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'Reel' sex: With Jesse James as latest, Hollywood tapes more than a trend

It wouldn’t be a Hollywood sex scandal without a sex tape.

In the case of Jesse James, there are allegedly more than a dozen videos, all involving Nazi paraphernalia and none featuring scorned wife Sandra Bullock.

Celebrities from Marilyn Monroe to Paris Hilton to Dustin Diamond of “Saved by the Bell” have been linked to X-rated films. For media-savvy stars, sex tapes can be a provocative PR boost, and for the curious public, they offer unfettered access to celebrities at their most vulnerable, experts said.

“It’s the forbidden fruit that we can’t resist,” said Cosmopolitan magazine’s executive editor Nicole Beland.

The homemade films starring affair-plagued biker James are “really quite disturbing,” according to Oscar winner Bullock immediately stamped out reports she was involved, telling, “There is no sex tape. There never has been one and there never will be one.”

That can’t be said for Hilton, Kim Kardashian and other reality TV starlets, whose frisky footage helped their careers to take off, experts said.

“We are very narcissistic society where people are very into attention,” said Lewis Adams, of Red Light District, a porn studio that has distributed the sex tapes of Hilton, Diamond and “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher. “If some of these [cases], people accidentally leaked the tapes, it wouldn’t surprise me.”

Whether released intentionally or not, celebrity sex tapes allow the public to see stars at their least glamorous, experts said.

“We’re very interested to see them doing something that people are doing all the time, which is having sex,” said Steven Hirsch, founder of Vivid Entertainment, the world’s largest adult film producer. “Everyone has sex, so it’s easy to compare themselves to celebrities.”

The increasingly bright spotlight placed on celebrity sex tapes points to a less-skittish society, Adams said. But Regina Lynn, author of “The Sexual Revolution: 2.0,” argued there are contradictions in our interests.

“We’re fairly schizophrenic about sex,” Lynn said. “We want to do these things … but we also have the simultaneous ‘We want to be proper.’”

The abundance of vulgar videos doesn’t mean everyone should partake, Lynn added. “If anybody knows better than to record sex on media, it would anybody who’s an actor or actress. It would be Jesse James.”

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