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Updated 30 September 2013

Aphrodisiacs - fact or myth?

Although aphrodisiacs are based more on cultural myths than fact, it's human nature to experiment in the hope of pepping up our sex lives.

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. Logically enough, she's the name-goddess of aphrodisiacs, substances that supposedly promote sexual desire and arousal, enhance sex drive and sexual performance, and extend sexual energy.

The following have also been believed (mostly without any proof at all) to be aphrodisiacs at one time or another:

  • Oysters and clams. Other seafood resembling sex organs are also often thought to be aphrodisiacs.
  • Ground rhinoceros horn. The term "horny" was apparently coined from this "sexual enhancer".
  • Bananas, celery, asparagus. Also other phallic foods.
  • Honey. It's reminiscent of sweet vaginal fluid.
  • Ginseng.
  • Chocolate.
  • Strawberries and champagne.
  • Chillies, curries, and other spices and spicy foods. They make the heart beat faster and produce perspiration, which commonly occur during sex.
  • Raw bull's testicles.
  • Yohimbine, an extract from the bark of the West African yohimbe tree. Although more human research is needed, results from animal studies indicate that it may have the potential to be particularly helpful for men who have difficulties maintaining an erection. It's not as likely to enhance sexual arousal or desire.

couple having champagne and strawberries from Shutterstock)

 
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