Alex Hudson/ Drug Information Center

Love is in the air my darlings. The robins are back, the sun has been shining, and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I’ve noticed people busting out their hot little outfits, some PDA action in Red Square, and all kinds of pink and red and hearts and pictures of some weird adult-baby-looking individual in a diaper.
Here’s the standard college Valentine’s Day experience. Maybe you go see a movie. Boring. Maybe you go to Nimbus for an intimate dinner. Lame. Perhaps you go dancing at the club. Sucky. And then there are the singles among us, who get crapped on for V-Day and feel like losers. Not true. Valentines is about pumping up the sensual aspects of our lives. You don’t need a partner for this, and you don’t need some half-baked typical romantic BS. All you need is this article, some imagination, and maybe some protection.

College students like to get their sexy back with booze, but, alcohol can be a bigger liability than asset. Alcohol is notorious for causing performance problems. It constricts the blood vessels and makes it is difficult for dudes to get and maintain erections, and for women to get properly lubricated. It also makes it more difficult for both men and women to orgasm.

In ancient times our ancestors didn’t have the convenience of grocery stores and had a hard time getting their daily dose of vitamins and minerals essential for living. They found that certain foods are higher in those nutrients which lead to enhanced sexual functioning, and so they got a reputation as aphrodisiacs. We still view these foods as libido enhancers.

And please don’t forget that the science on aphrodisiacs isn’t clear. The most powerful aphrodisiac is your mind, and the real libido enhancer is being with someone whom you love and respect and who feels the same about you.

There are some aphrodisiacs which are stimulating because they look like naughty bits. It should come as no surprise that many of the genitalia worshiped as aphrodisiacs are phallic symbols. These include asparagus, avocado (which was called the testicle tree by the Aztecs), and bananas. Carrots were used by early Middle Eastern royalty to aid in seduction.

There are also aphrodisiacs which are symbols of the vagina. Figs are one of these fruits, and in Italy a man eating a fig in front of a woman is considered a highly erotic act. Raspberries and strawberries have long been symbols of women’s nipples, and there are very few things hotter in life than finger feeding your partner fresh berries.

Some aphrodisiacs were considered aids to fertility by ancient cultures. I’m not sure how into fertility-enhancement most college students are, but the lust-stimulating properties of these foods still holds. Traditionally these are foods that symbolically represent semen or eggs. Almonds are believed to stimulate passion in females. Pineapples have long been considered a symbol of fertility, and consumption of the fruit is said to enhance the flavor of both male and female...juices. Delicious! In ancient Egypt honey was used as a cure for infertility and impotence.
Other aphrodisiacs are meant to stimulate a sense of desire for one’s partner of choice. Aniseed was believed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to have special powers. Sweet basil is said to boost sex drive and fertility. Both ginseng (which means “man root”) and ginger help stimulate the body’s circulatory system. Getting your blood pumping is a sure fire way to turn the heat up. Supposedly licorice is an especially effective aphrodisiac for women. Nutmeg has a very mild hallucinogenic effect, and was used by the Chinese to stimulate desires.

Oysters are the cliché of the aphrodisiac world, so I did some extra research on the subject. Oysters resemble the vagina, and as we have already learned, foods which resemble genitals are sexy, even if they taste like poop. Oysters and other shellfish are also very high in zinc, which is very important for the production of sex hormones.

Chocolate is also a traditional aphrodisiac, and there are chemicals in it which produce feelings of euphoria. Not to mention it is delicious. Chocolate is also very high in antioxidants, which help prevent cancer.

Not everyone’s goal is to get the libido flowing, and that’s totally cool. There is a group of aphrodisiacs called Empathogens which are more for the mind than the… special areas. They stimulate feelings of empathy and emotional oneness. Instead of an enhanced physical connection expect an enhanced mental connection, and probably lots of XXX cuddling.
These include Kava Kava, Tryptophan, Passion Flower, and Damania. I called the food co-op, and they stock all of these items.

So if you’ve got a Valentine, forgo all the typical stuff and make a nice dinner together with lots of the foods I’ve listed. And if you’re alone this year, make yourself a nice dinner, take a hot bubble bath, play some sweet jams, and get in touch with yourself and all the reasons you’re a shiny star whom the Universe loves.