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Hungry For Love: The Best Foods to Inspire Desire

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Hungry For Love: The Best Foods to Inspire Desire

Few human instincts are as compelling as the desire for sexual connection. Throughout time, the moment our basic survival needs–food, shelter, protection from large, furry animals–have been met, we’ve sought sexual union, both for procreation and pleasure. And universal though it may be, sex is still the most enduring enigma. Sex represents survival in its purest form, ensuring the continuation of the species. At its worst, consensual sex is still fun; at its best, it’s mind-blowing. And when it isn’t happening at all, it can be devastating.

So, throughout history, those afflicted with sexual disorders, from impotence to lack of interest, have sought out foods and herbs to inspire desire. Some of these aphrodisiacs–named for Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of fertility, beauty and desire–are thought to be lust-provoking because of their resemblance to human genitalia. These range from the obvious, like bananas, cucumbers and asparagus, to the slightly more subtle, like peaches, apricots and raspberries, which are thought to resemble a woman’s nipples. And then some foods, like lobsters and mangoes, are simply sexier than others. Really, how sultry can you feel eating peanut butter or canned tuna?

Figs have enjoyed a versatility unmatched by any other aphrodisiac, being compared alternately to the penis, vagina, testicles and anus. The avocado tree was termed “Ahuacuatl” (“testicle tree”) by the Aztecs, who thought the fruit hanging in pairs looked like testicles. Truffles, with their musky aroma and mysterious folds, have been considered aphrodisiacs since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Papayas–juicy, voluptuous, with subtle swells and curves that are uniquely feminine–were thought in folk medicine to stimulate the production of estrogen.

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Lisa Turner

Lisa is a chef and nutritionist with more than 30 years of professional experience and formal training in food, nutrition and product development. She’s written five books on food and nutrition and is the creator of The Healthy Gourmet iPhone app, and has been a featured blogger for many national sites, including Huffington Post and Whole Foods Market. Lisa is a faculty instructor at Bauman College of Culinary Arts and also teaches food and nutrition classes and workshops to individuals and corporations. She's a black belt in Ninjutsu, an active volunteer in the Boulder Valley school lunch system, and an avid wild food forager.


+ add your own
4:38AM PST on Feb 4, 2011

another proof that love is nothing but sex

10:56AM PDT on May 3, 2010

I didn't know that about figs

9:10AM PDT on May 2, 2010

sea scallops in cream sauce do it for me... with chardonnay. ;)

12:50PM PDT on Apr 29, 2010

I've never thought about food comparing to those parts..

10:39AM PDT on Apr 28, 2010


10:56AM PDT on Apr 27, 2010

good info

10:27AM PDT on Apr 27, 2010

some foods, like lobsters and mangoes, are simply sexier than others. Really, how sultry can you feel eating peanut butter or canned tuna?
Leather Beds

12:17PM PDT on Apr 26, 2010

I agree with the other comment that Ive never seen a difference with the food I ate but I think it depends on whats going on around you at the time.

11:49AM PDT on Apr 26, 2010

Interesting, thanks!

10:44AM PDT on Apr 26, 2010

Sensuality is one of the biggest components of sexuality and one we too often forget about in today's world because it takes time and patience to truly enjoy and revel in...

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