Last week, the fabulously loquacious South Dakota Republican Rep. Steve Hickey penned a bizarre anti-anal-sex screed memorably titled “A One Way Alley for the Garbage Truck.” Hickey had written the piece as an op-ed for the Argus Leader, South Dakota’s biggest newspaper—but the paper declined to publish it, most likely because it is a disturbing and obsessive morass of scatological fixation and homophobic argle-bargle.
Perhaps as a consolation prize, Argus Leader managing editor Patrick Lalley granted Rep. Hickey an on-air interview to discuss the article. Luckily—though unsurprisingly—the legislator displays a considerable talent for vivid, almost fetishistically detailed descriptions of imagined gay sex acts. The entire interview is a joy to behold, as Rep. Hickey rambles with frenzied paranoia about a vast conspiracy to muffle the science that proves gay sex is very bad for you. (Please note: It’s really not.) But the unforgettable climax arrives as Rep. Hickey rumbles toward yet another, even more lurid analogy for anal sex. In response to an op-ed written by Kevin Weiland, a doctor and a Democrat, criticizing Hickey’s previous polemic, Hickey exploded:
Here’s what I’d like to ask Dr. Weiland. Do you tell your patients to wash their hands before they eat? Why? Because you touch a doorknob, and you don’t want to get it inside your body. I hesitate to get crude again, but, Dr. Weiland, is it OK for, you know, eight of your friends that you’re in love with to take a dump in your bed and then you can sleep in it all year long?
There are, of course, a number of puzzling components to this statement. For instance, why eight friends, rather than one, or six, or 10? Must you be in love with your friends to have anal sex with them? And does Rep. Hickey think that gay people only change their sheets once a year?
Bewildering misapprehensions aside, however, Rep. Hickey’s latest statement illustrates, once again, that he simply has a fundamental misconception about how anal sex works. The Hickey Theory of Sodomy involves a startling amount of feces—more feces, certainly, than real-life anal sex involves, which is none at all. In fact, whoever gave Rep. Hickey his current understanding of the mechanics of sodomy would do well to see a doctor, though he probably shouldn’t get a referral from Rep. Hickey.
At this point, I doubt an “Anal Sex: You’re Doing It Wrong” feature will change Rep. Hickey’s mind about gay intimacy or gay marriage. But it’s worth reiterating just how mystifying his campaign truly is. Rep. Hickey is convinced that homosexuality is a toxic health risk that destroys the body and reduces your lifespan. This is his primary argument against marriage equality. Yet every major medical, psychological, and psychiatric association in America has vehemently endorsed LGBTQ rights over and over again. Rep. Hickey’s quest is based on nothing more than his personal disgust with a form of intimacy he obviously doesn’t understand—but remains utterly obsessed with. From afar, it’s fun to watch him spiral ever deeper into this manic vortex. But it’s also a little bit sad to see him slowly drowning in the quagmire of his own fixations.