There was a rather unusual amount of porn in our politics this year, and as hot as it looked, there was nothing really sexy about any of it.

Let's recap:

In July, GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene decided to display nude photos of Hunter Biden during a public hearing of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Two months later, Susanna Gibson, the Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, was found to have had sex with her husband live on Chaturbate, an event that upended her entire campaign and her personal life.

By December, Americans learned that GOP power couple Christian and Bridget Zeigler had a threesome after a woman accused Christian Zeigler of sexual assault. The Florida Trident reported that local police investigating the case obtained a video of Bridget Zeigler and a woman having sexual intercourse. It is unclear whether the woman in the video is the same woman who made the allegations against Christian Zeigler.

In mid-December, the Daily Caller circulated a video of two men having sex in an empty Senate hearing room. The video was linked to a 24-year-old staffer working for Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat of Maryland.

Amid this scandal, the news site Semaphore reported the discovery of another Capitol sex tape that led to an investigation into the office of Republican Representative Dan Newhouse last year. A spokesperson for Newhouse told the press that there were reports of a senior staffer "alleging inappropriate behavior" but that there was "no conclusive evidence".

And finally, honorable mention could be given to Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who, according to surveillance cameras, was groped by her boyfriend during a performance of the musical "Beetlejuice" before being kicked out of the theater.

PORN AS A POLITICAL WEAPON

Whenever the American public was exposed to pornographic material of political leaders or servants, a strong whiff of familiar toxic politics followed.

What was Greene's reason for putting Biden's nude photos on full display? He claimed in Newsmax that it was "evidence that he believes the American people deserve to see" for the investigation into the younger Biden's alleged tax evasion scheme. Biden was indicted in December on charges stemming from tax evasion, but it was particularly noteworthy that prosecutors presented their 56-page indictment without feeling the need to include nude photos of him.

Gibson, a Virginia Democrat, said the videos of her and her husband were an act of "revenge porn" she didn't know existed. She told Politico how the incident traumatized her and that her "whole life was shaken" when a Republican operative tipped off The Washington Post to the existence of the tape.

The only reason the public knows about the Zieglers' threesome and the Moms for Liberty co-founder's video is because of rape allegations submitted to the Sarasota Police Department in November and later published by The Florida Trident. The threesome would not have been so scandalous if the couple had not portrayed themselves as bastions of traditional Christian conservatism.

Experts told USA Today that the Cardin employee's case is a reflection of how sex scandals involving LGBTQ+ people are treated more negatively, and argued that the release of the tape was politically motivated.

WILL PORN BE THE NEW NORMAL IN POLITICS?

Almost every exposure of XXX-rated moments in US politics has resulted in someone losing their job.

The Florida GOP is expected to vote to oust Christian Ziegler as chairman at a special meeting next year. Gibson lost the race for the House of Representatives by just three points, but it's hard to say how much of that was due to the scandal. And the Cardin staffer no longer serves in the Senate.

Disagreement between Biden and the Republican Speaker of the House! Disagreement between Biden and the Republican Speaker of the House!

"This has been a difficult time for me as I have been attacked because of who I like to pursue political agendas," he said. "While some of my past behavior has led to poor judgment, I love my job and would never disrespect my workplace."

Who knows what all this means for 2024, a big election year.

Will more political opponents start looking for sex tapes? Can porn be normalized in politics? Maybe politicians will join the workforce, joining others who have started moonlighting as OnlyFans models. (Please don't.)

Perhaps this is all part of a larger metaphor for how far US politics has fallen behind in recent years. After all, our last president was accused of sexual misconduct by at least 26 women.

This year, Donald Trump became the first former US president to be indicted on criminal charges related to hush money payments to former adult star Stormy Daniels.