Infamous 18th-century lover Casanova is said to have eaten 50 of these slippery, wet, salty beauties every day for breakfast, and look how well he did in the sex department. They may not be for everybody, but raw oysters actually do contain rich amounts of two rare amino acids—D-aspartic acid (D-Asp) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), if you must know—that trigger increased amounts of key sex hormones. And oysters are loaded with zinc, which is found in sperm.
Oh, yes, there's more to it than the luscious creamy flavor and the iconic keepsake box. Eating chocolate, particularly the dark kind, causes the body to release the same endorphins associated with that top-of-the-roller-coaster euphoria of love. Plus those dirty old horndog Mayans who first discovered the stuff used cacao beans to pay for prostitutes.
Some say the pomegranate, not the apple, was the Bible's forbidden fruit. And according to Greek mythology, it was Aphrodite—the goddess of love—who planted the first tree. Opening up a pomegranate to expose the beautiful seeds is kinda like the big reveal when a lover takes their clothes off, and who can deny the pleasure of that?
Many cultures associate figs with fertility, probably because of all the seeds. And then there's that bit about using the leaves to cover the privates. Some legends even have it that eating a fresh fig while naked in front of a woman is one of the world's most erotic acts (and why wouldn't it be?). Between that and the resemblance of these soft, plump fruits to at least a couple of body parts … well, what other proof do you need?
Capsaicin, a chemical found in fiery peppers, increases circulation to get blood pumping and stimulates nerve endings so you'll feel more turned on. Chiles also have the ability to release endorphins, natural painkillers triggered to put out internal "fire," and they cause the high of extreme physical exertion—a floating, energized feeling so powerful in its pleasure that it can cause addiction to spicy cuisine. Just don't forget the rubber gloves.
Sticky, viscous and deliciously sweet, honey is said to be the nectar of Aphrodite, and one of the most seductive foods in the world. Even in its creation, there is romance: Gathered by honeybees, it is produced from the nectar of flowers, the ultimate emblem of sexual ripeness. Honey undeniably provides a burst of sugar for quick energy. And let's face it, honey can be spread on anything.
Caviar and Truffles
There's more to it than the powerful smell of money, lots and lots of which is needed to acquire these rare and luxurious foods. Kissinger is purported to have said, "I'd do anything for caviar and probably did," and the way the pearly eggs burst on the tongue is one of life's most sensual pleasures. As for the earthy, aromatic buried treasure that is the truffle? Their musky scent is said to replicate the scent of the male pheromone androstenone, and Napoleon ate truffles to increase his masculine potency.
Catholic priests in Spain found this fruit so obscenely suggestive that they forbade it. (The Aztecs, the first documented avocado eaters, dubbed the avocado tree ahuacuatl, or testicle tree.) The creamy texture of a perfectly ripe avocado transcends all of this, however, providing pure pleasure on the tongue. And it can't hurt that avocado is rich with folic acid, vitamin B6 and potassium. They are also said to boost the immune system.
The notorious "green fairy" has had quite a history of debauchery, including its popularity in Paris among early 19th- and 20th-century writers and artists including Hemingway, Toulouse-Lautrec, Oscar Wilde and Degas, whose painting "L'Absinthe" memorialized it forever. The licorice-flavored botanical spirit has been portrayed as both hallucinogenic and addictive, and is certainly very high in alcohol. Though it was banned for many years in the United States, absinthe is now back in fashion for all to enjoy. Proven aphrodisiac qualities? None. Romance factor? Ooh là là.
Here's another food that looks pretty suggestive, right? Garlic has long had a reputation as an aphrodisiac among some societies, most notably Greeks and Egyptians (though Tibetan monks were forbidden from entering the monastery if they had eaten it). Should you decide to partake, there are rules of engagement. Both parties have to consent, and you'd better have protection, such as Altoids.
Like many foods—especially fruits and vegetables—that are reputed to be an aphrodisiac, these round, full, glistening globes have an appearance that may remind you of something else. On a more prosaic note, they burst not only with juice but also antioxidants, which help to keep skin radiant, and their quercetin content has antihistaminic attributes, which can help with physical exertion. Plus they go great with chocolate!
This potent natural aphrodisiac is widely associated with celebration and romance. Because of its bubbles, champagne hits the bloodstream quickly and warmly intoxicates the body. Studies have shown that the aroma of dry champagne matches that of female pheromones, chemicals capable of acting outside the body to impact the behavior of the individual drinking it. Please, sir, may I have some more?
Fugu is considered both a delicacy and an aphrodisiac in Japan, where they know from wacky sex stuff (geisha role-playing, anyone?). When it comes to the fish, however, there's a poisonous gland that needs to be properly removed, or even the tiniest taste is deadly. The flirt with death is said to give a sexual thrill. Not recommended.
A killjoy would say this is because bananas are rich with potassium and B vitamins essential to hormone production, and have traditionally been included in offerings to Indian fertility. But c'mon, look at that thing.
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