Lady Friday’s here to help you cope with a potential sex scandal.
If you make a tape, don’t leave it anywhere where it could be stolen
This includes thumb drives, cameras, laptops and other individual electronic devices.
If it needs to be saved anywhere, save it in a private internet account which can only be accessed by password, and never EVER access that email account in a public place.
Alternatively, keep it for a while and then delete it – and make sure there are no copies.
Whoever you made the tape with, you need to have a Serious Discussion about its storage, and if you suspect they’re untrustworthy, demand all copies are deleted immediately.
Figure out what’s on the tape
Whether it’s an ex-partner threatening to show it to the world or some third party holding it over your head, it’s important to remember what exactly you’re dealing with.
Try to remember all the acts that were on the tape, and how graphic they were. This will help you to figure out exactly what the damage might be.
Rationalise the situation
Figure out the worst thing that could happen in the situation. Could the person show the tape to your coworkers? Your boss? Your partner? Your parents? Strangers on the internet?
Now determine whether those actions would cause harm, damage and financial or emotional distress. Assess these calmly and clearly – chances are that you’re inflating the results out of fear, and that any reactions would be short-lived or superficial.
The important thing to remember in this situation is that you did not make the choice to have the tape publicised, and therefore can’t be blamed or shamed for releasing it. There’s a certain mindset of ‘made it, deal with it’ – but just because you agreed to participate in a private intimate video does not mean you must be OK with other people seeing it.
You are the victim in this particular scenario, and your own personal sex life is not available for judgement from anybody, particularly considering that releasing it was not your decision.
Consider getting the police or a lawyer involved
Blackmail in any context is illegal. Even if the context is personal, you still have the right to go to the police and understand your rights.
This is particularly the case if you weren’t aware you were being filmed, or if whoever has the tape has it under false pretences, is humiliating you, or has made explicit threats to show it to people and cause harm.
While the law in this area differs radically from state to state, nobody has the right to try and use your own private actions for their personal ends.
If you aren’t a public figure it cannot be classed as ‘in the public interest’ to have the tape in the wider media. If it would definitely cause job or relationship difficulties, and if you’re feeling threatened or unsafe, you need to involve others.
Pre-empt the damage
If all damage control has failed and the tape is going to be released, make the best of the situation.
Apprise all parties who might see it of its contents, warn them, explain the situation – how it came to be public, what you did to try and stop it – and prepare them as much as you can.
You’ll be surprised how many people are simply un-fussed by these things, or unwilling to let it change their opinion of you. If it is a serious professional concern, the police should already be involved.
It’s OK – many people have sex tapes, and have gone on to bigger and better things. Peoples’ memories are, mercifully, quite short. After all, it’s just sex.
Lady Friday xx
Taking the pillow talk out of the bedroom, every Friday….