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Aphrodisiacs: Fact or Fiction?

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

How to Stimulate the 5 Senses on Valentines Day

Now, here's how to put it all together and set the stage for that romantic evening tonight:

  • Sight. Light those candles or the fireplace for a relaxed, seductive atmosphere. And keep your scene for romance as clutter-free and clean as possible. In terms of food, select whatever dishes visually suggest sex and seduction to you and your partner. Consider color and shape as well as texture and taste.
  • Sound. Set the mood instantly with music. This might mean piano concertos, steamy jazz -- even a CD of the sound of waves crashing on the shore. And don't forget the sound of your own voice. On this special night, express your feelings to your loved one. Don't just say "I love you" (though that's a great start). Share what you love -- your favorite things about your partner (physical and nonphysical). You get the picture!
  • Smell. Stay away from smelly foods like cooked cauliflower or cabbage. If you go for garlic, keep it subtle or try roasting it (it will taste delicious and won't be overpowering). You can also fill the room with romantic scents from scented oils or candles.
  • Touch. There are so many ways touch comes into play during a romantic evening. If you have finger foods, eating is all about touching. The texture of the rug or blanket in front of the fireplace, the feeling of sheets under your skin -- all send sensual signals to your brain. But perhaps the best way to stimulate this sense is by touching each other. Not only is it stimulating to get a massage, it can be truly tantalizing to give one. Try one of the wonderful scented massage oils and creams available at stores like Bath and Body Works. Or wash each other's hair and/or bodies -- a very special way to touch your loved one.
  • Taste. Serve small portions of foods that stimulate your taste buds without overwhelming them. Very strong or spicy foods can backfire, so serve them with caution. And a dessert that's subtly sweet (try semi-sweet chocolate) beats an extra-sugary one. Remember, you want to leave the mouth wanting more.

Edited on January 03, 2005

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