Sometime late Monday night (or, very early Tuesday morning), Ted Cruz’s verified Twitter account did something extremely ordinary: It “liked” a tweet.
The tweet in question came from the account @SexuallPosts (link to a tweet that’s NSFW) and contained a clip of a porn scene featuring Cory Chase, Kacey Jordan, and Bruce Venture. The two-plus minute clip shows a woman entering a house only to happen upon a pair of 20-somethings engaged in a sexual tryst. Our voyeuristic woman then proceeds to masturbate from her hidden vantage.
With over three million followers, the “like” was then pushed to tens of thousands of timelines. Unsurprisingly, the Internet has since begun running in gleeful circles. The hypocrisy of this most conservative of all Republicans “liking” porn! Snarky comments about the clip’s contents and quality, from critiquing the production value to scoffing at its vanilla nature. Countdowns to how long it will be before an intern fesses up to the late-night scrolling...
Though obviously not a fan of Cruz, I am also not a fan of many of the hot takes I’ve read in response to this “like.” In addition to it actually being a believable possibility that Cruz himself had nothing to do with it, someone in his camp is a fan of porn! Or at least, someone is a fan of searching and/or following porn on Twitter. This may prove that these presumably (by me) soulless people actually are, in fact, somewhat human – passionate interests, especially those sexual in nature, indicate a beating heart. Further, bonehead flubs like accidentally and/or unwittingly liking a tweet are an obvious sign of the human condition.
One response that I haven’t seen though, which frustrates me, is about the devaluation of sex media labor as evidenced by non-payment. Yeah – this specific “liking” of a tweet does that.
Though @SexuallPosts is clever and opportune, even updating their bio to read “Follow for the Same Porn @TedCruz Watches...,” the fact remains that they provide people like Cruz with adult content that they do not own free of charge. Put simply, they give other people’s content away for free, and viewers soak it up.
People frequently offer excuses defending their non-payment for the sex media they consume. For various reasons, some people – hateful public political people, for instance – may not feel comfortable creating a digital paper trail via a membership site. In spite of the nature of the specific person, this discomfort scenario is rooted in sexual shame, something I do not condone or take lightly in any instance.
There are endless other excuses for non-payment. Regardless if you think it’s a loss leader, it’s available, or “I only need about thirty seconds of it,” the fact remains that all these excuses point to a widely held collective social belief: Porn is not worth paying for.
In no uncertain terms, Cruz has positioned himself as an enemy of erotica. When we cackle “Hypocrite!!” at Cruz and his apparent proclivity for free vanilla-sexy porn, we are also furthering his message of sexual repression and devaluation. And by forwarding his (likely inadvertent) message that porn isn’t worth paying for, we contribute to the marginalization and devaluation sex work and sex media labor overall.
What do you think? — @AngieRowntree