Are Our Presidents Humping?

[Insert joke about "Oval Office" here — Ed.]

by Jeremy Popkin

If there was one message to take away from Michelle Obama's impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention, it's this: the Obamas are having sex. The couple's genuine affection for one another is a rare sight in the political realm, which tends not to place a premium on spousal tenderness. Inspired by a First Couple who know how to keep economic woes and military conflicts out of the bedroom, we decided to consult Nerve's crack team of historians to explore the most intimate and not-so-intimate love lives of a few of our former presidents. Were our last five presidents having marital sex in the White House? Let's totally speculatively find out.

1. George W. Bush and Laura Bush

While it's hard to say how sincere he ever was about it, Dubya's religious bent probably entailed an adherence to strictly procreational missionary sex. Which is a shame, considering Laura's experience as a schoolteacher and librarian fulfills two classic occupational erotic fantasies. But kinky role-playing probably wasn't too high a priority for Laura, who we imagine had to devote most of her energy to civilizing a husband still stuck in his frat-boy days. George frequently cites his wife as the reason he stopped drinking, and she's widely regarded as the stabilizing force in his life, which are both things that don't exactly scream "wild sex life." Also, in a 2011 interview, Bush noted that the pair "spend less time with each other now than we did during the presidency," and though Dubya did set a record for vacation time taken during time in Office, that's probably not a great sign about their sex life.

Sex Prognosis: Tepid

2. Bill and Hillary Clinton

It takes a concentrated effort not to turn anything written about Bill Clinton's sex life into one long joke. So we're going to go ahead and assume the Clinton bedroom was not a very active environment. The former President's extracurricular activities were fodder for national scandals and a lot of "trouble in bed" Washington gossip, and while Hillary has been an awfully good sport about having their marital troubles aired out in front of the entire free world, we can't help but doubt that poise and grace extends to the bedroom. Maybe now that he's lost some weight, though...

Sex Prognosis: Tundra-esque

3. George H.W. and Barbara Bush

Six kids and a sixty-five-year marriage — the longest in presidential history — suggest a healthy sex life for the elder Bushes. While the two seem like they came out of the womb as fully-formed senior citizens, and Barbara's sensibilities were delicate enough that she blamed The Simpsons for American society's moral decay, the two have had a great marriage by all accounts. Of her first meeting with George, Barbara said, "I thought he was the most beautiful creature I had ever laid eyes on. I couldn't even breathe when he was in the room," which... doesn't seem like a thing anyone would say ever, but whatever trips your trigger, Barb. Also, she was once quoted as saying, "I don't fool around in George Bush's office, and he doesn't fool around with my household," which almost sounds like an intimation of a little sub-dom play if you think about it hard enough. Not that you ever should, though.

Sex Prognosis: Turgid

Next: They didn't call him "Tricky Dick" without reason...


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