Katie Miller, Staff Writer

When used appropriately, food can do more than just satisfy your stomach.

Touted as sure-fire performance enhancers, aphrodisiacs have ignited sexual desires for centuries.
The sexual power of certain food’s tastes and textures can bring new flavor and excitement to any relationship.

Sadly, most of the beliefs about aphrodisiac’s ability to improve your libido are simply myths that have survived centuries of oral tradition (pun intended).

So if foods like chocolate, chili peppers and oysters– three of the most well known aphrodisiacs –are simply placebos, why have these rumors survived?

The reason? We give these foods their sexual power. If we think something is sexy, it will be. But there are other misunderstandings about aphrodisiacs that further reveal why they still thrill and excite us.

First misconception: they are not just foods. According to the Discovery Health website, health.discovery.com, anything sensory that enhances sexual pleasure and prowess qualifies as aphrodisiacs.

Most arousal ultimately comes from a person’s own association with the item’s taste, smell or symbolism—not just with the food’s chemical composition.

Ultimately, without understanding what you and your significant other find appealing, there’s no way to find that particular food that fulfills your fantasies.

But for those of you unsure of where to begin, here are a few pointers to help satisfy your cravings.

Bright, juicy strawberries can be extremely effective since they pack an appealing smell, a sweet taste and sexy associations. Other fruits like cherries, grapes and bananas conjure images of specific sexual encounters and yes, even body parts. Although this might make some people giggle, others find direct associations to the acts and objects of our sexual appeal both enticing and invigorating.

The spot for the food is just as important as the food itself. So decorate everything from your deltoids to the delicate tips of your fingers. And don’t be afraid to be cute with your experiments. Playing around can be just as much of a turn on.

What you shouldn’t do: line yourself with sushi and wait for your actor boyfriend to come take them off of you. That’s a lesson we can learn from Samantha on Sex and the City.

In all seriousness, if sushi is what twists your chain, go for it, but it is completely un-sexy to be left waiting. Keep communication open with each other, and if you are going to try and pull off a surprise, avoid foods that could smell or that keep you immobile. You risk ruining your own sexy buzz and wasting a lot of good food, neither of which are appealing.

What you should do: set up a time for you and your special fellow or lady to experiment with a food you both find sexy.

Whipped cream body-shots served as a great date night for a friend of mine. Slightly messy and at times ticklish, but overall, the whipped cream made both feel exotic and intimate.

So even though a banana or a piece of chocolate can’t actually replace Viagra, the sheer fun of playing with something sweet and sensory can create a sexy and tasty experience that satisfies both of your desires.