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Q&A: What's The Best Aphrodisiac?

Q&A: Aphrodisiacs - Sh! Women's Store

We get asked from time to time why we don't stock aphrodisiacs. Everyone's heard that oysters, chocolate, little blue pills, Spanish Fly, asparagus and so on can enhance arousal and desire - so what's the catch?

We got this email from a customer a while ago and our answer below gives you our take on aphrodisiacs.

Hello, I was wondering if you could help me. Can you tell me, what's the best aphrodisiac? Do they really have any effect and are they safe? Is it true that rhino horn is used, and does it work? Please let me know. Cheers!

Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch! We aren’t medical experts, but to be honest, there are a few reasons we would not recommend the use of aphrodisiacs.

  1. We want your sexual activities to be as safe as possible, and there are safety issues around some aphrodisiacs. 
  1. Other aphrodisiacs don’t do anything, and it would be shady of us to sell them.

Are aphrodisiacs safe?

Commercially sold aphrodisiacs aren’t always subject to the same testing and monitoring as prescription medicines, so it’s impossible to be certain that they’re safe. There’s also the possibility that they could have harmful side effects or interact with other medications. Spanish Fly or cantharides, for example, is a famously used aphrodisiac, dating back to Ancient Rome. The substance itself is in fact a bladder irritant – not very sexy! 

The ‘Spanish Fly’ marketed online is often just cayenne pepper or a homoeopathic version. The substance is so heavily diluted that none of the active ingredients remains. The same is true of the ‘Blue Pills’ and Viagra imitations sold online and in some shops. These seem to be mainly herbal preparations with no effect at all.

With foodstuffs used as aphrodisiacs, the evidence is hard to find. We’ve all about oysters, chocolate, and asparagus, but with no detailed studies, we can’t tell you if they work or not. Even if they do, it’s probably a very individual response – one person might find chocolate gets her in the mood, another might like seafood, and so on.

Strawberries dippped in chocolate
Chocolate-dipped Strawberries

Using rhino horn as an aphrodisiac

We'd never recommend exotic varieties of aphrodisiac like rhino horn, even if it had been proved that they work. The market for rhino horns is one of the reasons that rhino poaching has seriously reduced the number of rhinos in the world. Over a thousand rhinos were killed between 2006 and 2009, just for their horns.

It’s also worth noting that rhino horn is the same sort of protein - keratin – that our hair and fingernails are made of. If keratin affects arousal, folks who bite their nails would be in hot demand! 

Aphrodisiacs for erectile fysfunction

Instead of using over-the-counter or bought-online aphrodisiacs, we’d recommend speaking to your GP and seeking medically recommended treatments for erectile dysfunction or lack of arousal.

Getting in the mood without using aphrodisiacs

There are many ways to get in a sexy mood without taking small pink pills.

How about a warm bath with scented bath oils? Water is relaxing and taking time out to pamper yourself is a great way to get in the mood. Grab an erotic book and get hot in more ways than one!

We are huge fans of sensual massages. Give your partner a sensual massage  – it’s a great way to connect with your lover after a busy day. The slow, repetative motions will feel relaxing for both of you.

Play a sexy game. It gets you in the mood, gives yuo new ideas for things to try and also gets you playfully talking about sex. Win!

Sex toys instead of aphrodisiacs

Experimenting with sex toys can be helpful for spicing up your sex life. Finger vibes are very popular with couples. They're small, non-intimidating toys and they can add an impressive sizzle to your sex! 

We also recommend taking a look at Light My Fire, a fun online sex course designed to fire up tired mojos. 

Taking time out to enjoy each other’s company, planning the occasional treat, and above all talking to each other, are much more effective at creating a sexy vibe between you than the use of aphrodisiacs

We hope this helps!

Best Wishes,

Team Sh! xx

Read more tips on sex & sensuality here!

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