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She Takes A Peep: Making Sex Tapes

This week, following a number of unfortunate leaks, Chiamaka takes a look at making sex tapes: the danger, the pros, the cons and the general reaction when these types of tapes are leaked.

I was in the office a couple of days ago and there was a slightly heated conversation about sex tapes following a number of unfortunate leaks over the last few days. Some people were of the opinion that filming yourself during sex had little to no gratification and it only left you susceptible to having intimate moments leaked. A few others and I felt that certain practices must not be inherently gratifying in order to be valid.

Making a sex tape is not a consequence of social media or a phenomenon that is solely beholden to people of the current age. Since the dawn of time, humanity has expressed and captured themselves engaging in sexual intercourse and other sexual activity. Ancient peoples’ carved markings on walls, moulded statues and other replicas of the nude human form. Often, this ‘art’ was made to depict bodies in the throes of passion, breasts and penises in normal states or even engorged.

This contradicts the notion that documenting sexual experiences stems from the crassness or debauched nature of the current times. Social media is often blamed as the reason why many ‘seek attention’ or why posts of a sexual nature are popularized. The truth is, people are sensationalized by sexual activities in general. In societies where there are direct forms of sexual repression and adults are stigmatized for expressing normal bodily functions, the results are a reflection of that norm. People who inhabit societies like these are even more excitable about sexual expression than people who grow up in societies where informed sexual education and positivity is normalized.

As a result of Nigeria’s approach to sexuality, social media seemed to erupt in a tirade of emotions when Oxlade’s multiple nude videos and tapes were allegedly leaked by his friends. Tiwa Savage also faced a similar fate when a video of her having sexual intercourse was leaked although to very different responses. The majority of the conversation surrounding Oxlade was extolling in nature. Praises about his virility and comments only shaming or poking fun at the female participant. Meanwhile, Tiwa was subject to insults, slut-shaming and a barrage of other disparaging comments. These displays can be attributed to whorephobia, a phenomenon in which women are shamed for expressing themselves in a sexual light while men are encouraged and actively pressured into being sexually aggressive.

While in truth, I was not moved to sympathize with Oxlade due to the circumstances in which the videos were leaked (he allegedly sent it to his friends without the consent of his partner), I understand that sexual videos being leaked out to the general public would always be wrong. Many people would not be comfortable with such an intimate moment being shared with the public. A similar situation is also what exposed Tiwa Savage to public admonishing, in which the man with who she was having sexual relations attempted to share the video with one of his friends and ended up posting it on his public story. Nelly, an American rapper also posted a video of himself receiving oral sex to his public story while trying to share it with a friend.

What is wrong in these three instances is the fact that both men did not have the permission of their partner to share these videos, not that they made sex tapes. Oxlade’s friends had no right to share his videos, despite the fact that they felt he was too ‘generous’ with sending intimate moments aplenty. Oxlade also had no right to send these videos to his friends without the consent of the other person in the video. In true Nigerian fashion, the implicated women suffered major consequences. The girl on Oxlade’s video had to lock her Instagram account and says that her family members are now in conflict with her as a result. Luckily, Tiwa Savage was and is affluent enough to insulate herself from the extenuating circumstances even though there are rumours of her losing sponsorship deals.

Personally, I know that taking nude pictures have helped me to become more in tune with my body since I began exploring body appreciation and politics. However, I also film during sex purely for my own ego. I would recommend that, if anything, people take audio recording rather than visual. Audio captures the experience in a sensual way, giving it a certain leg-up that even visual does not. Also, we live in a cruel and dangerous world and we should all endeavour to practice extreme carefulness when sharing sexual videos with friends, especially on social media. Intimate moments that are not just self-nudes should only be shared with the complete, informed consent of all parties and only with the people thereby consented to.

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