Foods for a Spicier Sex Life: Aphrodisiacs (cont.)

Unlike with men, the study found that some food smells actually inhibited sexual desire in women, such as cherries and the odor of barbeque or roasting meat.

A Smorgasbord of Aphrodisiacs

Hirsch says there are a number of different theories about why foods have such a strong effect on sexual attraction and performance, but it's likely a combination of physiological and psychological responses at work. Because the effects of different foods are linked to past experiences, the sexual potency of various tastes and smells naturally vary greatly from person to person.

That's why both Cadell and Hirsch recommend having fun with trying different aphrodisiacs to see what adds the right spice to your sex life.

"Have a smorgasbord of aphrodisiacs, because they're not all going to appeal to everybody," says Cadell.

According to the FDA, there is no scientific proof that any over-the-counter aphrodisiacs or foods can treat sexual dysfunction. In fact, over-indulgence in food or drink is a sure way to doom sexual performance and dampen desire.

But while aphrodisiacs may not be a quick fix all your sexual problems, Cadell says the natural aphrodisiacs found in foods are not dangerous.

"Let's be honest, the most erotic organ is the brain. So if you think something will turn you on, I guarantee it will," says Cadell. "There has always been a correlation between food and sex because they are two of greatest pleasures known to mankind, and both appetites need to be fulfilled."

SOURCES: Ava Cadell, PhD, clinical sexologist in private practice in Los Angeles and author of Twelve Steps to Everlasting Love and Between the Sheets. Alan R. Hirsch, MD, neurological director, Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, Chicago. FDA. WebMD Feature: "Aphrodisiacs Through the Ages." WebMD Feature: "Want Better Sex?"

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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2005 9:34:37 PM