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Liking Bigfoot Erotica Doesn’t Disqualify You From Holding Public Office, But Associating With White Nationalists Should

After Democratic congressional candidate Leslie Cockburn accused her opponent of liking Bigfoot erotica, the internet lost its mind.

by Samantha Cole
Jul 30 2018, 5:16pm

Image via YouTube

Some days I wake up, bleary-eyed from a fitful sleep, and check what’s trending on Twitter just to see what terrible things happened overnight and shock myself out of bed. This morning, right under Rudy Giuliani, cheesecake, and Trump, there was Bigfoot.

Bigfoot is trending right now because of a bizarre turn in the Congressional race for Virginia’s 5th District. The Democratic candidate, Leslie Cockburn, tweeted what she says is a screenshot of a post from her Republican opponent Denver Riggleman’s Instagram page: An illustration of Bigfoot, with the creature’s massive dong covered by a CENSORED bar.

“My opponent Denver Riggleman, running mate of Corey Stewart, was caught on camera campaigning with a white supremacist,” Cockburn wrote. “Now he has been exposed as a devotee of Bigfoot erotica. This is not what we need on Capitol Hill.”

She positions these two things—white supremacy, and an apparent Bigfoot kink—as equally disgusting. Stewart, his running mate, defends the Confederate flag and Civil War statues, and Riggleman has been criticized for allegedly campaigning with white nationalists. These are things about Riggleman that should disqualify him from public office. Instead, we’re all screaming about Bigfoot dick.

I agree with Cockburn that Riggleman should be publicly shamed for being buds with the people who associate with Jason Kessler and other white nationalist leaders—the same groups who terrorized the district he’s running in with the Unite the Right attack on Charlottesville last year.

But I have to disagree that a person who likes Bigfoot erotica is “not what we need on Capitol Hill.” The Instagram post in question alludes to a new work by Riggleman, “Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him...” but he denies that it’s real, and told Charlottesville’s The Daily Progress that it was all a joke played on him by some friends.

But even if it is real, that isn’t what we should be focusing on. Personally, I would love if every politician had a kinky finstagram account. A lot of them might, already.

Noisey social editor Annalise has the only correct take on this entire situation:

People thinking they’re doing some good in the world by telling people not to Google Bigfoot dick are not helping anyone. Liking a particular kink shouldn’t disqualify you from public office.

They are also outing themselves as unaware that much of the internet is freaky as hell, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Monster and paranormal erotica are huge markets, especially for self-published authors. According to reporting Broadly did in 2016, Amazon sells around 19,000 self-published e-books a day, amounting to $9.7 million of sales a year. A lot of those are erotica, and a lot of the erotica is monster-themed.

Amazon doesn’t particularly seem to love this niche, as the company has tried to squash erotic writers several times—in 2013, after a moralistic backlash against erotic works, it quietly pulled hundreds of erotica titles from its shelves. It’s a struggle authors have always experienced on Amazon, to get their works seen by readers who clearly want them. As recently as March, authors found themselves suddenly buried by Amazon’s ranking system, with listings stripped of their best seller rankings and hidden from search on the site.

What I’m saying is, if you’re standing with the erotica writers in their fight against our capitalist overlords, welcome to the resistance.

For Bigfoot erotica alone, there’s an audience for works like Virginia Wade’s Cum for Bigfoot and Bigfoot Did Me From Behind and I Liked It by Raven Blackbird.

Just in case I ever run for office, I thought it pertinent to get this out in the open: I own some Bigfoot erotica myself, the book I Don’t Care if My Best Friend’s Mom is a Sasquatch, She’s Hot and I’m Taking a Shower With Her (...Because it’s the New Millennium) by Lacey Noonan.

The most troubling part of this news cycle is perhaps the opposite of what Cockburn intended: In a way, it normalizes Riggleman, and draws some sympathy—even if it’s through jeers and joke-blogging—for the awkward position his opponent has put him in.

Motherboard contributing editor Matthew Gault, who’s dabbled in erotic writing and considers himself part of the kink community at large, worded this sentiment better than I ever could:

“When it comes to stuff like Bigfoot erotica, we shouldn't yuck anyone's yum. Kink shaming is bad and, quite frankly, the fact that Riggleman was into mythic monster pornography humanizes him,” he told me in a Slack message. “I've been involved in the kink scene long to know that a person's sexual preferences don't tell you a lot about what's in their heart. I've met sexual sadists who were nightmares in the bedroom but the kindest and most empathetic people outside of it. Riggleman paled around with a known white supremacist, which says more about him then the kind of literature he finds erotic.”

As we come to terms with being the first generation of candidates and constituents who have never logged off, more and more of this sort of thing is bound to happen. A prospective congressman will have their mechanophilia exposed, or a senator’s old writings about LEGO porn will see the light of day. And that’s fine! If you want to fuck a car or stick a Joycon controller up your butt, this is America, where your dreams shouldn’t be limited by what gets you off, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else.

Let’s normalize all the beautiful, strange erotic works that exist in the world, the writers who create them, and the readers who love them. Let’s never normalize being pals with white supremacists and the people who support them.