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    Aphrodisiacs: Fact or Fiction?

    Food really can put you in the mood; find out how.

    Erotic Edibles Through History continued...

    Other than their appearance and shape, there are five other qualities of foods that are thought to elicit sensuality. Foods considered sexy are generally those that are:

    • Smooth
    • Rich
    • Creamy
    • Exotic
    • Spicy

    So if you're planning a romantic dinner, take note. Why not try to serve a dish that fits into each of those categories?

    "You can also capitalize on foods from your sexual past -- perhaps foods that you ate before or during a particularly pleasurable sexual encounter."

    And speaking of food characteristics, remember that subtle is sexier than in-your-face. Phallic and shapely foods, as well as the exotic and rare, will probably always be in aphrodisiac fashion. But these days we appreciate foods that suggest sex with a whisper instead of a shout. So instead of serving your sweetie a dessert that makes him or her think, "Yup, that looks like a male body part," try something more discreet ­ say, a brandy-baked banana half, drizzled with chocolate sauce.

    Let's Not Forget the Placebo Effect

    A placebo is an inactive substance -- like a sugar pill -- given to a research participant who is under the impression it is a drug. So the "placebo effect" is when the belief that something is helping has as much or more of a therapeutic effect than the substance itself.

    So if a person thinks eating raw oysters will give a jolt to her sex drive and sexual stamina, her anticipation of this powerful effect can help it come true.

    Memories of Foods Past

    You can also capitalize on foods from your sexual past -- perhaps foods that you ate before or during a particularly pleasurable sexual encounter. Or take this a step further and start making new history with your spouse or partner. Whether it's grapes hand-fed to your partner, or his or her favorite dish served on the good china during a romantic dinner prelude, the bedroom door is wide open for you to create your own repertoire of "aphrodisiacs."

    To understand the powerful connection between mind and body, just think about the shapely and phallic foods that were in favor in the 18th century. Because they suggested sex to those who used them as "aphrodisiacs," they may well have had the desired effect. So let the sight and smell of certain foods take you back to that sexy, provocative time you shared together.

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