A Manhattan congressional candidate has taken the internet by storm after releasing his very own sex tape to highlight his sex positive political platform.
Mike Itkis—an independent who is running for Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler's House seat—appeared in a pornographic video in 2021. To gather attention for his campaign, he posted a 13-minute snippet to a porn site.
Whether it will win him the seat is an open question until November.
But as far as drawing attention goes, it's worked like a charm.
Itkis says he posted the video, in which he has sex with porn actor Nicole Sage in a film called Bucket List Bonanza, as "a conversation piece."
Speaking to City & State New York, he went on to explain why he decided to not only appear in the porn video, but to publicize it during his campaign as a way of promoting sex positivity.
"If I would just talk about it, it wouldn’t demonstrate my commitment to the issue. And the fact I actually did it was a huge learning experience, and it actually influenced items on my platform.”
Itkis added his appearance in the film was a first, as he's actually a pretty buttoned-up guy.
“I’m very much an introvert. I’m kind of a nerd who doesn’t like to be the center of attention if I can avoid it."
"But I thought the issues I’m trying to address are so important… I wanted to have my issues talked about in some way.”
According to the self-described "very liberal" registered Democrat's campaign site, those issues include legalizing sex work and codifying sexual rights beyond just simple rights to free speech or privacy. He is also campaigning to end compulsory child support "without prior agreement."
On Twitter, Itkis' stunt definitely raised some eyebrows—and generated lots of jokes.
Nadler has served in the House since 1992 and is all but certain to win in November given the heavily Democratic tilt of New York's 12th congressional district, which includes most of Manhattan from 18th Street to the north end of Central Park.
Still, name recognition is half the battle for new political candidates and Itkis' stunt has handily solved that problem.