Savage Love

The Boob Tube

Hey, Dan:
For the last eight years, I've been taping myself naked and jacking off solo with a camcorder. Nothing too far out--I just thought it would be fun. Here's the problem: I'm 21 now and don't know what to do with these old vids of myself. The person on the tape is clearly me, and I've racked up quite a huge archive over the years. I've been called really cute by many people, and since the wallet is low, can I sell them? Do they check the age? I'm old enough now, but could I just say I was over eighteen the whole time they were being made? How do they check the age? So what would you recommend a guy in my shoes do?

Porn Star

Hey, PS:
As I haven't reviewed these videotapes personally, you'll have to take my advice with a grain of salt. However, I will happily revisit this sensitive issue in another column if you would send copies of these tapes to me, all of them, in NTSC video format (for the American market) and PAL format (for the lucrative European market). Thank you.

Okay, the tapes you made of yourself before you turned eighteen are, technically, child pornography. While it is illegal to posses, produce or distribute child pornography, the fact that you made these tapes of yourself masturbating sent me scurrying for a guest expert. While it's illegal for a 21-year-old to own a videotape of a 13-year-old masturbating, I wasn't sure it would be illegal for a 21-year-old to own a videotape of himself masturbating at 13. I mean, would a kid who took a nude Polaroid of himself wind up in jail?

"No, he wouldn't," our guest expert assured me. A criminal prosecutor who's put a few child pornographers in jail, our guest expert did not wish to be identified. We'll call her Helen, after rail-thin D.A. Helen Gamble on ABC's The Practice. "Possessing these tapes is not against the law--for him," Helen told me. "Showing them to another minor could be considered exploitation, but of the other person who views the tapes. Certainly, selling them would be illegal. It would also be illegal for a minor to make tapes of himself with intent to sell them," meaning it's illegal for minors to produce child pornography. "But making these tapes for his own pleasure? That's not illegal."

Could you lie about your age? Maybe, but if you have a run-in with the law, Helen and her friends won't just take your word for how old you were when the tape was made. "Pediatric social workers and physicians review this kind of material, and by looking at bone development and secondary sexual characteristics, they can pretty closely determine the age of a person."

Finally, consider this: With the advent of the Internet, porn is forever. Once those tapes are out of your control, count on your picture and perhaps your videos turning up on hundreds of porn sites. Once upon a time, a person could do porno or pose naked for a magazine with some assurance that, sooner or later, the pics would be out of circulation. Not anymore. Porn lives forever online, each pic being endlessly copied and posted. If you do decide to sell those tapes, be prepared for your grandkids to find them online someday.

Hey, Dan:
My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years, and about six months ago, an incident occurred. Right before we left after a nice weekend at his parents' house, I told my boyfriend that we should pack. Fifteen minutes later his father comes up and blurts out, "Why is she up here sucking your dick?" All we were doing was packing! Then my boyfriend's mom comes up and says I upset her husband!

I started throwing my things in the car, and my boyfriend's mom followed me out, calling me a whore! Then she followed me back into the house, saying nasty words to me in front of her son. The whole time this is happening, my boyfriend is calmly packing! (Later he told me it was because he wanted to get his stuff packed and leave ASAP.) I got so mad I told her that if her son and I ever have kids, she will never see them. That's when she punched me! When I asked her why she hit me, she said she didn't hit me!

My boyfriend's parents have not apologized. Why hasn't he put his foot down and told his parents that they were wrong? I love my boyfriend, but when he goes to see his parents, it tears me apart. I just need some closure so I can start healing.

Traumatized

Hey, T:
Why are you still with this guy? You want closure? Dump him. He stood there and did nothing while his father insulted you and his mother assaulted you! If I let my mother call my boyfriend a whore and slap him around, he'd never speak to me again. (Not that he doesn't enjoy being slapped around and called a whore, but not by my mother.) Sit your boyfriend down and say, "Fuck you and fuck your parents! I am so out of here!" Until he understands that he can't have you unless he stands up to Mommy and Daddy, he won't do it. Stay, and he'll never stick up for you. Leave, and he may start, if only to get you back.

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