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X Appeal

There are not a lot of things we, as a society, can learn from Rob Lowe. The pretty-boy actor and Montecito resident can’t teach us, for example, how to express genuine emotion in front of a camera. Or, for that matter, how to build our dream home without infuriating our neighbors.

But there’s one valuable lesson we can glean from Rob Lowe’s substantial life experience: If you’re famous, for god’s sake don’t tape yourself having sex.

Earlier this month, when Kevin Federline found out wife Britney Spears was filing for divorce, he allegedly threatened to release a home sex video of them unless she awarded him millions of dollars and full custody of their two young sons. Because nothing says “responsible father” like extortion, and amateur porn.

K-Fed supposedly contacted celebrity smut salesman David Hans Schmidt to negotiate a price for the four-hour movie, which is said to show the tabloid darlings getting busy and — inexplicably — playing chess. I honestly don’t know which I’d less rather see.

Spears countered Federline’s threat by promising to release the video herself so that her ex couldn’t leverage it against her. (Which implies there are copies of the tape. Were they planning to send them out as Christmas gifts?) Federline’s attorney now insists his client never threatened to blackmail Spears and that, in fact, no such sex tape exists. Please.

She has gyrated with a snake, French-kissed Madonna, and posed nude for the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. He compares himself to Jesus in his famously-panned music.

Together, they starred in UPN’s reality series “Britney & Kevin: Chaotic,” which subjected the world to hours and hours of the couple’s tamer home movies.

Frankly, if this match-made-in-narcissistic-heaven hadn’t aimed a 10x zoom lens at their marital bed and the famous flesh that flops around in it, I’d be stunned. What’s surprising, though, is … why?

Former Brat Packer Rob Lowe saw a sizeable career slump after he was discovered to have videotaped himself in Atlanta in 1988 having sex with two women, one of whom was underage. Around the same time, another video cropped up showing Lowe in a tawdry threesome in a Paris hotel room. Speaking of Paris, Miss Hilton’s famous hardcore romp with former beau Rick Salomon made more than $50 million when distributed commercially against her will. Colin Farrell sued former Playboy bunny Nicole Narain for trying to make money off a tape of their X-rated escapades.

And who could forget the honeymoon video of Pamela Anderson and former hubby Tommy Lee that was allegedly stolen from their Malibu home only to become the year’s most popular porn rental?

Pammy’s new yet soon-to-be-ex hubby Kid Rock recently went to court to block the release of a tape of him and Creed frontman Scott Stapp getting friendly with groupies on a tour bus. (Was Rock, the author of such ditties as “Wax That Booty,” worried he’d seem like a womanizer? Or did the tape reveal him to be a less, um, substantial lover than he’d have us believe?)

I have no problem with these folks seeking bare-bummed bliss on boats, buses, and in penthouse suites. I truly don’t. My issue with them committing their copulation to celluloid is not that it’s raunchy — it’s that it’s so very, very stupid.

I’m sure it seems like a harmless lark at the time. When most of your life is lived in front of a camera, it’s easy to forget the inherent value of intimacy. And humility. But sooner or later, the tape always falls into the wrong hands, allowing the world to see what these folks look like when makeup artists aren’t handy to powder their shiny parts. Despite movie posters, music videos, and millions of PR dollars spent touting them as unattainable sex machines, they’re revealed to be run-of-the-mill Hollywood floozies who make embarrassing choices when intoxicated, and weird sounds during intercourse.

If the Spears tape ever makes it to the Internet, celebs should make a point of watching it. One glimpse will scare them off of hand-held cameras forever. If not, it’s bound to improve their chess game.

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