Republicans Got Weirdly Horny During the Debate for a Party Hell Bent on Criminalizing Sex

Weeks after Lauren Boebert's Beetlejuice groping fiasco, Chris Christie and Mike Pence made far too much of Wednesday's debate about sex.

Politics
Republicans Got Weirdly Horny During the Debate for a Party Hell Bent on Criminalizing Sex
Photo:Win McNamee (Getty Images)

During the second Republican presidential debate last night, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a weird, reductive comment about Joe Biden’s policies, saying he can’t be trusted on education because he’s “sleeping with a member of the teachers union”—that would be first lady Jill Biden. For some reason, Mike Pence decided this was his moment to chime in with his own sex reference (I cannot in good conscience call it a joke): “My wife isn’t a member of the teachers union. But I’ve got to admit I’ve been sleeping with a teacher for 38 years and, um, full disclosure.”

The weirdly sexual utterances from this unlikely duo were the latest in a string of unadulterated horniness from Republicans. In case you somehow missed it earlier this month, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) was kicked out of a performance of Beetlejuice for, among other things, groping and getting publicly frisky with her date. In July, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) spoke at a campaign event for Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and took it upon herself to inform the crowd that, instead of addressing them, she could’ve been fucking: “I woke up this morning at 7. … Patrick, my fiancé, tried to pull me by my waist over in bed, and I was like, ‘No baby, we don’t have time for that this morning. I gotta get to the prayer breakfast,’” she said, adding that Patrick “can wait. I’ll see him later tonight.” Between these little, err, incidents, and Wednesday night’s debate, the Republican Party appears to be in the midst of an accidental horny rebrand—if only their policies allowed the rest of us to be freely, safely horny too.

In the midst of all these overt sexual references, Scott, who is running for president and notably did not attempt any PG-13 jokes on Wednesday, and his sex life (or lack thereof), is reportedly the object of Republican donors’ curiosity. Donors have been clear: They want to know their Republican nominee fucks.

I’m not uncomfortable with the reality of sex coexisting with politics. (And good thing, because 40% of the presidents I’ve been alive for have been famously embroiled in sex scandals.) If anything, politics would benefit from more politicians speaking openly about topics like sexual health. But I am uncomfortable with Republicans co-opting cheeky sex jokes as campaign stunts and getting it on at the theater, while actively standing in the way of everyone else’s sex lives. Most of the candidates on the debate stage have openly mused about national abortion bans—by cracking down on our rights to birth control and abortion, they’re taking away the very resources that make having a safe sex life possible. And on top of all of this, the same candidates cracking sex jokes equate queer identity with perversion and sexual predation.

The last thing we need in our post-Roe v. Wade reality is regular updates on whether Tim Scott is or isn’t fucking, or the image in my head of Pence calling his wife “mother” in the bedroom. Horniness, that I can absolutely respect—but policing everyone else’s horniness with your political agenda is where I draw the line.

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