real life

The Kendra sex tape: why isn’t anyone discussing THIS aspect of it?

Kendra’s new life

Ho hum, another celebrity with a sex tape. That was certainly my view when I heard that former Girl Of The Playboy Mansion and Hugh Hefner’s ex girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson had a sex tape. An unauthorised one that was filmed when she was 18 and was being released by some shonky ex boyfriend intent on cashing in on her fame. Against her will.

Paris Hilton had a slimey ex boyfriend release a sex tape. So did Kim Kardashian. I’m not suggesting either of those women were complicit in having those tapes released because I am not made of such cynical stuff to believe they would knowingly expose themselves in such a vulnerable, unflattering and explicit way.

Still, it’s undeniable that it catapulted them both to a level of fame they otherwise would never attained.

However Kendra is already famous. Even if you look at this in the most cynical way, a sex tape is not going to do much for her at this point.

And that’s not even what this post is about. I haven’t seen the tape, I’m not interested in seeing it. But when I read the following story written by US writer Sasha Pasulka by on Jezebel last week  (the post originally appeared on Sasha’s blog and is republished here with her permission), I was horrified.

With everything that’s being written about Kendra’s sex tape, why is nobody talking about the hideous circumstances around the making of this tape? Sasha writes….

Kendra & husband Hank (who is NOT in the sex tape)

“Yesterday a 10-minute clip from Kendra Wilkinson’s teenage sex video hit the ‘net (it’s NSFW but you’re on your own to Google it). And what I saw was infuriating to me.

I’m not angered because I have any problem with watching sex on tape – for the record, I watched the Pirates porn last week, and it was better than 75% of the mainstream movies I’ve seen this year. No joke. And normally these celeb sex tapes don’t bother me either, but this one in particular pisses me off.

Kendra doesn’t really want to be videotaped. She says so on quite a few occasions.

“Please don’t do it,” she says. “Please?”

“Kendra,” he says, annoyed. “I’m barely zooming in. Just go.”

“Can you not?”

“You’ll like it. Trust me. Watch. Go.”

Kendra seems resigned to her fate, and, almost instantaneously, she shifts characters, from a very young woman being pressured into a sexual situation she finds uncomfortable to a willing sexpot, grinding obligingly on the bed with ablack panther blanket across it. (Jesus Christ.)

As her male companion puts the camera close-up on her vagina, she shuts her legs.

“What?” he whines. “Just do it. Just keep messing around.”

She pushes him and the camera away several times after that, each time slipping instantly back into character as soon as he expresses annoyance.

He begins performing oral sex on her. She’s not entirely comfortable with this. She wriggles around and clamps her legs close, against his head.

“Keep ‘em open. Keep ‘em open. Keep ‘em open. Open your legs. Open ‘em. Open ‘em.”

They have sex. He has trouble staying hard. He’s gross, really – a balding redhead in his late teens or early twenties with a pube-hair goatee, bad teeth and a too-large nose – pudgy and pale all over.

He comes inside her, even though she’s obviously asked him not to. She makes a face and she rolls off the bed. He acts surprised and upset by her action. She tells him she doesn’t like it when he does that. He mutters something about a blow job.

This isn’t a sex tape, really. It’s that thing we talk about that happens to our young women. That thing that we, as grown-ups, write about and research incessantly and condemn broadly, but don’t remember so vividly. It’s right here on video.

It reminds me to some extent of the Paris Hilton sex tape, but even more so here. It’s that space where young women have discovered and perfected their sexuality and its value, but haven’t yet figured out how it’s empowering. They just know that it’s something people want from them; it’s something people expect from them. Something young men expect from them; something, perhaps, that young men haven’t learned how to ask for politely. It’s uncomfortable and new and everybody’s learning, and what happens, more often than not, is that the male partner’s desires come first and more forcefully, and the young woman is disrespected and disempowered and left with a sense that she’s less valuable and less capable of demanding respect and control than her male counterpart – a sense than lingers into her twenties and beyond, even though she might not recognize it as such.

You should not be turned on by this. You should be pissed off.

This isn’t rape – not even close. And Kendra’s not even unhappy the whole time. But you can tell who’s in charge; you can tell who’s in control. It’s made clear. Kendra’s requests are completely ignored; she’s totally disrespected here, naked and exposed.

So the next time some enterprising journalist wants to wax poetic on “what’s happening to our daughters” – to cite studies and surveys and books upon books – maybe she could take ten minutes and watch the Kendra Wilkinson sex tape. What’s happening to them is right here, right on video.”

Have you ever made a sex video (anonymous posting encouraged – but please pick an anonymous name!).  Is it in safe hands?  Do you regret making it?  Do you watch it often?  Have you watched other celebrity sex tapes? How did they make you feel? And what do you think about the circumstances around this one?

*Important – if this post or any of the comments bring up any upsetting issues for you, or if you need to speak to someone please call the NSW Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 424 017.  It does not matter where about you live in Australia, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

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