Truth about women who make sex tapes
I WAS 19 when I made my first sex tape.
The dodgy VCR footage of my then-boyfriend and I going at it on his Star Wars-themed bed (he was as big a nerd as they came) sent a rush of excitement coursing through me as we watched it back together.
Thanks to the steady advancement of technology, and the birth of the smartphone in my 20s, I soon become adept at other forms of secret, sexy documentation, too.
There were the nudes my uni boyfriend snapped of me on his new iPad - "Don't worry, I'll delete them later," he'd smirked - and the heated Snapchat exchange with a guy I met on Tinder that culminated in cybersex.
Even now, my current partner and I keep a secret catalogue of homemade porn on our phones to bridge the distance when one of us is travelling for work. And, despite being in this relationship, I have zero regrets about any of the images I've exchanged with men over the years. Each instance was completely consensual and something I enthusiastically participated in with a person I trusted at the time.
So why then, when my uni boyfriend carelessly forwarded one of my snaps to a mate years ago, was I schooled by so-called friends on how this action would "ruin" my reputation and career prospects? (FYI those people are no longer my friends.)
While we've made great strides towards equality, issues involving women's sexuality continue to be treated painfully one-dimensionally. It seems that men can have as much sex as they want, however they want to have it, and still garner respect, while the two events are almost mutually exclusive for women.
When Mark Geyer's 22-year-old daughter Montanna Geyer was wrongfully dragged into a sex tape scandal this week (it turns out it wasn't her in the video in question), all of the commentary seemed to focus on emphasising the fact she is a person of "integrity". That, as Phil Gould put it in his tweet on Tuesday, she's "one of the sweetest young ladies I've ever met".
All I have to say to that is, "So..??!"
What does Geyer's daughter's moral character have to do with her sex life? Because, as far as I can tell, whether or not she had sex with someone, and whether or not it was recorded, says absolutely nothing about her integrity.
I get it, Mark, I really do. You want to protect your daughter from online bullying. That is admirable. But this, to me, is the wrong way to go about it.
Because in trying to "defend" her, all you've done is reinforce the idea that what she does - or doesn't do - with her sex life should have anything to do with her reputation.
High School Musical actor Vanessa Hudgens faced similar attitudes when private nude pictures of her were leaked in 2007.
Admittedly, Hudgens had consented to the pictures being taken but for those who missed the controversy, after enormous public speculation Hudgens would be fired from the Disney franchise, despite the fact the images were leaked without her consent, Disney eventually released a statement, saying: "Vanessa has apologised for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she's learned a valuable lesson."
A "valuable lesson" about what? Being a grown adult woman taking nude photos in private? Sending them to someone she was in a relationship with?
You see, the well-meaning comments from you and your supporters, Mark, are perpetuating this entire ideology - the idea that women's bodies are not our own, and as such, what we do with them is up for public commentary.
Nowhere else is this clearer than in the case of Kim Kardashian. After more than a decade of near-constant references to her sex tape, Kardashian was eventually forced to pen a pleading essay on her website in 2016, writing, "A sex tape that was made 13 years ago. 13 YEARS AGO. Literally that lonnng ago. And people still want to talk about it?!?! … I lived through the embarrassment and fear … I shouldn't have to constantly be on the defence, listing off my accomplishments just to prove that I am more than something that happened 13 years ago."
Whether you love or loathe Kim Kardashian, her sex life should have absolutely nothing - read: NOTHING - to do with her entitlement to respect. Nor should it bear any relevance to any of the countless women who've been indoctrinated to believe their sexuality is a hindrance to their reputation and career prospects - many of whom have been pressured into issuing public apologies for their actions in the privacy of their own bedrooms.
Here's what I'd like to suggest to you, Mark. Support your daughter by not making this about her reputation, or your family's reputation. Support her by not even making it about whether or not there is any stigma attached to making a sex tape, because that in no way speaks to who she is as a woman in this world.
Change the conversation entirely. Make it about consent, and respect; about men not weighing in on what women do with their bodies. And let her know that women who make sex tapes aren't the problem. The people who think they have any right to distribute them without consent are.
Nadia Bokody is a sex positive influencer and freelance writer. Continue the conversation @nadiabokody