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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 02/20/2008

Celebritology 101: Star-Crossed Sex Tapes

By Liz Kelly

Gene Simmons's family jewels find their way to a new venue.

Pam Anderson has one. So does Paris Hilton. Hilton's is credited with launching her from so-so celebutante into the stratosphere of super-stardom. Which may explain why the celebrity sex tape has morphed from an image killer into a PR strategy for careers on the verge of extinction.

Though it doesn't always work. Former "Saved by the Bell" child star Dustin Diamond (aka Screech) found himself the momentary butt of late night jokes about his own sex tape before he was sucked back into the obscurity from whence he came. His coinage of the phrase Dirty Sanchez now has more mileage than his name.

Still, so recognizable are sex tapes as a marketing ploy that Eva Longoria even took part in a spoof tape -- in which she continuously preens for the camera -- for the Will Farrell-run site FunnyorDie.com.

The latest entrant into the grainy video genre is Gene Simmons, KISS's God of Thunder -- he of the moon boots, face paint and disturbingly long tongue. He who has kept the KISS gravy train rolling through a staggering number of farewell tours. (Only cats have more lives.) He who brought a draggish, WWE sensibility to rock and roll -- making it less about the music and more about the costumes. He who welcomed cameras into his home -- and his facelift -- for the A&E reality show "Gene Simmons Family Jewels." Make no mistake, this man knows marketing.

And so it goes with Simmons's sex tape -- for the low price of $9.95 anyone can watch the video once or pony up $29.95 for month-long access to the Gene tape and a variety of other adult movies. To further distance this footage from other celeb sex tapes, Simmons's partner in this escapade is apparently a spokesmodel for an energy drink. Simmons himself is a spokesperson for the drink, too. So, not surprisingly its touted (via its Web site) with giving the 58-year-old the stamina to go a few rounds in the sack. Did I mention that Simmons' reality show is teeing up to return to TV on March 11th? Dismissed as coincidence.

Clips from the video are floating around the Interwebs and -- because its my job -- I have watched them in order to report back to you good people and further our study of celebrity culture. The act as recorded on tape comes off as more marketing tool (no pun intended) than act of passion. A manufactured moment designed to sell a product. I'm not sure it won't have the opposite effect, though.

After watching approximately three minutes of the footage my first reaction was mild nausea. My second was this: There is nothing less sexy than a middle-aged man with floofy dyed-black hair sharing his family jewels with a bored and busty blonde as Foreigner's "I Wanna Know Where Love Is" plays in the background.

As one commenter on another site said, "Why God, why?"

My answer: To put an emphatic exclamation point on the reassuring fact that celebrity sex tapes -- and whatever they are selling -- are played out!

By Liz Kelly  | February 20, 2008; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Celebritology 101  
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Comments

Wow. If there was ever something that called for the "We Watch So You Don't Have To" subhed, this is it. Thanks for that, Liz, and I'm staying far, far away.

Posted by: h3 | February 20, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Pun taken even if not intended. Hee. You go, Liz! Upside: we'll all eat less for lunch today.

Posted by: erm | February 20, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

And Gene shreds yet another chuck of whatever credability he might have once had. Who ever thought Paul and Ace would seem like the talented ones?

For that matter, who wants to imagine themselves as Gene Simmions? Generally, the point of most porn is to put yourself in place of one of the participants, so who wants to be Gene? Tongue aside, ewwwww. I don't care how many groupies he's gotten over the years, still ewww.

Posted by: EricS | February 20, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

You should get hazard pay for watching that.

Posted by: Vienna, VA | February 20, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm gonna be sick...

Posted by: arlington | February 20, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

... yuck I threw up a little in my mouth..

Posted by: NanFan56 | February 20, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I smell a potential Friday list: what is less sexy than Gene Simmons's sex tape?

Posted by: still | February 20, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Answer: Richard Simmons' sex tape

Posted by: Wikijen | February 20, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure Gene's teenage kids are signed up for a lifetime of thereapy sessions. I wonder what Gene's live-in, long-time gf thinks of all this.

