A Quick History of the Sexy Aphrodisiac
As you can imagine, aphrodisiacs go back to the beginning of time.
The term 'aphrodisiac' is derived from Aphrodite, the goddess of love and sexuality.
Probably the first known sex stimulant was human body odor. That’s right, your own personal smell.
The sense of smell was important in human relationships prior to the advent of soaps, showers and perfumes. After all, people were natural. They didn’t have television commercials programming them to buy certain perfumes so they would be attractive to the opposite sex.
So, what did they do?
The Egyptian queen Cleopatra used opiates and perfumes to seduce her many lovers. Most of her oils were made from bear crease. (This may not work today.)
In ancient Rome, love potions of all kinds were sold publicly, in the forums and on the streets. People sought sexual experiences, and quite openly. Among the ingredients of these ancient sex formulas were starfish, remora (sucking fish), dried human marrow, and sanguus menstruus (menstrual blood).
Doesn’t sound very sexy, does it?
Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) said perfumes sparked the "Fire of Love" in every human. Ancient Romans applied perfume three times a day. By the 1st century ad, Rome was going through 2,800 tons of frankincense and 550 tons of myrrh per year.
Apparently, love was truly in the air.
Later, in the Middle Ages, alchemists sold an aphrodisiac with gold in it. Known as “potable gold” and taken as a drink, it probably cost a fortune. (This might sell even today, though.)
Later still, aphrodisiacs included almonds. People were instructed to eat 20 almonds and 100 grains of pine tree, combined with a glass of very thick honey before bedtime.
Sounds like an early version of a protein drink, doesn’t it?
The first modern perfume appeared in 1882, called "Fougere Royale." It was designed for men, to attract women. This began a trend that obviously hasn’t been snuffed out today.
In 1986 “Pheromones” were said to help turn on people who smelled them. A pheromone is “A chemical substance that is produced by an animal and serves especially as a stimulus to other individuals of the same species for one or more behavioral responses -- called also ectohormone .”
Pheromones are now sold as addictives. You can add them to your current cologne. They also come in the form of sprays and creams. They are very popular among men who want to secretly excite women when they walk into a room.
Today we consider aphrodisiacs to be anything that stimulates the central nervous system. When that happens, we tend to feel “excited.”
Some of these modern sex stimulants are:
Vitamin E, Ginseng, Oysters, Mandrake plants, L-Dopa and Pergolide Mesylate, Quaalude, Apomorphine, Nomifensine, Bupropion, Bethanechol, Afrodex, Clomipiramine, Fluoxetine, Chinese Chan Su, Love Stone, Hard Rock, Stud 100, Spanish Fly, Winter Cherry, Guarana, Damiana, Avena Sativa, oysters, chocolate, pheromones, and on and on.
The best known aphrodisiacs are found in the herbal kingdom. Herbs such as schisandra, Korean ginseng, yohimbe and withania are popular.
Essential oils such as anise, clary sage, ginger, jasmine, patchouli, sandalwood and ylang-ylang are good. They activate the sense of smell, which is key to sexual arousal. (Ask any woman.)
Besides all of the above, there are also man-made and home-made products said to cause arousal in men and women. Most are questionable. Over time, we’ll investigate all of them on this site.
But the real questions are:
Which aphrodisiacs are safe? (People have died taking too many stimulants.)
Which aphrodisiacs really work? (You want action, right?)
While this quick history of aphrodisiacs gives you a sense of what has been done before to arouse people to have sex, it doesn’t reveal what works safely today.
Explore the rest of this site for the answers to those questions. Just click on any link that looks interesting to you. We’ll add more articles as we continue our investigations.
If you have a question, or would like us to investigate a product, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You might want to also learn the science of seduction. Click here.