A Sex Tape Is One of the Least Offensive Things to Happen in That Senate Hearing Room

As Twitter points out, the American people have all already been fucked in that room. But I’m supposed to be outraged by a workplace quickie???

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A Sex Tape Is One of the Least Offensive Things to Happen in That Senate Hearing Room

As Congress clashes over the usual matters of state, like immigration policy and whether to keep funding a foreign government’s war crimes, I give you the story that derailed—emphasis on railed—the weekend: A Senate staffer allegedly filmed a sex tape between himself and another man in a Senate Judiciary hearing room, per a Friday night report in the far-right Daily Caller. And right-wing media and the internet at large are being very calm and level-headed about all this. Just kidding!

To set the scene—unless you’re this one conservative influencer who says he’s watched the tape “over 10 times”—this is what CNN and Business Insider have reported, as of Monday morning: One of the participants in the sex tape (which seems to have been filmed in Hart 216, according to Politico) has been identified as 24-year-old Aidan Maese-Czeropski, an aide to Sen. Ben Cardin (D-NE), while right-wing media has identified the other man in the video as a German graduate student. The German student was reportedly tagged in a leaked Instagram Close Friends story that surfaced on social media shortly after the Daily Caller’s report, his handle scrawled over Maese-Czeropski’s buttocks. The Instagram story in question shows a nude Maese-Czeropski in the hearing room—right between where Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) sit—captioned: “In this very room: Sonia Sotomayor had her confirmation hearing, James Comey testified on Russian interference in the 2016 elections, Aidan got some thick German sausage and a jager sauce finish.” OK!!!

The whole scandal has since unearthed numerous horny Instagram stories purportedly from Maese-Czeropski, including some in which he lusts over Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-IL), who I did not know existed before this, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), among many, many others, which haven’t been independently verified. Per the Daily Caller, the sex tape was originally leaked from a group chat of gay Hill staffers.

There is a lot I want to say off the bat, but here’s my best attempt at a, err, nut graf: Yes, a gay sex tape appears to have been filmed in a Senate hearing room. And???

I know what you’re thinking: What about decency? What about professionalism? Courtesy? Respect for our institutions??? Well, I’d answer that last one with another question: When, exactly, was the last time our “institutions” ever respected us? As much of Twitter has pointed out, we the American people have all been fucked in that room. But I’m supposed to be outraged by a workplace quickie??

I can appreciate that fucking at work or filming a sex tape are fairly standard reasons to get fired from a job. Sure! But let’s get one thing—probably the only thing about all of this—straight: A gay sex tape is one of the less offensive things that’s happened in that room, a room where the Supreme Court Justices (including an alleged serial sexual assailant) who eventually overturned Roe v. Wade were first confirmed. A room where nearly every senator who’s conducted business there for the last two-odd months has supported the funding and arming of mass death in Gaza. This may sound like a reach, but all of this is to say: If you think gay porn is more disrespectful or abhorrent than any of the aforementioned, consider interrogating that within yourself.

There’s also been a lot of hand-wringing on social media among people in queer communities over the tape in question, haranguing the participants for “giving” the right more fuel and ammunition for their violent queerphobia. Almost immediately after the story broke, the right, including Republican elected officials, started sharing deranged posts on the matter. Which, unfortunately, was to be expected. But whether you fuck on film on the Senate floor or try your darndest to be the kind of gay person the right supposedly finds acceptable, Republicans are going to attack you and your rights either way.

In the ongoing aftermath of all of this, Cardin’s office initially referred reporters to a LinkedIn post that Maese-Czeropski shared Friday:

“This has been a difficult time for me, as I have been attacked for who I love to pursue a political agenda. While some of my actions in the past have shown poor judgement [sic], I love my job and would never disrespect my workplace. Any attempts to characterize my actions otherwise are fabricated and I will be exploring what legal options are available to me in these matters.”

Then, on Saturday, Cardin’s office told Politico that Maese-Czeropski “is no longer employed by the U.S. Senate” and declined to comment further. Capitol Police told CNN over the weekend that they could not confirm specific details about the video but “are aware and are looking into this.” A senior Congressional official told Fox News that “no crime was committed” if the filmed sex acts were consensual. But there’s been quite a bit of debate among pundits and lawyers—who are all apparently very invested in a 24-year-old’s lapse in judgment—as to whether Maese-Czeropski could be liable for trespassing or lewd and indecent behavior. (And we know queer sex acts are more likely to be policed, criminalized, and seen as indecent.)

Maese-Czeropski and the other alleged participant in the tape did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Jezebel. But I feel inclined to put this out there: Aidan—and/or any other participants in The Tape—if you’re reading this and would like to share your perspective, I’d love to chat, and you can reach me at [email protected].

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