(The Root) —
"My husband is working overseas on business for several more months. He keeps asking me to make a sex tape for him so he can watch it and think about me over there. I am afraid he will either show it to his friends or lose control of it. But I don't want to be unsupportive. What should I do?" —Q.M.
I must warn you that I am biased on this issue. As popular as it is to send nude images (1 in 5 Americans with a smartphone do, according to a Harris Interactive poll) or sexy tapes (the same poll found that 11 percent of Americans say they record explicit videos on their phones), I am not a fan. That's because, as you point out, too many of them seem to "leak" onto the Internet.
There's also a growing phenomenon of "revenge porn," in which disgruntled (and sadistic) exes, including husbands, purposely post photos and tapes of their former partners online. No one thinks this will happen to her until it does.
That said, people have sexual needs, of course, and as partners you're expected to fulfill them. That poses increased challenges in a long-distance relationship, which is incredibly difficult, as I'm sure you and your husband have both discovered while he is working overseas.
Usually when I'm asked by women — guys have never asked me — about whether to make a sex tape or take nude pictures for their partner, the concern is that if they don't meet his sexual needs, he will get them met elsewhere. It's as though the women believe that if a woman does not fulfill that sexual need, it's an acceptable reason for her partner to cheat, or that women who are taking pictures or making sexy tapes don't get cheated on.
I point this out because it's unusual that your immediate concern is that your husband will share your tape with others. It makes me wonder if you and your husband have had issues with boundaries or oversharing in the past. That said, it's entirely practical to be concerned that he could "lose control" of the tape via a hacked email account or password, a lost computer or phone or any other means. I wish more people would worry about that, too.
Given your specific concerns, no, I don't think you should make the tape. You're obviously uncomfortable with the idea. Communicate to your husband that you understand his desires for sexual stimulation as much as he does because you and he are in identical situations, but you're just not comfortable making the tape for your stated (and very valid) reasons.
So that you're not just shutting him down, offer an alternative to making a sex tape, such as phone sex (or more phone sex than you're having now) and/or sending a care package of sexual goodies that make self-stimulation more pleasurable for him (maybe while you're having phone sex?). Consider adding an item of sexy clothing that carries your scent in the very special delivery.
Also, if you have the disposable income and vacation time, offer to fly over for a weekend visit so that you can spend time together and have actual, real sex, which, for many people, would trump phone calls and tapes any day. Take a different set of sexual goodies with you to heighten the experience.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.