Dear E. Jean: In 2008 I made a sex tape with my boyfriend at the time. The affair ended badly. We’ve not been on civil terms since—in fact, we’re not speaking. Now, with a more sensible head on my shoulders, I’m applying to be an elementary school teacher. If I were establishing a career in any other field, I could brush the thing off as a youthful indiscretion. But I worry that my ex will post the video online—or that he already has posted it—and my teaching career will be finished before it starts! Should I call him and ask him never to post it?—Sex Ed
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Ed, My Dear: If your former flame “already has” put it online, it’s buried under such an explosion of bosoms, bottoms, and higgumbobs, no school board on earth could find it. I tried. Your name—thank you for including it in your e-mail; I’ve spent a pleasant evening googling it—is still as pure as Mother Teresa’s bra strap.
So now the question becomes: Can we accurately predict whether the guy will post it? Run, get a pencil and paper, and answer the following questions with a yes or no.
1. Does the man have a career, or is he looking for a job?
2. Does he have a girlfriend?
3. Is his equipment less than seven inches?
Score five points for every yes, and zero for every no. If the total is 10 or above, the probability is extremely high he won’t post the tape. (After all, it could just as easily annihilate his career. No girlfriend would stay with a jagweed posting videos of himself with another woman. And what man would be caught dead on the Internet showcasing less than stupendous utensils?) There’s no need to call him.
If the score is five or under, consider meeting him for cocktails. After a fond smooch hello, steer the conversation to the happiest memories, enjoy a cozy laugh over the sex tape, and ask him to give it to you. But my best advice is to forget it. Reminding him of the video could rip open old wounds and spark ancient jealousies—never a good idea. Of course, all bets are off if he’s a washed-up celebrity frantic for media attention.
This letter is from the E. Jean archive.