It is one of the long-established laws of the internet that if something, somewhere, exists then someone, somewhere, is making pornography about it. It’s officially codified as Rule 34 of the Internet, in fact; and no less respectable an outfit than the Washington Post a few years back dedicated a report to this issue, which affirmed: “Tetris blocks? Yep, absolutely. Leprechauns? The Web’s got it. Robots? Aliens? Goats? Trombones? Buck up and Google them.”
God help all of us, Rule 34 has been working its magic on recent Washington politics. I’m not talking about the way the real-life dating history of the sort-of-historian, Trump cheerleader and convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza — who is on record as having courted both Laura Ingraham and Anne Coulter at one time or another — resembles a discontinued experiment in alt-Right “slash” fanfiction. Nor the grisly real-life sexual behaviour of the beltway hanger-on Jason Miller. Nor, indeed, those indelible images of Rudy Giuliani adjusting his trousers on a motel bed in the new Borat movie.
No, I’m talking about the equally grim but at least victimless proliferation of Trump-era erotica available at knockdown prices in Amazon’s Kindle store. There’s really quite a lot of it, and some of it is very eccentric indeed. Of course, as much as you can put it down to Rule 34, it seems likely that a handful of PhDs are going to be spawned by this stuff. For my recent survey of the canon suggests that most of the authors are not aiming to arouse a sexual response in the reader so much as to make the reader gag — with laughter or revulsion.
That makes sense, anthropologically. After all, lewd sexual depictions have long been a primary recourse of political satire. Think of the filthy late-medieval flytings of Skelton, the restoration rumpty tumpty of the foul-mouthed Second Earl of Rochester, the earthy vulgarity of a Hogarth or a Gillray; or in our own age the early work of Gerald Scarfe or the Spitting Image material that was too rude to put on TV. The high-quality stuff survives — Rochester was a first-rate poet — but you can be pretty sure that in each age any number of talentless poetasters and loo-wall scribblers were likewise aiming their political commentary below the belt.
Take “Chuck Tingle” (I suspect this of being a pseudonym; apologies to Ma and Pa Tingle if I’m wrong). One of the most prolific pornographers on the Kindle Store, Mr Tingle makes up in productivity what he lacks in literary — and he certainly seems to have taken an interest in the day-to-day beltway news cycle, as well as being jolly keen on bottoms. One of the many titles available at the time of writing was Domald Tromp’s Ass Is Haunted By The Handsome Ghost Of His Incriminating Tax Returns. Or: Lindsey Ram’s Ass Is Haunted By The Physical Manifestation Of His Hypocritical Words About Not Filling A Vacant Supreme Court Seat During An Election Year Which He Specifically Ask To Haunt Him.
One of the things you’ll notice about Mr Tingle’s work is characteristic of much of this subgenre of erotica. Its authors are far more cautious about libel lawyers than they are about family values campaigners. So “Lindsey Ram” is in no way to be mistaken for the senior senator from South Carolina with a similar sounding name, and likewise any resemblance between “Domald Tromp” and Donald Trump is entirely a trick of the reader’s imagination. In Dirty Debate: When the Masks Come Off, by “Byron Buffoon” (again, apologies to Ma and Pa Buffoon), the elderly but Viagra-toting protagonist is a presidential candidate called “Hoe Bi-man”. Attending a masked Hallowe’en party at the White House, he finds himself snatching a moment of sordid passion with “President Hump”. “Will you shut up, man?” he exclaims at one point. “I can’t stand your voice but goddamn this ass feels amazing.”
We should at least consider the possibility that real sexual feeling is involved, of course. Could all this be a sign that the ferocity of the culture wars, like Beatrice and Benedick’s “merry war” of courtship in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, is the proxy for something else? After all, it’s a law not just of the internet but of the human libido that the more taboo something is the more arousing some people are going to find it. As Woody Allen (don’t @ me) said: “Is sex dirty? Only when it’s being done right.” Does it, perhaps, account for the flowering of fantasies in which political passions are channelled into baser enthusiasms? Is there a love-across-the-barricades, opposites-attract thing going on, in which milquetoast liberals secretly dream of being given a good seeing to by a hairy QAnon Shaman or a redneck in a Maga hat?
Honestly? I doubt it. Most of these stories show signs of having been written at some speed, and with drink taken. Donald Feels the Bern, by Cliff Fuxtable, has a bash at dramatising the psychosexual tensions between Left and Right. It opens with an “ageing Marxist” on a bar stool, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon, fulminating against the Koch Brothers and wondering if the struggle to which he has devoted his life was worth it: “Just once, thought Bernie, I’d like to give the 1% a taste of their own medicine. Give it to ‘em nice and hard.” Happily, he gets the chance when a billionaire called Donald walks into the bar, and soon they’re in the toilets, reaching across the aisle. “Bernie had to admit that cavorting with a chivalrous billionaire was more arousing than he expected. Perhaps he could spend less time railing on the 1%,” it occurs to our hero, “and actually start railing the 1%.” The scenes that follow would give Lou Dobbs himself nightmares.
Charlie Dirk’s Ins-erection At the Capitol sees a Maga-hatted Capitol invader coming upon a wizened turtle-man (actually a turtle, for some reason, but let’s pass over that): “one of the traitors he hunted — a sitting US senator”. But rage turns to passion and “within seconds the two star-crossed antonyms were deeply intertwined…”. The old senator’s “papery old skin” is said to slap against the young stallion “like take-out crepe – pliant, somewhat warm, but still enjoyable”.
The protagonist of Babs Fluffmore’s I Pr0ned the GOP Platform is a liberal-minded seductress whose “almighty magic hooha” is carving a bisexual trail of havoc through a Republican convention in the romantic city of Cleveland. The story takes a strange turn halfway through when she steals a printed copy of the GOP Platform and uses her magic hooha to bring it to life. “It had transformed from a multi-strategic manuscript to a strong, attractive man… his body was composed of pages fluttering with excitement… ‘Shadows of Schafly!’ I exclaimed. ‘It’s so big!’”
We are in the realm, here, not so much of proper erotica as of home-made satirical invective. From this point of view, then, T-Rex Pounds Presidential Butt by Buster Fritz is part of a distinguished literary and philosophical tradition that includes Aristophanes and Juvenal. But there again, it’s also about a President Tramp (the name thing again) and his successor President Byeden taking turns to be goosed in the caboose by a priapic dinosaur.
I’m afraid that though I have tried hard to find a sample of this story suitable for quotation on a respectable website such as this one, the project defeated me. Suffice to say it involves a lot of dinosaur dingus, and that if that’s your bag you’ll find it free to read with KindleUnlimited, and it may one day be a set text for your grandchildren’s GCSE History.