#aphrodisiacs #food #sex
“Grapes were indispensable to a Roman orgy, the act of people peeling them and feeding them to one another had an erotic aspect“– Paul Ebeling
The association between food and sex is elemental, as they both involve satiating the appetite. The profound interconnection between the very act of eating and sexual desire has come to be recognized by neurologists, anthropologists, physicians, as well as psychiatrists in modern times. And, various foods have been held to have almost magical biochemical effects on sexual appetite and virility through the ages.
Some foods gained their reputation as aphrodisiacs due to their resemblance to human genitalia- carrots, asparagus, figs and artichokes.
Eggs, beets, and fennel in ancient times were also thought to have sexual power. This association between the appearance of certain foods and their function can be attributed to the ancient concept of ‘doctrine of signatures’ . According to this doctrine some resemblance should exist between a disease and its curative agent.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, an aphrodisiac is “a food or drug that is said to give people a strong desire to have sex”. The word entered the English lexicon in the early 18th Ventury from the Greek aphrodisiakos which itself comes from aphrodiosis, or belonging to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.
The Greek poet Hesiod tells us the name Aphrodite itself derives from the word aphros or sea foam, as she was supposed to have risen from the sea.
Some foods still enjoy a reputation as aphrodisiacs, but modern science has debunked their claims. However, what it does recognize is that the belief that something works may make it work. As Manuel Vázquez Montalbán wrote in his Immoral Recipes, “No one has ever succeeded at seduction by means of food alone, but there’s a long list of those who have seduced by talking about that which was about to be eaten.“
Seneca said, “I will show you a philter without potions, without herbs, without any witch’s incantation if you wish to be loved, love.”