Sex tapes: The good, bad and the downright ugly

Sexologist says many couples enjoyed sending sexual pictures or making videos to keep relationships exciting

04 November 2018 - 00:00 By LEONIE WAGNER

What feels like a fun exercise to spice things up in the bedroom often comes back with a bite.
Last week, South Africans were exposed to minister of home affairs Malusi Gigaba having some me-time in a video, which was then leaked online.
He later explained that the video, which clearly shows Gigaba's face, was intended for his wife. He said his phone had been hacked.
Social media law experts sounded a warning, but sexologists say sending nude pictures or videos is "normal".
Cape Town sexologist Marelize Swart said social media and technology were affecting people's sex lives.
"People do it because it might look like fun in that moment and they don't think about the long-term consequences. It's become normal for people to send sexy pictures."
Swart said it was most common among 18- to 24-year-olds, who were curious and at their sexual peak.
This was the case for a 31-year-old Johannesburg paramedic who first filmed herself having sex with her boyfriend when she was 18. The paramedic, who now works abroad, said her sex tape has never been leaked but she is concerned that it might be. Since making her sex tape she's sent nude photos and videos to men she's dated.
"Because I work abroad, when I have a relationship with someone it's often long-distance, so we typically use videos to share some kind of intimacy."
Johannesburg clinical sexologist Catriona Bafford said many couples enjoyed sending sexual pictures or making videos, mostly in the initial stage of their relationship, or to keep long-distance relationships exciting.
"There's a thrill and sexiness to not only watching or seeing it, but filming or taking a sex picture or video, too. It's a way to engage with fantasy, to flirt, and to heighten sexual excitement in a relationship," she said.
But Bafford advised couples to ensure that their face and distinguishing features are not in the photo or video.
"If you're going to take and send pictures or videos, be smart about it. Even trust can, sadly, be broken and what was intended to create excitement can create chaos."
Social media law expert Emma Sadleir said technology was enabling sexting, which has become normal over the years.
"I would love to live in a world where people could safely sext, but phones get lost, stolen, accounts get hacked and people are malicious," she said.
This is what happened to a high-profile Durban businessman when his sex tape was leaked after his wife's phone was stolen last year.
The man, who asked not to be named, said he and his wife would occasionally film themselves being intimate.
"Since the leak we have never done it again and never will. We felt our privacy was grossly invaded. My wife and I were both shocked and of course to an extent we felt embarrassed," he said.
In future, people such as Gigaba and the Durban businessman may be able to lay criminal charges. Nonconsensual distribution of private sexual content, sometimes called revenge pornography, will be criminalised when the Cyber Crimes Bill and the Films and Publications Act Amendment Bill are adopted.
For now, if someone has distributed content without your consent, you have the option of laying a criminal charge of crimen injuria.
"If you've sent nudes, get a written undertaking from that person that they have deleted them," Sadleir said. "If they refuse or threaten to distribute the content unless you pay money, send more or provide favours, go to your local magistrate's court and get a protection order under the Protection From Harassment Act. If you were in a relationship, it can be done under the Protection From Domestic Violence Act."

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