Just when I thought the internet had reached its saturation point with celebrity sex tapes—1 Night in Paris was released eight years ago, people!—the internet offered up one I couldn’t resist: the one, the only Hulk Hogan.
Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not proud of watching. But when one of the biggest celebrities of your childhood makes night-vision pseudo-porno, you are obligated to view it. It’s in the official First Generation of Kids to Grow Up With the Internet Bylaws. (This rule also applies to: Melissa Joan Hart, the teenage boy from Hocus Pocus, Joey Lawrence, Kenan and/or Kel, and any of the original Power Rangers.) It’s not that I necessarily wanted to watch it, you see. But I feel about celebrity sex videos the same way I feel about all celebrity gossip: It’s frivolous and unnecessary. But that doesn’t stop me from popping over to Perez Hilton or People.com during my lunch break. (And I’m not the only one: an informal poll of co-workers and friends showed that most of the people I know have at least glimpsed a few moments of celebrities knocking boots.) In 2012, watching celebrity sex videos is the same as picking up a tabloid with topless (or bottomless) photos of Kate Middleton while standing in line at the supermarket. It’s all mindless smut. This just happens to be on the Internet.
But back to Hulk Hogan.
In his sex video, the legendary professional wrestler gets it on with Heather Clem, the then-wife of his lifelong pal, controversial Tampa deejay Bubba the Love Sponge. It’s really quite something to see. After they’ve done the deed, Hogan rubs his belly a lot and worries that he might barf because he ate too soon before intercourse. “I feel like I just got off a rollercoaster,” he exclaims. The sex isn’t very sexy and his commentary is laughably dumb.
Hogan is now suing Gawker (among other news outlets) for posting the video, but lots of celebs make these tapes purposefully to help bolster careers in decline. (Lookin’ at you, Tanya Harding! And probably you, Fred Durst!) This makes sense from the “no publicity is bad publicity” school of thought, but what would really help these floundering celebs is upping production quality. Because, listen, for everyone clutching their pearls and sucking in their breath over my blasé attitude toward these videos, let me clear up one thing: No celebrity sex tapes look like pornography. (Trust me, I watched a lot of them as research for this post.) And I feel safe in saying that most—if not all—of the participants in modern-day celebrity sex videos know what they are doing. And they could use some advice, which I’m offering free of charge to assuage my Catholic guilt for talking about sex so openly.
1. Turn on the lights! Paris Hilton looks awesome in her super-popular video 1 Night in Paris. She would look even awesomer if her skin wasn’t tinted green from the weird night-vision lights. Perhaps being well-lit is less romantic than smooching in the dark, but let’s face facts: you’re taping yourself having sex. The romance is already gone.
2. Buy a tripod. Cost of a cheap tripod on Amazon: Less than $30. Saving your potential viewers from the sea sickness that comes from balancing a camera or a laptop precariously on a bedside table: Priceless.
3.Own your celebrity. If you’re making a sex video in the hopes of boosting your career, you should leverage whatever fame you already have. For example, if the Governator were to make a tape, I’d suggest screaming “GET IN THE CHOPPA!” at climax. Instant Internet gold.
4. Don’t pretend to be outraged. Hey, maybe Hulk Hogan is telling the truth and he had no idea he was being filmed during intercourse. If so, I feel terrible for him and I hope he wins his lawsuit. But if you’re a celebrity who knows full well that this video is going to get posted on the Internet, don’t waste everyone’s time with a bunch of phoney-baloney belly-achin’.
5. Practice, practice, practice. We commoners don’t watch celebrity sex tapes because we think it’s going to be boring and a little awkward. (We already know what that kind of sex is like, thanks.) We watch these videos because we want to be entertained. So maybe do a few test rounds to get the best angles—”blocking” is what you Hollywood types call it, right?—before the real deal gets “leaked.” The sexier you look, the more we’ll talk about it.