Did that title grab you? Of course it did! The idea that children would find out Mom and Dad starred in porn movies seems incredulous…and creepy!!! (at least to me)
But, it is happening now, and is going to happen more and more in the years to come! Teens and adults are exploiting and misusing technology in the bedroom, and the facts of digital life mean that “youthful indiscretions & experimentation” made now, and in the past, will be dangers far into the future!
People may be blase’ about sex tapes and the like in terms of losing a job, etc., “down the road”. With so many Hollywood characters hitting the news with this scandal and that, what was once shocking is now “no big deal“, even in Middle-Class America. But we must realize that these files will survive until our kids are adults, and probably well beyond. The Internet Age is still very young!
Let ‘s consider the problem….
To begin with, sex and technology got intertwined long before the Internet arrived on the scene. Polaroid cameras and the old VHS/VHS-C/Betamax cameras of the 1980′s long preceded the digital revolution in their use in the bedroom. Before that, it was good old-fashioned film, both 8mm movies and still pictures, especially the “instant, self-developing” kind.
In those early days a stash of “special” tapes or prints might be hidden, say, in a shoebox or (even better) a locked box in the back of the closet. Videos and prints were pretty easy to control back then so even if their security was compromised the danger of them spreading and causing damage was “local” and could be easily reined in. Duplication wasn’t an issue as copiers of the day couldn’t make decent photo-quality prints back then and video duplication required special labs. Therefore, any scandal or revelation could be contained, risks could be managed, and you probably wouldn’t have to move to another town. They also were hard to find as there weren’t any search engines back then!
Still, it could be devastating and harmful if children, young or adult, discovered the material. There are more than a few cases of this occurring.
Things started changing in the mid-1980s when the first consumer-priced VHS and Betamax camcorders entered the market. Home movies became instant hits!
Then came the Digital Age!
While in Seminary I worked at one of the major retail electronics chains. As digital still and video cameras grew more popular (AND affordable!) there was a trend among customer behavior in the store: Couples at the “Imaging Center” were often checking out the products, speaking in hushed tones, and giggling a lot! One couple even approached me, back when a 2-3 megapixel camera was new and expensive, and asked me to help them select a camera “for filming bedroom stuff”. Fortunately, we had a professional photographer on the sales team (working for the discounts!) that I could turn them over to!
This was back in 1999! The first digital camera for consumers had hit the streets four years earlier in 1995!
The threat posed to the family by homemade sex tapes and pictures is huge in the 21st Century. As we see on the news (and not just the celebrity channels) there are billions of cameras in peoples’ hands and a photo or video clip can go viral, planet-wide, in less time than it takes to write this paragraph. Not only that, but with so much of the Internet stored, and duplicated, on numerous servers in many countries, it is impossible to make sure that all digital copies of a document, photo, or video are destroyed. They will be “out there” as long as there is the Internet and it’s successors last.
Not sure about that? Well, I can tell you that in my research into the various threats in this area I have seen images from video and still cameras with dates in the early as 1987! That’s 25 years ago!
So, how do “Mom and Dad” become the problem? By not considering all the risks taken when technology and intimacy mix. Maybe when they are in college, got drunk, and made a tape. Maybe on their honeymoon or in the first few years of marriage they went all Cecil B DeMille! Maybe even in middle-age! People of all ages are making explicit videos and pictures and they are proliferating faster and faster.
Consider these REAL situations leading to “homemade porn” getting onto the Internet…and discovered by friends and family:
- A couple intentionally makes money with a porn site featuring one or both of them…on camera.
- A couple makes a private sex tape that gets “discovered” or stolen and is released into the wild.
- A person participates in the filming of a hot date, a wild party, or even a sex tape contest, during their college years.
- A couple/person records intimacy on a phone…and the phone gets lost or stolen!
- A happily married couple shoot some pictures and videos for private viewing. But, they divorce and one of them sells the material to a “revenge” site (there are many of them) or just posts it online to hurt others.
Get the picture? See how easy it might be?
“C’mon, those aren’t real situations, are they?”
Yes, they are. There are many couples and individuals who make money sharing their intimacy with the world. There are multiple web sites offering big money (some up to $10,000) for the “best college sex tape“! There are many, many sites that a vengeful spouse or soon-to-be-ex can use to upload private images and videos (often cropped so that only the other spouse’s face is visible). And court records show increasing cases of hidden camera use without consent.
