Sometimes, when you’re running a long shot campaign for Congress, you might want to do something flashy to get your name and your positions out there for people to see — like, say, announce that you have filmed a sex tape and uploaded it to a popular pornographic streaming site. 

Mike Itkis, a major in the Army Reserve and independent candidate for New York’s 12th congressional district, told City & State New York on Friday that he released the video, in which he has sex with adult film performer Nicole Sage, to serve as a “conversation piece” regarding his “sex-positive approach” to domestic policy.

“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 told City & State.

That platform includes decriminalizing and legalizing sex work, ending adultery laws, and decriminalizing all sex acts between consenting adults.

His campaign page also touts his military service, where he is described as a cyber operations officer, Signal Corps officer, and civil affairs specialist. According to Army Times, Itkis is currently assigned to the 335th Theater Signal Command at Joint Base McGuire-Dix Lakehurst in New Jersey. 

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Itkis said that the video, titled ‘Bucket List Bonanza,’ was his first time performing on camera. 

“I’m very much an introvert,” Itkis told City & State. “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.”

Itkis is almost certain to lose in the election, but the video certainly has had the effect of getting him some notoriety. It may not be the kind of notoriety the Army Reserve appreciates, though. 

“The Army Reserve is aware of the allegations and is conducting an investigation,” said Army Reserve Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Addie Leonhardt. “Under the Privacy Act, the Army Reserve cannot comment on individuals under investigation or investigation findings.”

“The Army Reserve is committed to upholding good order and discipline within its ranks,” Leonhardt added.

As to the legality of service members participating in sex tapes, a 2013 ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces established that doing so was, in fact, punishable under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

That ruling stemmed from a 2007 incident in which the search of the room of a soldier accused of sexual assault produced a homemade sex tape of the soldier and another person engaging in consensual sexual activity. 

Similarly, a 2012 case convicted a sergeant assigned to the Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps who had appeared in multiple pornographic movies while wearing parts of his uniform, including his dress blue tunic and dress cover. 

Given that Itkis almost certainly was not on orders or representing himself as an Army Reserve officer when he made the tape, he may not have much to worry about — other than how that next training meeting is going to go. 

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