We’ve all heard about aphrodisiacs and the supposed boost they can give to our sex lives. I hate to burst your bubble, but most sources say that there is no such thing as an aphrodisiac. Regardless, I decided to go through some of the most notorious aphrodisiacs and anaphrodisiacs to let you decide for yourself. Hey, it couldn’t hurt…
Oysters – Most sources deem this one as pure myth, but there are a few that find some truth in the claim. According to MSN Health and Fitness, an American and Italian study found a compound in oysters that may increase testosterone and estrogen production. A professor from Harvard, however, denounced this as complete poppycock. And we all know, what Harvard says, goes.
Chocolate – Every source I have looked at have attributed the chocolate/love connection to the Aztecs, so I thought I would give them the credit as well. Chocolate increases levels of serotonin and phenylethylamine, neurotransmitters in the brain that are known for their feel-good properties. Many liken this effect to the feeling of being in love, which I can say with confidence, is entirely true. Like most women, I love chocolate and transfer that love to anybody who will supply me with my daily (okay, hourly) dose.
Alcohol – This is the only one that has been attributed to being an aphrodisiac and an anaphrodisiac at the exact same time. Let’s break it down.
Pros: Reduces inhibition and increases confidence, making it feel like a boost in sex drive. Add that to the beer goggle effect and you’re ready to go.
Cons: Alcohol actually makes it harder for you and your partner to achieve orgasm. Plus, you run the risk of being a victim of the I-think-I’m-sexy-but-I-actually-look-terribly-sloshed look.
Vanilla: This is my favorite scent ever. And, according to a visitor on the Tyra Banks Show (an extremely credible source), men also go crazy for the sweet aroma as well.Vanilla.com (which I daresay, may be a tad biased) goes so far to say that the scent increases penile blood flow. I don’t know how accurate that is, but I do know that this scent is definitely yummy.
And now the rumored anaphrodisiacs, AKA the sex drive killers:
Licorice: A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some ingredients in licorice actually suppress libido by reducing testosterone production. According to the article, “It’s about as effective as smoking a marijuana joint,” whatever that means. If you need to prevent weekend “mistakes,” however, don’t turn to the disgusting black candy for the same effect. Black licorice uses anise oil for flavoring instead of licorice oil, so you gotta go straight to the source if you want to see results.
Graham crackers – According to Slashfood.com, graham crackers were developed to lower sex drive. The inventor, Sylvester Graham, believed that food sitting in the stomach for a long time could increase sexual desire (apparently a bad thing to Sylvester). Thus, he decided to make graham crackers, a healthy snack that contains minimal fat and therefore, does not linger in the stomach for too long. In fact, the same idea inspired Kellogg to make his Corn Flakes cereal.Hey, I’ll take any excuse to eat more fatty foods.
Nicotine: This highly addictive substance can decrease sexual desire and even result in impotence, according to The Book of Aphrodisiacs by Raymond Stark. Smoking cigarettes makes you smell gross anyways, so put down the cancer stick and get busy.
Although these aren’t really proved in science, I think I’ll add beans, onions, and garlic to that list. What are your personal (an)aphrodisiacs?