Food for thought on food for your libido

These aphrodisiacs may have you eating out in more ways than one 😉

The fetishization of food is nothing new in the realm of kinknormativity. Graphic Florent Aniorte

Like thirst, excretion, slumber, and sexual activity, food is essential to the body. It is present in nearly every aspect of our lives.

We can find food in art. We see it in fairy tales and literature, with poisonous apples putting princesses to sleep. We see food in religious symbolism. The forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden is but one example.

We even see promiscuity through sexual connotations of certain foods. Needless to say, eating bananas, cucumbers, or eggplants will never be the same.

Speaking of which, remember that time Timothée Chalamet fucked a peach in Call Me by Your Name?

Maybe you were shocked by the sight of him arousing himself à la peach. Maybe you were disgusted. If you were anything like me, you may have thought, “Damn, I wish I was that peach.” Can you blame me? 

*Sigh*—Oh, to be a fucking peach.

I digress. The fetishization of food is nothing new in the realm of kinknormativity. If there is anything lifestyle magazines have taught us, it is that the latest sexual trend is sure to keep your man/womxn in the sack. They claim some foods are more arousing, meaning snacking on certain foods equals better sex.

A quick search in Cosmopolitan yields six articles on aphrodisiac foods—foods said to increase sexual arousal or desire, even performance.

In one Cosmo piece, Dr. Diana Hoppe explains how vitamin C is essential to the production of sex hormones and libido-boosting neurotransmitters. The omega-3 fatty acid present in almonds and walnuts provide similar hormonal production. 

Avocados contain vitamin B6, which increases testosterone levels. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, believed to increase several upbeat neurological chemicals, according to an article published by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 

And who could forget red wine, which contains an antioxidant that reduces inflammation, stimulating blood flow in the erogenous areas and increasing testosterone production.

There you have it! If you’ve been feeling sexually repressed by quarantine, you can blame it on all the food you’ve been experimenting with over these last few months. 

But although the vitamins and nutrients contained in certain foods conserve bodily substances linked to a healthy sex drive, there’s a catch.

“I think it's important to remember that the purpose of most media, and certainly all lifestyle magazines, is to make money with their publication,” said Ryan Conrad, who teaches in the interdisciplinary studies in sexuality program at Concordia. “While norms about sex and sexuality are always changing and culturally specific, in the West we find sex all around us.”

The fact of the matter is that sex and sexuality are quite mundane. Both can be found in nearly every crevice of our lives—in the clothes we wear, in the ways we consume media, and especially in food.

Conrad believes that consumers must continue to develop their media literacy skills, especially around sex. “Were things so simple they could be easily unpacked in the titillating columns of lifestyle magazines, we wouldn't have the need for university programs dedicated to the study of human sexuality,” he said.

Still, think about your options on your next grocery run. The world is your oyster. One way or another, you are nourishing yourself.

This article originally appeared in The Food Issue, published November 3, 2020.