"It's a chilly night, Abe," said Joshua Speed as he climbed into the bed he had shared for three years with his friend, a tall, gangly Kentucky-born lawyer whose disposition combined mirth and melancholy.
Lincoln stood at the opposite side of the small room, splashing water on his weathered face and running a huge hand through an unruly thatch of wiry black hair. As he turned, Speed could see the outline of the rail-splitter's engorged manhood through the rough cotton of his longjohns. Like the man to whom it was attached, Lincoln's organ was impressive in its length -- particularly when he playfully placed a tiny stovepipe hat atop its swollen summit -- and magnificent in its ugliness.
"Perhaps we can keep one other warm," Lincoln said as he approached, making no effort to conceal his need. Then, as was his custom, he eased Speed's apprehension with a memorable jest: "As you can see, Little Abe is begging for attention."
This was my first attempt at writing presidential pornography -- a niche that has yet to be fully explored. I choose Abraham Lincoln as my subject because it has been alleged that he and Speed, a shopkeeper, were lovers during Lincoln's days in Springfield, Illinois. In fact, Author C.A. Tripp insists that the 16th president was gay (or at least bisexual) in a controversial 2003 book, "The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln."
Tripp, however, was not the first to suggest that Honest Abe worked both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. Carl Sandberg, for example, wrote that the relationship between Lincoln and Speed "had a streak of lavender and spots as soft as May violets." Sandberg, of course, was homosexual, and may well have been indulging in wishful thinking.
Although my Lincoln story was never completed, my research did prompt me to further contemplate the sexual anatomy of our commanders-in-chief, and whether or not size matters when it comes to presidential competence.
Does it follow that better-hung presidents -- assuming, of course, that men continue to dominate the office -- are simply better presidents overall? The ramifications of discovering a correlation could have a profound impact on the electoral process, particularly in a year when the Democratic nominee is an African-American.
Yet, the evidence is decidely mixed, and open to debate and interpretation.
Let us first consider the "great" and "near great" presidents. In addition to Lincoln, historians generally agree that this august group consists of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. What do we know of their penises? While information is scarce, certain inferences may be drawn.
For example, Washington, a physical giant in his time, was nicknamed "The Stallion of the Potomac." And no one who has seen the Washington Monument can have any question regarding what this structure truly celebrates.
Jefferson, of course, fathered numerous children by his slaves, which indicates potency, if not size. However, although the dimensions of the Squire of Monticello's industrious organ are unknown, perhaps it is no coincidence that Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia has become renowned for its sexuality studies, including it's groundbreaking research of priapism, a disorder that causes a permanent erection.
My guess: the Father of the Constitution knew full well that all men were not created equal.
Likewise, it is common knowledge that Eisenhower and Franklin Roosevelt (despite his paralysis) enjoyed the ministrations of mistresses. Again, it must be pointed out that mere functionality is not necessarily an indicator of size. Yet, is it possible that a pair of poorly-endowed men could have possessed the confidence required to save the Free World from fascism? The proposition is dubious, at best.
Lincoln almost certainly sported a lanky member, but not necessarily because he was a tall man. Indeed, studies have repeatedly failed to demonstrate a particular correlation between height and penile length. But Marfan's Syndrome, a connective tissue disease from which Lincoln is thought to have suffered, could potentially have enhanced the depth of his dangle when flaccid. So, while Abe may have been a "show-er" rather than a "grow-er," he would still have turned heads in the Springfield YMCA shower room.
Jackson, too, appears to have been well-endowed; his nickname, "Old Hickory," likely did not refer to his skills as an arborist. The hickory tree, in fact, is known for its hardness (it is used to make paddles, tool handles, golf clubs, and baseball bats) as well as for its unusually large nuts. These characteristics, it is safe to assume, were also attributable to the pugnacious old general's nether region.
