Commentary: Camera, Lights and Shower Rods? Oh, My!

Why I love and hate Mimi and Nikko's sex tape.

Posted: 04/22/2014 02:03 PM EDT
Mimi Faust, Nikko Smith

First and foremost, I have never been a sex tape-watching kind of girl. Or at least I wasn’t before last week.

And then it happened.

The Internet lost its damn mind with news that Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s Mimi Faust and her boo, Nikko Smith, are releasing a sex tape. The tape, which “accidentally” got leaked to Vivid Entertainment, will be on sale later this month.

When I saw this all transpiring on my Facebook feed, I was instantly annoyed. I didn’t really understand why everyone was so steam pressed. Another day, another sex tape... But then, during a gchat conversation with a good friend of mine (he sent me the trailer, which I watched five times in a row for research, of course), I got it. I got it and it was HOT.

I haven’t been turned on that much by “porn” in, well, ever. Nikko, honey? I had no idea. Bless you. And that shower rod? Girl, bye. Mimi just redefined the pull-up for every single last one of us.

But even in my own obsession with Mimi and Nikko’s sexual shenanigans (I even created a Spotify playlist dedicated to them), I have my issues with it, too.

First, no matter how many crocodile tears Mimi sheds on the new season of her show, this tape was not an accident. This couldn’t possibly be the type of sex they are having on a Tuesday night. Not with perfect lighting, camera angles, zoom-ins and a perfect sound mix. Not to mention, her make-up and hair were on point.

And if this is how you all want to rock, fine. Just admit that this is a scheme to stay relevant, have a “compelling” storyline on season three and to make some extra cash. We’re adults, we can handle the truth.

Second, when is this "sex tape to stardom" phenomenon finally going to fade to black?

And let me be clear: There is nothing wrong with two Black adults expressing their desire for one another. For far too long, Black sexuality has been deemed as something pathological. So I am all for examples of sex as something healthy, adventurous and fun (too bad I didn’t see a condom being used, that might have actually made a bigger statement).

But when a sex tape carries more weight than, let’s say, an Academy Award, and when Kim Kardashian has a Vogue cover and Lupita Nyong’o doesn’t, can we admit that it’s a little problematic that the road to success is paved with something else than good intentions and merit.

And not to channel my inner Claire Huxtable, but I do worry about how these mixed messages impact young men and women’s impressionable minds. There’s a very fine, confusing line between sexual empowerment and being objectified (even if you are the one doing the objectifying). How far will you go for fame, attention and relevancy? And from what we see daily on Twitter and Instagram, it’s obvious that the struggle to straddle these lines is getting really real.

But even in all of my concerns about this sex tape culture and the pressure to have one in order to move ahead, I am still part of the problem. Because come next week, Mimi and Nikko just might get my $19.95.

Sorry, my will is nowhere near as strong as Mimi’s shower rod.


The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

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