New Book on Founding Father Sex: Washington Accused of Being Gay and Using ‘Wooden Spikes’ for…
Who wants to talk about the sexual habits of the Founding Fathers?! Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Well, you’re the one who clicked, so you may as well read on. There is a lovely new book titled Sex and the Founding Fathers that takes on the subject in a surprisingly historical and straight-laced manner. So no bow-chicka-wow-wows or steamy sex scenes like this is one of those erotic novels housewives love reading or something.
The Daily Beast’s Eric Herschthal has a good summation of the highlights (I use that term loosely) in the book, which mainly looks at how each generation fixates on the sexual identities of the Founding Fathers and what that says about our social values.
Aside from the infamous Thomas Jefferson affair and Benjamin Franklin‘s predilection for ladies of the night, there were rumors about other Founders. For example, George Washington (and a few other Founders) were Freemasons, and there were papers that attacked Masons as “engaging in anal penetration with wooden spikes used in ship building.”
There’s also some exploration of gay rumors about Alexander Hamilton and whether or not he could be called the nation’s “gay Founding Father” because of his supposedly intimate relationship with another man, not to mention how in more recent decades, John Adams‘ relationship with his wife has been viewed in a more “power couple” sort of manner.
Meanwhile, Franklin’s “solid marriage” has largely been forgotten about in descriptions as a “foxy grandpa” having “sexual appetites of gargantuan proportions.” All in all, we tend to romanticize our Founders, just relatively differently on the “sex” part.
Why this topic? Well, Foster quotes Christopher Hitchens to explain why: “It’s a book about our Founding Fathers as if they had penises.”
[photo via Ludwig von Mises Institute]
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