Teddy Roosevelt, on the other hand, claimed to "speak softly and carry a big stick," but did he? Despite the Rough Rider's legendary alpha-manliness, he was a sickly, asthmatic child. As a young man and as an adult, he was obsessed with building his body and erasing all vestiges of his youthful wimpiness through reckless adventuring. Would a man with an adequate package have felt it necessary to reinvent himself in such a manner? Would he have described his foreign policy philosophy using penile imagery?
The diminutive Truman and Polk, likewise, appear to have been cursed with less-than-impressive penises. Though both are rated as outstanding presidents, Truman's use of the atomic bomb and Polk's obsession with expanding the nation by annexing Mexico are both classic examples of overcompensation. Would a man confident in his sexual prowess have annihilated two Japanese cities with a nuclear phallus? Would a man pleased with his penis have embraced the bigger-is-better notion of Manifest Destiny, which held that the United States must, at all costs, stretch from coast to coast?
Perhaps there are times in our history, particularly when outrageous and indefensible action is called for, when a poorly endowed president anxious to prove his adequacy is actually preferable. After all, despite their apparent genital shortcomings, Roosevelt built the Panama Canal, Truman ended World War II and Polk snared Texas and California, albeit temporarily, from the Mexicans.
But what of the "failure" presidents: Martin Van Buren, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon? Were they poorly hung, thus doomed to historical impotence?
Nixon, Coolidge and Andrew Johnson were almost certainly microphallic, according to presidential scholars and forensic urologists. Harding, however, who is widely thought to be the worst of the worst, was quite the Lothario, going so far as to routinely violate twenty-year-old Nan Britton in an Oval Office closet.
Britton, who claimed that she bore the hapless Ohioan's illegitimate child, wrote about their affair in a 1927 tell-all entitled "The President's Daughter." One memorable passage insists that, "in the history of lovers, there is surely none greater than Warren Harding." Another Harding conquest, an Ohio family friend named Carrie Phillips, is said to have lauded Harding's hard-on in a series of steamy letters. Unfortunately, this correspondence is sealed by court order and will not be available for scholarly study until 2023, the centennial of Harding's passing.
Although as an engineer Hoover was certainly familiar with large erections, it is not known whether or not he possessed one. As a devout Quaker and a devoted husband, it is doubtful that anyone other than Hoover's wife, Lou Henry, was ever in a position to judge. However, his failure to act when confronted with a collapsing economy, and his brazen order for the Army to descend upon starving protestors camped in a Washington "Hooverville," certainly indicates that he had large testicles, if not a large penis.
Buchanan was one of the nation's 3.6 gay presidents (assuming the presidents reflect the general population, which has been estimated to be ten percent homosexual or bisexual), and therefore was probably large. Doubters of this assertion may wish to study a scholarly 1999 article in "Archives of Sexual Behavior," which demonstrates that gay men do, for the most part, boast more impressive endowments than their heterosexual counterparts. There is no reason to assume that Buchanan, a bachelor dubbed "Aunt Fancy" by his detractors, would be an exception to this finding.
As for the other 2.6? Undoubtedly, Chester A. Arthur, generally regarded as a "below-average" president, was among them. "Elegant Arthur," as he was widely known, had a penchant for wearing fur stoles and is said to have owned eighty pairs of trousers.
The New Yorker, who was vice president under James A. Garfield, ascended to the presidency after Garfield's assassination. Then, no sooner had the martyred president been laid to rest than his flamboyant successor ordered a massive White House redecoration project, which he gleefully supervised. Within months, the People's House was filled with wagonloads of colorful Tiffany lamps, dainty fainting sofas and frilly rugs.
Also likely to have been bisexual, if not homosexual, was Woodrow Wilson, an Ivy League professor who allowed his wife, Edith, to wrest control of the nation away from him as he sulked in bed, complaining of a stroke. Also suspect was Van Buren, a perfumed aristocrat who spent hours daily grooming his elaborate facial hair. Supporters of Van Buren's re-election opponent, William Henry Harrison, delighted in chanting that their homespun candidate "wears no ruffled shirt-wirt-wirt, but Matt he has the golden plate, and he's a little squirt-wirt-wirt."
