Who Owns Your Sex Vids?
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because word gets around FAST.
By Eugene S. Robinson
You have sexy questions? Eugene has sexy answers. Write. Now: Eugene@ozy.com
EUGENE, SIR: It’s been bothering me and while I never thought I’d be saying that I am one of those people who don’t know who else to ask, I think I have no one else to ask without revealing way too much about me to the rest of the world. “B” and I broke up seven years ago. During our one year together we did what lots of other couples do and filmed ourselves doing things. It was sexy and fun and got us through times we spent apart (we traveled for work). I know it’s weird to be thinking about it now, but I am — and a few other things. I want to get copies from “B,” and I want to delete them all. His and mine. It’s not like I look at them at all, or ever. But it’s just the idea. We have been friendly in a general way since we broke up, so I wonder if this is weird to ask after all this time. Does it seem hostile now, does it seem desperate, like I should really have other things to worry about, or should I just let this one go? —Ash
Dear Ash Wednesday: So you two liked to film yourselves “doing things”? Like? Shopping? Taxes? Playing Parcheesi? Am I getting warmer? No? Wait, you wouldn’t be talking about sexy things in your sexy letter to a sex column, would you? OK, just for the sake of argument, let’s say you are since it puts you right into the midst of a different kind of intellectual-property dustup. Specifically: Who owns the rights to consensually agreed upon and filmed sex vids?
Now there are laws on the books governing the misuse of said materials, specifically revenge porn statutes that cover videos and photos being sent to your boss, coworkers or new lovers. But covering who owns what ex post facto? As far as I know: no. But let’s for a second assume we’re not talking about sex videos but instead are looking at paintings. Paintings you two painted while you two were painting. If you were to break up after having created these, most divorce courts, according to our time in divorce court, would advise some sort of equitable split.
Equitable split does not mean you call “B” and request/demand they be destroyed. This is like an aggressive way to undo memory. Now, the idea of an ex being able to masturbate to visual imagery of you two having sex FOREVER might be slightly nettlesome, but the reality of it is, you cannot undo memory without lots of drugs and drink. So, while I might be wrong, I’m going to suggest you let this one go. Besides which, no one films ANYTHING because they want to later have it UNfilmed. We document so there’s a document. If it really bothers you, you could try asking nicely, but other than this? Probably just something you’re going to have to live with.
Sucky Sex That Sucks
EUGENE, SIR: I have a girlfriend of two years whom I love very much. I can’t see myself with anybody but her for the long term. She is my soulmate on many levels. Sex, however, is not one of those. We are just horrible at that. For example, I like certain positions that hurt her and I don’t ejaculate in positions she likes. I love giving oral sex, and she does not like receiving it. I find her less attractive lately as she is not taking much care of her appearance, and so on.
We tried the “Let’s have sex and someone compensates the one who doesn’t come first,” but I can’t enjoy it if it feels like she’s not enjoying it. I also can’t keep on having sex with her after she finishes or in a position that hurts her, because it seems like I’m sleeping with a corpse. She has no problem “letting me” do it in positions she doesn’t like, but I don’t want to if she is not enjoying it as well.
At the beginning of the relationship, things were OK, because it was someone new and we could still do it. Now, time passes, and these things are a problem. Like, I cheated on her a couple of times, just for sex. I still love her and want a life with her and I’d much prefer not to cheat. We talked many times about this problem, but having sex with her just makes me anxious about the fact that we are having a terrible time. Any ideas? —Name withheld by request
Dear Screwed: We like/love people partially because of what they represent for us. Height, weight, hair/eye color are measurable characteristics and easily understood if we have previously stated preferences for one or the other. Occult social preferences are harder to nail down. Like, who knew you’d like someone who was a fan of French neo-noir cinema? Or popcorn shrimp? Indeed, if your partner didn’t like French popcorn shrimp and you wrote me, we’d laugh you out of the joint. So between obvious material preferences and occult and inchoate ones, you have a feeling that some are OK to pay attention to and some are not, and while I agree you should budge on cinema, you absolutely should not budge on sex.
Not at all.
Because it’s not going to get better — that’s what your penis is trying to tell you and why you’ve been cheating — and given the depth of the hole you two are in, I’d question why you’d even want to bother to try. Yes, the “love” thing, but you know, break up now and the two of you can go off and do some road work with others and, if the fates will it, maybe you’ll find your way back together. But as things are now? They really suck. So much so it actually gave me physical pain to read your letter. And I didn’t sign on for ANY of that. So, good luck. Keep me posted.
EUGENE, SIR: I’m not one of those women who like to have my lover look deep into my eyes when we’re making love. I hate it. How do I get them to stop without sounding like a bitch? —Faith
Dear You Gotta Have: So you sound like a bitch, so what? You like what you like and out of all the places in your life where you might have to explain what that means, this should not be one of them. So either pipe up and say something about it or turn off the lights or roll onto your stomach to free yourself from the peering eye. This should work just fine. Or did you want me to try to analyze what it means that you DON’T want to look? No idea without more info but doesn’t seem like it matters much, really, does it?