When it comes to sex and food, you definitely are what you eat. An estimated 80 per cent of erectile problems are the result of hardened arteries restricting blood flow and can be traced to a diet high in fatty foods, sodium and red meat.
Women may not have the same isssue, but diet can also affect women’s levels of desire, arousal and lubrication. Also, if you’re eating well, you feel better about your body and feeling good about your body and feeling sexy go hand in hand.
Food itself can be sexy. While there is no scientific proof behind the aphrodisiac quality of certain foods, studies have shown that chocolate — often touted as an aphrodisiac — contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a chemical that is also released in the brain when you fall in love.
And one of the reasons shellfish such as oysters are considered an aphrodisiac is because they’re loaded with zinc, important for sexual vitality.
Texture is often what makes foods we tend to think of as aphrodisiacs so stimulating, like the creamy, sweet texture of chocolate or the juicy flesh of a ripe mango.
The word itself derives from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and mother of Eros (the Romans knew the two as Venus and Cupid). Aphrodite rose naked on a scallop shell from the sea foam generated where the genitals of her father, Uranus had been hurled after his castration in one of those divine disturbances common in Greek mythology. The Fates assigned the goddess only one duty: To make love. Not a bad gig.
When it comes to food and sex, where, how, and with whom you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Sharing a first meal with a new lover can be very exciting and revealing. A person’s table manners can speak volumes.
Cooking for a lover can also be a real turn-on. Going to the trouble of finding out what they like to eat and then shopping, cooking, decorating the table with flowers and candles and cracking open a nice bottle of wine makes them feel pampered and special. Talk about foreplay.
Finally, there’s nothing like cooking a meal together to test the power dynamics of a relationship. If no one loses any fingers or ends up with a meat cleaver in the head by the time you sit down to eat, the relationship might stand a chance.
Josey Vogels is a sex and relationship columnist and author of five books on the subjects. For more info, visit joseyvogels.com.