wonkette world o' books

American Politicians Had So Much Gross Sex Throughout History

Incorporating Washington Post Book World.Looking for a good read while you’re protesting the literal dissolution of your union or local death panel? You could do a lot worse than the new book from free-speech champion and Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and Their Lovers Changed the Course of American History. It’s a free-for-all tour through sexual relations, secret fornication, national scandal, tawdry affairs and foreign entanglements (huh huh, “foreign entanglements”), from Ben Franklin to Bill Clinton. In other words: Gross old white guys doing gross things, while living off the taxpayer.

Flynt co-wrote the book with Columbia professor David Eisenbach, or as our galley edition cover calls him, “David Eisenbach, Ph. D.” The book isn’t intended as a simple grab-bag of political gossip; Flynt and Eisenbach’s big idea is that the sex lives of America’s presidents have actually impacted policy and the Course of Events and whatnot.

Your reviewer isn’t entirely convinced that every president’s sexytime is capable of changing history, but there are enough documented consequences of these sexcapades (Franklin’s French diplomacy, Clinton’s impeachment) to at least give some academic sheen to John Adams’ disgusted claim that Alexander Hamilton spewed such limitless semen as “no number of whores could draw off.”

The charm of One Nation Under Sex — and it is a cleanly-written and entertaining book — lies in these salacious stories.

Oh, you get JFK regularly setting aside time in the afternoon for banging hookers or actresses or secretaries (sometimes in the White House swimming pool). You also get complicated old FDR and Eleanor, plus the always curious erotic career of William Jefferson Clinton. (Flynt and Eisenbach raise important questions about Bill’s taste in women.)

There are many lesser known tales, like J. Edgar Hoover thinking his goons had successfully captured Eleanor Roosevelt having sex in a bugged hotel room with a young army officer. This is probably untrue, Flynt says (Eleanor was more or less a lesbian, which is confirmed by everyone from Flynt to Eleanor’s pansexual friend Gore Vidal). Jackie Kennedy makes a few appearances, reportedly banging everyone from Marlon Brando to Bobby Kennedy during her swinging widowhood. Prim, professorial war-demon Woodrow Wilson is portrayed as our nation’s most emo president, a “shameless romantic” who nearly went insane with anxiety/passion/lust while pursuing the lady who would become his second wife. Why hasn’t Glenn Beck told us about that?

Your reviewer’s favorite part, for some reason, was the section about sappy scoundrel Warren G. Harding. If Warren G’s poems and love letters are anything to go by, he was easily our gooiest and most sentimental president. Here he is writing to his mistress Carrie Phillips:

I want to weld bodies, unite souls, I want the divine embrace, the transcending union, the blissful affinity, and with them all the excruciating joy and unspeakable sweetness that I never did know and can only know when fastened by you.


Here’s Warren again, reminiscing about the New Year’s Eve he and Carrie spent in a Montreal hotel room:

…the bells rang while our hearts sang the rapture without words and we greeted the New Year from the hallowed heights of heaven.

And here he is in proto-John Mayer troubadour mode:

I love your back, I love your breasts,
Darling to feel, where my face rests,
I love your skin, so soft and white,
So dear to feel and sweet to bite,
I love your knees, their dimples kiss
I love your ways of giving bliss,
I love your poise of perfect thighs,
When they hold me in paradise ….

Hustler is not the force it once was, in this strange era when free porn and cheerful mockeries of right-wing demagogues can be found most anywhere online. But that very dirty magazine’s spirit of penetration and satire does season One Nation Under Sex here and there. How can you not be delighted with chapter and section titles like “The Nude Frontier” and “Came-A-Lot?”

One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and Their Lovers Changed the Course of American History by Larry Flynt and David Eisenbach, Palgrave Macmillan, 247 pages, $16.50 hardback, $11.99 ebook.

What Others Are Reading

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.


  1. CalamityJames

    One Nation Under Sex? I don't believe I have ever heard of this book. Is there anywhere that I could find a wrap-a-round ad of some sort promoting this tome?

    1. CalamityJames

      No, it turns out that there is not a wrap-a-round ad. Fucking Layne, always out to make us look stupid.

      Ooooh, speaking of which…

    2. SarahsBush

      I just imagine Breitards coming to this site to post a comment like, "Hey, what happened to all you're ads–oh…um…I'm actually into that perverted shit. CLICK!"

    1. Ken Layne

      Do you honestly think Wonkette wouldn't review a book about presidents fucking? Because there was an ad about it? Good lord, sometimes Wonkette's alleged audience is worse than the Palin idiots.

      1. Bonzos_Bed_Time

        Oh please, next you'll say it was just a coincidence that that expose on Siemens was never published!

        Run Sarah, run!

      2. Lascauxcaveman

        Honestly, it's about time Wonkette's intrepid reviewer took on a book I might actually want to read.

        Ah hell, who'm I kidding? I haven't got time to wade through all the Murakami and Moody and Frazier and McPhee and most of Dickens, and that Illuminated Foer book my sister's boyfriend dumped on me, and everything E. A. Proulx ever wrote, and that latest Pynchon book I bought on eBay.

        Please, authors. Could you just stop writing interesting things for about the next 3 years until I catch up?

        Thank you.

    1. Limeylizzie

      I read that at 6 am and choked on my first cup of coffee, you, Mr or Ms Pukebot ,are a caution.

  2. BarackMyWorld

    Flynt and Eisenbach’s big idea is that the sex lives of America’s presidents have actually impacted policy and the Course of Events and whatnot.

    Well, we HAVE fucked over a lot of other countries, after all.

