This Week's Featured Article Is...
My piece for Glamour: Help, I Can't Stop Hooking Up With Trump Supporters
When someone asks about my worst hookup, I have plenty of options to choose from, but I inevitably end up telling the same story. It’s the one where I started arguing with a Trump supporter at a bar and then before I knew it, I was waking up the next morning in his bedroom. There were flags everywhere: Ronald Reagan's face was emblazoned on one of them, “Don’t Tread On Me” made an appearance on another. I say it was the “worst” not because the sex was bad, but because, well, see above.
This was in early 2016 and—while it doesn’t excuse my choice of partner—it was before Pussygate, before the suggestion of violence against his opponents,, and before the realities of a Trump presidency really set in. So while I found a lot of his comments abhorrent, hooking up with one of his supporters wasn't quite the moral conundrum to me that it would become a few months later.
To my own surprise, we kept hooking up and—despite the fact that our political opinions were diametrically opposed—it didn't feel weird. When we texted, we'd naturally argue about politics, but also about other things, like if corn or flour tortillas made for the best tacos, or whether Drake or Kendrick Lamar was the better rapper (I said Kendrick, of course). When we met up in person, that pent-up anger would turn into frustration, which would turn into a sort of competitive tension that resulted, inevitably, in sex.
I knew we'd never be anything more to each other than a hookup, but I didn’t care. The sex was hot, and it was uncomplicated in the sense that neither of us expected—or even really wanted—any strings attached. And since I was confident in my political convictions, all that witty banter about tax codes, emails, and border walls was the foreplay I never knew I needed.
I assumed it was a onetime experiment, but shortly after we ended things I started sleeping with yet another Trumpster who I was inexplicably attracted to. This, I'm sorry to say, was after Trump had secured the nomination, but in my defense I was still pretty certain we were going to elect Hillary Clinton, so I could ignore the fact that this guy's family wore MAGA hats. Harder to ignore was his conviction that if Clinton won, we would automatically go to war—with which country, he couldn’t say, but he was certain that a woman president would lead to war because…emotions, maybe? I have no idea. He was ill-informed, sexist, and loved to start arguments with me.
But once again the thrill of the election and the friction of our differences made the passion so much more palpable in bed. So I pushed aside his ingrained bigotry and instead let it wash over me, filling me with a desire to prove him wrong—or maybe to just be on top of him.
As much as I don't like the idea of sleeping with people whose values are clearly the opposite of my own, I can’t seem to stop, especially since the election. I’m an extremely competitive person and knowing that the guy I’m with is on the “winning” team (even though I’m still correct) just forces that competitiveness into overdrive. Even when my annoyance with Trump and his supporters turns into depression, anxiety, and frustration, I still get an odd sense of vindication after sleeping with one of them.
And it’s by no means just a way to feed into that whole “What if I can change him?” cliché. I don’t need any of these Trumpsters to actually like me. It’s merely because I’ve discovered that crazy political tension also makes for great sexual tension.
Plus, in an odd way, sleeping with Trump supporters reaffirms my own political and personal values. I don’t think I could ever have a serious relationship with a one—I can’t be with someone who won’t understand why the news sometimes causes me to burst into tears, or why I want to throw my phone across the room after reading the President’s latest tweet. For me, differing political ideologies are a deal breaker. But that only makes me more OK with accepting these flings for what they are: Opportunities for excellent hate-sex. And to be able to walk away unbothered, unburdened, and sexually satisfied makes me feel powerful at a time when many people with my liberal leanings have never felt less in control.
Is this a sustainable pattern? Probably not. For one, it occasionally brings me added stress and it isn’t really the kind of relationship I want in the long run. But for right now I can highly recommend hooking up with someone whose politics you hate.
As long as you don’t forget to vote.