Does food make you feel sexy?


It hasn't been a good cooking week for me, since I've been very busy. Saturday is my birthday though, and we have been wondering whether or not to go out for dinner, or to cook something (well, for Max to cook something) at home.

This got me wondering a bit about the connection between food and romance, or feeling sexy. Is there any truth to the beliefs that have persisted over the ages that food is an aphrodesiac? I don't know about you, but eating oysters for example has never made me feel sexy. Neither does chocolate - chocolate is great, and can taste very sensual. But even the heavenly truffe du jour or the even more intense truffe du nuit from Sprüngli, a dark chocolate morsel of heaven, has made me want to jump into bed!

Is the idea that food can be an aphrodesiac a myth perpetuated by restauranteurs eager to get people in to their establishments on Valentine's day, birthdays and other "special" days? On the Star Chefs site, there are several recipes that are supposed to be "love potions". Some of the recipes look delicious - but is a dish of eggs and white truffles really a "love potion"?

What I do think is that if you do love food, and your partner shares that love, then each meal together can become a communion of spirits. This can of course extend to large groups - for example, I think that a family that loves food and enjoys their meals together is a joyous one. But sharing with the one who is your soulmate is a very special kind of experience. And, it doesn't have to be limited to "special" meals.

Both Max and I share a love for food, and wine. We can discuss the subject endlessly, and we love to share meals together. One of the most special meals I remember early on in our relationship, was when he made me one of his special menus; risotto, saltimbocca, and a simple salad, followed by mousse au chocolat. The whole meal was utterly delicious, and prepared with a lot of care and love. I think it certainly helped to make my mind up that this guy was the one for me. And I think that it's that care and love that really makes a shared meal special - and makes it the ultimate aphrodesiac.

I think I am going to ask Max to prepare this special meal for me for my birthday - so we can stay in. :) (I will check on his recipes for risotto, saltimbocca and mousse au chocolat and post them at another time.)

Are there any special meals that your partner or spouse has prepared for you, or a particular food that makes you feel sexy?

[the photo accompanying this entry is from iStock Photo.]

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Maki, I also have the feeling that aphrodisiac food are sort of an illusion. A spanish writer I quite like, Manuel Vasquez Montalban, who always "quotes" nice food and wines in his books says (making a good point IMO) that what makes food aphrodisiac is pointing out (to whoever you're trying to seduce :-)) that what they're about to eat is an aphrodisiac. Self suggestion, I would guess. I would argue that wine can be an aphrodisiac, but as the famous Hamlet quote points out, it can also have (at least for us boys) undesired effects :-).
My personal experience matches yours. It's not very much what is eaten but when/with whom/in which occasion. Going out to a nice restaurant can be seductive, because me and Daniela know we are "treating ourselves" to something special, in a way stimulating our senses, which might... becoeme more special later :-). Also some dishes have a very important sentimental value. For us there's a quite simple tuna and dried tomatoes pasta sauce. I made it for Daniela once in the UK. We knew each other since only a few weeks and she was feeling really down for some personal reasons so I tried to give her all the TLC I could (I knew I really liked her by then, don't know if that was reciprocal). Now the dish remains as a sort of "cuddling" meal.

Chocolate is actually a sex substitute (or is sex is a chocolate substitute?):

". . . eating chocolate produces the same chemicals as having sex, but to get the same sensation you'd have to eat enough chocolate that no one would ever have sex with you again . . . "

Saturday is my birthday too! Happy Birthday to Us! Your post reminded me of the book/movie Like Water for Chocolate. If you haven't read or seen it, I highly recommend it. I do think it is all about the care and love that goes into making something -- forethought is the best foreplay!

I agree about the wine being an aphrodisiac of sorts (with consequences). I don't think any food particularly turns me on either. As for special meals, fresh seafood is always a treat for me, and simplicity in preparation and presentation is always best. (hm, spoken like a true washoku-phile, eh?!) And sharing a good meal with a loved one should be a warm experience, whether at a restaurant or at home.

