Do Aphrodisiacs Really Exist?


They promise to make our sex lives spectacular, but is it all just a millennia-old gimmick?

As far as human nature goes, sex is a big part of who we are. And, between porn sites and sex toys, Viagra, sexting, fetishes, kinks and hentai, it’s quite obvious that we are always looking for new ways to take our experience that little bit further and make it that little bit wilder.

This is not a modern invention, however. Although most of the things I’ve mentioned above are not – in the Oxford-English-Dictionary sense of the word – ‘aphrodisiacs’, they can all perform the same function: They are experiences and they give us sexual drive.

So, I hear you asking, what is an aphrodisiac then? And do they really exist?

Well, my sexual-information-hungry friends, an aphrodisiac is usually a food or drink that stimulates sexual desire. Over the years, the term ‘aphrodisiac’ has been applied to oysters, champagne, strawberries covered in chocolate, chocolate, asparagus, onions (yes… onions!), caviar, eggs, rhinoceros horns and even the extract of dried beetle poop (also known as Spanish Fly).

The rules of thumb for something to be deemed an ‘aphrodisiac’ are very varied, but one recurring theme in most cultures and civilisations is that, for something to be an aphrodisiac, it has to resemble human genitalia – apart from the Spanish Fly, that’s just ew.

As science currently stands, very few laboratory tests have been conducted on the matter, and most of those that did actually take place revolve around Viagra – and that is technically not an aphrodisiac. The other tests that tried to find out whether aphrodisiacs truly exists all stumbled upon the same conclusion: aphrodisiacs are not universal but rather subjective, meaning that champagne might get me off but it won’t make my next door neighbour horny.

Named after the Grecian goddess of love Aphrodite, aphrodisiacs still remain a central part of our general discussion on sex, however. And with the help of popular culture, the phenomenon is probably at its greatest now, when it’s mostly underground. The beauty of it all is that old wives’ tales are still dominant in this area, and science has not yet removed the veils of mystery and magic from this age-old subject.

Which aphrodisiacs work for you? Let us know in the comments section below!