In this age of sex,lies and videoclips,nothing really comes as suprise anymore.But Jennifer,who appears to be just like any others 21 years old college student,says the kind of home videos some of her peer are making now would raise more than just a few eyebrows.
It seems almost every college student now knows of someone who has filmed themselves having sex,or has seen those clips online.According to DSP Mahfuz Abd.Majid form Royal Malaysia Police’s Cyber and Multimedia Crime Investigation Division (CMCID), most of the reports they’ve received or leaked sex videos feature young people aged between 16 to 28.
If you checked the Internet, you will find more than just leaked videos. As many a new media proponent would argue, technology has changed mass media so much. For some, it’s no longer enough to just consume media content, you have to be an interactive producer of content as well; and it’s the same with pornography.
Home made porn videos, featuring youths joking around in local slang with their faces in full view, are made explicitly for all to see on the Internet; that is the erotic lure of new age porn.
After all, teenagers these days are comfortable being in front of the camera. They pose provocatively when they’re taking pictures (or more commonly known as cam-whoring these days), and explore risque topics over webcams.
It is an exhibitionist mindset, that seems to have emerged from the same self-indulgent, self-publishing, “attention-whoring” culture, with which many young people Facebook, Twitter and blog. For some, filming their sex acts is but an extension of this exhibitionist streak.
Possession and distribution of pornographic content, even if it is self-produced, is illegal.
Just for thrills
Farah, 19, is in a stable relationship, and she and her boyfriend film themselves having sex despite knowing the risks involved for the added thrill.
“There’s excitement when we are filming ourselves having sex. It enhances the experience. But a lot of it is for my boyfriend. He lives far away, so I let him have some videos of me on his cellphone to keep him hooked while I’m not around.
“It’s also for evaluation. I want to see how I look, so I can improve on my performance. I don’t sleep around, so I had to learn (about sex) from watching porn. I have a whole stack of DVDs of porn I downloaded from the Internet, and I have a membership with a sex chat service,” said Farah matter-of-factly.
The college student believes she isn’t doing anything wrong, although she sometimes feels guilty because of her religion. She thinks their sex clips are private, and her biggest worry is that her parents might discover them one day.
Jennifer is a lot more liberal in her sexual outlook; she admits to sleeping around and watching a lot of porn but draws the line at recording her sex acts.
She and her friends have “porn parties” where they watch their latest porno downloads, but she always has her guard up.
“I never do webcams. I never put my pictures or videos on my blog, even though some sex blogs are doing that now. That’s because these days, there’s no such thing as ‘I love you forever’. This guy I dated for two years suggested we film ourselves once.
“But for me, even if we’re married there’s no guarantee it won’t come back to haunt me. Who knows? I might marry a Datuk next time, or become someone famous. The most I’ve done is tape some stuff just for fun, which I deleted immediately after watching it once,” said Jennifer during an interview at a cafe in Kuala Lumpur, where she talked openly about her sex life within earshot of several patrons.
She, however, could not resist sharing her sexual experiences on a blog.
“My blog is completely anonymous, because I don’t want my family to know,” says Jennifer who couldn’t be persuaded to reveal her blog address.
Psychologist Associate Professor Dr Khaidzir Ismail from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia believes one of the main reasons why young girls seem more sexually daring to try things like videotaping, cyber sex and sex blogging, is increasingly early exposure to sex.
“Women naturally enjoy sex, they enjoy the intimacy. But when they’re sexually active from an early age, our research shows that they become habitual. They want more, and they explore more, branching into things like videotaping,” he said.
Twenty-year-old communications student Melissa is one of those “early adopters”, having watched porn as a secondary school student with classmates on her cellphone at the back of the classroom, and even along her college corridors “in broad daylight” using the campus’ free wireless broadband.
More and more youths are filming themselves having sex these days.
Melissa is used to filming her sexual encounters. She thinks taping sex has become so common some girls might feel pressured into doing it. She commented: “It’s so acceptable these days. If a guy takes out his cellphone halfway through sex, it’s hard to say no sometimes.”
Even though she knows several friends who’ve had their videos leaked, she remains unperturbed.
“My boyfriend has sex videos of me on his cellphone right now, and I have ex-boyfriends who still have videos of us having sex. But I’m more careful now after my friend’s video got leaked. If I’m breaking-up with anyone, I’ll make sure I delete my videos first,” said Melissa.
Not safe for life
AN indication of how prevalent filming sex has become is the increase in police reports and media coverage of leaked sex tapes and pictures in the last two to three years.
DSP Mahfuz said sometimes, leaked footage aren’t even the result of malice, but sheer carelessness.
“Sometimes the people who have the videos aren’t even thinking about publishing or distributing them. Maybe they sent their laptops for repair, lent someone their thumbdrive, or had their computers accessed over a network by someone else.
“We had a case involving a college student living with four other people. They accessed the Internet using the same hub, and one of her housemates used this to retrieve nude photos of her and used them against her,” he said.
Melissa knows all too well how such things never just stay hidden on the Internet, or in a spurned lover’s cellphone memory card, and how unpleasent the consequences are.
“My friend broke up with her boyfriend, so he sent naked pictures of her to all their friends in college using bluetooth. At first, I didn’t want to see them, but naturally everyone gets curious.
“At first she was like, ‘whatever’, but then people started to talk about it, and finally she just broke down. She stayed at home for about three months, not hanging out, not partying, nothing,” revealed Melissa.
Although Mahfuz says possessing and distributing any form of pornography, whether it’s self-produced or downloaded, is illegal, he reveals that the police “don’t go hunting for it (personal sex videos)”, and they usually investigate a case only when there’s a complaint.
Almost all the complainants of leaked pornographic materials have been girls. Although the guys are usually the ones who initiate the sex recordings, it is usually the girls who bear the worst of the social stigma and shame when these clips become public.
Incriminating pictures or videoclips will eventually find its way on the Internet even when you think they have been deleted.
But in terms of people who’ve had their sex tapes leaked without their permission, Mahfuz says the law is on their side.
“Usually if the victim can help narrow down the possible suspects who would leak their videos, we have more than a 50% chance of finding the person responsible. The victims can also get a court injunction prohibiting the videos from being published if they know someone already has them,” he said.
Jennifer offered some rather different words of consolation to those who’ve had their tapes leaked.
She said: “It’s not like it’ll be national news. There are so many sex tapes out there, you won’t even be able to find what you’re looking for.”
Then again, remember what happened to Hong Kong actor Edison Chen.
(All names have been changed.)