Posted by: no_bs4me | February 20, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Ewwwwwww, Gene ewwwwwwww. More power to you Liz, watching that tape is the kinda dirty job even Mike couldn't stomach.

Ummm, a William Shatner sex tape. No wait Donald Trump.

Posted by: petal | February 20, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Hey, you gotta give Richard a little bit of credit. At least he seem to realize that he is, in fact, incredibly annoying with that Superbowl add he was in.

Posted by: EricS | February 20, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Are we sure this is not a parody or satire or something? Because I cannot imagine that the general of the KISS Army makes love with Foreigner playing in the background.

It must be a joke, right? RIGHT???

Posted by: mmy | February 20, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"I wonder what Gene's live-in, long-time gf thinks of all this. "

She was probably happy someone took him off her hands for a night.

Posted by: b | February 20, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

for the record: "dirty sanchez" was coined long before dustin diamond sullied the screen (you credit him with too much creativity)

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I'll take your advice and stay far, far away. Just answer me this: Does he leave the makeup on and use that tongue? 'Cause that is the only reason I can think of why he could get any at all. The idea of somebody from KISS using *Foreigner* as make-out music cracks me up.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | February 20, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

In the video his hair was perfect.

Posted by: Warren Z. | February 20, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Less sexy: the Dick Cheney sex tape?
Given his medical history, it might double as a snuff film.....

Posted by: Angela | February 20, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm saving myself for Rue McClanahan's sex tape promoting the Kraftmatic Adjustable Bed.

Posted by: MoCoSnarky | February 20, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Waitaminnit, waitaminnit, waitaminnit!

Liz Kelly, are you telling me that the video of the Gene Simmons shtuppfest features music by Foreigner!??!?!?!?

How on earth could a man remain, shall we say, 'ready for action' with *that* stuff playing? Cripes, I can't even make #2 when the neighbour two houses over has his cell phone ringtone set to play "Juke Box Hero."

Posted by: byoolin | February 20, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Alternate Friday List idea: cheesiest songs for making out/having sex

Posted by: Magnolia | February 20, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that would be worse would be if his partner in the film turned out to be Celine.

Posted by: byoolin | February 20, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't post very often here, read daily though and I just noticed Liz said pony, I thought that word was banned.

Posted by: no_bs4me` | February 20, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Mag, do you mean cheesiest possible, or the cheesiest in one's own personal experience?

"Never Going To Give You Up," by Rick Astley.

Posted by: byoolin | February 20, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I'd say cheesiest possible, but I'll admit that I've experienced some pretty cheesiest ones myself.....

Posted by: Magnolia | February 20, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Joan Jett "I love Rock n' Roll." Do it!

Posted by: erm | February 20, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Byoolin, you crack me UP!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Cheesiest ever, try "you're once...... twice..... three times a lady" sung by Lionel Richie to the point of inducing nausea. Oh the horror!

Posted by: petal | February 20, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

All I have to say about this is.........ew.

Posted by: Bored @ home got a job & is now, once again, Bored @ work | February 20, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

saints and heaven preserve us!
oh wait... we have Liz Kelly for that.

(thank you Liz, for going where we shouldn't have to.)

Posted by: e2h | February 20, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

In unrelated news, tomorrow is Rue McClanahan's birthday.

Posted by: RC | February 20, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Liz. You deserve 25% Danger Pay, a case of Pepto-Bismol, and a pony.

Posted by: possum | February 20, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Never underestimate the appetite of America for tasteless crap backed by a so-called celebrity. There are only a select few human beings who can truly be described as utterly devoid of any redeeming social value, but Gene is certainly one of them. The only surprise is that it took him this long to stoop so low.