Holy daal! Really? Some of us believe that food may *not* be an aphrodisiac?

Here's my 'xperience: I don't have a list of certain foods that work as aphrodisiacs; I've just noticed when, after eating, I've felt that all-over sensation of just having been utterly taken--and no, it does not need to be prepared by someone I know. Perhaps it IS the love and forethought of the cook, but I've had cooks with plenty of love and forethought who haven't made me want to shudder in orgasmic delight with their offerings.

Am I alone in this? I have seriously felt a sexual afterglow-like feeling after the taste of certain foods, or after an exquisite meal.

Sissy, happy birthday to you too! :)

I love Like Water for Chocolate. It really does make the correlation between food and sensuality. It's one of the most sexy movies I've ever seen actually. Hmm i see another post coming about this, hehe.

Wendy, I certainly feel that shudder of delight when I taste something utterly delicious. Not quite sure if it's orgasmic tho...

Alberto, I agree about the "treating yourself" aspect of going out to a nice restaurant!

Wendy, I have indeed experienced that tingly feeling from certain prepared dishes (and I'm at a loss right now as to exactly which ones they were), and I can think of plenty of cuddly comfort foods that make me feel as if I'm being hugged. But aphrodisiacs-- in the sense of "stimulating sexual desire" used to seduce someone-- I can't say I can apply that meaning to any specific food I can think of.

Happy Birthdays to Maki and Sissy!

There are at least two instances I can think of right away that I can equate with the aphrodisial quality of foods.

First, my parents have a white nectarine tree that yields ripe nectarines sometime in late July. No matter where I am in the country, I will make the trek to Sacramento when the nectarines are ripe. They are so exquisitely sweet and juicy, it's hard to describe. The flavor just bursts in your mouth and you can feel it throughout your whole body. It's as if after the first bite, your body wakes up and cries "more, more!". You couldn't possibly buy one of these nectarines. The slightest bump bruises them. No, you have to be very careful handling them, and they must be eaten within 2 days of picking, preferably immediately. I can truthfully say that I have seduced a man with one of these nectarines.

The second instance is less of an instance and more of an approach. While I lived in Japan I had a Japanese boyfriend (Japanese Korean actually, and 6 feet tall!). A Kyoto native, he was somewhat of a connaisseur of Kyoto-ryori, food specific to the Kyoto area in Japan. He, more than other person, taught me how to slow down to enjoy a meal, to enjoy and savor every bite. Once we drove to the Japan sea to buy fresh fish. He then prepared sashimi for me. It wasn't just the eating of the fish, but every moment of the preparation was a moment to be experienced and enjoyed fully. His approach to food and life was to take delight completely in the fullness of every moment. Sex was just another aspect of this appreciation of the sensual pleasures of life.

So, can food be an aphrodisiac? Of course it can, like anything else with an approach of care, attention, and appreciation.

Yes, maybe it's true that there may not be *a* food that can seduce everyone which might then be labeled a general aphrodisiac. But I'm not going to let that stop me from looking for the textures, tastes, and combinations that might do the trick for certain someones in my life! :)

Sure, foods can be an aphrodesiac.

The male sex drive is dependant on Testosterone and it's deriviative product Di-Hydro Testosterone (DHT).

Some men respond more to Testosterone, some to DHT and some to both.

Cholesterol is used by the body to make Testosterone, so if someone with has a high Testostrone level (i.e. their body readily uses Cholesterol to make Testosterone) and they eat foods high in Cholesterol (like eggs) then they're going to increase their levels of T and DHT, and thus their sex drives.

Zinc, found in many foods but especially oysters, influences testosterone levels. More zinc increases T production and also helps prevent its conversion into DHT, at least temporarily.

Some other foods like green tea are anti-androgens and reduce testosterone.

Wine inhibits desire, but red wine inhibits the body's absorption of fat by deactivating lipase. So it works both ways. I still like red wine though.

So in guys at least, food is very important. I don't know as much about the female psyche or libido as I'd like to. But if anyone wants to educate me, feel free to send me a letter *grin*