Shanica Blair, Gleaner Writer
It can take more than just a few candles, your favourite love song and a bottle of wine to get into the mood. A healthy lifestyle from the foods we consume can make you feel and look better, and improve our sex life.
Just about every culture devotes part of its folklore to sexuality, and aphrodisiacs. According to sexologist Dr Sidney McGill, he does not believe in the notion that certain foods do, in fact, increase your sexual libido.
"As far as I know, there is no supporting evidence that natural aphrodisiacs such as food or drink actually increase sexual desire."
While many Jamaican men consider foods such as Irish moss, okra, even peanut punch as libido-enhancing and make them more active during sexual intercourse, Dr McGill believes that the effects of these foods increasing sexual desire are really myths. "It may seem to increase libido largely from a psychological point of view: The person believes it works so they feel like it's working - that's what we call a placebo effect. To heighten sexual desire, certain energy foods and caffeine-laced drinks can increase one's energy, and that boost of energy can be used for any purpose, including sexual intercourse. A little alcohol can peel away inhibition about sexual performance, but too much will ruin the fun," Dr McGill cautioned.
But many Jamaicans are of the view that some foods are natural aphrodisiacs.
"Yes man, 'strong back' man. You blend up yuh peanut, Lasco, Dragon Stout, okra, Supligen - and a it that. That mi make fi my husband all the time. It make him back strong" noted Jenniferconfidently.
However, there are some naysayers like Ricardo who believes that it is all in the head. "I don't believe that there are any natural foods out there that can naturally enhance a man's sex drive. Many think okra is good for sex drive, but to me food is just food."
go the natural route
If one wants to increase sexual desire, "go the natural route," advises Dr McGill.
1. Do regular aerobic exercises to improve cardiovascular condition.
2. Do weight-resistant training - especially strengthening the core (abdominal area).
3. Improve communication with your intimate partner. An optimistic view of life is central to having satisfying intimate relationships.
4. Eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water regularly. Certain nutrients in some foods are good for blood flow and heart health which will, in turn, improve an individual's overall health, resulting in a healthy sex life.
In the meantime, continue to make your bedroom experience fun by introducing chocolate, exotic fruits, wines, a little role playing and communication. Strengthen your relationship with your partner.