  3. memzilla

    Pron King Saves Horrible Libtard Website

    Americans' Health, Lifespans Improve
    As Papa John's Pizza Sales Decline

    Arteries, Brainpans, and Servers Unclog

    (best shamelessly transparent adver-torial content ever)

  4. CalamityJames

    Also, too, I am having a hard time believing that poem, when everybody knows that biting wasn't sexy until Marv Albert did it.

  5. GeneralLerong

    I think I've got a wingnut relative's birthday present in my sights…uh, my surveyor's sights.

        1. jqheywood

          Oh, but they did…..and now I need mind bleach to get that out of my head. Memo to self: Stop following links on Wonkette.

    1. snicker snack

      I never realized how gay rough riders sounded until just now. It sheds a whole new light on Teddy.

  6. BeWoot

    That Warren G is my kinda guy. It's not just fucking. It's fucking poetry.

    I might read it just for the Jackie parts. (Skinny broads need love too!) And what about Nancy R? Do they investigate Kitty Whatshername's assertion that Nancy was widely known as the best cocksucker in Hollywood?

    But that Warren G and his Carrie P … Ah, love's young dream.

  7. OkieDokieDog

    I can imagine J. Edgar Hoover peeping into Eleanor's keyhole – no ! not there – her hotel room keyhole, just to get a glimpse of her lady undergarments. I think they probably wore about the same size.

    1. ttommyunger

      "I can imagine J. Edgar Hoover peeping into Eleanor's keyhole." Between slurps of
      Clyde Tolson's asshole.

  8. Schmannnity

    John Adams’ disgusted claim that Alexander Hamilton spewed such limitless semen as “no number of whores could draw off.”

    Holy shit! Wait 'till the Paultards hear this about the evil founder of the Bank of The United States. He spewed semen like the Federal Reserve and Bernacke spew dollars! Now it all makes sense!

  9. bumfug

    I always like history, especially when it involves the sort of spunk-spattered adventures that can't fail to piss off the bible-thumping douchebags who think they own the story of America.

  10. RadioJack

    One good thing about the Bammer: You know he and Michelle just stone cold get it on. Marvin Gaye, Courvoisier, candles or whatever those people do.

    1. Limeylizzie

      Our Barry is such a one-woman man, you can tell, he had the troubled childhood so he was looking for love and stability my brother was the same , we had the crazy childhood and he met his gorgeous Swedish wife when he was 19 and she was 17 and they have been together 30 years.

      1. horsedreamer_1

        Barry's ringtone? "Let's stay together".

        The Reverend is the tits (as I think you Brits would put it).

      2. jqheywood

        Well, sure. Plus, if you are Barry:

        1. It's Michelle..what more could you want? I mean, really.

        2. She would rip his Obamaparts off and shove them down his throat if he strayed.

        Really, a no-brainer.

  11. horsedreamer_1

    & once more, Larry Flynt steps into the void that decent Americans (publicly) eschew.

    Jack owes Uncle Larry his continued writing career.

  12. CapnFatback

    …the bells rang while our hearts sang the rapture without words and we greeted the New Year from the hallowed heights of heaven.

    Hey . . . Chuck Norris wrote the exact same thing in his "War on Christmas" column last year . . .

  13. Guppy06

    "very dirty magazine’s spirit of penetration"

    How has this passed without comment this long?

      1. snicker snack

        I must have missed this part in catholic school. Or maybe they just don't teach that part to the girls.

  14. XOhioan

    Harding had something in common with Bristol Palin. Reportedly, his father actually said to him "Warren, if you were a woman, you'd be in the family way all the time."

  15. lulzmonger

    "For seven and a half years I've worked alongside President Reagan. We've had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We've had some sex…uh…setbacks."

    George H W Bush, 1988

  16. MilwaukeeKent

    Warren G. Harding is the Edgar Guest of romantic poesy, like this famous quote of his

    I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight. But my friends, my goddamned friends, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor at nights!
    Warren G. Harding

    He was banging White House maids in broom closets while his cabinet cronies robbed the treasury, so the rumor goes. About the maids, I mean, not the robbing cronies, that part wasn't rumor.

  17. politics_nerd

    As a faithful supporter of our Wonkette, I will purchase this book WITHOUT clicking through the ad, so that She is not charged for my click. And I will fap in Her name.

    1. horsedreamer_1

      Considering John Tyler had upward of a dozen kids, it seems he was more a Joe Friday, into good, straight sex. Then, after finishing, having some straight sleep

  18. BaldarTFlagass

    I'll probably just skim through this at Borders, can you tell me please in which chapter I will find the "money shot?"

  19. Barb

    This article showed me how little I know about the Presidents. I am going to dedicate my day to memorizing which President is on what currency. Hey, it all can't be Cheetos and porn.

  20. ttommyunger

    "…excruciating joy and unspeakable sweetness that I never did know and can only know when fastened by you." No doubt had the Bondage Vote wrapped up, just like our modern day Repugs have the "Bottom" vote wrapped up.

  21. thefrontpage

    Don't forget George Bush I's apparent numerous affairs with several women around the D.C. area, including several members of Late Night Shots, and George Bush II's affairs with Condoleeza Rice, Harriet Miers, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, MIchelle Bachman, Sarah Palin and Samantha Ronson. And everyone knew that Reagan had affairs with numerous women at the State Department, the Defense Department, the CIA (including numerous trysts at the Langley headquarters in "secure" rooms), and in Georgetown.

  22. MiniMencken

    I love your back, I love your breasts
    I love the parts them crabs infests
    (Fragment of pome by Larry Flynt)

Comments are closed.