Secrets and Thighs

A history of celebrity sex tapes, real and fake, from Joan Crawford to Paris Hilton

From the Celebrity Sex DVD; Pamela Anderson in Pam & Tommy Lee Hardcore Uncensored
photo: Anne Barry-Jester
From the Celebrity Sex DVD; Pamela Anderson in Pam & Tommy Lee Hardcore Uncensored

Now, the ease and reach of peer-to-peer networks mean that fakes and halfhearted bits of reality circulate endlessly, despite their unsatisfying qualities. But transcending mere prurience, new technologies increasingly feed and foster voracious desires to look ever closer—as far as the cameras will go. In this regard, it's not coincidental that the Hilton tape was shot with the same night vision as recent Iraq battle footage, or that it spread virally, like the ghastly Daniel Pearl video. The hunger for forbidden knowledge, whether of sex or death, remains constant.

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