History 11 Scintillating Erotic Letters from Historical Figures in Love and Lust  

Lea Rose Emery
87.5k views 11 items

They don't make steamy love letters like they used to. As 21st century children settle for a 3:00 am booty call, it's easy to forget sexts used to be a goddamned art form. You had to be literate, innovative, and incisive to articulate your point - you couldn't just take a poorly lit photo of your stubbly genitals (there's a reason poor stars wax) and hit "send." 

These famous historical perverts (or famous folks you didn't know were perverts) really went for it in letters to their lovers. In fact, some of these graphic love letters from historical figures are so explicit they'd get an NC-17 rating. Others use imagery, double entendre, and inference to create an erotic womb of words in which to incubate the reader. And then there's Kafka, whose vision of sex is as weird, dark, and f*cked up as his literature. Franz needed a hug more than a beejer. 

Who knows the last time someone actually sat down and wrote explicit sex letters, but they really pack more of a punch than an explicit quip at a bar or a "c*m c me you liked it when i 8 it right?" text. This sexy snail mail from famous writers and other historical figures ranges from innuendos to the truly obscene and downright weird. You probably didn't know how much Mozart likes farts or James Joyce liked.. well, farts.

Basically, there's a lot of fart loving to be had. And also a whole lot of sex descriptions worthy of the novelists who wrote them (thankfully Joyce got his sex letters out his system before he deconstructed language). There's also a president who nicknamed his penis Jerry. 

James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 11 Scintillating Erotic Letters from Historical Figures in Love and Lust
Photo: C. Ruf/Public Domain

There's no shortage of filth in James Joyce's letters to Nora Barnacle, his muse and, later, wife. They had a heated relationship; in fact, he reportedly tried to burn his manuscript of The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man after one of their fights. The passionate, obsessive nature of their relationship came tumbling out in their love letters. 

Well, 'love' might be a strong word for it. There is love, but there's also some of the most explicit filth you've ever read. They've even inspired a musical rendition, and a dramatic reading from Paget Brewset thanks to Funny or Die. They're definitely worth a read. If we learn anything about Joyce from letters, it's that he loved f*cking and he loved farts. : 

"My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being f*cked arseways. Yes, now I can remember that night when I f*cked you for so long backwards. It was the dirtiest f*cking I ever gave you, darling. My prick was stuck in you for hours, f*cking in and out under your upturned rump. I felt your fat sweaty buttocks under my belly and saw your flushed face and mad eyes.

At every fuck I gave you your shameless tongue came bursting out through your lips and if I gave you a bigger stronger f*ck than usual, fat dirty farts came spluttering out of your backside. You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I f*cked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole. It is wonderful to f*ck a farting woman when every f*ck drives one out of her.

I think I would know Nora's fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also."

Also Ranked

#24 on The Best Writers of All Time

#13 on The Best Novelists of All Time

#10 on The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History

#15 on The Best Short Story Writers of All Time

see more on James Joyce

Charles Bukowski is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 11 Scintillating Erotic Letters from Historical Figures in Love and Lust
Photo: Freebase/Fair use

Charles Bukowski doesn't beat around the bush (or maybe he did?). 

The American writer's letter to his girlfriend, poet Linda King, is one of the filthiest out there. It uses the word 'refrigerator' more than any other sexy letter you're likely to see, and also describes what's probably the hottest thing to ever happen in Burbank, summer weather not included.

