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Sex tapes seem to be a necessity for celebrities - Curt Yeomans

Parents, send your children away from this column. It might hurt their eyes, or burn their sensitive ears.

Let's just say this week's column could be rated "XXX."

Are they gone yet?

Good.

OK, it's time for a quick quiz.

What does Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, Fred Durst, Tonya Harding, Screech from "Saved by the Bell," Marilyn Monroe and Jimi Hendrix have in common?

I'll give you a hint - the answer is in the headline for this column.

Just how common has the celebrity sex-tape craze become?

There is a Wikipedia page for the subject. Twenty-six sex tapes are referenced on the page.

Why is it that everyone who gets an ounce of fame has to have a sex tape? Not everyone wants to see what goes on behind your closed door. At least, I know I do not want to see it.

A couple of weeks ago, we heard that an old film existed which showed Marilyn Monroe in a compromising position. This week, we heard that Jimi Hendrix also was filmed, with two girls, only a year before he died. The tape, of course, is going to be released on DVD in the near future.

The irony is Hendrix was renowned for being a musical genius, and yet his sex tape is reportedly a silent film.

Remember why John Wayne Bobbitt became famous? (hint: snip, snip, sew, sew.) Anyone remember how he tried to parlay that into a career as a porn star? True, it was a career in porn, and not your average, home-made celebrity sex tape, but still ...

Yeah, the ick factor is still pretty high on that one.

Technically, you get two celebrities in the Pamela Anderson tape, because her ex-husband, Tommy Lee, was the co-star. It pretty much started the celebrity, sex-tape craze. It helps that she was wrapping up a stint on "Baywatch" at the time, so everyone in Germany knew who she was.

OK, people in America knew who she was as well.

Everyone was talking about the tape, even the people who could not get their hands on it were blabbing about it. It was absurd, but in reality, the 1990s were a little strange. Remember the Macarena?

But Pamela and Tommy only proved it could be profitable. Paris Hilton turned it into a way to achieve notoriety. All that can be said about THAT tape is ... well ... green night vision ...

Why should what is generally thought of as a private moment between consenting adults now considered the business of every one else in the world?

There's a little bit of the exhibitionist in most of us. I get that. And for those who put themselves on display like this, the point seems to be to get as many people to see it as possible. But at some point, the whole thing may backfire.

It is kind of hard to imagine an actress in a serious, dramatic role, in a legitimate film, when there is a tape floating around which shows her doing ... umm ... stuff.

Can't we just get Hollywood to wrap ... uhhh ... it up, so we don't have to see all that.

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.