Our current president, George W. Bush, most likely fills the remaining fractionally gay slot. It is said that young George engaged in sodomy as part of his initiation into Yale's Skull & Bones Society. Still, any frat boy worth his pin knows there is a difference between ongoing anal sex with a "boyfriend" and an isolated, good-natured "ass-ramming" mandated by upperclassmen during pledge week. That Bush sports an impressive weapon of mass destruction is apparent from the flight-suit bulge he displayed during his now infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech aboard an aircraft carrier.
As for Lincoln, despite his apperance in my abortive attempt at historically based gay pornography, I do not accept the assertion that he was gay. First, many straight-as-an-arrow men shared beds in the 19th century with no stigma attached to the practice. Second, Lincoln dressed in a disheveled manner and was far too heedless of his appearance to have been homosexual.
So, of the gay and near-gay presidents, history has been kind only to Wilson. Bush, of course, is still in office, but short of a miracle occurring prior to his exit from the interantional stage, it appears unlikely that he will improve the success rate of the other in-the-closet commanders in chief.
James Madison, a mediocre president, was also most likely poorly equipped. The smallest chief executive, Madison stood five-foot-four and weighed barely one-hundred pounds. That in itself is not necessarily damning, but the paltry president's spouse, the busty and lusty Dolly Madison, often referred to "my little husband" -- a term of endearment that few men wish to hear. Picking up on this humiliating theme, Madison's political opponents taunted him as being "a shriveled little apple-john." Were they referring to the man, or to his penis? Dolly, who allegedly sought satisfaction in the arms of other men, certainly knew the truth.
As for Pierce, his penis, like his presidency, is largely forgotten. However, we can assume with some degree of certainty that Handsome Frank's manhood was shriveled and atrophied from lack of use. His wife, Jane, was an invalid as a result of chronic melancholy and an array of real or imagined physical ailments. And Pierce, a prodigious drinker, likely was impotent as a result of alcohol abuse.
Although vice-presidents are at risk for falling into even darker obscurity, our two most recent have ensured their legacies with a pair of memorable photographs. During the 2000 presidential race, Al Gore appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in the guise of a rugged outdoorsman. The informal pose was clearly intended to make the man who invented the Internet and inspired "Love Story" appear more relaxed, but instead showcased a noticeable stiffness in his khaki britches. Ironically, it appeared that Gore dressed to the right.
And a casual candid captured a surprising side of current V.P. "Dick" Cheney. Grinning in typical clench-jawed fashion, the former Halliburton CEO sported an impressive, knee-grazing erection, shown in startling bass relief against his polyester dress pants. No wonder Cheney has circulatory problems; it appears that his penis requires a separate blood supply.
The only presidential penises about which we have firsthand accounts belong to three middle-of-the-roaders: Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy.
Johnson, who was notoriously huge, affectionaltely called his johnson "Jumbo." He enjoyed revealing Jumbo to started onlookers, and once, when asked by a reporter to explain why he was escalating the war in Vietnam, unfurled his donkeyesque member from his pants, shook it violently,and declared, "This is the reason!"
Clinton's manhood was described in the Paula Jones affidavit as "about five inches long and curved to the left." Of course, Jones may have been shortchanging Bill's willy out of spite; Monica Lewinsky later referred to Clinton's member as "about average," much like his tenure in office.
In a letter to a friend, Kennedy wrote about his organ after being circumcised while in college. And while the future president doesn't refer to his newly-clipped penis's size, he did later use it to good effect with Marilyn Monroe. If Monroe had complaints, she took them to her grave.
Clearly, the 2008 race between Barack Obama and John McCain offers many striking contrasts, not the least of which is penis size. While McCain, who managed to attract a beautiful and wealthy younger woman as his spouse, is obviously no slouch genitally, it is Obama, with his African ancestry, who dominates this particular debate.
But is that reason enough to cast a ballot for him? Admitedly, the evidence is murky and further research -- hard evidence, if you will -- is required. Yet I believe that enough circumstantial evidence exists that checking for tell-tale bulges would be prudent before making a final determination.