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What do you do if your sex tape has been leaked online?

Let’s face it; sex is a private thing, for most people anyway. Unless, of course, you are a pornstar or desperate enough to pay for it. Videotaping your sexual act is not too big a deal in itself, but when someone decides to leak the sex tape without your consent, it is an invasion of every inch of your personality, leave alone privacy. Many people including A-list celebrities have borne the brunt of leaked sex tapes. The Fappening immediately comes to mind.

Nothing beats waking up in the morning to receive an email with a video link from an acquaintance asking whether that’s you. You click, and indeed it is you in a particularly vulnerable position; fucking an acquaintance. Not even someone you particularly liked. Having the same video shared and uploaded to different sites is the ultimate nightmare.

It all starts innocently: your partner wants to see how you feel when going down on her; the two of you want to relieve your steamy sessions and therefore decide to record it using your phone. It’s all games and fun until the recording finds its way into the public domain and all hell breaks loose. The Porn Dude has never been a victim, but I know enough friends who have been in such a precarious situation. The immediacy of social media and mobile phone apps makes the situation even worse, and within minutes, your sex tape may be fapping material for freaks prowling x-rated sites.

Perhaps to demonstrate the seriousness of a leaked sex tape, it is a crime that attracts a two-year imprisonment in England and Wales since 2015. Many people have been prosecuted, but a majority of victims are unafraid of coming out for fear of embarrassment. This begs the question; what do you do if your sex tape was leaked online?

Permanent removal

As a victim, your first priority should be having the video permanently removed from the public domain. There is every chance that your partner or even a close friend is responsible and won’t positively respond to your complaints. What to do then?

It is best to contact the website(s) hosting the video. Of course, you can do this by yourself, but it helps having a solicitor who is an expert in online privacy work.

Contact the website

Having content pulled down is not a walk in the park. Not when there are sites for hosting that kind of content, to begin with. If the website hosting the content is within the UK and Europe and is not cooperating, you can bring claims against them which could lead to court proceedings. Cooperation would be to the best of their interests. If you live in the UK, you could contact saferinternet, an organization that has a fantastic record of getting content removed.

Contact the police

Sharing of explicit content without the owner’s consent is a crime punishable by law. It may be a tough and embarrassing topic to discuss with law enforcers, but what other options are there? You are already out there exposed, and the worst you could do is report to the police. Bringing the perpetrator to book might prevent them from repeating the same behavior.

When contacting the website, it is also important to mention that you’ve already contacted the police to show the seriousness of the matter.

Seek injunctions

If a site or the publisher of the sex tape (your ex, for instance) is refusing to cooperate, you may seek an injunction from the courts. This prevents further sharing or publication of the materials. Carefully drafted injunctions may also prevent further distribution of the same.

Remember applying for an injunction will require the services of a solicitor.

Talk to someone

You HAVE to talk about it with someone. Forget all that ‘please leave me alone’ bullshit. You are only human and that ‘I don’t wanna talk about it’ approach is absolute hogwash. Finding someone to confide in, someone who will sympathize and not make you feel guilty about it is essential for your healing. They could be family members or a close friend, but whatever steps you take, it has to involve finding a constructive outlet. They may not offer you the solution, but they will provide some comfort.

The special circumstances mean it is always a difficult topic to start with family or friends. Luckily, there are numerous organizations that help victims of revenge pornography regarding advice, emotional support, and practical assistance in having the content removed.

You have No control

Here is the thing; once you capture yourself having sex on a digital device, you are never 100% in control of the material. The best way to avoid the situation is not to record yourself in the first place. If you are feeling freaky with your partner and would like to record yourselves between the sheets, just know what you are setting yourself to. The situation can go downhill real quick.

Finally

If you are a victim of revenge porn, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed when seeking help. But remember to be accountable for your actions. It all starts with you.

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