Sex tapes evidence of a lapse in judgement

The ever-growing list of the rich and famous caught up in sex tape scandals grew by one name last week. This time it wasn’t a young heiress or socialite, it was a blue-collar businessman.

Max Mosley, president of Formula 1 racing, was captured on film participating in what has been dubbed a “Nazi Orgy,” according to the London-based Times Online. This bizarre scandal, exposed by a London tabloid, serves as a warning to any high-profile personality of the dangers of recording sexual encounters.

Details of this situation are still sketchy. Mosley hasn’t denied that he is the man in the video with five women reported to be prostitutes. The Times stated that Mosley and the women “re-enacted a concentration camp scene in which he played the role of both guard and inmate.” Mosley, however, has denied that the video depicts him conducting Nazi role-play and he claims he is the victim of a conspiracy.

How these tapes enter the public is always a mystery. Robbery, betrayal and personal intent might be some of the factors leading to the release of these videos.

While society now seems to be structured in such a way that poster girls such as Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton – who are consistently ranked high on the “hottest” celebrity lists – can increase their celebrity status by having a sex tape released.

I don’t think the same can be said about the 67-year-old Mosley, whose porn I’d enjoy watching about as much as Bart Simpson would enjoy watching one starring Montgomery Burns.

When it comes to porn and sex acts, it’s all about preference. What’s considered weird to one person may be perfectly normal to another. So there is no clear-cut definition of a “normal” sex tape. There is sort of an invisible line which shouldn’t be crossed. It’s one of those “you know weird stuff when you see it” situations.

Of all the celebrity sex tapes which have hit the public, I can think of one other tape – in addition to this Mosley film – which sparked public outrage: the video of R&B singer R. Kelly, who allegedly engaged in a sex act with a minor. Kelly is on trial for child pornography.

Of all the people who have been caught in a sex tape scandal, Mosley might be the dumbest. A picture on the Times Online reportedly shows Mosley, chained to a “torture” bench while being caned by a woman. I know I can’t speak for everybody, but it seems unusual for a famous person to allow himself be photographed in such a position.

Any public figure with half a brain should know that, as general principle, you are held to a higher standard than the rest of society. Did Mosley, a public figure known by everyone in London, honestly think he could engage in a high level of bizarre sexual behavior and expect nobody to find out about it? It would spread by word-of-mouth at the very least. So even if he is the victim of a conspiracy, he brought it all on himself by making such an unwise decision.

All it took for Mosley was the ravenous British tabloids who follow him around constantly – as they do most famous people – to get in touch with one of the women involved in this act, pay them a couple bucks and let the cameras role. If it turns out that he did engage in Nazi role-play and knowingly videotaped the act, then there wouldn’t be an adjective to describe his lack of intelligence.

Despite all the scandals, I’m certain that this is not the last celebrity sex tape that will be released to the public. Everyone has his or her personal fetishes and fantasies. Rumors will be rumors, but when the red recording light comes on, you are providing the one thing that can never be retracted – visual evidence.

Ryan Watson is majoring in theater and performing arts.