One talking to one sex cam

This week historians and Civil War buffs are marking the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, but according to porn king Larry Flynt, there is much that historians don’t want us to know.

In an exclusive first interview about his new book, One Nation Under Sex, he takes a break from gathering dirt on 2012 candidates to talk about how sex influenced the lives and political choices of presidents and first ladies, from the Founding Fathers to Abe Lincoln to today.“There’s been a lot left out of history books, and we wanted to be more inclusive,” Flynt tells The Daily Beast.

“For 35 years I’ve been exposing corrupt politicians, and I wanted to know if our Founding Fathers had the same follies or not.”Turns out they did.

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Abe Lincoln liked to share beds with men (in wealthy homes where there were many beds to choose from) and Eleanor Roosevelt’s lesbian affairs helped her become a crusader for equal rights.

Oh, and Bill Clinton is a less selfish lover than JFK ever was.

Flynt, who survived an assassination attempt in 1978, is paralyzed from the waist down and has spent the last 30 years in a wheelchair.

To his detractors, he’s a peddler of smut; to his supporters, he’s a much-needed thorn in the side of hypocritical lawmakers and a supporter of sexual freedom for all.

He offers big payouts for salacious details on politicians, and has been played by Woody Harrelson.

But well aware that fame and creating magazines like Hustler aren’t quite the same as grad school, he teamed up for this book project with a Columbia University lecturer on American history, David Eisenbach.“I knew no one would read a historical book by a pornographer so I brought him in for the credibility,” Flynt tells The Daily Beast in his gravely voice. Eisenbach, who was also host and creator of the History Channel special The Beltway Unbuckled, says he got a call from Flynt about two years ago, asking him to come to Los Angeles to discuss an idea.The historian found himself in Flynt’s Beverly Hills tower in an office filled with 19th-century French salon-style paintings and statues.“It was like going to an audience with the pope,” he recalls.Thrust into the publishing porn kingdom, the historian couldn’t resist.Eisenbach says many academics scorn books written for public consumption and certainly those dealing with sex lives, “so I knew this wouldn’t help my career,” he admits.“But there’s more to life than tenure.”The archives are rich with sexual material, but Flynt and Eisenbach say they were disappointed that historians have mostly whitewashed the Founding Fathers when it comes to spreading the word about their personal exploits.

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