roommate is astoundingly hot. Her room is being repaired (the
ceiling fell in), and, at her request, I’m letting her and
her boyfriend sleep in my room while I take the couch. I’ve
been able to contain my attraction just fine up to now, but
the minute she entered my space I had this feeling that all
bets are off. I’m considering spying on her with a hidden
surveillance cam. If I had video of this girl naked, let alone
being fucked, I could happily beat off to the footage for
the rest of my life. Obviously it’s a breach of trust, and
I’m a shitty roommate for considering it. I have a few concerns.
Is this normal? Assuming that there’s no way she could find
out and that I kept the video to myself and myself only, would
it be so wrong? What is her reasonable expectation of privacy
once she enters my room?
we get to your tech-related queries, TIA, a word about a young
man in Florida with tech-related troubles.
America’s current teen-sex panic—it’s always something—is
about “sexting,” teenagers sending each other pictures of
their sometimes-underage junk, their frequently underage racks,
or their young and dimpled/pimpled rear ends. (Oh, if only
we could return to the comparatively innocent and entirely
fictional days of “rainbow parties”!) Shortly after the kids
went crazy for sexting, the authorities went crazy for prosecuting
kids for sexting. Take Phillip Alpert, an 18-year-old in Florida
who got mad at his girlfriend and forwarded a digital photo
of her naked to dozens of her friends and family.
This Alpert kid (he had only just turned 18) pulled an asshole
move—the gaping asshole of moves—and he owes his girlfriend,
her friends, and her family an apology, restitution, and a
pound of flesh. (And I mean that pound.) A just, proportionate
punishment might involve, say, nude pictures of Alpert being
displayed on a billboard in Times Square. For a year. Instead,
Alpert was convicted of distributing child porn and “sentenced
to five years probation and required by Florida law to register
as a sex offender,” CNN reports. “You will find me on the
registered sex offender list next to people who have raped
children, molested kids, things like that,” Alpert told CNN.
A message for concerned parents, outraged school officials,
and teen-sex-obsessed prosecutors: We’re gonna have to either
make it illegal for teenagers to own camsphonescomputers,
or we’re gonna have to give them drugs to delay the onset
of puberty until after they’re 18. If we’re unable or unwilling
to do those things—technology is hard to contain, and delaying
puberty could have unwelcome health consequences (although
it would have spared Levi Johnston’s DNA from the ignominy
of mixing with the Palins’)—then the intersection of horny
teens and newer technologies is going to require us to rethink
the simplistic application of laws that criminalize the possession
and distribution of sexty (ugh) pictures, particularly in
cases where they were created by teenagers, for teenagers.
Yes, Alpert was a douchebag; yes, it was wrong for him to
forward that picture to embarrass and humiliate his girlfriend.
But if Alpert is a child pornographer and a sex offender,
so are millions of today’s teenagers. They’re all e-mailing
each other pictures of their junk. Making an example of one
unlucky asshole who got caught isn’t going to stop teenagers
from sexting each other anymore than making an example of
hundreds of thousands of unlucky pot smokers stopped people
from smoking pot.
OK, TIA, on to your question: While it’s normal to contemplate,
even obsess about, something you know is wrong, secretly videotaping
your roommate, even if she’s “in your space,” isn’t just an
asshole move. It’s an illegal move in most places, and the
consequences for asshole moves involving digital images, as
illustrated above, can be dire. And until submitting to video
surveillance is widely understood to be a known risk of sleeping
in someone else’s bedroom, your roommate and her boyfriend
have an entirely reasonable expectation of privacy.
As for no-way-she-could-ever-find-out, I could sneak into
your house and use your toothbrush as a sound, and you’d never
find out. And although it would hurt me more than it would
hurt you, TIA, it would still be wrong—even if there was no
way short of DNA testing that you would ever find out. And
while you may intend to keep the video to yourself—such the
gentleman—what if your laptop gets stolen? What if you take
your computer in for repairs and someone makes a copy? Digital
images—photos, video, whatever—are too easy to lose control
over. Don’t do it, TIA.
I am a 30-year-old female with a live-in boyfriend.
While we’re not without our problems, the relationship is
wonderful. My only big issue is that I don’t enjoy cohabitation.
Before living with my boyfriend, I lived in a studio apartment,
my little castle, and I relished having my own space. I would
love to go back to us each having our own domicile, but I
am afraid of losing him. And the thought of being “with” someone
then going back to your own home has been met with such criticism
by my friends that it makes me wonder if there may be something
wrong with my relationship that I just can’t detect consciously.
But I want my own space. Is it unusual to want your own space?
But In Love
know a nice, loving couple—married, straight, with kids—who
each have an apartment in the same building. The kids’ rooms
are in mom’s; the meals are prepared and eaten at dad’s. They
decided to live like this because, like you, they both liked
having their own spaces.
You can do it, too, IBIL. But you won’t be able to have what
you want until you stop worrying about what other people think
and start being honest with your boyfriend about your preferred
As you’ve proven in the past with “santorum” and “saddlebacking,”
you have considerable influence. So to reward the Vermont
legislature’s recent decision to override the governor’s veto
and legalize same-sex marriage in that state, why not encourage
your listeners and readers to purchase products made in Vermont?
And Iowa? Think of it: Your millions of fans could trade in
chocolate body paint for maple syrup as the sexy edible substance
of choice, all the while supporting this legislative victory
and (we hope) spurring others like it.
I have absolutely no stake in Vermont’s economy. I just want
my dads to be able to marry one day in the state where my
That day may come more quickly than we think, DJFG, thanks
to the bravery of elected officials in Iowa and Vermont. As
for rewarding Iowa and Vermont . . .
Like most Americans, I consume way more corn syrup than a
person should (that shit’s in everything), so Iowa is covered;
but I will make sure the next bottle of maple syrup I purchase
is from Vermont—but I’ll be pouring it on my pancakes, thanks,
not my boyfriend. Food is for after sex, people, not before,
and never, ever during. Food is not a sex toy, not even chocolate.
Journalists: The deadline for this year’s Sexies—the Sex-Positive
Journalism Awards—is approaching. The Sexies recognize writers
“who stick to high journalistic standards” while reporting
about sex “in a climate of repression and misinformation around
human sexuality.” More info at www.sexies.org.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.