Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Thursday, 16 July 2015

Girl Takes Threesome Revenge Porn Into Own Hands Because Why Not?

Girl Takes Threesome Revenge Porn Into Own Hands Because Why Not?

The Debrief: Alexis Frulling isn’t going to let a video of her fooling around with two friends be used to shame her…

Alexis Frulling is a girl who got ‘caught’ on camera having sex with two friends and the video, uploaded to the internet by an anonymous onlooker with a mind to humiliate them, has gone viral. Far from letting that video define her, though, she’s put out her own where she takes control of the situation.

Alexis had been fooling about with the guys at Stampede, which is a sort of festival thrown in Calgary, Canada, each year. It was consensual, it was a bit public, yeah, but it doesn’t make sense that she should be singled out for doing. If there’s shame to be dished out by anonymous moral arbiters on the internet, our GCSE maths says it should be equally shared out in thirds.

But when the video went viral, Alexis was shamed. Not only to the exclusion of the two other people she was messing around with, but the exclusion of whichever mouth-breather whose idea of fun is uploading videos of other people having sex without their consent, so they can be humiliated in front of whoever gets off on that sort of thing.

Instead of letting the hatemail, the name-calling, the trolling and the personal identification wear her down (another young Canadian woman, Rehteah Parsons, killed herself after a video of her gang-rape went viral and was used to shame her), Alexis has acted. She’s turned her Facebook profile into a fan page (she’s now got 17,000 likes) and put out her own video.

Getting drunk for the vlog, which has had 1.7 million hits at the time of typing, she explains, over a soundtrack of a diss track that she’d had made about herself (why let other people insult you when you can insult yourself first?): ‘I can’t really say I’m proud of what happened. I’m not, but I’m not ashamed.’

She then goes on to posit: ‘Who doesn’t make bad decisions? I bet all of you have made bad decisions.’

Alexis told Vice the reasoning behind her own vlog: ‘We meant for this to be just between us and our friend group, but it all backfired,’

She tried to get the video removed but by that point it had gone so far…she decided to just own it: ‘I thought, “This is fucking stupid. I'm not going to have all of these people hating on me.” So I was like, “You know what, it was me.”

‘So many people have done this before and just didn't get caught. This isn't fair. I don't see why I should get bashed for it when the guys don't get bashed for it.’

Alexis’s video isn’t like other revenge porn responses (we can’t believe we just had to type that – it shouldn’t even need to be a thing, let alone a repeated trope in pop culture).

Two we instantly think of, but are by no means the only ones to have shaped our changing understanding of what revenge porn really is, are Tulisa’s and Jennifer Lawrence’s.

After an ex leaked a sex tape of Tulisa Contostavlos, seemingly to cut the then-X Factor presenter down to size, she released her own video to say that, yes, it was her in the video, but that was filmed during a private moment with someone she loved and ‘I don't feel I should be the one to take the heat for it.’ She later settled a court case against her ex Justin Edwards.

Jennifer Lawrence, meanwhile, whose revenge porn came in the form of a 4Chan hacker taking advantage of flaws in Apple’s iCloud security, delivered a similar statement – albeit without a video – via Vanity Fair: ‘I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for. I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.’

But Alexis’s behaviour in her video moves on from these relatively demure explanations. She’s tipsy, she’s silly: chomping on a cucumber, wiggling her boobs around, glugging wine, and ending it with a still of the original ‘sex tape’. Her situation differs from her famous predecessors’ - Alexis didn’t know she was going to be filmed, she’s not media-trained (or famous) like Tulisa or Jennifer, and she wasn’t in love with either of the guys she was hooking up with (so far as we know). But the shaming - people calling her names, people telling her to change her behaviour, people telling her to get help and find god - been the same.

That’s why there are two positives to this video. It’s not only that Alexis is owning the situation, but she’s showed that there’s no need for a ‘oh but we were in love’ get-out-card when it comes to explaining why you've ended up in a revenge porn video. So what if a woman’s in love or out of love or maybe just sort of considering it with the person she's shagging? She should be able to do what she wants with her body with whoever she likes (we repeat: it was consensual) without being publicly humiliated for it. Besides, hardly anyone seems to care how the guys in the video chose to get their kicks. And that’s pretty telling about the unfairly high standards we hold women to.

As for whoever filmed the video, police are investigating them and Alexis does a call-out to find them in her video: ‘Maybe it only took one person to send me viral, and I’m still looking for them. So if you find them let me know, right?’

Time will tell if the internet will be as dedicated to finding the person who uploaded the video as it was to identifying Alexis from the grainy footage, but as far as women looking for creeps online goes, it sure beats a lonely hearts advert…

Like this? You might also be interested in:

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Tags: Canada, revenge porn