QUAY: Democrat’s Porn Scandal Shows That America Has Become A Nation Of Exhibitionists

[Screenshot/YouTube/Catalyst for Change]

Grayson Quay News Editor
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Twenty-two years to the day after al-Qaeda took down the Twin Towers, some enterprising GOP oppo researcher took down Susanna Gibson’s campaign. According to multiple reports, the Democratic candidate for a toss-up seat in Virginia’s legislature had accepted money to perform sex acts with her husband in X-rated livestreams on the website Chaturbate, where she performed under the username hotwifeexperience.

In the videos (which I perused for purely journalistic reasons), it’s clear that Gibson is putting on a show. She speaks to her audience (while making love to her husband) in the artificially seductive voice that a woman ought to reserve for her spouse. At times, she even pauses mid-coitus to hunch over the laptop and read comments and requests from viewers. For her, it’s a turn-on. You can imagine her doing it as a state rep, discussing the day’s committee meeting in flagrante delicto while stream viewers laud her as an empowered girlboss. Her lawyer husband, on the other hand, appears to merely tolerate it. (RELATED: Democrat Embarrassed Herself By Live Streaming Sex Acts To Raise Money)

Their exhibitionistic livestreams perfectly embody art critic John Berger’s maxim that “men look at women” while “women watch themselves being looked at.”

Gibson responded by going on the attack. She denounced the story as a “leak,” and the liberal media dutifully adopted the term. But to anyone not blinded by partisan dogma, Gibson’s outrage is absurd on its face. Her entire goal was, obviously, to get people to watch.

Then, just one day later, the Daily Wire broke the news that Clinton Monroe Ellis-Gilmore, a drag queen affiliated with the anti-Catholic Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, had been arrested for public masturbation back in August. Specifically, the 53-year-old had allegedly driven to a public park in broad daylight, left his truck’s door open and then proceeded to spank the monkey for a full hour. Once again, being seen (or at least the possibility of being seen) was the point. 

These aren’t isolated cases. They’re indicative of a wider trend.

Drag itself is the most obvious example. This form of burlesque performance, long relegated to gay bars and other seedy venues, now demands acceptance in every public forum. From the Country Music Awards to your kid’s first-grade classroom, from “family friendly” festivals to Lutheran churches — the sight of confused men gyrating sexually while dressed as offensive caricatures of women must become unavoidable. And why? Because being looked at is the point. (RELATED: ‘Nonbinary Femme’ Performs Caricature Of Womanhood In New Ad For Company Named After Hardworking Housewife)

Conservative activist Christopher Rufo has done valuable work digging up leftist scholarship on drag to debunk the claim that it’s nothing more than harmless dress-up. According to a trio of influential queer theorists, drag is a “site of queer pleasure” designed to “turn rejection into desire” and, for the kids watching, “to queer the rhetoric of innocence that constrains all children.” 

In other words, drag queens do drag because they get off on being seen doing drag. Don’t let them tell you any different.

Our cultural drift toward exhibitionism is also on display at Pride parades, where kink enthusiasts insist on promenading, bare-assed and ball-gagged, in front of children. Someone has to watch. It doesn’t work if no one’s watching. In fact, the very idea that someone might not want to watch is bigoted and offensive. 

This exhibitionist tendency goes beyond sex. We see it at work when children name “YouTuber” as their top career choice. We see it when TikTok users post “POV” videos in which the users themselves appear, as if they can’t bear (or even imagine) not being observed. We see it when people film themselves buying a homeless guy a sandwich and post the clip on Facebook. We see it when, as I wrote back in 2021, Gen Z employees turn work meetings into group therapy sessions where they feel free to overshare about mental illnesses and menstrual cramps. 

We even see it in Congress. Social media can turn a C-SPAN clip of a floor speech into a mega-viral fundraising goldmine. The more viral you go, the more money you raise, the more clout you accumulate. Policy doesn’t matter. What matters is eyeballs. As long as there are cameras in Congress, the incentive structure will value showmanship over substance.

The epidemic of exhibitionism is, I think, rooted in the demand for total authenticity and the accompanying stigma against … well … stigma. Each individual has the right, and perhaps even the duty, to bring the whole self into every situation. To conceal one’s kinks, politics or mental health issues is to submit to systemic oppression and “respectability culture.” It might even lead to suicide. J. Edgar Hoover dressed as a woman in the privacy of his own home. Admiral Rachel Levine feels the need to do so on national TV. (RELATED: Rachel Levine Praised Gender Clinic That Wants To Call Women ‘Egg Producers’)

We seem, on some subconscious level, afraid that we cease to exist when we’re not being perceived. We crave the affirmation of strangers. It’s not enough to know that God smiles on your charity to the homeless. You need 73 likes as well. It’s not enough to be respected in your congressional district. You need to own the libs hard enough to become a national celebrity. It’s not enough to know that your husband finds you sexy. You need internet horndogs to give you money.

The more emphasis we place on self-created identity and the more we crowdsource that identity from strangers online, the more exhibitionistic we can expect our society to become. 

Grayson Quay is an editor at the Daily Caller.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.