Image via ABC
Earlier today, my colleagues engaged in a discussion of the utmost relevance to today’s politically trying times—how many people, approximately, have boned in the Oval Office?
44, you’d probably guess, assuming each president would be crazy not to have had sex with his wife at least once during his term—adjusting for affairs of course. (Imagine getting out of office and hanging out with your buddies and being asked “what was it like to bone in the Oval?” and replying “I didn’t”!) But as my colleague, senior editor Kelly Stout points out:
Whatever you do—don’t think about Donald Trump boning in the Oval. Have a nice evening!
Much though it shocks me to admit this, she’s right. According to the White House Historical Association, the Oval Office was erected (heh) in 1909 under the guidance of President Taft. History books say nothing about whether he fucked there, but he probably did.
The WHHA’s website also includes this anecdote about why the Oval Office is oval—it’s to facilitate this Eyes Wide Shut-level foreplay.
The levee, a tradition borrowed from the English court, was a formal occasion to allow men of prominence to meet the president. Replete with formal dress, silver buckles, and powdered hair, the event was a stiff public ceremony almost military in its starkness. Invited guests entered the room and walked over to the president standing before the fireplace and bowed as a presidential aide made a low announcement of their names. The visitor then stepped back to his place. After fifteen minutes the doors were closed and the group would have assembled in a circle. The president would then walk around the circle, addressing each man by his name from memory with some pleasantry or studied remark of congratulation, which might have a political connotation. He bowed, but never shook hands. When he had rounded the circle, the president returned to his place before the mantel and stood until, at a signal from an aide, the guests went to him, one by one, bowed without saying anything, and left the room.