The American marketplace is a purring engine of eccentric gratification fueled by a veritable smorgasbord of human impulse exploration (and exploitation). And that’s not entirely a bad thing. As long as everybody doing the buying and selling is a consenting adult – and can afford it – the satiation of most urges within our intricate, interconnected system of supply and demand is a source of provision for millions. It keeps their lights, food on their plates and their children clothed.
Don’t like what’s for sale? Don’t buy it.
That’s the essence of the marketplace … at least as Gordon Gekko described it.
I am not referring exclusively to prurient fare, either. Some people get tingly about flesh, fantasy and fetishes. Me? I’m a nerd who gets excited about ordering a mid-1980s baseball card or a fitted hat – or about installing additional RAM on my computer.
Whatever gets your blood pumping or makes you catch your breath – whatever makes you tingle or twitch – the innate indispensability (and ingenuity) of the American marketplace is something is always available to create that sensation. And recreate it. Repeatedly. For as long as you can afford it, anyway.
Are such impulse accommodations beneficial? Sustainable? Moral?
These are not questions the marketplace cares about or is compelled to answer … the only question the marketplace really cares about is whether you can afford it.
All of this, incidentally, is by way of introducing our audience to Stephanie Matto, a 32-year-old Derby, Connecticut native who initially gained fame for appearing on a reality television show called 90 Day Fiancé. A social media influencer boasting nearly 300,000 Instagram followers, Matto is an exotic dancer/ entrepreneur who launched a subscription website called Unfiltrd in August of 2021. She decided to launch her subscription site when OnlyFans – a London-based internet subscriber platform catering to sex workers and nude models – threatened to block explicit content.
Matto’s life motto is “bad decisions make better stories.” Which, obviously, are two things the marketplace provides in abundance.
Matto is perhaps best known for making tens of thousands of dollars a week by selling “farts in a jar.” And yes, I’m going to retype that sentence in case anyone missed any of its salient details: Matto is perhaps best known for making tens of thousands of dollars a week by selling “farts in a jar.”
What began as a stanky fan fetish request quickly morphed into a wildly successful business model – the profit potential of which Matto was keen on maximizing. In order to ramp up production of her increasingly sought-after feculence, Matto began consuming a steady stream of protein shakes, muffins, beans, yogurt and hard-boiled eggs in the hopes of lending additional pungency to her gastrointestinal emissions. Inside the fart jars, Matto placed flower petals as absorbent scent enhancers.
This wind-breaking diet nearly broke her, though, prompting a visit to the emergency room with heart-related symptoms. Matto has since disavowed the “fart jar” business. In fact, she doesn’t even like talking about it.
“My therapist told me I should stop bringing it up because it brings back trauma,” she said this week.
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Famous for her flatulence, Matto is making waves on her TikTok page this week by alleging that one of her former “fart jar” customers wound up in an online “relationship” with her – and that this individual has since turned into a stage five clinger/ stalker/ harasser.
Why should you care? Because according to her, the individual is a sitting United States senator.
“There’s this guy on my who literally pays me $10,000 for an hour to watch me eat,” Matto said in a video posted earlier this week. “He’s very specific about the things he likes to watch me eat. He really likes to watch me eat tacos.”
This revelation apparently did not set will with her senatorial harasser.
“The U.S. senator that I am dating is going on an absolute freaking rampage against me and threatening me,” Matto said in a video posted on Thursday. “This man was so mad that I made a TikTok about him like five days ago that he’s like threatening me. His last words were ‘watch your back.'”
Several subsequent videos offered additional disclosures from Matto about the politician allegedly threatening her.
“He is not a controversial senator,” she said in one of the clips. “He’s not somebody who’s been in the news for any kind of weird scandals and that’s probably why he’s been able to do this weird stuff and go under the radar for so long.”
“He was like into that,” she said. “When I went initially viral, I guess he like read an article about me in Business Insider which then led him to my Unfiltrd. And I guess it kind of went hand-in-hand with the eating stuff because he would purchase the jars but then also videos of me eating things before I made them. Yes, I know it’s weird and disgusting but it’s just my life.”
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“After everything I have witnessed with this man I would never date a politician,” Matto added. “Thankfully this is only online but I feel so bad for whoever is actually romantically involved with him.”
What’s the latest in her story?
Shortly after midnight on Friday morning, Matto claimed to have been served with a “cease and desist letter” from the senator’s legal team.
“I can no longer discuss his weird taco eating thing,” she said, referring to her alleged stalker as “a weirdo and the saddest 68-year-old man in the world.”
For those of you doing the math at home, five of the U.S. Senate’s 75 male members are 68 years old. Listed alphabetically, they are: Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Tommy Turbeville of Alabama and Mark Warner of Virginia.
As of this writing, Matto has produced nothing to substantiate her claims – with most of those visiting her TikTok page operating under the assumption her senatorial stalker is either an imposter, doppelgänger or perhaps even a figment of Matto’s imagination doubling as yet another “entrepreneurial experiment.”
But in case there’s something to it … we figured it was worth getting ahead of.
Obviously, Matto could put the speculation to bed very quickly if she wanted … but my guess is she’s got subscriptions to sell. To which I can only say vive le marché.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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