In the Victorian era, Halloween was less about scares than about finding true love. If you think modern Halloween is excessively sexualized, you may not want to read about how they partied in the early 20th century.

A century ago, the rituals surrounding the celebration at the end of October emphasized love. Newspapers recommended parlor games that promised to reveal romantic fortune. Even the cast of characters was more oriented toward matters of the heart.

“Halloween in the early 20th century had far less emphasis on blood, gore and scary monsters, and much more emphasis on courtship, romance and the opportunity for love,” Daniel Gifford, the former manager of museum advisory committees for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History explained in a museum blog post last year.

“In fact, the image of Cupid was often interspersed among the more familiar black cats, witches and jack-o’-lanterns.”

For Halloween maybe you and your spouse can play a fun Victorian game like snap apple! The image above will give you an idea of how to get started — it’s a seasonal bifecta! You can also check out the sexy Halloween games we posted way back in 2014, and leave your own ideas in the comments below.

We’ve written a lot about how good sex is for your health, so it shouldn’t surprise you that sex is also helpful for reducing the risk and impact of atherosclerosis (the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries that can lead to heart disease and stroke).

According to von Borstel, exerting yourself between the sheets is one of the most beneficial exercises you can do for your heart. “As well as an entire cardiac workout, before and during intercourse there is a big release of hormones that have a protective effect on our cardiovascular system,” he explains.

An orgasm can release 50 different chemical messengers. One substance, oxytocin, the so-called cuddle hormone, triggered by affectionate physical contact, is proven to lower blood pressure, promote the healing of wounds and reduce stress.

Endorphin is another useful hormone released during sex – this helps to lower heart rate and blood pressure to the heart muscle during exercise. Meanwhile, both oestrogen, which is anti-inflammatory, and testosterone, which lowers cholesterol levels in the blood, receive a boost through sex, too. High cholesterol causes fatty deposits in blood vessels to attach to artery walls, causing clogging and arteriosclerosis, says von Borstel, who recommends having “as much loving sex as possible”.

As for garlic, it’s obviously the king of seasonings, but did you know that it’s neither a spice nor an herb? It’s technically an aromatic vegetable like its relation the onion — and a member of the lily family. Lilies? Where have we read about those before?

Song of Solomon 2:1-2

She

I am a rose of Sharon,
    a lily of the valleys.

He

Like a lily among thorns
    is my darling among the young women.

If wood is the ancient metaphor for the penis, the equivalent image for the female is the flower. The Lover’s member is a massive cedar, and his Beloved’s girly bits are a beautiful lily — compared to her, the other young women are thorns and thistles.

Eat up! (Although I grant that “lily” is a more appealing metaphor than “garlic” when it comes to a wife’s intimate parts.)

In addition to tasting great, eating garlic (and onions) can help promote the health of your circulatory system.

“Vegetables and fruits have secondary phytochemicals that have the same effect as different [heart protective] medications but not in a dose that is dangerous for your body,” says von Borstel. He cites ginger, onions and garlic as blood thinners which promote blood flow through vessels and improved blood supply to organ and tissues, and recommends grating a teaspoon of root ginger or two or three teaspoons of grated garlic into a glass of water a day to naturally reduce blood pressure.

“As long as you eat in a balanced way, it is no problem to eat these every day,” he says. Allicin, the key ingredient found in garlic and onions, is thought to act on the kidneys, changing levels of hormones and dilating the blood vessels. Research by the Institute of Food Research found that eating a 100g to 200g serving of onions (one to two onions) had the biggest impact on inflammation.

Eating a “lily” probably wouldn’t hurt either! Can anyone suggest a new heart-healthy bifecta that brings together sex and garlic in a fun and exciting way?

Our Sensuelle Wireless Bullet vibrator finally bit the dust a few days ago after almost a year of thrice-weekly use. You may remember that we originally bought this vibrator for Sexy Corte to wear in public with my finger on the button, and it was great for that purpose! However, the vibrator was so good that it became our go-to toy almost every time Sexy Corte wanted an orgasm. (We don’t use affiliate links or anything like that, but you can easily find the product on Amazon or many other websites.)

The most common way we used the bullet was with SC on top and the bullet wedged between us, up against her clitoris. Sexy Corte doesn’t have orgasms from penetration alone (75% of women don’t) and the vibrator has been a fantastic tool for bringing her to climax while I’m inside her. We had previously used an egg vibrator for the same purpose, but the wire kept getting pulled and tangled when we moved — even pulling off once, breaking the ($10) vibrator and the mood! It’s much easier to put the wireless vibrator in position and then do our thing without distraction. I’m able to use the remote to change settings whenever desired, and then put it out of the way when we’re ready to climax.

