My general belief is that one person, or more, with a camera in place while they perform a sexual act is a sex tape. However, a person, or more, with a camera and a camera operator in the room (at the very least) is straight up pornography.
Kim Kardashian and Ray J had a sex tape. Paris Hilton and Rick Salomon had a sex tape. Mimi Faust and Nikko Smith, I believe, passed the threshold of sex tape two zoom in and outs and three impossible angles ago.
And this is not the only noted difference between Kim K. and Mimi Faust when it comes to sex tapes. As humorously pointed out by Awesomely Luuvie via The Grio:
“The Kim Kardashian Model won’t work for you if you’re a black woman. It just will not. We are not afforded the same expansive boundaries of sexual expression.
In fact, the use of the word “hoe” when even Kardashian’s name comes up is still rampant (which I don’t agree with, but that’s another issue for another post). Almost a decade later, Kim still can’t step out from behind the shadow of her Ray J sex tape completely.
I’m not sure what Mimi’s trying to accomplish but unless it’s a lifetime of ridicule and disrespect, then she might have picked the wrong vehicle. She needs a mentor, a life coach and a friend in her corner who can tell her to #OccupyASeat. She needs Iyanla to pull her to the side and say, “Beloved, don’t do this!”
There is an element of truth there about Kim K. To this day, even though she is a mother, a successful businesswoman and brand, and almost a married respectable woman, the only thing some people want to focus on is that tape and who hit it first. The other truth to that is despite what everybody has to say, she was still able to parlay, well, parlaying on her back (as well as making fake sex faces to the camera) into a respectable empire – plus she got the man in the end.
Likewise, there are black women who have survived and prospered after sex scandals. Amber Rose is one. Vanessa Williams is another. And then there is Eve, who as we know, can relate to Faust since she is Stevie J’s ex. She turned out just fine (and engaged to an uber-successful businessman). And how can we forget about Stevie J’s current lady, who had much to say about Faust’s performance in the tape, but seems to suffer from amnesia, particularly about the time she flashed the world her birth canal within days of her first appearance on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. Point is, sexing (and posing scandalously) on camera does not have to be the shame-inducing calamity it is said to be. If Faust plays her hand right, she can make a serious go at flipping all this into something positive.
Or she can end up like Montana Fishburne.
Whereas Mimi tried to paint herself as the wholesome scorned woman to Stevie J’s sleaziness, it would soon become clear to regular viewers of the show that Faust played an active part in her own victimization. I recall after the first reunion show the time a video surfaced of Faust at the home of or in the studio of Atlanta-based producer Jermaine Dupri. Faust was being confronted by a room full of dudes about her reasoning to stay in a relationship for all those years with a man who repeatedly dogged her out. For some reason, she was filled with bravado, bobbing and weaving in the camera’s lens as she went on a tirade about how all men cheat, and how she was just being “real about my s**t.” As if being open about her dysfunctional and emotionally abusive relationship somehow justified why she continuously allowed the nonsense to stay in her life.
The second season of the reality show began with Hernandez taunting Faust, rather boldly to her face, with the derogatory term Molly the Maid. After being embarrassed again by Hernandez and Stevie J on camera, Faust vowed to stay away from her ex and his shenanigans for good – until he showed up, waving car keys and other trinkets for her. Then she was cool with him (or at least his things). Faust took it as a way to show up Hernandez, but of course, being the triflin’ sleaze that he is, Stevie would soon demand some “lettuce” in exchange for his gifts. When she wouldn’t provide, he embarrassed her once again and made her give back his “gifts.” Faust would intentionally “fall” prey to Stevie again at the end of the season, as she decided to show up to his dual proposal ceremony. Although he had embarrassed Faust, because he had managed to make a fool of Joseline the most, it made everything okay with her.
For some reason, it always seemed like Faust was on a quest to prove to everyone that she was tough and strong. That she could take it like a “real b**ch” and withstand the pain and embarrassment of it all too. Therefore, it would seem that the sex tape would fall right in step with the other bad decisions Faust has committed to over the years (if we are to believe what we see is real on the show) in order to “keep it real.” And per the course, she might just end up with egg (or something else) on her face.
Now I will say that if you are of the impression that the “sex tape” was a staged “porno,” than you have to give Faust credit for having her own agency. Based upon the trailer alone, Nikko really is kind of irrelevant in it all. And as pointed out back in November of last year by Funky Dineva, after initial reports surfaced of this alleged sex tape:
“When your storyline is fading and the love has lost its shine, what else is there to do but produce a sex tape? Well get in the gym and make sure your body is super tight, go to the surgeon and get some top shelf titties, then produce a sex tape. That’s what Mimi and Nikko did. Hell, quiet as its kept, I ain’t even mad with them. This reality TV money is some of the quickest and easiest money there is to get these days. Everyone is trying to get it while the getting is good. What I can respect about Mimi & company as that they were smart enough to orchestrate the entire plan from start to finish. Getting Mimi media training so she can nail her answers when the time comes was brilliant.”
Listen, folks have their own ethics, values and morals. While hang gliding from shower rods on camera is not how I would choose to get money, I also understand that some folks too might frown their noses up at being a broke writer. What I’m saying is that as long as it is legal and consensual, who are we really to judge?
But outside of doing more adult films and getting better appearance fees at night clubs, what bit of longevity does Faust hope to squeeze out of this “sex tape”? According to published reports, she was only compensated $100k from Vivid Entertainment. Therefore, she is going to have to find something to keep money coming in. Perhaps she could start a sex toy line like Kandi or become an adult film producer like that crazy lady Jackie from Basketball Wives LA. Maybe she can work out a deal with Home Depot for a brand new line of sturdy shower curtain rods? I’m really hoping she has a plan, or else, she is once again playing herself.