What's an Aphrodisiac?

In the mood for love? Discover what foods are aphrodisiacs and how they can boost sexual pleasure and make for a better time in bed.

Can certain foods stimulate sexual desire and performance, or is it all a load of rubbish? Oayk, there's plenty of research showing it's at the "load of rubbish" end of the scale. But when it comes to aphrodisiacs, we shouldn't overlook the power of sensual suggestion.

So - aphrodisiacs. Aphrodisiacs promote sexual desire, strengthen the libido or make sex feel more exciting and pleasurable. A range of products promote aphrodisiacs, from natural foods, herbs and supplements to psychoactive substances and artificial medications. Men and women have searched for foods, drinks and anything else that can boost their libido and increase sexual desire - for years (centuries, actually).

While not many foods are scientifically proven to stimulate human sex organs, there is some evidence behind the claims made about aphrodisiacs. It's worth remembering too that the act of eating can suggest sex to the mind, which can help stimulate desire in the body. And it certainly doesn't hurt to stack the sexual odds in your favour by enjoying foods you and your partner find sensual!

We apologise in advance if it gets a bit science-based regarding the vitamins and minerals in aphrodisiacs. But it's good to know what each one does and why.

What foods are aphrodisiacs

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Particular foods can leads to an increase in desire as many have compounds that enhance bodily sensations in different ways.

The 5 Types of Aphrodisiacs

Historically, most aphrodisiacs have fallen into five general types, all based on different theories:

Making you and your partner "hot": Foods that create warmth and moisture (chilis or curry) can arouse "heated" passion. So it makes sense that cold foods (think lettuce and purslane leaves) were supposed to "chill" desire.

Exotic = erotic: Foods considered rare (and excitingly expensive) have been believed to be sexually exciting. Think cacao, mangoes, and ginseng – they’re exotic, so they may just help as a sexual stimulant.

If it looks sexy, it'll make you feel sexy: Foods that look like male or female genitalia are sometimes believed to increase desire. The infamous oyster is one example, as are some fruits and vegetables like bananas, asparagus and figs.

If it's used for reproduction, it's an aphrodisiac: Reproductive organs and eggs (fish roe and bird eggs, animal genitals) have also been thought to increase sexual desire and potency.

Vitamins = sexual health: Many aphrodisiacs contain vitamins vital to good sex and good health. It's these that show the most promising results too.

As we've said, it is worth pointing out that several aphrodisiacs have vitamins that can make sex more erotic. Some contain B6 and folate, which are vital for sexual health. Others, like cacao, are rich in anandamide, which experts believe is a "bliss molecule". It also contains antioxidants, magnesium and arginines that boost libido. And then there's the King of Nuts - the almond. Almonds are rich in vitamin B2, vitamin E, calcium and protein, which increase male potency and reinforce sexual functions.

Is asparagus an aphrodisiac

You might be surprised that a simple, common supermarket vegetable (or farmer's market vegetable if you shop that way) is a powerful aphrodisiac. But it's true! Asparagus can boost a healthy libido and provide many sexual benefits for men and women.

This is because asparagus is a potent sexual booster. It contains lots of vitamin B6 and folate. These nutrients are vital to sexual health. Asparagus also has lots of potassium, which is linked to the production of sex hormones. By boosting arousal and helping sexual health, eating asparagus can lead to better orgasms and a better time in the bedroom.

According to some studies, a woman's libido can be inhibited by an imbalance of hormones. Vitamin B6 controls the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. It also decreases prolactin, another hormone that decreases libido in women. Folate in asparagus helps increase histamine in our bodies. Histamine is an essential component for maintaining our sex drive." In other words, asparagus contains nutrients that lead to a healthy libido.

Also, let's face it, asparagus is luxury veg, so that's always a bonus if it's date night. It's certainly sexy to treat each other.

Is chocolate an aphrodisiac

The Aztecs were probably the first to draw a link between the cocoa bean and sexual desire: the emperor Montezuma used to consume loads of the bean to fuel his many romantic get-togethers.

Today, scientists ascribe the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate, if any, to two chemicals it contains. One is tryptophan, the primary building block of serotonin (a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal). The other is a phenylethylamine, a stimulant related to amphetamine that is released in the brain when people fall in love.

Lots of researchers think the amounts of these chemicals in chocolate are too small to have a significant effect on desire. Studies looking for a link between chocolate consumption and heightened sexual arousal have found little.

