What Kinds of Sex Toys Might Cardinal Richelieu Have Used?

August 14th, 2010

When Rechelle gave me this feature on her blog, she mentioned that an entity known as the God Particle carefully examines each post and, in Its infinite wisdom, decides what kind of an ad to place next to that post, with Its chief criterion presumably being the subject matter of the post. Naturally, I wondered what kind of an ad the Particle would place next to a post about what kinds of sex toys Cardinal Richelieu might have used, and I resolved that I would find out by writing such a post once I had vanquished all of the problems of the readers of the blog.

Since the absence of new requests for guidance now tells me I have vanquished all of your problems, I will devote this post to speculation about what kinds of sex toys Cardinal Richelieu might have used. I will try to give sex toys and Cardinal Richelieu approximately equal time in order to generate some suspense about whether the Particle will bless the post with an ad about sex toys or about some sort of Cardinal Richelieu merchandise; of course, I will be the only one feeling the suspense, since the Particle’s choice will be readily apparent to anyone who is reading the published post and is not in the process of writing it prior to publication. I am, in effect, praying to the Particle for either one of two types of ads. Whatever the Particle’s decision, I would appreciate it if you would click on the ad It provides, even if it looks like something that will automatically install a virus on your computer, just in case the Particle keeps track of how many clicks an ad gets and uses that information as part of the basis for Its decision about how much daily income to bestow upon a given blog page (my goal for this year is to push the daily ad revenue generated by this page into the single digits). If your computer is still functioning after you click on the ad and if your click has taken you to an online shop of some sort, it also can’t hurt (me or the blog) if you buy something there. It doesn’t have to be anything big; you need only spend enough so that if you were in an actual physical shop you would be comfortable asking to use their restroom after your purchase.

Anyway, sex toys. Cardinal Richelieu.  What kinds of the former might have been used by the latter? To simplify things, let us restrict this discussion to sex toys Cardinal Richelieu might have used for their intended purpose and disregard sex toys that he might have used solely as doorstops or paperweights or that he might have found in his prepubescent years in the closet of his parents and batted around the room. Unfortunately, even after thus simplifying things, our question seems almost unanswerable, as the historical record (as represented by the Wikipedia page for Cardinal Richelieu) gives us few, if any, useful clues.

It is known that Richelieu was treated for gonorhhea at the age of 20. This strongly suggests that he had gonorhhea at the age of 20, and it’s quite likely that this disease was the result of a sexual encounter of some sort. But did this encounter and/or others like (or unlike) it from the same period involve sex toys? I think probably not, mainly because although there were several types of sex toys in existence during Richelieu’s existence (from 1585 to 1642), such items were presumably hard to come by (by which I mean that they were difficult to procure), and although Richelieu was somewhat privileged in his late teens and early twenties, he had not yet achieved the sort of power whereby he could relatively easily obtain anything he wanted.

By the time Richelieu had achieved such power, he was a Catholic cleric and purported to believe in clerical celebacy and the excellence of the celibate state, but this declared belief would not necessarily have precluded his use of sex toys. In fact, he spent much of his energies endeavoring to hold onto and increase his power and influence in the French monarchy and looking out for the interests of France. It is doubtful that these earthly matters would have been so important to him if his primary focus had been serving the Catholic god, as it would surely have been if he had actually believed in all the Catholic doctrines. Moreover, he used his influence to ally France with Protestant powers (sometimes in opposition to the Pope’s wishes) when he believed it was in the country’s (or his) best interests. Since there is strong evidence that Richelieu did not fully embrace the teachings of the church he represented, I conclude that he may well have used sex toys in this period of his life.

I acknowledge that without consulting more detailed historical sources it is impossible to determine whether Cardinal Richelieu actually did use sex toys or what kinds of sex toys he might have used if he used them at all; however, it takes time to ferret out and consult such sources, and I am anxious to see how the Particle will answer my prayer, so I will wrap this up now. Cardinal Richelieu scholars and sex toy scholars should feel free to use the comments section to contribute any relevant information I may have missed.

And now, if you haven’t already, look to your right near the top of the post and gaze upon the product of the Particle’s pure and glorious wisdom.


  • Rechelle:

    Dear Charles – evidently Richeloolooloo (whatev) used GMC Acadias for sex toys as that is what the Particle is displaying – even though that is clearly impossible as there were no GMC Acadias during Cardinal Richielooloo’s day, but as you and I both know – the Particle is a mystery. All we can ever hope for is to see as if in a mirror darkly.

  • Lee (sometimes known as Another Lee):

    OK….Papa John’s Pizza? As in, “Forgive me Papa, for I have sinned?”

    John, as in the name given to all the popes, followed by a number indicating, I don’t know, the number of sex toys they own?

    I’m hard-pressed <–ha! to find a logical connection here.

  • Rechelle:

    Holeeeeee Cripes! The Particle is now going crazy with religious ads! How to meditate, Called to be a monk – nun, Archdiocese bankruptcy, Pilgrimage and How Jesus REALLY saves. Not sure what to think. Could be a cloaking device…

  • Jay:

    I got 4 links for my ad.