Do you think this happens only to Hollywood couples?
As embarrassing as this is for parents my real concern remains the children. If, for whatever reason, sex tapes or sex pictures do get out into the wild, it could easily harm any children they have. Not just children they have NOW, but those in the future, and possibly even grandchildren!
Consider this image: It is a still from an 18-minute video of a young college couple having sex in what is, apparently, her dorm room. I captured this image for my very first SEX, KIDS, & THE INTERNET Seminar to show the dangers of webcams and such.
That was in 2001. This image is at least 11 years old, and the video is STILL out there, as I write this, on many sites! It is very popular and quite easily found.
Assuming the couple in this film was 18-20 when the video was made they would now be 29-30. They may be married to each other, or to different people, and settled into a career. They may even have children as old as 10-12. See the problem????
This video clip is out there on the Internet today, and will still be there in the year 2022 and beyond!
Consider how likely the following situations are if you are a “porn star” in a clip or image that escapes your control:
- You are dating Mr. Right/Ms. Right. They discover such a movie/image that you were a participant in, possibly many years ago, or they have it pointed out to him/her by a “well-meaning friend”. Then, he/she drops you like a hot potato!
- Your children, siblings, or other family members may, themselves, stumble upon it. (I know of cases where this did, indeed, happen!)
- Your children, siblings, or other family members may be taunted, ridiculed, harassed, and bullied by peers who discover your images/videos and then “share the news”!!! Keep in mind how fast things spread on the Internet!
We have to remember that mistakes in judgement no longer have short-lived and/or local consequences. A sudden, genuinely-regretted, or poorly thought-out act in the Digital Age can have terrible effects 10, 20, or more years into the future…no matter where you move.
Before you create such materials with anyone, anywhere, via any technology, consider who might discover it in the future, and how. And if you do go all Hollywood, take strong, positive steps to maintain security. And don’t forget to have your executor destroy “the box” and any electronic media when you pass on, and that they do it well before family starts going through things!
Before you spitefully attack your spouse/soon-to-be-ex by uploading stuff to the Internet, THINK! Not only are you being an evil, vengeful person, you are knowingly risking children’s well-being!
Adults are not the only “stars” out there. It isn’t that far a stretch to imagine teens/pre-teens egging each other on towards missuse of cameras and phones. In fact, you don’t have to imagine it, it’s already happened! So, not only do you need to keep this in mind for your activities, but you need to sit down with children/teens and let them know the consequences of electronic misbehavior! The odds are they are not thinking that far down the road, either.
And remember Murphy’s Law:
“If it CAN go wrong…It WILL!!!
It is important to your family, your future, and YOU!!!
As to whether a married couple should “Go Hollywood”, read my article: Marriage, Sex, & the Pistachio Principle
(Remember: Sex is only authorized in the SAFE ZONE!)
QUICK TIPS FOR ADVENTUROUS COUPLES:
Ok, you’ve BOTH clearly and knowingly decided to risk it. Here are some quick tips:
- Have a separate, marked memory card or tape for adult use of your cameras.
- Files should be stored on a removable, external hard drive
- All media, even if “cleaned”, should be kept in a locked container.
- After viewing/processing any adult-oriented files, clear all cache, do a system cleanup, and then wipe all free space (I recommend Glary Utilities, www.glarysoft.com, using the 3-pass method).
- Keep a list of all “products” you make or are featured in because ….
- If your relationship starts to really deteriorate you need to get a court order to secure or destroy any “sensitive products”, with severe penalties if they “leak out”.
- Do NOT have an uncovered webcam attached to a PC that is also attached to the Internet. “Things” have happened…. See SMILE! You’re on Candid (Web) Camera
One last item: In the United States it is illegal to secretly record private activities.
Check out these other popular posts:
- Why Viewing Porn Is Like Visiting The Food Court At The Mall!
- SEX: What Was God THINKING???!!! Part I – Design
- iTunes – What Parents Need To Know… Part I – What All Is Available
- …Because What’s On The Internet Even Grosses Out the HOOKERS!!!
- Sex, SPOUSES, and the Internet – Part 1: SEXTING
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