Courtney Casgraux, a 41-year-old Democratic congressional candidate from Oregon, is boldly embracing her past and seeking to “reclaim her sexuality” after a video of her previous work as a dominatrix was leaked online earlier this year. Casgraux, a self-described international businesswoman, worked as a dominatrix in her 20s and 30s, charging clients approximately $500 per hour.
In an interview with the New York Post, Casgraux opened up about her initial panic upon the video’s release and how she is using this incident to empower her campaign for Congress. Casgraux expressed her initial reaction, “I was just panicking. . . . Then I was like, ‘Who did this?’ and I just started calling every single person that I pretty much knew from my past. . . . I was like hyperventilating, crying.” Despite the distress caused by the video leak, Casgraux is now using it to fuel her campaign, aiming to represent Oregon’s 1st Congressional District in the House.
Hailing from California, Casgraux returned to the BDSM industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, this time working at Donatella’s Dungeon, an S&M club located in Midtown Manhattan. Although she could not uncover the person responsible for the leak, Casgraux believes someone attempted to shame her. She stated, “To shame me for something that helped create the life that I have today where I have opportunity…made me really mad. Because it felt like an attack on women, not just an attack on me.”
Casgraux also expressed frustration with the current leadership within the Democratic Party at the federal level. She stated, “I do not feel Democrats have strong leadership” and criticized those representing the party for compromising the nation, specifically mentioning President Biden. Casgraux is surprised by the standards set for Congress members and their eligibility to serve. She remarked, “Unfortunately, we live in a nation where there can be sex purchasers in Congress, but still not sex workers.”
Despite the setback caused by the leak, Casgraux is determined to win the House seat currently held by Democrat Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, who is seeking re-election. Casgraux’s campaign focuses on issues such as abortion rights and reversing the decriminalization of certain drugs in Oregon.
To further “reclaim her sexuality,” Casgraux has created a Playboy profile where she sells risqué pictures of herself for up to $150 each. Through this platform, she also shares other content, including discussions on constitutional powers, impeachment, and challenges faced by American farms.
Casgraux’s campaign has garnered only $757 from 13 donors so far, but she remains dedicated to her cause. She explained that her campaign is about more than winning a seat in Congress. She aims to inspire others, stating, “There’s no losing if I can make one woman feel like there’s no shame in your past and what you have done…You too can run for Congress.”