    [Called To Be A Priest?www.vocationsplacement.org
    Find Out Now! Free Online Test and analysis of your spiritual gift ]

    Hmm, no sex toys there, next?

    [The Church needs youvocation-network.org/match
    Religious life may be right for you Get info on vocations, nun, priest ]

    May not be right for me? Indeed! Still no sex toys… next!

    [Farm ToysYahoo.com
    Huge selection of Farm Toys items. ]

    Um, Im flattered that they think I might need huge farm sized toys. I guess this is closer to the sex toy intention??? Next?

    [How Would You Answer?www.blessedsacrament.com
    Jesus said to the young man: "Follow me!" (John 1:43) ]

    Whoa, that just took an unexpected turn! Sorry, John 1:43, I will NOT “Come hither! /purr ” especially since you previously mentioned farm machinery!

  • Rebel:

    I kept looking for an ad until I remembered I have Ad Blocker with Firefox and never see ads. Sorry Charles.

  • Tracy:

    When I first clicked on the Dear Charles tab I got at ad for “Online Criminal Justice Degrees and Certificates at American Military University”; that’s what the Particle thinks of all this sex toy talk!

    But when I clicked to comment the Particle got more specific:

    1) Theology Studies Online (www.eLearners.com/Theology)
    Earn A Theology Degree or Diploma from Home. Get Free Info Today!

    2) Annus Sacerdotalis (www.slabbinck.be)
    Celebrate the Year for Priests with special banners (now in promotion!)

    3) How to Do Meditation? (www.SilvaLifeSystem.com)
    Did You Know That Meditating Just 15 Min a Day Could Change Your Life

    4) The Journey Church-Queens (www.JourneyMetro.com)
    A relevant contemporary Church in Queens. Casual dress.

    But wait! There’s more! The narrow ads below the comments and readers sections want me to buy decorative wall decals or explore even more specific religious sites:

    5) Everyday Catholics
    Find out what matters to American Catholics at USCatholic.org

    6) Catholic Faith Worldwide
    Join our Catholic missionary blog for God’s bigger picture

    7) Priest Abuse Documents
    Portland Archdiocese Bankruptcy See the Facts of the Case Here

    8) Me a priest? Could be
    Explore Catholic priesthood Get info on monks, priests, orders

    I’ll have to check back later today to see what ads pop up for other folks!

  • Jenny:

    I’ve got six ads for Background checks?!? One to safeguard your church and one for a cooking class. Conducting background checks and safeguarding churches must make you very hungry.

  • Spinny:

    The god Particle tells me that there’s a little Israel in all of us and that I should find the Israel in me.

    Do they sell Cardinal Richelieu sex toys in Israel?

  • Kay in KCMO:

    Apparently, god has a plan for me. That plan involves ball mills and classifiers.

  • Martha in Kansas:

    I think, Charles, instead of solving our problems (which task you may have already completed), you should follow your own nose. Topic-wise I mean. This is…thought provoking. And funny.

    The Particle initially gave me American Public University. Isn’t that a fake university? Dunno.

    Then I got:
    Online Theology Degrees
    Annus Sacerdotalis (Am I the only one that thinks Latin words sound kind of nasty?)
    How to Do Meditation? (Ungrammatically punctuated)
    Called to be a monk, nun
    Smaller ads:
    God has a plan for you (Hoo boy)
    How Men Become Pope (Is this instructions? Men only?)
    Me a priest? Could be (Then again, probably not)
    How Would You Answer? (No)
    The AntiChrist: Free Book (A case where free is not good enough)
    The Catholic Church (According to Yahoo)
    And TWO ads for Ball Mills & Classifiers

  • Spinny:

    Now I have an ad from a site that tells me Jesus loves me and that this prayer will change my life. All I need to do is go to their website Jesus2020dotcom.

    Why do I have to go to a website to learn the life-changing prayer?

  • carole:

    Wow Charles, thank you so much for the research. I have decided to anoint you tonight at the dinner table : “Dear, Dear, all knowing, baby Charles…sweet, little charles, thank you for solving all our problems for now, giving us insight on sex toys, and a new topic around the dinner table. bless you sweet, dear, dear Charles.”

    I have a question. I bought this cute ankle length dress at a thrift shop. A little cotton jobbie, sun dress thing, that I thought I could just wear around the house to keep cool. The thing is…well…the top part of the dress is like a cotton tank top, then the dress part starts with pleats all around. It looked just fine on the hanger..but when I put it on, well to be frank, my ta ta’s dont line up with the top part. They end up down around the pleats, making the dress look out of place.
    As in, the pleats now end up near my underarms, instead of my waist. Do you think this could be a manufacturing defect, and thus explain the bargain price of 2 dollars, or is it some bizarre relic of 1640′s sex toys? I only ask because you have done extensive research in this department and perhaps came across some description of such an outfit.
    thanks in advance,

    • Charles:

      Carole, your new bargain attire sounds suspiciously like the Hummelburg outfit, which enjoyed some popularity with sex toy enthusiasts in the mid- to late 1730s, putting it out of Cardinal Richelieu’s reach but apparently not out of ours. It was designed for use in association with the Frachenhausen apparatus, an elaborate system of pulley wheels, soft and solid objects, and leather straps on a heavy iron frame, powered by a bicycle-pedal-like contraption. Expensive, cumbersome, space-consuming, difficult to assemble, difficult to conceal, difficult to explain to visitors, and by many accounts not worth the inconvenience and expense, the Frachenhausen apparatus rapidly fell out of favor, and it took the Hummelburg outfit down with it.

