Do aphrodisiacs actually work or is it all bullsh*t?

Image: iStock.

Have you ever slurped down a plate full of oysters in the hopes of getting all hot and bothered… despite the fact you don’t actually like them?

Perhaps you’ve tried plying your partner with chocolate, or forking out for ‘horny goat week’ or even cannabis, because you’ve heard they have to power to deliver all the sexy, sexy urges?

Unfortunately, it seems both your efforts and your money have been spent in vain. According to a new study published in the International Society for Sexual Medicine journal, there’s no solid evidence to suggest any of these substances and supplements have an ‘aphrodisiac’ effect.

RELATED: We investigate the many lies pop culture has been telling us about sex.

As Vox reports, US researchers investigated a number of legally-defined aphrodisiacs — and the ‘findings’ that have supposedly proven their efficacy — and found the substances didn’t actually do anything at all. And, in some cases, there were actually risks associated with their consumption.

So basically, the whole ‘eat this and you’ll want to get jiggy with it ASAP’ is a total scam.

Where oysters are concerned, the researchers concluded there was inadequate “high-quality randomised control data” to prove the slippery dish has any bearing on one’s desire to have sex. (Post continues after gallery.)


So next time you’re on a seafood dinner date, feel free to order the salmon you really had your heart set on.

Similarly, research has failed to prove any aphrodisiac benefits of honey or even chocolate — although according to TIME, it was noted our favourite junk food does have “components that are linked to higher levels of serotonin in the brain”, which could influence how much you feel like having sex.

RELATED: The day you’re most likely to have sex is, well, not that surprising.

Serotonin is one of your body’s ‘happy chemicals’, so this seems kind of legit if you ask. Here at The Glow we firmly believe chocolate can serve as a possible gateway to sex, especially if your partner presents it for you after a long, hard day at work and doesn’t ask you to share. Chocolate = happiness = potentially more likely to want to have sex.

Johnny Depp would never lie to us about chocolate.

As for bizarrely-named supplements like horny goat weed, ginkgo biloba, Spanish fly and Bufo toad venom — you mean people are willingly putting these things in their bodies? — the study authors say existing research indicates their risks outweigh any potential benefits.


"While Ginkgo is generally well tolerated, it can cause significant bleeding risks, especially if taken with [blood thinning medications]," they write.

Cannabis-based products have long been touted as a sexual stimulant, too — perhaps just as an excuse to get on the green stuff — but they too lack sufficient data. (Post continues after video.)

"There are no published studies to support claims of cannabis as a sexual stimulant, and thus these products cannot be recommended at this time," the authors explain.

One known aphrodisiac the study authors did not analyse, however, is the music of Marvin Gaye. So if you want to get it on, keep listening to 'Let's Get It On'. That definitely* works.

RELATED: The key to great sex lies in timing, apparently.

(*Further research pending.)

Did this news surprise you? Or have you always been an aphrodisiac skeptic?

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