Chew on this: 6/23

Breakfast (lunch and dinner) for bed

By Jayne Powers

Whether or not certain foods possess the power to spice up your sex life is a matter for scientists to explore and research.

As far as I can tell, there isn’t a lot of hard science to back up claims of achieving a higher sex drive through food.

I searched The Journal of Sexual Medicine for evidence of any food or food product that would boost libido in either men or women.

Unfortunately, nothing turned up.

The closest I got was watermelon, and that was in a publication by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. I think the Ag folks may be on to something.

Turns out, watermelon possesses the power to relax blood vessels, similar to Viagra. Without bogging down into the science, the rind of the watermelon is the most potent part.

I make no claims as to its efficacy. If you like the taste of watermelon and can stomach some of the rind, let’s just say it may get your blood pumping.

Fortunately, watermelon is in season and is sure to be a staple at upcoming Fourth of July parties.

What won’t be a staple this July, but is also regarded as an aphrodisiac (at least in Bolivia) is bull’s penis, also known for its almost mythical properties akin to Viagra.

You’ll have to get your slow cooker out for that one. Yep, bull’s penis requires a long cooking time—12 hours—to tenderize it. Other ingredients, like veggies and chicken, are often thrown into this soup.

Depending on where you live, there are several variations on this in-the-mood food. In Jamaica, it’s known as cow cod soup, and bananas are part of the mix.

Sometimes, the testicles are used, hence the name “Bulls Balls soup.”

In Asia, the penis comes from the tiger, which is sold dried. Once in the hands of an experienced cook, the tiger penis is soaked in water for a week and then simmered for about 24 hours with other spices, medicines and tiger bone.

With tigers being an endangered species, this soup is not only a rarity but quite expensive. One bowl can cost up to $400.

The next time you’re in a Chinatown and feel like shopping for tiger penis, beware. You might be hoodwinked into buying something fake, such as ox or deer tendons, which apparently mimic what a dried tiger penis looks like.

Maybe a prescription to Viagra might be a smarter and more economical choice.

I think these are some of the more bizarre aphrodisiacs from around the world, and there are several others worth sharing.

Whether they’re worth trying, well, let’s just say you can be the judge of that. I’m sticking with a good night’s sleep—and lots of it— to rev up my engine.

You may, however, find value in these other aphrodisiacs. Another one is balut, which is a boiled duck egg that contains a duckling embryo.

Just like hot dogs are a food staple found throughout the United States, balut, which is high in protein and revered as an energy booster that reportedly stirs sexual desire, is prevalent in Vietnam and throughout the Philippines.

If balut doesn’t blow your socks off, maybe blowfish will. Known as fugu in Japan, blowfish is a high-stakes fish that reportedly will get your blood pumping.

It is highly lethal if not prepared correctly. That would certainly get my blood pumping.

On the serious side, blowfish believers contend that expert chefs know how to prepare blowfish so that it only leaves a tingly sensation on your tongue.

Maybe so, but wouldn’t Szechuan peppercorns be a safer alternative to get your fix of a tingling tongue?

Thankfully, there are other fish alternatives that claim to stir up sexual desires. Think tuna, specifically tuna fish sperm. You see, tuna sperm is rich in phosphorus, calcium and vitamins A, B and D, all of which influence sexual vitality.

Next up, cobra blood.

While it wouldn’t be my cup of tea, cobra blood is also credited as a blood-pumping aphrodisiac.

Somehow, I don’t think the next aphrodisiac will resonate with Ohioans or Americans for that matter. That would be eating dog meat. However, in South Korea, dog meat is believed to enhance the libido. In fact, the more tender the meat, the more pleasure you’ll receive. Woof, woof.

The trendiest aphrodisiacs I hear about are insects. They are high in protein and low in fat. You could also say they’re gluten free, if that means anything to you.

In Columbia, for example, leaf cutter ants are roasted and given as wedding presents.

And let’s not forget the legendary Spanish fly, which is an emerald-green beetle, and, ultimately, the most dangerous aphrodisiac. Spanish Fly contains cantharidin, which is actually a severe irritant and blistering agent (FYI, cantharidin is often used for wart treatment).

In ancient times, Spanish fly was used as an ointment to numb male genitals to lengthen performance time.

Like I said, you may just want to catch some Z’s to rejuvenate yourself before having sex, and it doesn’t cost anything but time.

Jayne Powers, MA, is a certified nutritionist and personal fitness trainer based in Washington, DC. Her column, Chew on This, speaks from the science of the current state of knowledge about all facets of nutrition. Find her online at, or email your fitness questions to 


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Jayne Powers, MA, is a certified nutritionist and personal fitness trainer based in Washington, DC. Her column, Chew on This, speaks from the science of the current state of knowledge about all facets of nutrition. Find her online at

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