14. Il Duce Was a Total Hound
When he was not inspiring would be fascist dictators, or getting his unwarlike countrymen into wars they neither wanted nor could win, Benito Mussolini liked to unwind with explicit romance. To wit, he could not get enough of writing erotic letters. They were often cringe-worthy, as was discovered when the diary of Clara Petacci, the mistress killed and strung up by his side, came to light in 2009. For all his shortcomings, one thing Il Duce (Italian for leader) had going for him was an incredible libido and remarkable intimate stamina. As described by Petacci, Mussolini often had up to 14 mistresses at a time, and would regularly go through three or four different women in a single evening.
He was also jarringly loud while participating in intercourse: “his screams seem like those of a wounded beast“, as Petacci put it. He was a total hound, who seemed to lust after every woman he met. As he described it, after his first intimate encounter with a lady of the night when he was seventeen: “Naked women entered my life, my dreams, my desires. I undressed them with my eyes, the girls that I met, I lusted after them violently with my thoughts“. Luckily for him, many Italian women had the hots for him as well, and at the height of his power, thousands of women sent letters that propositioned him every day.