Cash, credit, or… sex coin? A small bronze disc depicting a man and a woman having sex was found on the banks of the river Thames last month. This small, pornographic currency had been sitting in the mud near Putney Bridge in West London since the days of Roman Londonium, nearly 2000 years ago.Back in those days, a visit to the whorehouse cost about a day’s pay, or 14 small Roman coins, called asses. Surprisingly, it was not the “ass” coins that got Roman laborers laid. Instead they would trade in their hard-earned asses for a brothel token, which could be redeemed for the act shown on the token at their favorite brothel. But these tokens led to more than some fun for a Roman laborer. According to the Guardian’s Art Blogger, Jonathan Jones, the explicit engravings had a serious influence on the birth of pornography as we know it today. Jones asserts that the ancient sexual depictions gave the inspiration and freedom to artists of the Renaissance to depict their own steamy scenes, such as Giulio Romano's series of pornographic illustrations – I Modi. These printed images, complete with pornographic poems, became a bestseller all over Europe during the 16th century, setting the style for erotic art. What do you think? Do you see the resemblance?
Devoting extra thought, effort and creativity to what we do for the person sharing our pillow and playtime can really pay off – after all, the couple that plays together stays together. Please Your Woman1. Chain reaction – She’s already expecting something on Valentine’s Day (no surprise there), so instead, give her a series of small gifts that build up to the main event. 2. Hard bargain – Take her off guard by offering two irresistible options. Massages are an easy favorite, or you can use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to push the boundaries a bit further. After she chooses, write her an IOU for the path not taken – it’s an investment that will offer unexpected dividends. 3. Tickle her fancy – If you haven’t already, try introducing a vibrator – you might find it adds a new dimension for you both. Selecting your first vibrator can be a daunting task – make it easier by reading up on these Tips for Guys. Please Your Man 1. Jump the gun – This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday, so we recommend cooking up a weekend preview (and leaving the 14th to him). Kick it off with breakfast in bed – complete with supplies (and amusements) so you can stay there as long as he’d like. 2. Afternoon delight – Let’s be frank, what he wants most for Valentine’s Day doesn’t cost a dime. If he’s looking forward to evening festivities, why not treat him to “lunch”, and ambush him at high noon? He won’t know what hit him, but he’ll definitely like it. 3. Surprise surprise – If you’ve fallen into a pattern, not to worry – Valentine’s Day is a great time to mix things up. Seize the opportunity to do or ask for things that you’ve never tried before – he’ll embrace the variety, and you may surprise yourself with a new favorite. Looking for more ideas? Check out our Interactive Gift Wizard to find the provocative Valentine’s Day gift you’re looking for.
Times may be tight, but that shouldn’t put a crimp on your Valentine’s Day plans. Since money can’t buy you love anyway, take a hands-on, DIY approach, and you’ll have your best 14th yet. Here are three ideas that won’t break the bank –1. Fondle the aubergine – Eat like royalty (but pay like a pauper) by cooking for yourselves. Head to the farmers’ market, see what looks good, then ask the growers about their favorite recipes. Build up from there, incorporating a few seasonal aphrodisiacs – fennel, blood orange and (of course) chocolate are great places to start. Splurge on champagne with the money you’ve saved. Tip – Plan something sexy for “dessert.” 2. Go local – The quick trip to St. Barts might be out of the question, but don’t rule out travel altogether. Explore an area of town you don’t know, then end up in a hotel bar before whisking your partner off to the elevator, and – what’s this? – producing a key. It’s a great surprise and easy to get right. Check in earlier in the day and stage the room or make other arrangements as you see fit. (If a room is outside the budget, you can just stay in the elevator and fulfill that OTHER fantasy you’ve always had.) Tip – A different bed is a great place to try different things. 3. Party favors – There are several free online applications that will allow you to easily make flip books from video. Use your phone or camera to film a few sexy seconds you know your partner will love, print them into a flip book, then slip it in their pocket to find later in the day. Tip – Let the real gift be reenacting your favorite scenes together. Looking for more ideas? Download our complete Better Than Roses Valentine’s Day Gift Guide or check out our Interactive Gift Wizard to find the provocative Valentine’s Day gift you’re looking for.
It’s almost February, which means Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. With the elevated expectations of this holiday, it’s natural to want to skip it altogether. Don’t fret – while concocting the perfect celebration can seem like alchemy, here are a few simple guidelines that will significantly increase your chances of coming out golden.Be decisive – Wear the pants, and take initiative – tell your significant other that you’d like to make the plans for some or all of the day. Plan ahead – Last minute arrangements will stress you out, cost you more, and be second-rate. Get creative – Believe it or not, it IS the thought that counts. If you’re going to give a card, make it yourself. If you’re going to give flowers, select and arrange them yourself – you know your lover better than the florist (we hope). Singletask – On this day, of all days, focus on the two of you. Turn off the cell. Ignore America’s next top model strutting by. Don’t pick a fight with the cabbie. Make it fun – Use the Gift Wizard to make finding the ideal gift a fun, stress-free experience – with a (very) pleasurable pay off. RECIPES FOR DISASTER Valentine’s tattoo. This tips over the edge from memorable to regrettable. Double date. It’s not prom. Kittens, puppies, etc. There will be heavy petting, but it will not involve you. Roses. Nothing says, “I put next-to-no thought into this,” like a bouquet of red roses. Looking for more ideas? Download our complete Better Than Roses Valentine’s Day Gift Guide.
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