Fertile February is a good month to talk about aphrodisiacs...
The moon is nothing
But a circumambulating aphrodisiac
Divinely subsidized to provoke the world
Into a rising birth-rate
--from A Sleep of Prisoners by Christopher Fry
In the pursuit of sexual success and fertility, the moon, and everything under it, has been touted as an aphrodisiac by some person or culture. Love potion peddlers stop at nothing to sell their sexual wares. "I'll make you the same promise that my wife made to me," says Theodore Maximillian in the provocative brochure for his "Maxim" product. "I'm going to cure your impotence immediately!" Maxim "acts as a potent aphrodisiac," according to the advertisement.
An aphrodisiac is a food, drink, drug, scent, or device that, promoters claim, can arouse or increase sexual desire, or libido. A broader definition includes products that improve sexual performance. Named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexual love and beauty, the list of supposed sexual stimulants includes anchovies and adrenaline, licorice and lard, scallops and Spanish fly, and hundreds of other items.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, the reputed sexual effects of so-called aphrodisiacs are based in folklore, not fact. In 1989, the agency declared that there is no scientific proof that any over-the-counter aphrodisiacs work to treat sexual dysfunction.
*Read the rest of The Facts about Aphrodisiacs.
*Aphrodisiacs: Magic or Medicine?
There are also a host of external nuisances that weigh heavily upon sexual desire--and that may dampen the mood. Studies routinely rank American culture as one of the most sexually repressed in the world thanks to its forbidding Judeo-Christian origins, high incidence of sexual problems and dysfunction, and lingering tight-lipped discomfort with the very topic of sex.
In the end, the only truly effective aphrodisiac seems to be that's been working for humans all along. "Your biggest sex organ is the one between your ears," says Dr. Granzig. "What is desire, after all, than the hope that you can fulfill your sexual fantasies. And that's all in your mind."
*Read the rest of this article here.