The dream is finally over. Millions of kids of my generation learned what little we knew about sex from the lyrics of songs like KISS’ “Calling Dr. Love.” Three decades later, thanks to an illicitly marketed sex tape leaked onto the web last week, we now know that copulation Gene Simmons–style is closer to what we assumed relations between our parents were like: dull, dispirited and an abasement of everybody involved.

Of course, we were picturing our folks having sex with each other, not envisioning Daddy en flagrante disgusto with a pigtailed energy-drink spokeswoman. Aside from the lazy technique they both display, the video imparts the essential factoids that the Demon does it with his socks (and gut-concealing T-shirt) still on, as Foreigner ballads plaint away in the background.

Many have guessed that the leak was actually a PR stunt, given that Simmons is simultaneously promoting: (a) a new KISS tour; (b) a forthcoming book about prostitution; and (c) the upcoming season of his Family Jewels reality series, currently in the midst of a cliffhanger that revolves around his possible infidelity. The “inside job” theory, however, was negated by the download price of the sex video, which made it competitive with most typical Internet porn. The Gene I know would have been sure to charge double.

God knows how this revelation has gone over in the Simmons-Tweed household, which has been presented on TV as an “open arrangement” predicated largely on partner Shannon’s immense capacity for denial. Industry rumors have pegged Tweed as everything from Simmons’ secret wife to a paid longtime companion who demands full subsidization of both herself and her sister Tracy. Either way, she can’t feel her non-hubby’s behavior buttresses the example she wants to set for her children now that she’s done starring in 999 erotic thrillers. For his part, Simmons has tersely dismissed the video as “garbage that has sprung up from my past,” though his own lawyers admit it’s no more than five years old.

And KISS fans? That long-suffering bunch largely reacted to the black-and-white antics with deep revulsion and cathartic snark. (One message-board wag suggested the tape be titled “Boring, Sad, Pathetic Grandpa Sex Volume 1.”) Particular amusement centers on a recurring bit in which the one-time God of Thunder tries to KISS his “date” on the lips and she turns away like a vampire from a sprig of garlic (or, more accurately, like a whore). Simmons has spent years claiming that everything in life – from music to sex to familial love – is a simple transaction, and that the rest of us are jerks for pursuing substance. So it was sweet irony to watch him literally straining to inject a note of intimacy while his partner made sure to keep it all business. The only thing funnier would have been to learn that she was holding out for Vinnie Vincent.


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