What Is Up With Election Erotica?

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Alison Doherty

Senior Contributor

Alison Doherty is a writing teacher and part time assistant professor living in Brooklyn, New York. She has an MFA from The New School in writing for children and teenagers. She loves writing about books on the Internet, listening to audiobooks on the subway, and reading anything with a twisty plot or a happily ever after.

There are a lot of ways to be involved in the ongoing presidential election. You can volunteer. You can put signs on your lawn or bumper stickers on your car. You can even compare behavior in the election to common tropes in YA dystopian novels. But one way I never would have anticipated people getting involved is by writing and reading erotica about the presidential candidates.

If you’re reaction to finding out people are creating sexy stories about Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and, yes, Donald Trump is something along the lines of WHAT?!?! then you’re thinking what I was thinking when I first found out about it on a friend’s Facebook page. Once I recovered from my shock, I knew I wanted to find out more.

Donald Trump stories seem to have more writers and more readers. Trump Temptation: The Billionaire & The Bellboy, by Elijah Daniel and Nick Sanchez, was at one point ranked number one in the gay erotica and humorous erotica categories. With quotations like, “My loins trembled as the scent of toupee adhesive and spray tan swept through my nasal cavity,” I can definitely see why it landed in the humor section. Not exactly sexy stuff. Other Trump titles feature a talking gay hairpiece, Trump’s secret identity as the Loch Ness Monster, and Trump as a vampire hunter about to face Megyn Kelly in a final showdown. Amazon also lists titles pairing up Donald Trump and Bill Clinton and Trump and Putin as lovers. There is even an ebook that brings together Trump and Sanders called Donald Feels the Bern, by Cliff Fuxtable.

The Bernie Sanders erotica I found tends to rely on one of two puns. The obvious “Feel the Bern” reference appears in Chuck Tingle’s portrayal of the candidate as an anthropomorphized, gay unicorn, Feeling the Bernie featuring a disloyal Hillary staffer and an Iowa hotel room, and Feel the Bern, by Alexa Davis, a BDSM romance. Most other titles makes use of a Weekend at Bernie’s pun to tell stories ranging from the night before a big debate to a chance encounter at a Vermont maple syrup convention (a sticky night in more ways than one). I.I. Dene strays from these trends and focuses on Bernie’s socialist message in Bernie’s Desire, book three in the Presidential Passion series, promising, “On Bernie’s farm, labor isn’t the only thing that’s shared.”

Hillary titles are more rare, or at least harder to find. However, they do exist. One presents the former Secretary of State spanking naughty feminists. Another shows her engaging in a very close relationship with a fictional campaign manager. Hillary’s Personal Emails: Secrets of State Exposed, by well-respected author Trashcan Jones, capitalizes on the so-called email scandal. It’s clear the lack of puns surrounding her name and campaign slogans disadvantage Hillary in this arena.

Stepping away, from the three most prominent candidates, I also found a 34-page story depicting a tryst between Jeb Bush and an optometrist called The Light in Jeb’s Eyes. Or if Ted Cruz is more of interest The Many Hues of Ted Cruz, by Ennui Mankini, describing the candidate legit having sex with a box of crayons – which I’m pretty sure is the erotica equivalent of pigs flying.

Through titles, author names, and online samples (I wasn’t brave enough to buy anything for fear it would muck up my Amazon suggestions forever) I can tell that most, if not all, of these titles are meant to be more humorous than arousing. And don’t get me wrong. I laughed at the puns and the ridiculous situations. I shared them with friends who also laughed, or, at least, replied with the laughing emoji. But something about these stories also makes me uneasy. Erotica has often been a way to explore taboo subjects and find acceptance. Part of me wonders if the jokes in these stories rely on shame, squeamishness around sex, and negative stereotypes to achieve a laugh. At the same time, part of me is still laughing. It’s hard not to in the face of something so absurd.

I’ve often heard people say that ebook publishing means that now anyone can publish anything. Still, I never expected that anything to be erotica about our presidential candidates. But I guess in a year where where a candidate actually mentioned his penis size in a debate, I probably shouldn’t be so surprised.