A Guy At A Party Showed Me Videos Of His Exes Giving Him Blowjobs

So I phoned a lawyer.

Photo by Alex Suprun on Unsplash

I had already guessed that he was a human slimeball because after having a huge argument with his girlfriend, he left her in their hotel room and came out to party with my friends, then spent the whole evening hitting on me. At the end of the night, we were in the hotel lobby having a drink, his girlfriend sleeping in a room above us — or maybe not sleeping, just lying awake waiting for him to return — he said he wanted to have sex, and got out his phone to book another hotel room, even as I told him it was never gonna happen. It was at that point that he took his phone and pulled up a video of his girlfriend sucking his dick. Then he showed me four or five other clips of ex-girlfriends, also engaged in sexual activity.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time trying to understand why on earth he would do this. Was it a form of sexual aggression designed to punish me for turning him down? Or was he trying to get me jealous of all the other women who had had the pleasure of sucking his very average dick? Perhaps he was trying to turn me on, or maybe it was a way of bragging about his sexual prowess. I honestly have no idea.

“Did they even know they were being filmed?” I asked him. His girlfriend’s eyes were closed in the video. “Sort of,” he says, and then changes the subject. “You can’t show these videos without the girls' consent. It’s wrong.” He shrugged.

I later found out that he’d shown the clips at two other parties, for no particular reason, just for kicks.

Nudes are now an integral part of our sex lives. 4 in 10 Americans have sent a naked photo, according to a survey conducted by Bad Girls Bible on 1058 individuals. This is opening up a whole new world of possibilities for trash men to mistreat women and violate their boundaries by sharing explicit photos online or with their friends. Like everything involving sex, abusive men have found a way to ruin it for everyone. On Whatsapp groups or Facebook, guys share nudes that were meant for their eyes only, either to brag about who they were having sex with or to get revenge on ex-partners who had rejected them.

In the past few years, in the US and the UK, specific revenge porn laws have begun to emerge, but there is still a huge grey zone about whether showing images is an offence, or only sharing and distributing images. I was outraged by the guy’s behavior, but instinctively felt like while it was morally wrong, there would probably be no legal recourse for his girlfriend or other partners. I phoned a lawyer to find out, Honda Cervenka, an associate at McAllister Olivarius who specialises in non-consensual image-based sexual abuse in the UK and the US.

“There is some legal recourse for victims, but the ambiguity around it makes it hard to build a court case,” he said. “Because of the fact that there isn’t enough case law to say authoritatively that this is illegal, and the fact that legal guidelines in the UK only talk about showing a physical copy of the image, I wouldn’t be surprised if that led a prosecutor to conclude that showing an electronic image on the screen of a computer or a mobile phone fell outside of the definition of an offence.”

In the US, meanwhile, the situation is complex because there is no federal law against revenge porn, although it is something that Biden has said he wants to do as part of his Plan to End Violence Against Women. Currently, 46 states have their own laws concerning non-consensual porn, but none of them specifically mention showing an electronic image. The situation is “different in each state and also depends on how a court will interpret terms like distribute or share,” said Cervenka. Since revenge porn laws are relatively new, there isn’t a lot of case law or precedent to lean on in these cases, plus the police and prosecutors are not fully trained to deal with these issues, he continued.

Of course, in many cases, a woman will not be aware that her video or photo is being shown around, and men are unlikely to call the police on their friends for showing them such content, so the chances of such a crime ever being reported are very low.

Yet again, this is a problem that the law and justice system alone cannot tackle. As with many crimes related to sex, it remains a classic he said she said scenario, not enough to convict someone beyond reasonable doubt in a system built, rightly, on the presumption of innocence. Fear of legal repercussions will never be enough to prevent men from doing it. Women will often be unaware of what is happening, and feel like they can’t report it because they will be shamed for sending nudes.

What we need to do is educate men instead, to make them see how wrong this behaviour is, how big of a betrayal of trust they are committing. When I called the guy out on it, he didn’t feel guilty at all. He entirely lacked empathy for the women involved, and seemingly felt entitled to show the videos to anyone he wanted to. This sort of attitude is what needs to change if we are to tackle revenge porn at its source.

Gender, sex and politics. Sign up for my free newsletter http://eepurl.com/hiMJ5z

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store