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Feeding your libido: aphrodisiacs may be a myth, but food can still help your sex life

By in Opinions

The Brunswickan (University of New Brunswick)

These figs do look pretty sexy, actually.
FREDERICTON (CUP) — Remember the episode of Seinfeld in which George tries to mix two of his great loves, food and sex? It all starts innocently enough with a vanilla-scented candle, but by the end of the show his partner catches him chowing down on a pastrami sandwich mid-foreplay.

George probably took things a step too far, but he’s not the first person to combine food and sex. Open up an issue of Cosmo or Men’s Health and you will be sure to find a list of foods that will feed your libido. But do these so-called aphrodisiacs actually work?

Some of these foods, like bananas and figs, are considered aphrodisiacs because they kind of look like sexual organs. This is supposed to get us turned on, although I’m skeptical about how well this really works. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard anyone say, “That banana was delicious, but you know what I could really go for now? A penis.”

Other aphrodisiacs supposedly work by changing our body chemistry. Chocolate, for example, is thought to increase the levels of certain chemicals in our brains that make us feel happy and excited. Unfortunately, chocolate may not hold the key to getting your sexual motor going.

Andrea Salonia, an Italian researcher, compared the sexual satisfaction and sexual arousal of women who ate chocolate daily and women who did not. Salonia found the difference between the two groups was negligible once you factored in age and other variables within his sample of 163 women; thus, the aphrodisiac effects of chocolate may be more myth than reality.

So if feeding your partner piles of bananas and chocolate won’t get you any action, what will?

Have you tried cooking? Cooking is sexy. Being able to cook implies that you can take care of yourself and can, at least on occasion, take care of your partner.

There is a recipe floating around online for something called “Engagement Chicken.” Apparently women should make this roast chicken for a partner when they want them to propose. The idea is that the recipe is delicious comfort food — something that a good wife would make.

Although a world in which I need to roast a chicken in hopes of someone marrying me sounds like my personal hell (holy gender roles, Batman!) food does play an important role in sex and relationships. Taking the time to cook suggests that you enjoy the little things in life and you are willing to put time and effort into something pleasurable. Those are definitely the qualities I appreciate in the bedroom.

Want to brush up on your cooking skills? Maybe you could try taking cooking classes in your spare time. And bring your partner along.

So enjoy cooking your way to a better love life! Just remember to go easy on the pastrami.

Photo: In Praise of Sardines/Flickr

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