Aphrodisiac Guide for Romance, Love, and Sex

Amy Cunningham

An aphrodisiac is an agent that effects your mind, causing a state of arousal or sexual desire. The name aphrodisiac comes from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. While sexual desire can be stimulated in many ways, we focus on the so-called natural aphrodisiacs, such as foods, herbs, and exercise.

Food Aphrodisiacs

You cooked a romantic dinner at home, turned down the lights, turned up the music, and lit the candles. You're in the mood for love and a romantic dinner will surely get you there. What you may not realize though is that the foods you choose for your romantic dinner can have a direct impact on the heat of your night. Many foods (and smells) have tantalizing effects on not only your taste buds, but your sexual desires as well.

Different foods have long been associated with love, romance, and the ability to increase sexual desire and passion. Fruits, vegetables, and spices, herbs, sweets, seafood, and alcoholic beverages all have their place on menu's when it comes to romance. Different foods have been considered aphrodisiacs due to their shape, color, spiciness, and aroma.

Many foods are considered aphrodisiacs simply because there suggestive shapes can stir up erotic emotions. A banana, for instance, has a certain resemblance to... well, you know what. These suggestively shaped foods can bring desires for... well, you know what.

While this may be true for a banana or cucumber though, many popular food aphrodisiacs have actually been found to contain certain vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy sex drive and reproductive system, increasing our sexual desires and enhancing our sexual experiences. Oysters, for example, have long been considered the food of love. Casanova supposedly ate dozens each day. It appears though, that oysters work as a food aphrodisiac because of the mineral zinc, which helps to produce testosterone, driving the male (and possibly female) libido. Another popular food aphrodisiac is chocolate. This sexually stimulating dessert contains phenyl ethylamine, which is believed to enhance lovemaking.

Here are some of the popular food aphrodisiacs:

Different foods have long been associated with love, romance, and the ability to increase sexual desire and passion. Fruits, vegetables, and spices, herbs, sweets, seafood, and alcoholic beverages all have their place on menu's when it comes to romance. Check out this guide to food aphrodisiacs. When planning your next romantic dinner, try incorporating a few of these!

Alcohol

As for alcohol, a little is all that is needed. Champagne, known as the drink of love, is the classic aphrodisiac alcoholic beverage. If you're looking for a little love with a mixed drink, check out our suggestions for romantic cocktails.

Sweets

Chocolate, with it's rich and sweet flavor and smooth creaminess, has compounds that simulate the feelings you get when you are in love. The stimulant phenylethylamine is considered by some researchers to be a "love chemical". Chocolate is the perfect aphrodisiac.

Honey, another sweet substance, has been used as an aphrodisiac since ancient times. It began with the ancient practice of giving newlyweds a month's supply of mead, a wine made from honey. This eventually turned into what we now call the "honey moon". Grab a bottle of this sweet stuff and have a "sweet" night.

Herbs

Herbs are known for their healthful properties as well as aphrodisiac qualities. A happy, healthy love life requires two happy, healthy people. Herbs can help.

Basil - The fresh leaves have an alluring aroma.
Cilantro - A pungent herb that promotes vigor.
Oregano - The Italian herb has more going for it than you know!
Rosemary - Heightens memory and improves circulation.
Saffron - A stimulating, expensive herb, saffron has an association with luxury.
Thyme - This herb contains many antioxidants that keep your cells humming along.

Spices

Spices have been considered aphrodisiacs by many cultures around the world. Their intense flavor surely must jump start two sweethearts' love life.

Chili Powder - Highly flavorful and often very hot. Its intensity can add to yours.
Cinnamon - Sweet but stimulating, cinnamon increases blood flow.
Clove - Exotic spice that boosts your energy.
Coriander - Heightens emotions and arousal, especially for women.
Fennel - This tasty seed increases sex drive.
Ginger - Another flavorful, hot spice that can add a jump to your love life.
Nutmeg - A spice with a complex aroma that excites the imagination.
Vanilla - The smell alone increases blood flow and is especially enticing for older men.

Seafood

Seafood has often been associated with the ability to arouse sensual feelings.

Caviar - An exotic food that promotes sensuousness.
Oysters - Raw oysters, perhaps because of its the texture or the flavor, have been a popular aphrodisiac since the second century in Rome. These shellfish contain zinc, which is the hormone behind the male sex drive, controls sperm production, and is also believed to stimulate a females sexual desire as well.
Salmon - Rich, deeply flavorful fish that stimulates the appetite.
Tuna Steak - A food that creates a boisterous, happy well being (especially when grilled).

Fruits

Apricot - Plump and sweet flavored, apricots where thought by the Chinese to indicate a romantic, sensual nature.
Banana - Shape, sweetness, and texture promotes sensuality.
Cherry - These delectable fruits are said to arouse desire, especially in women.
Date - Rich and exotic, dates are considered aphrodisiacs for women.
Peach - Succulent, juicy, and flavorful, a ripe peach with delicate fuzz is a sensual treat and promotes interest in other sensual treats!
Pear - A ripe pear with sweet juice... yummmmmmmy.
Fig - A soft, ripe fig has an incredible sweet flavor. Just perfect for sharing with your love. It's said that the fig is the "forbidden fruit" referenced in the Bible, but the aphrodisiac qualities come from the fact that the fig resembles the female sex organs. Pucker up and enjoy!
Papaya - Tropical and exotic, excellent for nibbling.
Strawberry - Just-picked, perfect strawberries are ideal for dipping in chocolate, or savoring on their own.

