Valentine's Day Research: I Ate 8 Aphrodisiacs In One Week and (Almost!) All I Got Was a Stomachache

Do you guys have any idea how much I love you? Can I just take a self-indulgent minute to enumerate the many inappropriate places I ate aphrodisiacs this week, all for the purpose of Mythbusters-ing the shit out of them for you? I Seamlessed aphrodisiacs to my work desk on the company dime and even selected a restaurant with a frankly lusty menu for my mom’s birthday dinner. You're welcome.

My very scientific conclusions: aphrodisiacs are food and therefore delicious, but WAY less effective than, say, spectacular oral sex. (Mind you, I’m in an long distance relationship, so I’m pretty much ready to go after passing, like, a magazine stand that might sell porn.) Still, I fared better with some foxy eats than others. Click through to see what you should be eating come Valentine's Day.

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by Rebecca Santiago

Banana and honey

The science: Bananas look like dude-bananas. Honey is packed with B vitamins and aids testosterone production.

The meal: A deeply depressing attempt at honey-topped three-ingredient banana pancakes, which are really not as easy as they sound.

The verdict: That cloud of smoke was not, in fact, coming from my burning loins, but from the charred oil on my skillet. I chewed half of one, spat it out, and watched Netflix for an hour. Not a great omen for the next blowjob I give.

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The science: Avocados look kind of like balls, if you haven’t noticed. They also have a lot of nutrients, and apparently their rep for being aphrodisiacs goes back to the Aztecs.

The meal: Veggie fajitas, in my cubicle at work, because I have less shame than anyone you have ever met.

The verdict: Here is the rule of fajitas: there is no meal sexier than fajitas, and yet no meal more repulsive than desk fajitas. Desk fajitas are a boner-killer, even with guac.

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The science: Ginger raises your body temperature, which I guess gets you naked.

The meal: Ginger-butternut bisque and a Pimm’s Cup with ginger beer at my mother’s birthday dinner on Saturday night (I am so sorry, mom).

The verdict: Nothing makes you feel more like a human dumpling than consuming bisque and a cocktail within 15 minutes of each other. I did not take my clothes off at my family dinner, I did not.

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Chili peppers and garlic

The science: The capascin in chili peppers warms you up (ew, temperature-wise) and opens the endorphin floodgate. Garlic increases blood flow, so, uh, garlic-boner, I guess.

The meal: Homemade shakshuka (modified from this recipe) which I made preposterously spicy because I had extra peppers/journalism.

The verdict: YIPES, tingly mouth. It made me think of a horrifying Cosmo confession I read years ago, which involved a home-cooked meal, unwashed hands, and a jalapeno-infused handjob. But at least it made me think about sex?

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The science: Amino acids and libido-increasing zinc give these genitalia-y mollusks their slutty rep.

The meal: Dinner date with my best friend at a very sexy Chelsea restaurant. She was not too pleased with my attempts to become aroused in her presence.

The verdict: I suppose I did feel a little sexy after eating this, but that might have been the glam venue, my awareness of my good hair day, or the absinthe cocktail that I downed just a wee bit too quickly.

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The science: Increased blood flow. Also, basically the phrase “be fruitful and multiply” incarnate.

The meal: Is it considered a meal if you get home from work and you’re feeling really depressed for whatever reason, so you shovel pomegranate seeds into your mouth and think about all of the horrible things that have ever happened?

The verdict: I actually had pretty great post-binge Skype sex, depressive episode and all! So EVERYBODY BUY MORE POMEGRANATES NOW.

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Red wine

The science: Again, increased blood flow, because we all want to have sex with vampires. It also lowers your inhibitions, duh and more duh.

The meal: The most needed wine night in the history of wine nights. I had three glasses, for research purposes.

The verdict: My friend and I did spend a good portion of the evening talking about sex. But then I went home, called my boyfriend, and proceeded to drunkenly traipse around my apartment destroying various objects for no reason in particular while I grilled him about his favorite parts of Gone Girl (I found my copy under the bathroom sink the next morning).

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Chocolate and walnut

The science: Chocolate triggers euphoric feelings/is chocolate. Walnuts have tons of vitamins (Bs, A, E, F) and zinc. It’s like oysters you can put on sundaes!

The meal: Half of a my-face sized Levain Bakery chocolate-chip walnut cookie.

The verdict: It was an aphrodisiac in the unconventional sense that I decided that I don’t ever actually need to have sex again, just these cookies. If third base feels like warm apple pie, intercourse feels like Levain chocolate-chip walnut cookies.

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