For centuries, humans have been concocting and using a variety of foods, beverages, scents, homeopathic remedies, herbal formulas, drugs, vitamins, and gadgets that are thought to boost one's libido and improve sex. Ranging from bull testicles to ginseng to caffeine, people have tried practically anything in trying to get more turned on. Collectively known as aphrodisiacs, a number of these sex potions are said to increase sexual desire and arousal, enhance performance, and up our attraction to others. Yet most of the supposed miraculous effects of aphrodisiacs are based on folklore, myths, and medieval medical theory - not scientific fact.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is no non-medicinal approach that has been completely proven to work as an aphrodisiac. A handful of studies have indicated that a few have a positive impact on some phases of a male's sexual response cycle. In studying women, Chicago's Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation has found that the scent of baby powder is particularly effective, with cucumber, licorice, lavender, and pumpkin pie all increasing vaginal blood flow.
With an aphrodisiac being basically anything you find alluring, consider what around you can be a turn on. This may be the suggestive shape of a piece of fruit or raw seafood, like oysters. It may be the way your body reacts to goodies like chocolate, coffee, or spicy chilies. Or it may be what something, like peach juice dribbling down your chin, symbolizes.
Basically, believing something will work becomes in and of itself a self-fulfilling prophecy – if you think that something is sexually arousing, then it is! This speaks to the fact that your biggest sex organ is your brain. It's ultimately the power of your mind that gets you turned on.
So when to comes to getting yourself mentally aroused, consider some of the following strategies:
- Giving yourself permission to take a break from everything going on in your life to get intimate.
- Drawing a bubble bath or doing anything that relaxes you, as this helps to make you more receptive to sexual stimuli.
- Asking your lover to woo you more, especially with words, e.g., planting erotic ideas to be realized later or telling each other sexy stories.
- Remind yourself – and asking that you be reminded – that you are desired. This can be conveyed with sexy self-touch or affectionate gestures, like a slow and sensual kiss on your neck.