We’ve written about how to use a wand vibrator, and wands are great for many activities, but they’re just too big for face-to-face intimacy. (And certainly too big to hide in your panties!)

The bullet we bought has ten different vibration patterns, but for the most part we never used anything but the simple low, medium, and high settings. The other seven patterns were fun to play with in public to tease SC, but they weren’t effective for actually bringing her to orgasm. Extra patterns are a feature that’s cheap for manufacturers to add to a product so you’ll probably see them on every wireless vibrator, but I wouldn’t pick a vibrator based on their presence or absence.

Is it strong enough? This is the most common question asked by shoppers and reviewers. Vibration strength is an advantage that wired vibrators have over wireless (because of larger batteries or being plugged into the wall) and it’s a property that’s very hard to quantify. Every vibrator is different, and every woman is different. This wireless bullet is weaker than the wired egg we were used to, and at first Sexy Corte was concerned that the highest power setting wouldn’t be enough for her. However, she did reach orgasm the first time we used it and every time since. It seems that a woman can adapt to a lower level of stimulation over time, even if it doesn’t meet her expectations at first.

How long do the batteries last? We always put the vibrator on the charger between uses, and it always had plenty of power and duration for our encounters. The only times we ran the battery out were when we used it in public, and in those cases we got about 40 minutes of continuous vibration time (spread out over the whole date). It would be fantastic if the batteries lasted longer, but 40 minutes is pretty respectable.

Durability: I estimate that we got about 150 orgasms from the vibrator over the course of a year — maybe 3500 minutes of use. That’s a very rough estimate, of course, but it’s in the ballpark. At a price of $30 for the vibrator, that’s only $0.20 per orgasm. The vibrator worked perfectly until it failed — the power suddenly dropped while we were using it, and then it kicked on and off randomly when we shook the device. (A wire probably came loose inside, but fixing it myself would be more trouble than it was worth.)

Final thoughts: Even if you have other toys, you should get a wireless bullet vibrator. They’re super fun, and they enable very intimate face-to-face orgasms. The Sensuelle Wireless Bullet is a solid product, and we ordered another one immediately. Just writing about it makes me eager to use the new one in public on our next date night!

(We don’t make any money from this site, and have never received any free products to review from anyone.)

Do you use a wireless or wired vibrator? In public? In private? Share your experiences in the comments.

A couple of weeks ago reader KL wrote to ask for some tips for his wedding night, and now he writes back with great news:

Update!!!!

Wedding night happened and it was awesome! We took your advice and decided to really focus on foreplay for most of the late evening before going for it. Showering together after the reception was a plus as well. We went with the standard missionary and I came in about 30 seconds, but we laughed and had a great night falling asleep afterwards. Since then we’ve had sex about 4 or 5 times but it’s been difficult for me to get all the way in. She says she’s having some pain during intercourse so we’re still working on that. Thanks for your advice!
Congratulations to the newlyweds! We pray that they have many decades of awesome sex ahead of them.
Please use the contact pages for Sexy Corte and El Fury to send us your questions. We will only share your question if you give us permission, and we’ll never reveal your name or any other identifying information. You can ask questions anonymously, or use a free anonymous email server like Mailinator.

It’s been a while since since we’ve done a link round-up!

How it feels to undress in front of your spouse: goofy! But here are some tips for how to do a strip tease and three reasons its sexy to strip for your husband. If you’ve only got a few seconds, just flash him your boobs. And if he’s feeling down, offer to let him touch your breasts.

What’s on your sexual menu? — House favorites, appetizers, lighter fare, daily specials, and dessert.

Easy exercises for women on the go — Kegels, push-ups, and squats. Exercise improves sex in all sorts of ways.

A collection of recent sex studies — I’m throwing out my polyester.

I’d rather have an orgasm than fake one — perhaps surprisingly, husbands and wives both do it.

Do men like having their balls played with? — Uh, yes.

Your definition of gross changes when you’re aroused — You might need to try something while aroused rather than just talking about it. Challenging your own preferences can help you expand your limits and have more fun.

Sex socks — Winter is coming, so get your wife some warm socks to sleep in (and nothing else!).

Wives: when you’re making love, squeeze your butt — and all your pelvic muscles.

If you want to share a link, put it in the comments!

God intends sex to be hot and awesome inside marriage, and commands abstinence outside of marriage. That’s a difficult expectation! Our society says that abstinence is a waste of time and effort — maybe even harmful — but that’s how difficult endeavors often look to people who don’t want to try. Climbing Mount Everest looks foolish, dangerous, and difficult, and many people who make the attempt fail, but I can only imagine how fantastic the journey is for those who succeed.