Posted by: ikeaboy | February 20, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

My personal cheesy makeout/sex song:

True by Spandau Ballet

Posted by: still | February 20, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I can't hear 'What's My Age Again' by Blink 182 without thinking about making out with my first serious boyfriend

Also, and I'm not necessarily proud of this, Meat Loaf once provided the soundtrack to shenanigans

Posted by: Magnolia | February 20, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Magnolia, was it I Would Do Anything For Love or the other one?

Posted by: still | February 20, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Ugh... Meat Loaf? I wouldn't be able to think of anything but Fight Club. "His name is Robert Paulson." and "Bob had great big b---h t-ts."

For fairness sake, I'll add "Love Spreads" by Stone Roses. Dulce et decorum est, non?

Posted by: Pompous Magnus | February 20, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

It was I Would Do Anything for Love. I didn't say past boyfriends had taste....

Posted by: Magnolia | February 20, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse


In unrelated news, tomorrow is Rue McClanahan's birthday.

Posted by: RC | February 20, 2008 01:48 PM

So how old is Blanche?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

less sexy sex tape -
Steven Tyler - it's the lips, ew, ew, ew.
Prince Charles and Camilla (oh, gosh I think I just hurt myself!)
Phil Specter
Clay Aiken

And for the soundtrack?
Oh Sheila by Ready for the World
"Oh, oh Sheila, let me love you til the morning comes..."
Anything by AirSupply
I gotta second the meatloaf...the whole bat out of h3ll record.

Congrats on the new gig Bored@

Posted by: sunnydaze | February 20, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

ikeaboy said: There are only a select few human beings who can truly be described as utterly devoid of any redeeming social value, but Gene is certainly one of them.

I say: How bout that for a Friday list? Come up with a redeeming social value for Gene Simmons?

Posted by: h3 | February 20, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Some part of me vaguely wonders if Gene has a boyzilian...but then I start getting woozy from the nausea and have to think about other things like bumblebees or fluffy clouds.

Everything I Do I do It For You is my cheesy makeout song :)

Posted by: PGM | February 20, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I say: How bout that for a Friday list? Come up with a redeeming social value for Gene Simmons?


That's going to be a very short list.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

That sex video is sad, sad, sad. I saw about 2 seconds for myself and feel the need for a Purell bath. Next time Liz Kelly watches so I don't have to, I'm going to take that advice.

My boyfriend and I used to make out to the entire Hotel California album. "Pretty Maids All In A Row" always takes me back to a happy place...a tiny Fiat strategically parked down a quiet German roadside.

Posted by: methinks | February 20, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I poked at the drink company's site. Yeah, I really want an energy drink promoted by a bunch of bleach blonds with fake tatas and Gene Simmons. Right.

I'l lcome up with one redeming thing for gene though. KISS shows are alot of fun, though I tend to credit Paul wit hthat more than Mister Witz. Yeah, his real name is Chaim Witz, Israeli-born kid of Hungarian immigrants who then moved to New York.

Posted by: EricS | February 20, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I've got an old KISS clock in the attic that you can have, EricS.

Posted by: Pompous Magnus | February 20, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

The thing is, and this is my Midwestern prudishness talking, there are only so many ways to get from point A to point B. Plus as it's a bodily function, I don't really want to see some one else doing it!
Well, maybe Charles and Camilla. That could be spicy.

Posted by: possum | February 20, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

A redeeming social value for Gene Simmons? He's been revealed as Amanda's father (along with the late Fey Summers as her mother) on "Ugly Betty."

Posted by: A redeeming social value for Gene Simmons? | February 20, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

i know i'm waaaay behind the curve on this but in last week's newsweek there was a picture of john mayer wearing a lime green thong, of sorts. does anyone know why, by all that is holy or unholy, he was photographed wearing it? or just wearing it ..period? i was shocked and awed (by his apparent disregard for reputation.)

Posted by: methinks | February 20, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Dustin Diamond did not coin the phrase "Dirty Sanchez." I first heard that term when I got a dirty e-mail forward as a college student back in the mid-90s.

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