Electoral Dysfunction: In Search of Election Night Sex
When Barack Obama became president-elect of the United States, Washingtonians made sure that eight years of Bush administration rule came to an appropriate end.
The anticipation for an Obama presidency began as a casual flirtation with his 2004 DNC speech, mounted with two years of election-season foreplay, and finally culminated in a clusterfuck when the election was called at 11 p.m. on Nov. 4. The celebration was a double entendre of epic proportions—an orgasmic display of patriotism by thousands of wet people who erupted into the rainy streets of Washington to remove their clothing, embrace strangers, and engage in unbridled dancing.
Some Washingtonians ventured to take the analogy further.
"There was a pent-up desire for the Democrat to win, and when he did, his supporters wanted to manifest it in their own lives in a very real way," says Brian, 42, an Obama supporter. Obama's win provided the most likely scenario for getting laid this decade. But unlike local campaign staffers, who had been sowing the seeds of election-night hook-ups since the primaries, some locals were hard-pressed to find a historical hook-up. "That's where my ad came in," says Brian.
Shortly after Obama's win, Brian registered the e-mail address email@example.com—"I couldn't believe it wasn't taken," he says—and began trolling for some post-election coitus. Brian posted the address in a Craigslist personals ad requesting some help filling the sexual void left in the wake of political upheaval. "I am so excited by the election that I am very horny. I want to grab a willing partner by the hair and take her in a mad, passionate, kinky and rough manner," Brian wrote. "Looking for someone who was so turned on by the results and wants to celebrate passionately with a tall, take-charge white man."
Brian says he received responses from 25 to 30 "willing partners" within days. He then narrowed down the pool of interested parties in order to engage in celebratory sex—with real women, he says—on election night, the night after, and the night after that. Though the meetings were inspired by Obama, Brian says the sex act remained the same. "We both know why we're turned on," he says of his post-election meet-ups with live humans who actually exist. "It's the normal type of get-together, but it's spiced up because we're extremely passionate." Brian says his post-election sexual prospects—which are definitely real—show no signs of slowing. "It is my hope that this will continue for the next eight years," he says.
Brian checks his inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org a couple times per day, looking to capitalize on any leftover sexual energy from the campaign. Others search for partners without the help of an election sex inbox. Some—lusting after a long-held campaign crush or a new election night honey—joined Votergasm. The bipartisan movement, begun by a group of recent college graduates in 2004, urged young people to vote on Election Day—then to have sex with fellow poll-goers while withholding sex from nonvoters. Votergasm inspired six election-night parties in the District of Columbia alone, ranging from the official D.C. Votergasm party at Lucky Bar—which touted "a safe, neutral, fun environment" for swinging politicos—to a massage therapist offering free election night massages to "single ladies" who met the masseuse's requirements: "must be registered to vote and sexy."
A search of Craigslist's personal ads reveals hundreds of Washingtonians who seized upon the election's sexual punning opportunities, with plays-on-words ranging from "defeat Bush" to "hanging chad." From Nov. 1 through Nov. 7, 91 Craigslist ads included the term "election," and 45 included "Obama." By contrast, only six mentioned McCain and four noted erstwhile political sex object Sarah Palin. And although it was overwhelmingly victors requesting the post-election spoils, some red voters also hit the Internet seeking consolation prizes. In a posting entitled "Hate Sex Now," a 26-year-old Arlington man wrote, "I'm the only guy in Arlington who didn't vote for Obama. Where is the only girl who didn't vote for him who feels like commiserating together? . . . While at it, some good hate sex sounds like a plan to me."
Whether or not these calls for willing candidates resulted in actual sex is unclear. Brian's sexual "windfall" aside, other post-election fantasizing hasn't been met with such a mandate.
One Election Day Craigslist poster, who wished to remain anonymous, is not convinced that "a bunch of horny wits opportunistically appropriating material from the election cycle for anonymous CL propositions" resulted in more people actually getting laid. His posting—"Celebrate! Roleplay! Tonight: Me? Obama. You? Michelle"—outlined an election-night scenario wherein two partners with "epicurean tastes, but Spartan lifestyles" would join forces to end election night with some "deliriously triumphant" sex. The poster, a 47-year-old man, posted an open-shirted photograph of his torso to help jump-start the role-playing. He received no responses.
Another poster appropriated campaign literature in an attempt to have sex. "Yes we can celebrate the election results by having a casual encounter," he wrote. The poster, who wished to remain anonymous, proceeded to drop modifications of the "Yes we can" construction eight more times in the 85-word post. "I considered the Obama election as reason to celebrate. And I thought maybe an outstanding young lady would like to celebrate with me," he told me later. "I thought wrong, apparently, based on the responses I received"—for the most part, spam.
Brian's success notwithstanding, the "Yes We Can" poster submits one possibility for his failure to capitalize on the palpable sexual energy that accompanied Obama's win: "Perhaps it would be more fitting for women to hook up with a bright, dynamic African-American instead of a professional white guy such as myself."
Photo by Darrow Montgomery.