Behind Closed Doors: Sexy foods heat up the holidays

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November 18, 2008

1:05 AM

Between Thanksgiving approaching and Wawa’s addicting new sandwich, the Gobbler — a hot turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce — I’ve been thinking a lot about food lately. For most people, whipped cream is about the only food they associate with sex. But eating is just about as basic a need as having sex, so there has to be more overlap in the two activities than just a Reddi-Whip can.

And indeed there is.

The most common foods associated with sex are aphrodisiacs. Named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexual love, aphrodisiacs are foods, drinks, drugs or scents that induce feelings of sexual desire. The Food and Drug Administration states that no reliable evidence exists to prove that any foods are aphrodisiacs. However, they have had difficulties conducting ethical experiments given the sensitive nature of the subject. And 5,000 years of tradition suggests that there’s something to aphrodisiacs — even if it is just the placebo effect. If it gets you thinking about sexytime, we can go ahead and call it an aphrodisiac.

It is obvious why various foods have been deemed aphrodisiacs. Some have shapes reminiscent of love instruments: cucumbers, asparagus, carrots, bananas, oysters, peaches and figs. There are foods that heat up the body in a manner similar to arousal: chili, curries and the like. Other aphrodisiacs have more obscure origins. A Chinese goat herder discovered horny goat weed, which has gained a tremendous following. Fo-Ti or he shou wu, which means “black-haired Mr. He” also developed a strong following. Folklore tells us that a lucky Mr. He took Fo-Ti, and both his handsome black hair and his erect penis were restored.

Foods that aren’t aphrodisiacs can affect your sex life too. These include foods that cause bad breath, flatulence and tiredness.

Halitosis, though usually only a minor annoyance, can be a deal-breaker when it comes to a hook-up. Maybe you take a guy out for dinner and everything is going great, but when you lean in to kiss him, he makes a disgusted face. How do you avoid this? Stop eating, or avoid certain foods when a hook-up may be on the horizon. Halitosis-inducing foods include garlic, onions, foods high in protein, dairy products, sugary foods, coffee, chewing gum and alcohol. The human body has difficulty breaking down high-protein foods and dairy products. This can cause bad odors to come back into your throat during digestion. Sugary foods, coffee, alcohol and chewing gum cause the bacteria in your mouth to reproduce quickly.

You should also avoid foods that give you gas before doing the deed. While one sometimes slips out accidentally during sex, particularly during orgasm given the release of pressure from muscles (including the sphincter), passing gas is not generally considered a sexy bodily function. Dairy products, fatty foods, carbonated drinks, high-fiber items and fruit sugars can increase gas.

Some foods can cause tiredness. Tryptophan, found in turkey, is widely believed to induce drowsiness. A lot of evidence suggests this is a myth. However, strong evidence supports indicates that overeating, in general, causes drowsiness. This is because blood flow redirects to your stomach and away from the brain. So if you’re planning on staying up all night riding the hobby horse, leave some space in your stomach.

Lastly, a note to my male readers: We are what we eat. If your woman complains of nasty-tasting spunk, try eliminating some protein from your diet; it’ll make your baby batter taste sweeter.

I hope all of this has given you a little food for thought, er, sex. Enjoy your last few Caf meals, and have a happy and horny goat weed-filled Thanksgiving.

__Maya Horowitz is The Flat Hat sex columnist. She always remembers to eat light and leave room for sexy time during the holiday season.__

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