Episode 40: Food, Age, and Sex

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We’re not going to lie, this episode started out with Ashley and Jane taking the whole idea of sensuality to a new level, dipping fruit into warm chocolate sauce with sea salt. That got them thinking about all the ways food can enrich and enliven your sexual life. They started with the ABC’s of erotic foods but got sidetracked as the chocolate sauce started dripping. Before they lost consciousness, they started with some of the latest research on sex and aging. NEW RESEARCH. Your sex life is only as old as you feel. In a new study in the Journal of Sex Research, a team of researchers at the University of Waterloo looked at the attitudes on sex and aging in a group of 1170 adults from 45-75 over a 10-year period. The group, from a wide diversity of sexual orientations, reported that the closer people felt to their chronological age, the lower the quality of their sex life. Most people tend to frequency to quality. We like to think of your sexual satisfaction as more than frequency. The biopsychosocial factors that might influence someone’s sexual pleasure can be far more important than how often they are having sex. The research didn’t necessarily say there was a causal effect between the age you feel and the quality of your sexual life but their findings indicated that feeling older could have a negative effect on the quality of the sex they were having. FOOD AND SEX. Where to begin? Here’s just a taste of some foods that are linked to sex. Starting with Avocados, whose shape and texture lend themselves to sex, Dr. Barbara Klein, a professor of food and nutrition at the University of Illinois, found that avocado’s high levels of vitamin E could also increase desire because of its role in maintaining youthful vigor and energy levels. Bananas are not only a great phallic shape, but they can also trigger testosterone production through bromelain and boost energy levels through potassium and Vitamin B. Chocolate, or Theobroma cacao, has long been known to have erotic as well as healthful properties, containing phenylethylamines, which causes an increase in dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to sexual desire and pleasure. Chili peppers not only have great color they also stimulate endorphins, speed up the heart, and cause perspiration which Dr. Meryl Rosofsky, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at NYU reminds us are the same physical responses of arousal and pleasure. We can’t talk about erotic food without mentioning oysters, those bivalves so reminiscent of love. Talk about a shape and texture. Oysters are high in zinc and a team of researchers in Naples found that they also contain rare amino acids that release dopamine. And we can’t leave this podcast without mentioning coffee. A recent study in the Journal of Pharmacology and Biochemical Behavior reported that moderate doses of caffeine affected sexual behavior in female rats (we’ve seen this in coffee shops around our town, not the rats, just the people). There are so many other foods that stimulate sexual desire and pleasure. Let us know what you’ve learned about food and sex. We love our listeners and welcome your feedback. Send us your ideas and thoughts. Please write to us at this address. And thanks for listening!

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