“You are, my Aphrodisiac… Oh Oh, ahooo…!”- Most people can identify with this song. Of course you have to be a fan of Brandy or alternatively a ‘Rhythm and Blues’ (RnB) lover.
When I randomly asked a number of people both old and youthful, if they knew the meaning of that word, I am sorry to say most of them said ‘NO’. To save myself the burden of explaining in detail and probably get severely embarrassed, I decided to brush it off and do some writing on it.
Throughout history, stories and legends from the past have told us of various plants, spices, scents, drugs and foods that seem to increase sexual desire. Regardless of the source, these substances are known as aphrodisiacs.
The name originates from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sensuality and beauty.
For as long as humans have existed, they have been having sex or have been trying to get their partners in the mood. And if necessity is the mother of invention, it’s no surprise that humans have concocted a wide variety of creative solutions for the old, “I’ve got a headache” problem.
Aphrodisiacs are consumed daily either intentionally or ignorantly. The list is endless but a few common foods and drinks are; asparagus, almond, avocado, bananas, honey, basil, chocolate, carrots, coriander, figs, garlic, ginger, mustard, oysters, pineapple, wine, vanilla and strawberries.
However, with the exception of certain drugs like alcohol or marijuana, which may lead to sexual excitation, modern medical science recognises a very limited number of aphrodisiacs. In most cases, they are hormones to treat infertility in women and impotence in men.
This means that most collections on the subject are simply traditional or folkloric material. In fact, studies show that the credibility of the above is not based on facts but upon folklore. Beyond this, the only thing aphrodisiacs have in common is that they don’t work.
According to the Food and Drug Association (FDA), there is no scientific proof that aphrodisiacs work to treat sexual dysfunction.
This was declared in 1989, when the agency proved that some can be hazardous to one’s health when consumed excessively.
So what is all the fuss about? At the end of the day the only proof is that desire is rooted in your mind and not between your legs. Besides, one person’s fantasy could be another’s turn-off.
In his book, ‘The Science of Orgasm’, Dr. Beverly Wipple wrote. “At the root of human sexual desire is the “core erotic personality”- a.k.a. “sexual template”—which, in a nutshell, is whatever gets you ticking.
In other words since people are all unique individuals, everyone responds differently to different things. Everyone has in their mind an image of someone or thing they find attractive.
That image might be a person of specific age, race, or it might be every person. It could be a liking for a particular style of dress, shoes, walking style, accent or scent. Whatever it is in particular, the sexual template is believed to develop during a childhood attractive experience and it sticks with you for life.
One of the reasons as to why so many people go chasing after aphrodisiacs is when they lose interest in their partners. This happens when in the long run partners fall out of each others sexual template.
If someone’s template is not age specific, for example; if you are only attracted to 20-year-olds, once your partner hits 30, your desire will decrease. Unless of course, you figure out some ways to spice things up.
Spicing things up is where stuff gets complicated because, men and women sometimes have wildly deviating desires. For men, its mostly physical attraction while for women it goes beyond physical to mental seduction.
Let’s not forget, the ever present multitude of external nuisances that heavily spoil one’s desire and dampen the mood. Things like work, tragedy, wars and natural hazards among others.
In the end, the only truly effective aphrodisiac seems to be what’s been working for humans all along. And that’s all in your mind.