      In 1752, after a series of confessions on his deathbed, Sir Edmund Wormwad excitedly announced that he and his wife had discovered an effective way to use the Hummelburg outfit to enhance sensual arousal without the aid of any machinery and that the unaided outfit had been a consistent and invaluable part of their amatory life until Lady Wormwad died in an accident with an experimental sex device in 1749. Unfortunately, Sir Edmund expired before he could reveal how the Hummelburg outfit alone could be used as an erotic stimulant, but some experimentation might prove rewarding.

      • carole:

        Dear, Dear, Charles,
        Thank you so much for this information. At the moment I am not inclined to much experimentation with such an outfit. Perhaps I will store this away until the fad comes back around; as fads usually do. There are those out there i’m sure, who are more than willing to spend the extra time to figure out what Sir Edmund had discovered, but I do not believe I am qualified for the job. There is probably some covert government research grant underway to study Sir E’s discovery and they might be looking for this very garment. I am more inclined to put the thing up for grabs on e-bay, and retire on the profits. Do let me know where I can send your share, as I am a very fair person. Your research has been invaluable.

  • Fran in Oz:

    Hmmm Interesting. Down under we have an ad for Lifeboy soap, children’s toys, a recruitment ad for the Police Force, and one for BALL mills and equipment.

  • Transunion – I guess the Particle knows I need to spend less money on sex toys (in cardinal red, of course), & more money trying to improve my credit score!

  • km:

    Obviously the Cardinal needs a credit check. In addition this; Celebrate the Year for Priests with special banners (now in promotion!)
    Because every house needs a banner celebrating the year for priests especially a house with a lot of sons.

  • Sue from UK:

    Her in UK I have an ad for “Outdoor toys – bring the excitement to your garden”, that could be interesting.

    I also have an ad for a company selling chasubles, stoles, cattas and surplices, a very kinky mix I think you’ll agree.

  • Sue from UK:

    Sorry, cattas should have read cottas.

  • Lori:

    toys r us
    john deere
    become a pastor
    Oriental trading company…….*shrug*

  • Lost:

    Dear Charles,
    I’m bored and I want to kill my husband. What should I do?
    Lost & Should I be Found

    • Charles:

      Dear Lost –

      Are these two separate problems, or is it boredom that makes you want to kill your husband?

  • Lost:

    Very insightful Charles, to answer your question I believe it’s both. I am bored and I have a husband issues and I’m bored enough that killing him seems like something entertaining. Does that make sense? No, he’s not dead yet but, I’m still bored.
    & Lost

    • Charles:

      Dear Lost –

      As entertainment goes, killing your husband would be on the costly end of the spectrum, entailing many inconvenient hours with disagreeable public officials spent answering or evading many intrusive questions, followed by tiresome fingerprinting, unflattering mug shots, and a long stretch of incarceration consisting of periods of boredom broken up by unpleasant encounters with nasty prison officials and inmates. Even if you got away with it (which is not likely, since your electronic fingerprints are probably all over your posted comments and since the electronic fingers that lead to those comments can easily be found by a motivated investigator), you would still need to pay for and arrange your husband’s funeral and undergo at least a few hours of intrusive questioning at inconvenient times. I’m sure you’ll agree that that’s a high price to pay for a few moments of entertainment, especially when you contrast it with the pittance it would cost you to rent hours of quality DVD entertainment, so I recommend not killing your husband.

      To relieve your boredom, find your interests (or cultivate some) and indulge them. Become obsessed with a TV show with several seasons under its belt. Take up skydiving. Start competing in cribbage tournaments. If making your husband’s funeral arrangements is part of what you anticipated would be entertaining about killing him, study mortuary science with an eye toward finding employment in the funeral industry.

      Before you can start signing yourself “Found,” you’ll also need to either work through your husband issues (preferably with your husband’s cooperation) or divest yourself of your husband in a manner that will leave him alive and you out of the slammer, and neither of those processes is likely to be boring.

  • Lost:

    Dear Charles,
    Thank you! You’re entertaining enough!! I wish you were my neighbor. I’d come over often.

    Sound advice, advice taken… thanks. Perhaps my husband and I could go sky diving together. Love the idea! Maybe he’ll be more cooperative to discuss unsaid issues when we are back on the ground.

    In the mean time I’ll go bug my real neighbor. She loads of fun! I always get a hug when I leave.

    Thanks again!!! Hahahaha….