I Ate Only Aphrodisiacs for an Entire Day

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/dpa/Corbis

For many years, people have been eating aphrodisiac foods in order to experience heightened forms of love. How do I know this? Because I saw a slideshow about it on the website of Reader’s Digest“19 Aphrodisiac Foods Proven to Spark Romance.”

I am a person who loves slideshows. It’s such a great way to show a dramatic list of different objects. In my career as a journalist (!?), I have made many slideshows. I even made one called “Presidents Who Have Pet Rats: A Slideshow,” and it only had two slides! (The comments on it were all from rat owners.)

I am also a person who has always been intrigued by aphrodisiac foods. What are they? I literally didn’t know until I read a slideshow. Once I did, however, I realized that I loved them. Who doesn’t want more romance in their food? We should all be on a diet of only aphrodisiacs.

In order to really experience what aphrodisiac foods are like, I decided I would eat almost every single food pictured in the aforementioned Reader’s Digest slideshow as well as another slideshow I found on Cosmopolitan’s website called “Aphrodisiac Foods That Feed Your Sex Drive.” As I scrolled through these slideshows, I was struck by their banality. Aside from the obvious “oyster” invocation, aphrodisiacs are apparently just different stupid fruits and vegetables you can get anywhere. Cosmo actually has the temerity to claim that salmon is an aphrodisiac, which is atrocious. If anything, aphrodisiacs just sound like boring, healthy eating with a bunch more fruit. And I do that shit for a living! I cannot escape the prison of my life.

The Experiment:
I start the day with a coffee. Coffee is an aphrodisiac, says Readers Digest. Apparently, a study of female rats showed coffee makes them more in the mood for sex. How do the researchers know? But fine. 

Next, I have a wide variety of fruits, almost all of which are dried or in juice form because D’Agostino has no fruit right now. I consume an odd breakfast of strawberry juice (strawberries “keep blood flowing”), dried bananas (bananas “trigger testosterone production”), cherry juice (cherries are packed with “feel-good vitamins”), and dried figs — “the fig paradoxically symbolizes both sexuality (the ripe fruit with seeds representing fertility) and modesty (the fig leaf).” This is when the slideshow starts to go off the rails.

After all this fruit, I feel exactly the same. It’s not that different from having a breakfast of fruit salad, which I’ve always thought is the worst breakfast of all. Still, it’s early in the experiment. 

At mid-morning, right after answering a variety of emails (possible slideshow: “The Different Kinds of Emails You Can Receive: A Slideshow”), I have some more aphrodisiacs as snacks. I crunch on some walnuts (“They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which keep sex-hormone production at its peak.” That is from Cosmo in case you didn’t guess) and pine nuts (which have a lot of zinc in them — apparently great for sex), and realize I forgot to buy pumpkin seeds (another aphrodisiac for some godforsaken reason). I also have some chocolate, which is an aphrodisiac both Cosmo and Reader’s Digest have consensus on.
For lunch, I have avocado and chili pepper (both aphrodisiacs) on a corn tortilla. It’s slightly bland, and I am getting kind of hungry. So far today, I have eaten only nuts and berries. It is also hard to tell if aphrodisiacs are working if you are a writer who works alone all day. I mean, I look at a Daily Mail story about Liam Hemsworth and think he looks really hot, but I always think that! 

Dinner is the real test. I go with my boyfriend to a French restaurant that serves oysters. I have oysters, salmon, and red wine (all aphrodisiacs, especially oysters. Reader’s Digest and Cosmo agree). I realize halfway through dinner that perhaps the aphrodisiacs are working. My boyfriend looks very handsome all of a sudden, as if his hair has gotten shinier and his chest broader since I last saw him. We talk about Angela Merkel for a LOT of the dinner and I don’t even care. I actually think it’s interesting — a clear sign of infatuation. 

Do I think that aphrodisiacs work? It’s hard to say. Probably not. However, did I think they were working? Absolutely! My boyfriend feels like he can discuss the Parliament at length and I will allow it. The placebo effect lives! (A slideshow.)

I Ate Only Aphrodisiacs for an Entire Day