I know the damage cheating can do. I found a guy I was dating having sex with my ex-boyfriend in my bed. So, understand why I’m triggered by this.
When I watched the ‘prank’ video on the shared YouTube channel of Michael Pavano and his partner, gay wrestler Anthony Bowens, I was furious.
The video is titled in capitals – for dramatic effect I assume – ‘USED CONDOM CHEATING PRANK ON BOYFRIEND!!’
Here’s why I take issue: cheating is not funny, and using it to toy with a partner is deplorable.
Being in a relationship means safeguarding one another’s emotions, and in the moments Michael led Anthony to genuinely believe he had been cheated on he paid no regard to how his partner was feeling: confused, crushed, heartbroken.
Worse yet, he recorded it all for the world to see in a painstakingly difficult seven minutes.
If the camera hadn’t of been recording would this be deemed a ‘prank’? Or an insecure partner looking for attention or testing the waters?
Now, Anthony obviously has allowed the video to be uploaded to their YouTube account, so has played some part in the orchestration of the video. But I genuinely believe that in the moment he didn’t know what was going on.
If he did, that, along with chasing video views at the cost of dignity, is another can of worms.
Cheating is not funny
Michael wanted the audience to take advantage of Anthony believing the ‘prank’ to be true. He wanted us to see the raw emotion of Anthony’s reaction and his vulnerability. If he didn’t we wouldn’t be watching the video now, as pranks only work if they’re believed.
He can say it was a ‘harmless’ prank, I have no understanding of how their relationship works and they have agreed to prank each other, but if that’s what you do in retaliation to an actual prank, namely Anthony putting fart powder in his car, then there’s some urgent reflection needed.
I just can’t get over a boyfriend putting someone they claim to love through the genuine emotions of what it feels like to be cheated on, if it’s not true.
Even after the joke has passed and the truth revealed, a little piece of me would still wonder what inspired such a choice. It would also leave the trust I worked hard to build damaged.
A prank is a prank, something that can be laughed at and forgotten. Cheating has ruined lives, created scars that might never heal and has a lasting impact.
IT IS NOT FUNNY (capitals for dramatic effect).