Forget oysters and champagne – if you really want to give your love life a lift, try these unusual aphrodisiacs
Make a date with your other half, turn the lights down low and… put on a terrifying movie! It sounds strange, but scaring yourself silly could have the same effect on your sex drive as traditional libido boosters.
Discover the science behind why Jaws can jump-start your love life, plus more sex tips and unusual aphrodisiacs.
Why horror films can heat things up
Fact – fear can be an aphrodisiac, and even increase libido. Psychologists think that when your pulse is racing and your palms sweating, your brain can misinterpret these responses to adrenaline as sexual arousal instead.1
So when you watch a scary movie with the object of your affections, your brain can interpret your feelings as a reaction to the person you’re with, rather than to what’s happening on screen. Not a cinema fan? Riding rollercoasters or taking part in an adrenaline-fuelled activity like white-water rafting may have the same fear-induced aphrodisiac effect.
Ditch the perfume or aftershave
This isn’t about attracting your partner with natural pheromones – although research does suggest we can ‘sniff’ out someone who has the most dissimilar immune system to our own, making them ideal to have healthy children with2 – but picking a scent they unconsciously find attractive.
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Research carried out by the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation in America discovered that certain scents had a stimulating effect on both female and male libido. A combination of lavender and pumpkin pie increased penile blood flow by 40%, with older men particularly attracted to scent of vanilla,3 while the smell of liquorice and cucumber increased vaginal blood flow by around 13%.4
In men, the smell of popcorn was also found to increase arousal – perfect for watching that horror flick together…
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Go to bed…
This time round, it’s just to sleep. A 2011 study by the University of Chicago concluded that men with poor sleep patterns also had lower levels of testosterone, triggering a lack of libido.5 So, make sure you’re getting enough under the duvet!
Taking a TV into the bedroom could also improve your sex life. A lifestyle survey carried out in 2014 revealed that couples who watched TV in bed had twice as much sex as those with no telly. This could be because they watch erotic films together, but sharing your favourite programmes with your partner could also help bring you closer.6
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Have a laugh at some live comedy
The expression ‘laughter is the best medicine’ should be updated to ‘laughter is the best aphrodisiac’. Research published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology in 2014 found that women were attracted to men with a good sense of humour – the more amusing they found their partners, the more sex they had, and the more orgasms they experienced, too.7
It’s thought that a sense of humour is seen as a sign of intelligence, and intelligent men were more likely to survive, making them a reliable mate.8 While you might not be a comedian, enjoying a night out at a comedy club shows your other half that you have got a sense of humour. Just, maybe don’t sit in the front row…
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
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1. D magazine. Sex, Stress and the Suspension Bridge. Available from: https://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-magazine/2017/october/sex-stress-and-the-suspension-bridge/
2. Hmolpedia. Sweaty T-shirt study. Available from: http://www.eoht.info/page/Sweaty+T-shirt+study
3. Hirsh AR and Gruss JJ. Human Male Sexual Response to Olfactory Stimuli. Available from: https://aanos.org/human-male-sexual-response-to-olfactory-stimuli/
4. BBC. The power of smell. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/humanbody/truthaboutfood/sexy/smellarousal.shtml
5. Leproult R and Van Cauter E. Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445839/
6. Women’s Health. Put THIS in the bedroom for more sex. Available from: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-love/a19910443/tv-in-your-bedroom/
7. Gallup GG, et al. Do Orgasms Give Women Feedback about Mate Choice? Available from: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/147470491401200507
8. Men’s Health. Laughter could be the key to orgasms. Available from: https://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/a19524878/make-her-orgasm-make-her-laugh/