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?

We’ve written about the trifecta previously — as inspired by Seinfeld: sex + food + television. This post is about the sex + television bifecta. We don’t watch a lot of television, but it can be a nice way to relax after the kids are in bed if we’re not up for a game or something more edifying. We’ve historically had mixed results combining sex and television, as I wrote:

Normally what this Bifecta means to us is that one of us starts twiddling with the other after we’ve finished our ice cream. I personally love watching television while SC plays with me, but when the roles are reversed she gets very antsy and frustrated. Usually we end up pausing the show and having sex, which is why I say the results are mixed.

However, great news! I think we’ve discovered the best way to combine television and sex: casual blow jobs. What do I mean by casual? Simply that the goal isn’t an orgasm. Sexy Corte is always generous when I suggest something new, and she agreed to lay on the couch with her head on my stomach while we watched a sitcom on Netflix, and she licked and nibbled and sucked through a whole episode. We talked and laughed together as we watched, and I was able to pet her hair and rub her back while she did her thing.

Frankly, it was pretty amazing: intensely erotic and intimate. With the focus on intimacy rather than orgasm we escalated slowly and were able to enjoy two aspects of togetherness at the same time: erotic touch and humorous conversation. By the end of the episode I was obviously ready to explode.

As you’re reading this you might be thinking: well, that’s pretty one-sided. True. Sexy Corte was sexually out of commission that evening, but like I said, she’s generous. I’m excited to see if I can find a way to casually play with her without driving her up the wall with frustration. (Update: Use the Zoom Technique on your wife while watching television.)

Do you have any suggestions for casual sexuality? Extended eroticism without the goal of an imminent orgasm?

Nothing says “welcome home!” like a warm embrace from your spouse. Travel can be frantic, and if you have to travel for work it can be a stress on your marriage. Sexy Corte and I are fortunate that we don’t have to travel separately all that often, but when we do the old saying definitely holds true: absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or, as Solomon wrote three thousand years ago:

Proverbs 13:12 — Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Whether you’re separated for a long time or just a couple of nights, there are lots of things that the traveler and the spouse at home can do to make the reunion extra special.

  • Sexting. Nothing gets me and SC as excited to see each other as some flirtatious texting. You can be as graphic as you like with your spouse, but we usually focus on words and not images. Telling your wife what you’re going to do to her when you get home, or your husband that you need to feel him inside you is sure to prime the pump.
  • No kids. It really depends on your logistics, but you can really get things going if the kids away or in bed when the traveler gets home. If the traveler is really missing the kids, the one at home can still get them ready for bed so that the traveler can see them before switching the couple time.
  • Food. If the kids are in bed, Sexy Corte and I usually have sex before we make time for eating. But, however you sequence things, having some food ready for your traveler will always be welcome. After the kids go to bed you can have a stay-date to celebrate your reunion and have a grown-up meal, even if the kids had chicken nuggets an hour ago.
  • Grooming. When I’m traveling I usually use the last night of the trip to shave my man bits. It’s somewhat time consuming and doesn’t need to be done very often, and we find that smooth skin makes our homecoming sex all the sweeter. You can read more at the link — husbands, if you haven’t tried it you’re missing out. Both spouses should make an effort to clean and prepare themselves for sex, before the traveler gets home if possible. Airplane travel especially feels gross, so wash your hands and face when you get off the plane and don’t walk in the door like a stinky slob.
  • Naked greeting. I love it when SC greets me naked at the door when I come home. Sometimes she can’t — darn kids! — but it’s extra-special when she does. After several days of sexting and flirting and longing, being greeted at the door by a spouse who’s ready and eager for sex is the best.
  • Bonus. If you make time to have sex right when the traveler gets home then you can do it again before bed. Bonus sex!

Do you have any tips for welcome home sex? Leave a comment!

In Seinfeld George Costanza decides to improve his sex life by adding food and television, creating “the Trifecta”. Hilarity ensues:

However, George’s girlfriend becomes displeased upon discovering him eating a pastrami sandwich while watching a portable TV during foreplay. This later creates problems for George, as he cannot eat anything without becoming aroused.

George was on to something, but apparently he didn’t have the skill or prowess to execute successfully. Lucky for you, Sexy Corte and I have tried all three versions of the Bifecta and I’m here to report the results!

Food and television: A great combination, but we recommend it for snacks rather than a major meal. We prefer to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the table as a family. However, after the kids go to sleep you might catch me and SC on the couch with some wine and ice cream.

Food and sex: Another winner! George’s major mistake was failing to bring his woman in on his food-play. Sexy Corte and I have gone through numerous cans of whipped cream on each other, and it’s probably our favorite sex food. It is fun to spray, cleans up easily, and doesn’t stain. The texture and temperature are great. Chocolate sauce other other sweets can be enjoyable, but so far we haven’t found anything as good as whipped cream. Are there any other foods we’re missing out on? (I don’t think we’re going to attempt to incorporate a pastrami sandwich.)

Sex and television: We’ve had mixed results. Normally what this Bifecta means to us is that one of us starts twiddling with the other after we’ve finished our ice cream. I personally love watching television while SC plays with me, but when the roles are reversed she gets very antsy and frustrated. Usually we end up pausing the show and having sex, which is why I say the results are mixed. Since we don’t want to watch porn together, are there any shows or movies that would particularly lend themselves to viewing during sex?

The Trifecta: We’ve never attempted the Trifecta… the closest we’ve gotten was one time when SC started sucking me off while I finished my ice cream. Things escalated from there, but no food or television was involved. I’m not convinced that the Trifecta is worth perfecting.

What’s your experience? Do you have an alternate Trifecta we need to try?

El Fury: Steak is such an easy dinner. I mean, there’s no sauce, no ingredients, nothing.

Sexy Corte: Sure.

EF: You just stick it in for eight minutes, flip, five more minutes, and you’re done.

SC: Just like sex.

We love guacamole, and love to make guacamole. It used to be an elaborate process, involving a multitude of fresh ingredients, such as salsa, cilantro, parmesan, and for a little extra kick, serrano peppers. One particular night, El Fury made this concoction. We ate, we enjoyed, and then we relaxed on the couch watching a show.

After a while we must have gotten distracted because we started kissing, which led to other things. I wasn’t sure if it was my imagination, but I felt a nice warmth. It wasn’t long before that nice warmth turned into a soft burn, and then what felt like a raging fire in my lady bits. Needless to say, the mood went straight from sexy to “make it stop!” pretty quick. I awkwardly ran upstairs and jumped in the shower. Seeing as the burning was coming from inside me, this didn’t really help all that much. El Fury helped by washing his hands then standing nearby asking for status updates.

If anyone has ever cooked with chiles, you know the oil doesn’t really wash off, it just takes time to come off. So was the case with my lady bits. After a while the burn cooled to a simmer, then subsided completely. When the incident was fresh I felt pretty wounded. After some time passed, we started to laugh about it, and eventually it became one of our favorite sex stories, even though we didn’t even have sex that night!

I did learn that sex can be funny! That’s the amazing thing about sex with your spouse, nothing is embarrassing. It’s not always perfect, and the imperfect times can give you something to laugh about. Has anyone else had a run-in with chiles? Or have any funny sex stories?