Ah, the sex tape. That infamous career-maker, that used to be a career-breaker. Rob Lowe pioneered the sex tape — he said it himself (to Oprah!)— consider him the grandfather of the sex tape. He has previously said to Oprah, how now, people rally to even have one; he joked that today, celebrities hire lawyers to get them to release a sex tape, and then they act simply shocked! Lowe said that compared to today's glorification of sex tapes — and how they can send careers skyrocketing, for better or for worse (no one was pulling for Kim Kardashian to star in an Emmy winning series, or anything) — that his sex tape back in the '80s look, well, quaint, in his words. It nearly broke his career! But it was the first of tapes that said get naked and get it on and get it on camera and GET PRESS.
In honor of what Rob Lowe said about his sex tape from the days of yore, let's take a look at a timeline of sex tapes.
1988: Oh No, Rob Lowe!
Rob Lowe was campaigning for Michael Dukakis at the time, and he made a sex tape with a girl he did not know was underage. Obviously, a sex tape looks bad, but an underage girl? Even worse. However, in interview with Oprah, he said it was the best thing that ever happened to his career because the debacle caused him to drink excessively...which caused him to get sober...which allowed him to have a great career. So via the transitive properties, sex tapes can bless you.
1994: Tonya Harding's "Wedding Night"
The former figure skating champion rose to fame yet again with a drunken sex tape with her husband, Jeff Gilooly, who sold the tape. The "Wedding Night," featuring Harding in a Halloween costume of a bridal gown, was so popular, that she later sold it as her own to reap the profits. Hooray for businesswomen!
1998: Pamela Anderson, Part 1
Consider this the Sex Tape Renaissance. Nearly a decade after Lowe's rendezvous captured on VHS, Pamela Anderson surfaced with her hooneymoon with then-husband, Tommy Lee. She paved the way for folks who wanted to get their "work" out there, since it was one of the first Internet celebrity sex tapes.
2002: R. Kelly, No Longer Just "I Believe I Can Fly Guy."
His sex tape with an underage minor led him to being charged with having sex with a minor and child pornography. He was later acquitted. Maybe it was this song that got him through:
2004: 1 Night In Paris
Paris Hilton rose to ubiquity with this sex tape, which was filmed in 2001 with Rick Solomon. It was one of the more explicit sex tapes, but also was notorious because Paris interrupted the deed to answer her phone, which we all know is not proper sex etiquette. Paris was pissed because The Simple Life was about to air, but hey — people certainly had an increased interest in her (NO PUN INTENDED) after this. Still, she was pretty, pretty annoyed because she was working hard to have a positive — not sex-tape-fused — career. The heiress sued — this video was for personal use, only!
2005: Fred Durst Did It All For The (Recorded) Nookie
The Limp Bizkit frontman apparently did do it all for the nookie (the what?). If you wanted to see it his not-so-limp-bizkit (I am SO sorry, you guys), then there was your chance. He was super displeased with this and sued. Apparently he did it all for the nookie, but for all the nookie on the Internet.
2005: Pamela Anderson, Part 2
2006: Dustin Diamond Will Make You Screech
The former Saved By The Bell star attempted to revive his career with a sex tape. I suppose he took the cue from fellow teen stars saying that they want people to see them in an adult light a little too literally — "adult light" doesn't mean "adult film light." Also, most folks didn't want to see Screech give a hooker a Dirty Sanchez.
2007: Kim Kardashian Launches Another Renaissance
Kardashians sex tape with Ray-J (that's right, Brandy's brother, who obviously felt left in the shadows and thought that a sex tape would fare better than Moesha) was filmed somewhere between 2002 and 2005, during the course of their three year relationship. Ray J released it, and Kardashian, who at the time was just Paris Hilton's pal and Robert Kardashian's daughter (according to People), launched a law suit, which she later backed out of. Maybe getting a television show and becoming one of the most famous women in the world has to do with it? We'll never know, but Ray J, know this: your sex tape (which IMDB hilariously summarizes as "Kim and Ray J have sex. A lot.") led this woman to new heights of fame, which led to her a relationship with Kanye West, which led her to Vogue . This is all your doing, Ray J.
2012: Tyson Beckford At Your Shopping Mall
Just jerking off in a dressing room. Ya know, the usual. But no one really wanted that. You gotta amp up you game with a sex tape in this era! Sad face for Beckford?
2013: Farrah Abraham: Backdoor Teen Mom
Because every kid wants to see their mom squirt on James Deen. Vivid Entertainment, which is responsible for Kardashian's video, released this video, proving that, indeed, she is just the beacon of motherhood.
2014: Kim Kardashian Lands On Vogue
All you, Ray J. All you.