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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 12/14/2010

Larry Flynt on the sex lives of presidents

By Stephen Lowman

onenation.JPGHustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt knows the true motivation of American politicians. Ready to feign surprise at the porn peddler’s revelation?

“There really is an all-powerful force that shaped our great nation,” Flynt writes. “That force is sex.”

In “One Nation Under Sex," set for release in May, Flynt says he isn’t “out to dish gossip.” Rather, he wants "to add a new dimension to American history.”

“Other books have exposed the dirty laundry of historical figures and the steamy underbelly of American politics. We do that too, but we also explain how the sex lives of our national leaders affected elections, economics, international relations and even wars.”

How did the sex drives of our presidents affect the course of American history? Here are four examples from the book.

Alexander Hamilton
In an effort to discredit his political rival, vice president Thomas Jefferson leaked to the press that Treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton had had an affair. This threatened Hamilton’s credibility and his goal of “bringing the Industrial Revolution to the United States.” Hamilton addressed his infidelity head on, preventing his “sex scandal from tainting his economic program and impeding the nation’s entry into the Industrial Revolution.” See how far an eloquently worded apology will take you?

James Buchanan
In the chapter “Sex and the Civil War,” Flynt writes that Buchanan had a well-known 32-year love affair with Alabama Senator William Rufus King, resulting in “tragic consequences for our nation.” King was adamantly pro-slavery. As the nation was breaking up toward the end of his presidency, Buchanan took his lover’s position on the issue. “Throughout his career, Buchanan bent over backward to help the proslavery cause…His decisions make sense only if one makes the connection between his devotion to the Southern cause and his romantic relationship with King.”

Franklin Roosevelt
His affairs boosted his self-confidence, which “was essential to his unique ability to rally the country during the Great Depression and World War II. By pumping up FDR, [his mistresses] Lucy and Missy did the nation and world a great service.”

Abraham Lincoln
“Was Abraham Lincoln gay or in the terms of his day, a ‘sodomite’ or ‘bugger’? We cannot definitely say…But it is reasonable to assume that a man who felt trapped by the sexual and social mores of the his time would have possessed an added sympathy for the enslaved.”

By Stephen Lowman  | December 14, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Tags:  presidents and sex; presidential scandals; white house sex;  
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If the article's description of James Buchanan is in line with what the book states, then the book is inaccurate. While Buchanan is indeed alleged to have had an affair with King, and while they did indeed live together, King actually died on 18 April 1853, about a month into his Vice Presidency in the Franklin Pierce administration. So King was long dead when, according to Flynt (or at least this article), he is supposed to have influenced Buchanan on the slavery issue. Of course, it is possible that King may have influenced Buchanan's stance on the issue long before. It is also not mentioned that he had a fiancee who died in 1819, after which point Buchanan declared "Marry I could not, for my affections were buried in the grave."

Posted by: saxman1 | December 14, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

It appears James Buchanan was bent over in the other direction. He should have been hung for treason, and I mean hung in the literal sense.

Posted by: johng1 | December 14, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

HA HA teeheehee...

Jefferson was hardly the one to *leak* about anybody's sex life, with that busy one he had out the back door.


Posted by: Evenfoolsarerightsometimes | December 14, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

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