"I liked your hand-walking act; that got me hotter than hell…. everything you do gets me hotter than hell…. throwing clay against the ceiling… you b*tch, you red hot shrew, you lovely lovely woman…. you have put new poems and new hope and new joy and new tricks into an old dog, I love you, your p*ssy hairs I felt with my fingers, the inside of your p*ssy, wet, hot, I felt with my fingers; you, up against the refrigerator, you have such a wonderful refrigerator, your hair dangling down, wild, you there, the wild bird of you the wild thing of you, hot, lewd, miraculous…. twisting after your head, trying to grab your tongue with my mouth, with my tongue…. we were in Burbank and I was in love, ultramarine love, my good god damned goddess, my goad, my b*tch, my my my my beating breathing hair-lined c*nt of Paradise, I love you… and your refrigerator, and as we grabbed and wrestled, that sculpted head watching us with his little lyrical cynical love-smile, burning…
I want you,
I want you,
I want YOU

Also Ranked

#30 on The Greatest American Writers of All Time

#19 on The Best American Poets

#26 on The Best Poets of the 20th Century

#15 on The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History

see more on Charles Bukowski

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 11 Scintillating Erotic Letters from Historical Figures in Love and Lust
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, famed for his music. But maybe he should be famed for his obsession with wind and "muck". Yup, muck. You can see this it in the excerpts this letter, written to his cousin (and maybe cousin).

When he wrote this letter, Wolfgang he was 21 - way, way too old to be talking about his mama like ths. 

"Tomorrow we'll speak freak sensubly with each other. Things I must you tell a lot of, believe it you hardly can, but hear tomorrow it already will you, be well in the meantime. Oh my ass burns like fire! what on earth is the meaning of this!—maybe muck wants to come out? yes, yes, muck, I know you, see you, taste you—and—what's this—is it possible? Ye Gods!—Oh ear of mine, are you deceiving me?—No, it's true—what a long and melancholic sound!...

... . As I am in the middle of my best writing, I hear a noise in the street. I stop writing—get up, go to the window—and—the noise is gone—I sit down again, start writing once more—I have barely written ten words when I hear the noise again—I rise—but as I rise, I can still hear something but very faint—it smells like something burning—wherever I go it stinks, when I look out the window, the smell goes away, when I turn my head back to the room, the smell comes back—finally My Mama says to me: I bet you let one go?—I don't think so, Mama. yes, yes, I'm quite certain, I put it to the test, stick my finger in my ass, then put it to my nose, and—there is the proof! Mama was right! 

Now farewell, I kiss you 10000 times and I remain as always your 

Old young Sauschwanz
Wolfgang Amadé Rosenkranz"

Also Ranked

#27 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#8 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#12 on Historical Figures You Most Want to Bring Back from the Dead

#27 on The Most Influential People of All Time

see more on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Benjamin Franklin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 11 Scintillating Erotic Letters from Historical Figures in Love and Lust
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Just because he was one of the founding fathers of America doesn't mean Ben Franklin wasn't interested in carnal pursuits. The guy discovered electricity, so it's no wondering he was lighting the ladies up. He also favored positive reinforcement as a management technique, and so was perhaps rewarded in the bedroom with good work for his encouraging sentiment and naughty bonuses. Sure, he didn't bathe every day, but that wasn't the main reason Ben was filthy. 

In this letter to Madame Brillon, he first makes a fuss that she wants a "monopoly on all my affection".— basically, that she doesn't want him to sleep around. And he's very concerned with "all that might be of the flesh in our affection"— and we all know what that means:

"Do you imagine that it is impossible for my affection (or my tenderness) to be divided without being diminished? You deceive yourself, and you forget the playful manner with which you stopped me. You renounce and totally exclude all that might be of the flesh in our affection, allowing me only some kisses, civil and honest, such as you might grant your little cousins. What am I receiving that is so special as to prevent me from giving the same to others, without taking from what belongs to you?

The sweet sounds brought forth from the pianoforte by your clever hand can be enjoyed by twenty people simultaneously without diminishing at all the pleasure you so obligingly mean for me, and I could, with as little reason, demand from your affection that no other ears but mine be allowed to be charmed by those sweet sounds."

So basically he made a very articulate, poetic argument for why it's fine for him to have a harem of women ready to make music with his upright organ. 

Also Ranked

#45 on The Greatest American Writers of All Time

#49 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#13 on Historical Figures You Most Want to Bring Back from the Dead

#32 on The Most Influential People of All Time

see more on Benjamin Franklin