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Sex and food do not necessarily have to be at odds, depending on when each of the participants come into play. But, to what extent is our food related to the sexual universe? TAPAS Magazine explains the perfect marriage between sex and food.

On more than one occasion we have been asked a recurring but complicated question: if you had to choose, what would you prefer, sex or food? Why do we have to choose between mum and dad? Do they have to be at odds with each other? It’s safe to say that sex and food are linked ‘down to the soup’. Do you want to know why?

We’re not just talking about Japanese anime, which dares to fantasise about sexual cuisine, as in the series Food Wars, which also does. We are talking about dishes that we would define as orgasmic, about the myths and legends surrounding aphrodisiac foods, about how our lifestyle influences sex or simply about food as a tool to show love and passion.

“43% of women and 31% of men report at least one symptom of sexual dysfunction. Although sexual desire and arousal are complex, our lifestyle choices play an important role in our willingness to explore sex,” notes Megwyn White, sexologist at Satisfyer, with an emphasis on stress management, adequate sleep and hydration.

Food and sex are two fundamental pleasures we live for and “finding a balance between the foods that sustain and indulge us can inspire a zest for life that naturally supports our sexual appetite”. It’s a pack that manifests itself in many versions, “when you eat, you also use many of your senses, such as touch, sight and smell. Sex is quite similar when we consider it as an intimate sensory experience”. 

Sexual foods

There are certain ‘sex foods’ that we can rely on. Oysters are a classic because of their high zinc content, which helps boost testosterone. They are also very rich in vitamin D and selenium, two important nutrients for brain health. Pomegranates have been a symbol of fertility throughout the ages, known to improve mood, blood circulation and testosterone levels.

“Avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats that are excellent for the brain and heart. They also contain vitamin B6, known to relieve premenstrual symptoms and help regulate sex hormones,” says the sexologist. Not to mention that its name derives from the Inca word ahuacuatl, ‘tree of the testicles’, due to the shape of its highly suggestive fruit; but we’ll leavefood porn for later…

In the world of spices, saffron is an incredible support for libido and sexual function. In fact, “one study found that a group of men who took 30mg of saffron a day for four weeks improved their erectile function”. Spice is also positive for capsaicin which “activates our dopamine reward pathway and stimulates nerve endings”. Garlic, basil, oregano, ginger and cinnamon also promote “kidney function, which is at the pinnacle of sexual health and is intimately linked to our sexual organs”.

Oily fish, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens and berries also support balanced kidney health. Of course, hydration will always be good for sexual health in general, so eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will also help. Watermelon in particular, known as nature’s Viagra, “is high in citrulline, an amino acid that converts to arginine and helps relax blood vessels”.

Aphrodisiacs are “not a magic blue pill when it comes to awakening sexual impulses”, warns the sexologist. Let’s not be too enthusiastic, like “Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, the famous 18th century lover, who is said to have eaten 50 oysters every morning for breakfast to increase his sexual stamina”. Or Cleopatra who was fond of aphrodisiacs “including perfumes and opiates, to inspire lust in her many sexual encounters”.

On the other hand, beware of overdoing it with sugar, as it can kill your sex life. “Cola soft drinks should be avoided as they contain high levels of phosphates that can cause calcification of the arteries, which in turn leads to erectile dysfunction. Artificial colourings and additives in general, as they can mimic hormones such as oestrogen, and can upset the endocrine system, which modulates hormone balance”.

If you want to read the full report “Sex and food, the perfect pairing” from Tapas Magazine you can do it here.