Just by looking at them, you’d never know that celebrity sex tapes had the power to make or break careers. For one, most of these amateur clips are brutally shot – something we covered in our DIY guide to sex tapes. You might catch a glimpse of someone famous grimacing while in the throes of a lovemaking session that too often looks clumsy and—to be quite frank—tedious. Wobbly camerawork, bad lighting, and audio that sounds like it’s picked up howling arctic wind instead of the sound of two passionate lovers make viewing these flicks an absolute trial.
That’s why we’ve put together a must-see list of flicks, the absolute essentials for those looking to spot celebs getting nasty. Not all of these have the high-production value of a studio film, but some do have extreme cultural significance. Without further ado, these are the tops, from worst to best.
Pamela Anderson & Tommy Lee/ Pamela & Bret Michaels
Pamela Anderson has the unusual distinction of making it on this list not just for one homemade skin flick, but two. In my younger days, I remember all the hubbub caused by her 1995 honeymoon tape, the one with Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee. These were the days when Baywatch was still a thing, and Pamela Anderson was the “it” girl, which made the tape highly sought after. While most of the film features the two newlyweds innocently enjoying their honeymoon, the best explicit scenes take place on a boat. The second film of hers, which was in fact the first she shot (that we know of), was with Poison front man Bret Michaels, though its full release was blocked. Only an incomplete four minutes exist. Beyond her unabashed exhibitionism, one thing’s for certain: Pam definitely dug heavy metal. For the sake of categorizing them, let’s say you have to watch Part 1 with Bret, then Part 2 with Tommy – and consider this 1 tape for Pam.
1 Night in Paris
Come on, you all knew this was going to be here. By now 1 Night in Paris is an institution. The story of its making is a literal how-to for turning an amateur porno into a moneymaking machine. Once notoriously poor quality (plenty of it was shot in night vision), it has now been improved with fancy post-production techniques. The 2001 film itself features a nineteen year-old Paris Hilton, of Hilton Hotels fame, putting on her best “O” face with boyfriend Rick Salomon. The fare is pretty… meh, but there’s a decent BJ scene to end it all, making it worth at least a look. Beyond winning four AVN awards, the film is significant for its impact on the culture since it demonstrated that sex tapes alone could provide enough fuel for a career in the public eye.
I include Farrell’s 2006 tape because, well… for one, the guy actually has acting chops, and is more a celebrity than anybody else on this list. That’s all to say that he didn’t need the film to leak for anyone to notice him. The second reason? Ex-Playboy model and Farrell’s ex-girlfriend Nicole Narain. Nicole Narain is spicy hot and this film is proof that the girl knows what she’s doing in bed, too. Yes, the shots are wobbly, but the quality isn’t half bad and the audio comes in strong.
Never has such a monument to mediocrity propelled a career so high. If you don’t know or haven’t seen the Ray J video, then you’ve been living in a cave, honestly. At one time, Ray J was a bigger household name than Kim Kardashian, but no more. The film itself is good in that there’s no chaff. It pretty exclusively features sex, and the shots are what you’d typically find in a professional film. The sound and video quality is there, and the cam isn’t too wobbly. Of all the films, this one seems the least “amateurish”, which might explain why it made such a splash when it leaked in 2007. Beyond that, it’s hard to argue that this film wasn’t at least partially responsible for Kardashian fame today, and that is reason enough to put it at number one.
The fascination with celebrity sex tapes, in spite of their often poor quality, says a lot about people. Heck, we even had some Brazzers porn stars react to those tapes – it was hilarious. In our present age, we have the means to glimpse the most private aspects of celebrity lives. Whether it’s curiosity or some perverse desire to know that, when it comes down to it, they’re just like us, who can say. Whatever the case, celebrity sex tapes are a porn genre and, whether we like it or not, they’re here to stay.