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Book Review - Aphrodisiacs, Fact or Fiction ("Healthy Sex Drive, Healthy You" by Dr. Diana Hoppe)

By HERWriter
 
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I was pleased to see Dr. Diana Hoppe’s chapter on “Fueling Desire” in her book "Health Sex Drive, Health You" began with a section labeled “Aphrodisiacs – Fact or Fiction”, but then I was disappointed at the little time she spent exploring the topic. Though I love the idea that eating can inspire arousal, I question implications that food alone might be responsible, as opposed to the whole experience. Hoppe explains that “legitimate” aphrodisiacs “put you in the mood” because they interact with hormonal balance. However, it’s only when these hormones cause the release of certain neurotransmitters that sexual arousal occurs. Basically, if you believe something will boost your sex drive, your brain can respond to this belief, releasing neurotransmitters that generate feelings arousal and pleasure. Or, the placebo effect.

So, if certain foods help your brain moderate and facilitate your libido, you’ve found your own aphrodisiac! Enjoy! But don’t be frustrated if food alone isn’t the answer – the key to your turn-on (or its suppression) might lie deeper. Foods simply labeled as aphrodisiacs are not going to “cure” your sex drive if you are inhibited by some of the lifestyle inclinations that Hoppe believes lower libido (low self-esteem, stress, poor communication, etc.)

Instead of jumping to a simple solution, begin by checking in with yourself – are you on good terms with your body? What makes you feel physically good? Are you communicating with your partner, listening and expressing yourself honestly? Can you put your to-do list on pause, or are there things you must get done before you can enjoy yourself? Once a positive mind/body connection is secured, then you can look to the fridge for fun.

Though she skims some of the background details about the power of food, Hoppe provides a detailed list of several edible aphrodisiacs and provides reasons why they could boost libido. She focuses on fruits and vegetables (asparagus, carrots, mangoes, peaches, strawberries), explaining how they provide vitamins and minerals that help build sex hormones.

Add a Comment4 Comments

HERWriter

Dear Anonymous,

You read my mind. That is my next big research adventure. You smart reader, you! Thanks!

Love, Hannah

August 27, 2010 - 8:25pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

You know, I don't know if you ever get this or not, but: I would love to see a piece on alternative menstrual products.

August 27, 2010 - 12:56pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

look at you write!
you do a fine job balancing "book review" with "health column" in this piece, offering fair and well-crafted critiques of Hoppe's work and then taking those critiques as inspiration or talking points to tell us, in your own words, about the same issue Hoppe tries to focus on.

well done!
Big Fan
p.s. Paragraph 3 is gold.

August 26, 2010 - 10:56pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Dear Fan,

Thank you!!! I think YOU are gold! Any suggestions for future columns??

Love,
Hannah

August 27, 2010 - 4:52am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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