N.Y. Times: Are Sex Tapes Passé?

Lila Gray

NEW YORK — An N.Y. Times piece published yesterday asked readers to take a walk down memory lane — when sex tapes still had their “oomph factor.”

Reporter Alex Williams presents a cursory history of sex tapes, beginning with the watershed, career-threatening footage of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, and showing the medium’s progression towards social acceptance by touching on key (albeit sometimes unwitting) players, like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and, fast forwarding several years, Farrah Abraham.

Most recently inducted into the sex tape club is former “Pippi Longstocking” star Tami Erin, who said she was strong-armed into shopping her footage around after an irate ex (the co-star of the tape) threatened to release it first.

Williams uses the forthcoming release of Erin’s video to illustrate his take-home message: sex tapes have become a marketing tool for star-hopefuls, rather than evidence of a racy misadventure.   

“The inevitability of celebrity stag reels has become such that stars who are caught with their pants down no longer need always react with outrage, as if their career were on the line,” Williams wrote.

The article was published in the Fashion & Style section, suggesting that, whether or not sex tapes have become passé, they have become a pop culture mainstay — as much a part of “fashion and style” as they are a part of porn — which helps explain their diminishing shock value and continued mainstreaming.   

To read the entire article, entitled “When Celebrity Sex Videos Are Rated Y (for Yawn),” click here.