In what is sure to be a controversial move, President-elect Barack Obama has indicated to his inner circle of advisors that he and his wife may have sex in the White House sometime during the four years of his first term in office.
"He's not saying they definitely will have sex," said an Obama confidante who declined to be named, "But he's not ruling it out. He's also not ruling out having sex more than once."
Although Mr. Obama himself is a regarded as something of a sex symbol, there has been surprisingly little speculation and rumor about the incoming First Couple's romantic life. Longtime observers and friends regard both Mr. and Mrs. Obama as somewhat emotionally chilly. "From what I understand, it's a bit like the Vulcan mating ritual, the Pon Far," said outgoing Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean. "Barack will feel a seasonal urge that he knows rationally and logically that he is powerless to control. He will inform Michelle and she will attempt to satisfy the urge. Their schedulers work out the precise details."
Although it was common for American presidents to have marital sex in the White House throughout the 19th Century, the practice has become increasingly rare in modern times. The last president believed to have frequent intercourse in the White House was Calvin Coolidge whose relationship with his wife, Grace, became intensely passionate following the death of their younger son from an infected blister.
The two chief executives most often associated with presidential sex in recent years, Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy, did not have the sex they are famous for with their First Ladies. Jimmy Carter, a former president known for a tendency to overshare wrote in his memoir, Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President, that he and his wife Rosalynn had intercourse once a year on New Year's Eve "for five minutes with the lights off" during his presidency. Mrs. Carter disputed her husband's account in her own memoir, First Lady from Plains.
With four large bedrooms, the First Family's private apartment on the second floor of the White House is designed to accommodate whatever marital configuration the President and First Lady happen to prefer, according to Rear Admiral Stephen Rochon, the Chief Usher of the Executive Mansion. "The President's bedroom and the First Lady's bedroom can be as close together or as far apart as they want," Adm. Rochon said, adding that, as with many couples, sleeping arrangements are usually decided based on who snores. As for the possibility that the Obamas might share a bedroom, Adm. Rochon said he "could not see any reason for that."
The Secret Service has already begun preparing for the possibility that the president's tight schedule might be interrupted on occasion by a brief sexual interlude. The code phrase to indicate that the president (code name "Renegade") and First Lady (code name "Renaissance") are having sex will be "discussing the Bosnian problem" as in "Renegade can't be disturbed right now. He and Renaissance are discussing the Bosnian problem." In the event that president and Mrs. Obama are, in fact, discussing the Bosnian problem and not having sex, Secret Service agents have been instructed to say that they are "reviewing the Bosnian situation." A spokesman for the Bosnian government could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Obama preferences with regard to birth control are not mentioned in either of his books, The Audacity of Hope and Dreams of my Father, though Michelle Obama has said on several occasions that she does not plan to have any more children.
Although Mr. Obama drew scant support form the Religious Right during his campaign, Fundamentalist Christians would have no objection to the president having post-marital sex in the White House according to Focus on the Family's James Dobson. "Intimate relations in the context of a different-sex marriage is just not something we have a problem with, despite what the liberal media would have you believe," he said.
The news that President Obama may soon be having sex in the White House was greeted by his supporters with decidedly mixed emotions. "I'm a little glad and a little sad," said Danielle Garcia-Robinson, a college student and Obama volunteer from Madison, Wisconsin. "I'm glad if he's happy and feeling pleasure but deep down a little part of me will always wish he were having sex with me," Ms. Garcia-Robinson said. Her boyfriend, David Nagel, echoed her sentiment. "That's how I feel, too," he said.