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President Warren Harding’s Letters to His Mistress Were Hot and Heavy

President Warren G. Harding, sexual letter-writer extraordinaire. public domain

It’s the 123rd wedding anniversary of President Warren G. Harding and his wife Florence, which makes today a perfect day to discuss Harding’s sexy, intimate, and X-rated letters to his mistress.

In more than 100 handwritten letters to his mistress Carrie Fulton Phillips, Harding wrote in a mix of poetry and carnal lust about his love for her naked body, his nicknames for his penis and her vagina – “Jerry’’ and “Mrs. Pouterson,’’ respectively – and his appreciation for her “cradling thighs.’’ The intimacy of the letters are startling, and have been largely kept private by embarrassed Harding family members.

After many years, though, the full bevy of letters is expected to be released by the Library of Congress on July 29, and The New York Times Magazine printed some letters early for our perusal. “Harding alternates between Victorian declarations of love and unabashedly carnal descriptions,’’ the Times notes of the 106 letters between the American leader and his mistress.


But don’t just take their or our word for it. Here are some choice excerpts in all their primary source glory.

The Best Body Parts

December 24, 1910: “I love you more than all the world and have no hope of reward on earth or hereafter, so precious as that in your dear arms, in your thrilling lips, in your matchless breasts, in your incomparable embrace.’’

January 28, 1912: “I love you when

You open eyes

And mouth and arms

And cradling thighs’’

September 15, 1913: “Honestly, I hurt with the insatiate longing, until I feel that there will never be any relief untilI take a long, deep, wild draught on your lips and then bury my face on your pillowing breasts.’’

Interactions with ‘Jerry’

September 15, 1913: “And Jerry came and will not go, says he loves you, that you are the only, only love worthwhile in all this world, and I must tell you so and a score or more of other fond things he suggests, but I spare you. You must not be annoyed. He is so utterly devoted that he only exists to give you all. I fear you would find a fierce enthusiast today.’’

March 12, 1915: “Jerry — you recall Jerry, whose cards I once sent you to Europe — came in while I was pondering your notes in glad reflection, and we talked about it. He was strongly interested, and elated and clung to discussion. He told me to say that you are the best and darlingest in the world, and if he could have but one wish, it would be to be held in your darling embrace and be thrilled by your pink lips that convey the surpassing rapture of human touch and the unspeakable joy of love’s surpassing embrace. I cordially agree with all he said.’’


August 20, 1918: “Wish I could take you to Mount Jerry. Wonderful spot. Not in the geographies but a heavenly place, and I have seen some passing views there and reveled in them. Gee!’’

Interactions with ‘Mrs. Pouterson’

September 15, 1913: “Wouldn’t you like to get sopping wet out on Superior — not the lake — for the joy of fevered fondling and melting kisses?’’

April 4, 1915: “Still, when I saw Mrs. Pouterson, a month ago, she persuaded me you still loved. I had a really happy day with her.’’

Dreaming of Carnal Thoughts

January 5, 1913: “And I wanted to sit before the fire afterward, in freedom of dress, and dream of you and of loving you, intimately, until [illegible]. I like to dream in loose, flowing garb, because I can dream more intently. And I did – to alarming release. I called your name aloud thrice, begging you to come, and a voice from upstairs responded, wanting to know what I wanted.’’


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