Aphrodisiacs: Fact or Fiction?

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Can certain foods truly stimulate sexual desire, or is it all in our heads? Research shows us that it’s mostly the latter — but when it comes to aphrodisiacs, we should never underestimate the power of sensual suggestion.

Between 25% and 63% of American women (many of them postmenopausal) have some type of sexual dysfunction. And several major news articles have been published recently that paint a troubling picture of how many married couples today are lucky if they end up “getting lucky.” (It seems that job demands, stress, and busy schedules are to blame.)

Enter aphrodisiacs. Basically, foods considered aphrodisiacs are those that aim to stimulate the love senses (sight, smell, taste, and touch). But can food, or even the simple act of eating, put you in the mood for love? The answer is YES — but not in the way you might think.

No food has been scientifically proven to stimulate the human sex organs. But foods and the act of eating can suggest fertility.”

And what about those notorious oysters? Alas, despite the sexual exploits attributed to their powers, oysters are made up of elements that cannot possibly chemically stimulate the genitals of either sex — namely water, protein, carbohydrate, fat, some salts, glycogen, and tiny amounts of minerals like placebo effect” is when the belief that something is helping has as much or more of a therapeutic effect than the substance itself.

So if a person thinks eating raw oysters will give a jolt to her sex drive and sexual stamina, her anticipation of this powerful effect can help it come true.

Memories of Foods Past

You can also capitalize on foods from your sexual past — perhaps foods that you ate before or during a particularly pleasurable sexual encounter. Or take this a step further and start making new history with your spouse or partner. Whether it’s grapes hand-fed to your partner, or his or her favorite dish served on the good china during a romantic dinner prelude, the bedroom door is wide open for you to create your own repertoire of “aphrodisiacs.”

To understand the powerful connection between mind and body, just think about the shapely and phallic foods that were in favor in the 18th century. Because they suggested sex to those who used them as “aphrodisiacs,” they may well have had the desired effect. So let the sight and smell of certain foods take you back to that sexy, provocative time you shared together.

With Alcohol, Less Is MORE

As far back as the late 16th century, scientists documented both the sexually inhibiting and enhancing properties of alcohol. One wrote that “excessive alcohol is a sexual depressant rather than a stimulant, and wine taken moderately does the opposite.” They knew even 400 years ago that a small amount of alcohol may help our sexual desire, while too much can hinder it!

How much is too much? The amount of alcohol that would impede us as a driver seems to also impede us as a lover. This might be anything more than two drinks a night for men, and one drink a night for women.

The Nose Always Knows

Finally, don’t underestimate the suggestive power of scent. Certain smells — like chocolate chip cookies, bread, or apple pie baking — fill our minds with visions of favorite foods as they tantalize our taste buds with anticipation. Scents can also bring back memories or feelings from pleasurable past experiences associated with that smell.

You may remember a study a few years back that found men responded more powerfully to the scent of baked cinnamon buns than any perfume. (A combination of the scent of pumpkin pie and lavender was also a hit). For women, the sexiest scents included licorice candy, cucumber, and banana nut bread.

How to Stimulate the 5 Senses on Valentines Day

Now, here’s how to put it all together and set the stage for that romantic evening tonight: