Legumes, Love-making, and Aphrodisiacs

It’s Saturday, and you know what that means. That’s right, it’s Aphrodisiac Time. The weekend’s here, and perhaps you’re thinking about quality time with your partner (wink wink, nudge nudge).

Throughout history, lovers everywhere have counted on aphrodisiacs to help them, well,  get it on. I write historical romances set in the 18th Century. During my  research sessions, quite accidentally, I ran into an interesting love-booster, which I used in my first book, Mercy of the Moon.

17th Century Midwife Jane Sharp wrote a manual on midwifery, called The Midwives Book or the Whole Art of Midwifery Discovered, edited by the brilliant Elaine Hobby. It’s my go-to research book when my midwife heroine Maggie needs some advice. It’s fascinating reading, and gentlemen, you can thank her for the pithy and useful advice I’m giving you today.

We all know about aphrodisiacs like oysters, chocolates, and pomegranates. That’s old hat, so let me give you a little 17th Century tip:

Peas and beans are a sure-fired way to increase a man’s vigor in bed. That’s right. It has to do with the belief that men’s sexuality was associated with “windy spirits,” that aided in men’s erections. You can thank Hippocrates for coming up with the humoral theory and Galen for carrying the torch. This idea carried all the way to the 18th Century and then some. So could it be true that the passing of wind equals a passionate interlude? Light a candle and find out by inviting legumes into your love nest.

A few suggestions: take turns feeding each other spoonfuls-as part of the foreplay. Spell endearments on a freshly made bed with multi-colored beans. Pop peas instead of grapes into each other’s mouths. It’s sexy and nutritious.

Want to rejuvenate your love life? Open a can of beans and let love in.


Ian Sings to Maggie: Mercy of the Moon

Maggie Wilson is a serious woman. She’s a midwife in the 18th Century, and all she’s ever known is Work and Duty. The first time she meets Ian, he’s singing. When they work together to save her sister, he’s singing. When she’s angry, he tries to calm her with his music, and makes her feel things she’s never felt before: Longing. Desire. And he makes her laugh. So to celebrate his ability to charm and uplift her, I give you a passage from Mercy of the Moon, book 1 in the Rhythm of the Moon seriesShe is extremely angry, and he is accompanying her on a walk:

“She felt like an instrument of the devil, full of poison and a heartbeat away from screaming like a harpy and clawing her way through town.

He held her upper arm firmly, and she felt his fingers through her cloak, cool, calm. A deep rumbling arose from his chest, and he began humming, then louder, to match the ferocity of the wind. That was the preamble, apparently, for suddenly he released her arm, leaped in front of her and began to sing.

‘”My woman, when she’s angry, puts Medusa’s hair to shame.

She rouses all my senses and sets my soul to flame.

When she unleashes fury, a virago gone insane,

I’m only very thankful I am not the one to blame.'”

                                                 COPYRIGHT ©2014 Jennifer Taylor

The song has the desired effect on Maggie. More on that tomorrow, when I talk about passion.