Vegetables

Many people consider vegetables dull. Something that they eat because they've been told "vegetables are good for you." They are, but perhaps not in the way you expected.

Asparagus - Long stems and succulent tips that can be quite suggestive. Asparagus also is rich in vitamin E, which is a vitamin that stimulates production of our sex hormones. The Vegetarian Society recommends eating asparagus for three straight days for the maximum aphrodisiac effect.
Avocado - Rich and creamy, considered an aphrodisiac especially for women.
Carrot - All root vegetables draw power and intensity from the earth and can transfer that power and intensity to your love life.
Celery - Great for pepping up your blood flow.
Chile Pepper - Warm up your blood and get your pulse racing! Eating spicy foods is believed to trigger endorphins and other body related chemicals to enhance your love-making high.
Cucumber - Just its shape alone gives people ideas.
Potato
Radish - Another root vegetable that's crisp, allowing you to sink your teeth into it.
Tomato
Turnip - A rather dull looking vegetable, but turnips gives strength to soups, stews, and you.
Wild Yam (Damiana) - A traditional aphrodisiac as it is believed to increase sensitivity in the genital area. It also is believe to induce erotic dreams.
Zucchini - Similar to a cucumber.

Truffles

Black truffles (not chocolate) are an extremely rare type of mushroom. Studies have shown that female pigs find truffles to be aphrodisiacs as the scent is similar to their male counterparts. While scientists are not sure why humans find them stimulating, they are rumored to have mysterious aphrodisiac qualities. It could be that they're rare, expensive, and generally part of special occasion or incredibly romantic meals, which usually ignites sexual feelings as well.

Nuts

While nuts may not be your first thought when it comes to aphrodisiacs, but you'd be surprised. Just the smell (not even eating them!) of almonds is said to trigger thoughts of passion in women. It's not a surprise that you find almonds in many soaps, lotions, and shampoos. Add passion to your night with an almond bubble bath for two, a bottle of Amaretto almond liqueur, or an almond/chocolate dessert.

Aphrodisiac Aromas

Scents and Scentuality: Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Love, Romance, and Sex

Believe it or not, you don't always have to eat foods to get the aphrodisiac benefit. Some smells, including specific foods, have been found to be sexually arousing. Aroma is especially important for men. The smells of pumpkin pie, buttered popcorn, fragrant lavender and deep vanilla all have been shown to increase libido and blood flow to you know where! Women haven't been left out though. It appears that women respond to cucumbers (the smell and the shape!), and candies such as Good & Plenty and licorice. For more information, you may want to check out the book by Valerie Ann Worwood, called Scents and Scentuality: Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Love, Romance, and Sex.

Aphrodisiac Avoidances

When romance is in the air, remember to keep the meal light. Red meat is actually an anti-aphrodisiac and can actually cause testosterone levels to drop by 30%!

Exercise as an Aphrodisiac

Exercise keeps you healthy and slim, but did you know that it can also act as an aphrodisiac? Research suggests that the release of endorphins during exercise can influence your sexual desire. Scientifically speaking, the same neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) that are released when you engage in activities such as running or extreme sports, such as skydiving, increase your sexual libido. Research also shows that women who exercise regularly tend to have more active sex lives and are more easily aroused than those who don't work out. A full blown workout is not necessary to get the effects either. Simply get your body moving!

The Color Green

What is it about the color green?

According to Celtic myths, the Green Man was the God of Fertility. Because of this, the color green has long been a symbol of fertility itself. This was clearly evident in the 15th century when green was the preferred color for wedding gowns.

The symbolism attached to the color green has continued even today, though it has taken on a more modern and sexual meaning. Today, green signifies a state of heightened sexuality or seduction. This is especially evident in the popularity of green M&M's as an aphrodisiac.

In 1996, Mars released a commercial asking "Is it true what they say about green ones?"

So, is it?

While Mars states that the green m&m has no more power to seduce you than the blue, yellow, or brown ones, it continues to be a popular choice for those looking for seduction. There's just something about that vivacious green M&M.

While green m&m's are by far the most popular chocolate aphrodisiac, the fascination with seductive green sweets extends much further. Couples have been known to scoop up green jelly beans, green gummy bears, and other green confectioneries to spice up their nights.

Here are a few ideas for some green romance:

  • Give him a bag of green m&m's with a packed lunch.
  • Give her a Victoria's secret bag full of green m&m's, then give her the lingerie separately.
  • Make cupcakes (or a cake) covered with green frosting and topped with green m&m's or green gummies.
  • Make cookies with green m&m's.
  • Melt white chocolate and use food coloring to turn it green. Enjoy it on your partner.
  • Wear green lingerie.
  • Green is also a tranquil color and the color of nature. Spend the afternoon outside together.