Modern Aphrodisiacs: Four Easy (And Tasty) Ways to Turn Up the Heat

While we may be inundated with modern medical solutions promising libido-stimulating miracles and sometimes erections freakishly lasting four hours—the little blue pill, anyone?—aphrodisiacs have been widely used for centuries to enhance sexual performance and to stir the senses. Sexual aids may be scoffed upon because of what their use might suggest about your sensual function and prowess, but there are many modern herbs, potions, and mood-setters that can help rev up your initial arousal, and sometimes even prolong your lovemaking. Indulging in aphrodisiacs can be stimulating, fun, and tasty—and if they help to get you in the mood all the better, right?

Perfume: Scent Appeal

Kilian Back to Black Aphrodisiac Eau de Parfum ($225)

With a deep, rich tobacco backdrop and notes of amber, honey, and a woodsy finish, Kilian’s Back to Black Aphrodisiac perfume is sex in scent form. We all know that smell is a powerful sense—especially when it comes to the act of seduction. Help enhance the experience with a perfume that contains musk, or some layered darker notes for a unisex aroma that metaphorically mimics the sexual fusion of man and woman. Ladies, put a dab on your wrist and the nape of your neck—and forget the clothes. Men, put a drop of this sensual solution on your partner and notice how the scent changes once you turn up the heat in the bedroom. While this perfume may be on the pricier side, think of it as an investment in your own pleasure.

Chocolate: The Smooth Operator

Quite possibly the most popular and ubiquitous aphrodisiac, chocolate has a reputation of inciting heat in the right places—and in some circles, is seen as better than actual sex. While that last statement seems hyperbolized—what really is better than sex?—there is something to be said about the power of chocolate. Whether you prefer the creaminess of milk or the bitter complexity of the darker varieties, it’s a scientific fact that chocolate produces both serotonin and anandamide, which are powerful neurotransmitters that promote happiness and are essential when it comes to getting turned on. Why not try noshing on some cocoa-heavy treats before the clothes come off, or even incorporating some chocolate in your play?

Oysters: Sensuality From the Sea

Oysters have been linked with sexuality for ages, primarily because the shape of these luxurious shellfish resemble female genitalia—and the act of eating them viscerally brings to mind the slurp-and-seduction of oral sex. While scientists debate the legitimacy of whether or not they are the libido-boosting miracle food many claim them to be, oysters do in fact contain high levels of zinc, a mineral that promotes testosterone production and sperm health. Whatever the case, there’s nothing like the slinky, slippery process of eating oysters to help you get thinking about the dirty deed.

Red Wine: The Love Elixir

A glass of wine might not be the secret antidote to longevity, or the cure for instant arousal—it’s quite the opposite on some extreme occasions—but it might be just what you need to help you reawaken your dormant desire. Alcohol does wonders for lowering your inhibitions about sex, and is guaranteed to make you more adventurous in the realm of the bedroom. While the last thing I want to do is advocate heavy drinking, I do understand the ease in which a glass of Pinot Noir can make people more interested in the pursuit of pleasure. A scientific study performed by the University of Florence determined that not only do women who drink one to two glasses of wine have a higher libido, but that the consumption of wine helps to flow of blood to the erogenous zones.

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