it 100: Mimi will become a naked national treasure for this, while Nikko will still be in ninth place on American Idol (is ninth place even a thing?). Kim Kardashian is proof of that fame game. Paris Hilton is a limping second. Who needs books or education or hard work or anything else like that when you have a body and can do it on screen for $100k, right? And here we thought we had to strip to pay tuition. Oh right, we still do. Whoops.
So go buy that shower rod, lady. You assumed the moneymaking happened on the vertical pole, but my sisters in the struggle, your cash cow may still be pole but it is horizontal. Practice your best preteen gymnastics moves and please your man, knowing that if you become famous (it’s apparently really easy these days), your sex tape will make you some real money, land on a desk at Vivid HQ and be repackaged as a "porno." Your body is a shrine, and most shrines get visited daily by hundreds of thousands of people around the world, typically with an admission fee. Get it in, mama. You got this.
And as for you, men: You really thought you were ahead of the game, what with your higher minimum wages and automatic sky-high credit scores. You look creepy and pervy in sex tapes, while women look like goddesses. We’re so ahead of you it’s scary. Save the dick pics for your mistresses, and find a real career to make you some money. Sexploitation is our turf, fellas.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to head to Home Depot. Because it's time for me, as a woman, to truly get famous.
Kathy Iandoli hopes you enjoy sarcasm, if not then you’ll actually think she’s serious. Follow her on Twitter — @kath3000.