The digital age may have gifted us the art of sexting, but many of history’s greats mastered the raunchy missive long before such technological innovations. Here's a brief curated selection of some of the best.
Though her relationship with Diego Rivera may have been tumultuous, it was also laden with passion. “All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours," wrote the Mexican painter in a steamy note to her beloved.
The sharp-witted playwright made little secret of his penchant for a good romp, though his letters to Lord Alfred Douglas, the object of his affection, were actually rather sweet: "It is a marvel that those red-roseleaf lips of yours should be made no less for the madness of music and song than for the madness of kissing.“
Novelist and poet Vita Sackville-West quickly captured Virginia Wolfe’s heart after the two met at a dinner party in 1922 and was the inspiration for the protagonist in the revolutionary novel, Orlando. Unsurprisingly, Wolfe’s professions of love to her muse were particularly emphatic: “Look here Vita – throw over your man, and we’ll go to Hampton Court and dine on the river together and walk in the garden in the moonlight and come home late and have a bottle of wine and get tipsy.”
Let’s just say that Joyce wasn’t shy in expressing his sexual inclinations when courting future wife Nora Barnacle. “I hope you will surprise me sometime when I am asleep dressed, steal over to me with a whore’s glow in your slumberous eyes, gently undo button after button in the fly of my trousers and gently take out your lover’s fat mickey,” is actually one of the more tame phrases in his love letter, but you can read the more salacious specifics here.