In any event, my purpose here isn’t to advocate for abstinence. If you’re a Christian, God commands it. (See: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 and Hebrews 13:4, among many other verses.)

However, it’s unfortunate that the command for sexual purity has been widely applied within the church so as to avoid almost all other discussions about sex. Most unmarried Christians are taught to abstain before marriage, but little else. There’s an unspoken expectation that right after the wedding ceremony a switch will flip and the newly married couple will somehow “figure it out” on their own. This is a recipe for disaster! And, in fact, it often leads to sad results: mismatched sexual expectations between spouses that aren’t revealed until it’s way too late — either so far into the relationship that it’s too painful to break it off, or even after the wedding.

So, my strong encouragement for unmarried Christians is twofold:

  • Give some serious consideration to your sexual expectations for your future marriage, long before you have a potential spouse in mind.
  • Have a frank conversation about sex early on in any relationship. It may quickly become obvious that your partner isn’t on the same page as you, and you can spare yourselves a huge amount of heartache by breaking things off quickly.

The difficulty is obvious: how can you learn any of this without having sex? How can you know what you like if you’ve never tried it? To some degree you can’t, but that’s fine. The point isn’t to be  a sexual dynamo before you get married. Think of it like you’re planning a vacation to a place you’ve never been — first consider for yourself the kind of vacation you’d like to have, and then discuss your ideas with your partner and compare. If you get excited about the same kind of things, great! But if you want to sit by the pool every day and your partner only wants to hike, then you need to figure if and how to compromise, or whether to just cancel the trip.

It isn’t only the specific sexual interests and expectations that reveal a lot about your compatibility, but also the way in which you and your partner engage in the discussion. There are no “wrong” answers, but if your answers and approaches are significantly different from each other then that might be a red flag. Is your partner open to your ideas and desires? Is your partner suggesting things that repulse you? When there are disagreements (as there are bound to be), is your partner eager to compromise? Or resistant and stubborn?

This conversation about sex shouldn’t be a one-shot, although one discussion may be enough to rule someone out. After the first discussion you’ll both probably have more ideas and questions, so bring sex up again in a week, and another week, and another. Eventually you’ll both either be super-excited at the prospect of sex together, or one of you will be dreading it. If you’re early in the relationship, that dread should be enough motivation to get out while you can.

So what kind of topics should you discuss? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • What do you think is the purpose of sex in marriage?
  • What do you think are God’s expectations for sex?
  • What makes you most excited about sex? Most nervous?
  • How often do you think about sex?
  • Have you ever had an orgasm? Do you masturbate? How often? How do you touch yourself? Where? When?
  • What most turns you on? What turns you off? What sights, sounds, touches, experiences, smells, tastes…?
  • How often do you think you’ll want to have sex when you’re married?
  • What should you do when one spouse wants to have sex and the other doesn’t? What if this happens frequently?
  • When is it ok to refuse sex with your spouse? Tired, sick, angry, busy, pouty, worried, sad, distracted…?
  • Even if you know you wouldn’t enact them in real life, what kind of sexual fantasies do you have?
  • How should spouses compromise if one person wants to do something sexually that the other doesn’t?
  • What activity are you most excited to do sexually after you’re married?
  • Is there anything sexual that you definitely won’t ever do?
  • How do sex and romance relate in your mind?
  • Do you want to take charge sexually, or be led? Or both at different times?
  • What do you think about oral sex and anal sex?
  • Do you think sex should be playful or serious?
  • Would you want to try new things, even knowing that some you might end up disliking?

As you go through this list I’m sure you’ll branch off in many other fruitful directions. It you’re still excited about each other after having this discussion a few times then your sexual compatibility isn’t likely to be a roadblock to your relationship.

The key is that you have to be honest and vulnerable with each other — if you can’t, then that itself is a huge red flag. The internet is full of sad stories about “bait-and-switch” relationships in which one partner (usually, but not always, the woman) was sexually adventurous before the wedding, and a cold fish after. If a frank discussion about sex is had early enough in the relationship, then it will be easier for both partners to be honest because the stakes will be lower — you won’t already have invested several years into the relationship that you’re afraid of losing. Even if one partner wants to deceive the other, it will be harder for him or her to succeed at it over the course of a long, multi-part discussion.

Don’t just assume that you and your potential future spouse are on the same page about sex! Have the discussion and be honest — with each other and yourselves.

Got any other tips to share for discussing sex with a potential spouse? Leave a comment!