Love & Sex

History’s Most Notoriously Terrible Lovers

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Flipping through history texts, as one is wont to do, I came across an important discovery; many of the world’s most historically significant men were notoriously bad lovers. Publicly, these men were able to leave long-lasting impressions on the world, but privately, many of them were unable to last long enough to impress anyone. I’ve compiled a list of eight of the history’s most notoriously bad male lovers from quotes, gossip, and cultural artifacts. I’ll let you be the judge.

John-Paul Sartre

French existentialist philosopher, John-Paul Sartre, was kind of a superstar in the mid 20th century. Everyone wanted a piece of him, and being the big proponent of freedom from monogamy that he was, approximately half of France got some. Though he was lacking a bit in the looks department, he used his intellect to woo woman after woman, and thought of himself as a “scholarly Don Juan, slaying women through the power of his golden tongue.” However, he probably should have used that “golden tongue” in the bedroom a little more, as he was rumored to be a terrible lover who preferred croissants to sex, which is ironic since most of his sexual rendezvous were just as flaky.

W.B. Yeats



Irish Poet, W.B. Yeats, had more to worry about than the rumor that Irish men have small potatoes (if you know what I mean!), as his potato wasn’t able to spud. Sadly, he suffered from impotence throughout his youth and into his older age. However, at the age of 68 he allegedly underwent a new surgical procedure where monkey glands were inserted into his scrotum, which makes total sense — if you want to be able to spank the monkey, become part monkey. He claimed the operation was a success, launching into several extramarital affairs to make up for lost time, giving new meaning to his poem, “The Second Coming.”

Franz Kafka

German novelist, Franz Kafka, although having had many one-night stands, reportedly loathed sex, seeing it as something dirty and as a chore. He had terrible body image and self-esteem issues, which led him to be a kind of Never Nude, refusing to be seen naked even at the nude spas that he would frequent. As the author of The Metamorphosis, I guess it makes sense that he would be inclined to bug out about his appearance.

Louis XVI of France



King Louis XVI was rumored to have some kind of sexual dysfunction, as he failed to consummate his marriage to Marie Antoinette for seven years. The rumors range from him suffering from phimosis, being impotent, and even that his member was too large to perform. Most historians believe that he was just sexually inexperienced. The solution came in the form of Marie Antoinette’s brother, Joseph II, who traveled to France just to give Louis some sex advice — which must have been recorded as the most awkward conversation in human history — and the marriage was consummated at last. Nobody knows what Joseph II told Louis XVI, but I’m sure the sentence, “Wrong hole, Bro” was uttered.

Elvis Presley

Rock and roll legend Elvis Presley may have been able to rock the world, but one woman professes that he was unable to rock her world. This woman being Natalie Wood, who allegedly told Elvis’ friend, Byron Raphael, that he flat out, “didn’t know how to screw.” Here is an instance where ones hips do in fact lie.

Sigmund Freud

Austrian neurologist and father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud talked a lot about his mother. Like, a lot. That, and his massive cocaine dependency to battle his raging masturbation addiction have landed him on this list. Mommy issues, plus self-induced coke dick is never a good recipe for a healthy sex life.

Hugh Hefner

Adult magazine publisher, Hugh Hefner, built his fortune on the image of being a playboy, but it seems that at the core, it is all a façade. Ex-fiancé, Crystal Harris claimed that the only time her and Hefner had sex he was only able to last, “like two seconds.” Kendra Wilkinson stated that he was just a minuteman, and Izabella St. James claimed that he would just lie there like a dead fish. So, it seems that the world’s greatest playboy is just a flop.

Thornton Wilder

Playwright and novelist, Thornton Wilder, was difficult to get going, but far easier to come; as this account by long time friend and lover, Samuel Steward, details:

“After this worldly intellectual preparation, sort of like tenderizing a tough cube steak, we climbed into bed together, myself half-drunk as I had to be in those days to have an encounter. Thornton went about sex almost as if he were looking the other way, doing something else, and nothing happened that could be prosecuted anywhere, unless frottage can be called a crime. There was never any kissing. On top of me, and after ninety seconds and a dozen strokes against my belly, he ejaculated. At this he sprang from our bed of roses and exclaimed in his rapid way: ‘Didntyoucome? Didntyoucome?’ No, I didn’t.”

I am officially awarding Thornton Wilder for the Guinness Book of World Records fastest game of tummy sticks. But, to be fair, he did last 87 seconds longer than Hugh Hefner, and only 9 seconds shorter than the average Alaskan.

Images via Wikipedia