But let's face it, chocolate makes most people feel happy. And happiness often leads to sexual desire, so it's still worth a go!

You could also give some Sexy Chocolates and Sweets a go… Why not?

Are oysters an aphrodisiac

The link between oysters and sex is traced back to your man Casanova, an 18th-century intellectual who became known for his erotic writing about his (let's face it, absolutely loads) of his sexual exploits. Apparently, he ate a lot of oysters and gave them credit for his very impressive sexual appetites.

Oysters are a great source of zinc. Studies in animals and people have shown a link between zinc deficiency and erectile dysfunction. They also contain amino acids like D-aspartic acid and N-Methyl-D-aspartate, which have increased the production of testosterone and progesterone.

If you're just eating a few oysters on date night, this is especially true, and it is better than regularly taking a supplement.

Human sexual desire and response are incredibly complex and involve much more than just a simple hormone tweak. It concerns what's going on in your fascinating, complicated brain. But remember we said earlier, "If it looks sexy, it'll make you feel sexy!" this is seen as the biggest reason oysters are an aphrodisiac.

Aphrodisiacs for women

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Cacao (those raw and healthy nibs which are sold as a superfood). Their vast nutritional benefits are also claimed to be excellent aphrodisiacs - and it's often the nutrition element that makes sex better.

Cacao is rich in anandamide, which experts believe is a "bliss molecule". It also contains antioxidants, magnesium and arginines that boost libido.

On top of that, adding cacao to your favourite healthy treats can trigger the release of the "love hormone" dopamine in your brain during sexual activity.


Dates are exotic and moist fruits that can add a dose of sweetness to your favourite desserts and your sex life.

According to Arabic culture, a popular traditional "sex food" is created by mixing dates with milk and adding a touch of cinnamon.

Dates also have nutritional value that promotes wellness, vitality and youthful energy. They also have that "if it looks sexy, it'll make you feel sexy" factor.


Fenugreek seeds have been found to positively affect sexual function in menstruating women with self-reported low sexual function. It's because saponins in fenugreek seeds boost estradiol (a type of estrogen). This increases lubrication and blood flow in the vagina, increasing a woman's probability and capacity to experience an orgasm and, consequentially, even her sexual vitality, sexual desire, and arousal.

Also, don’t forget you can combine any of the above aphrodisiacs with other climax inducers like Pussy Pumps & Clit Pumps

And of course - and we know this isn’t an aphrodisiac - you could also strengthen your pelvic muscles to enhance your climaxes with our Kegel exercisers. Every little helps!

Aphrodisiacs for men


Luckily for men, lots of the potential aphrodisiacs they can be found in your kitchen, so there are no excuses not to give them a try.

Before you do, why not have a go with a penis pump? These can help you increase the length and girth of your penis - what bigger aphrodisiac you and your partner?


Do you know that almonds carry the title "King of Nuts"? This is because almonds are rich in vitamin B2, vitamin E, calcium and protein, which increase male potency and reinforce sexual functions.


Honey is one of the power generators of sexual vigour and energy.

Pop it on some suggestive or sexy fruits like bananas, figs, or strawberries to get you in the mood for sex.


Asparagus is a natural drug that can help treat prostate gland diseases. It contains asparagine, a diuretic that promotes healthy urinary function and activity. Its vitamin A, calcium, potassium and phosphorus content also helps power up sex drive and sexual performance.


The vitamin A, non-essential fatty acids, protein and potassium found in avocados help increase man's testosterone levels. The action of these nutrients can bring about strong erotic desires and longer erection.


Many believe that coconuts can increase sperm count and significantly helps in cleansing the urinary bladder, which accounts for a healthy male reproductive system.

Try blending coconut milk and honey – it's a healthy drink that helps the digestive processes and can boost sexual appetite. It also has that exotic fragrance that reminds you of being on holiday, always an aphrodisiac in itself!


Arabs believe that dates have nutritional properties that purify the blood, boost male erection and increase the amount of semen in men. In addition, dates can promote sexual endurance, sexual energy and an intense libido.


Ginseng is a rooted plant from Asia and North America. It is used in Chinese medicine to treat sexual dysfunction - and it's been found it can increase sperm count and quality in males. Men treated with 900mg of Korean red ginseng three times a day reported improved erections.

An aphrodisiac for both

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Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable. It doesn't sound very sex-inducing, does it? Well, it's been used traditionally in the Andes for fertility-enhancing purposes. However, there's growing evidence that it may increase sexual desire in both males and females.

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