Do aphrodisiacs really exist?

Aphrodisiacs can be divided into three main categories. The first category involves a full engagement of all of your senses and starts even before the food hits your mouth. In an Aphrodisiac Affair, the evening commences with the ambiance-candles burning in a dimly lit room, an elegantly set table, smelling something scrumptious in the air and, of course, the right music playing in the background.

By definition an aphrodisiac is an agent that increases sexual desire and will increase behaviors that make sex more attainable and/or pleasurable. The name comes from the Greek goddess of sensuality Aphrodite. From a chemical perspective this first category of aphrodisiacs uses your largest sex organ to get you all revved up. You may ask what is the largest sex organ? It is your mind. The imagery and stories you can create in your mind, based on the environment and what certain foods look like, create in your body an internal cocktail of chemicals and neurotransmitters.

The music and atmosphere alone can start your endorphins flowing and in turn, increase dopamine in your system. Endorphins are small protein substances, opiate-like chemicals whose effects are like those of the neurotransmitters, although technically they are polypeptides. They are the deliverers of pleasure and the killers of pain. Endorphins work in conjunction with dopamine to open the pathways to pleasure. Chemically endorphins are related to morphine.

Physical reactions you can expect from an increase of dopamine include those you associate with the feeling of "being in love" for example: flushed skin, heavy breathing and sweaty palms. Dopamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that pulses on and off as needed. It exerts a strong influence on our emotions and primitive drives. Produced in the central part of the brain, dopamine is associated with pleasure, motivation, and concentration. Overall, these chemicals make you feel "sexy."

Dopamine helps us to perceive and respond to the sensual messages from our organs of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. In any well thought out Aphrodisiac Affair special attention should be paid to each sense. Take an extra moment to linger over the feelings produced each time one of your senses are aroused. Be fully present in the moment.

See-Each detail in your environment, the candles' flame, the twinkle in the eyes of your partner, the beauty in the presentation of the food

Hear-The individual acoustics of the instruments playing in the music, the whisper of sweet nothings from your love in your ear, the engaging nature of the conversation around you.

Taste-The first drop of champagne hitting your tongue and the delightful way the bubble dance in your mouth, the lips of your love sweet with the taste of a strawberry

Feel-The texture of the first bite of food as you slowly savor its flavors, the crack of the wax seal from your menu as you open the envelope and discover what awaits your palette.

Smell-The rich aroma of the first course with its hints of smoked meat and sweet tangerine chutney, the fragrant burst of the champagne-drenched strawberry as you take your first bite

Aphrodisiac's second category includes those foods and beverages that give you an immediate hit positively affecting your sexual drive and function. Overall, putting you in the mood for passion and pleasure.

Here are just a few properties to look for the following in your food and beverages:

Alcohol- For example, a glass of wine goes into your system and almost immediately spikes your levels of dopamine. Plus, in women alcohol also produces an increase in testosterone getting her all revved up. The key is to keep the alcohol intake in moderation because with too much it can potentially have an adverse affect for men. It can also make you sleepy.

Vitamin E -Often referred to as the "sex vitamin" because it is a source of high energy, an almost instant rejuvenator. It supplies energy and endurance. It is also a powerful antioxidant, by protecting the red blood cells from free radicals, vitamin E enables them to carry their full supply of pure oxygen throughout the body. Vitamin E in conjunction with coenzyme Q10 helps convert the food we eat into energy. Vitamin E is also essential to the production of sperm, sex hormones and gonadotropin-a pituitary hormone that stimulates the sex glands. The potency and activity of sperm is in direct proportion to the amount of vitamin E in a man's sperm. Vitamin E can be found in leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs and whole grains.

Zinc - Referred to as the essential "male mineral" because of its link to testosterone, which is critical for the health of the prostrate and sperm. Oysters are the richest natural source of zinc. It is also one of the minerals which allow the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid/omega-3 group of fatty acids), to be processed in the body to help men and women have healthy sexual responses and hormone metabolism.

Ambergris - Not something you will find at your local supermarket. One of nature's absolutely strangest aphrodisiac is something known as ambergris. Readers of Moby Dick might be familiar with this highly prized, sweetly scented product of the sperm whale. It was nicknamed "dragon's spittle perfume," because it was once thought to be the drool of dragons that slept on rocks by the sea. Actually, it is the vomit of the sperm whale, caused by the intestinal irritation from the beaks of squid it has eaten. Strangely enough it has a wonderful fragrance and is used in some of the most rare and fine perfumes in the world to prolong and soften floral fragrances. A single drop placed in a book still remains fragrant after forty years.

The third category of aphrodisiacs include foods and beverages that should be a regular part of your diet. When they are a consistent part of your daily diet, they will serve to heighten sexual and mental abilities on an ongoing basis.

For the serious minded individual who wants the optimal aphrodisiac affect it has been found, through much research, that the order in which you consume food is significant.

Optimal sexual encounters call for a low level of serotonin. Why? Lower levels of serotonin tend to give you more endurance and make you more mentally alert and energized. To accomplish this the rule is to eat proteins before carbohydrates. (This internal process has to do with the release of either tryptophan or tyrosine into your system.)

Zinc has both an immediate and a long-term effect, reinforcing sexual arousal and response. It also helps maintain your sense of taste and smell. Red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains and dairy products are good sources of zinc. Zinc absorption is greater from a diet high in animal protein than a diet rich in plant proteins.

Iron is essential for the transportation of oxygen to the brain, which is really an easy giveaway as to its importance. Iron is found in meat, poultry and fish but is also found in what is called a non-heme iron source found in fruits, vegetables grains and nuts. For individuals who have their main source of iron as a non-heme iron, it is of particular interest that they add a vitamin C source to a meal to increase the non-heme iron absorption.

Norepinephrine, like dopamine, is sex-booster and mood-enhancer. Norepinephrine boosts memory, learning and our ability to pay attention and stay focused on a task. It is a super-neurotransmitter. Increasing norepinephrine can give you the emotional capacity to temporarily put aside problems and distractions to have sex. Both dopamine and norepinephrine are synthesized in the body by from the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine. By eating protein rich foods like red meat, we are also boosting our levels of norepinephrine, which motivates us and incites us to action. It helps us view life positively with zest, and plays an important role in our reaction to stress and improves our immune system. It also boosts our memory, learning and our ability to pay attention and stay focused on a task.

Phenylethylamine (PEA) is an adrenaline like substance, the chemical found in chocolate, speeds up the flow of information between nerve cells and is triggered in the process of attraction to help us pay attention to the love feelings. PEA is known as the "love molecule" because it is what initiates the flood of chemicals into the brain along with norepinephrine and dopamine to create feelings of euphoria and infatuation when we are highly attracted to someone. Tyrosine and phenylalanine are the nutrients used by the body to synthesize dopamine.

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid/omega-3 group of essential fatty acids) is extremely effective in lowering cholesterol and blood fat levels, thereby improving circulation and thinning the blood. These effects aid the overall health of the prostrate, male erections and overall sexual response. Salmon is an excellent source of EPA.

Iodine is needed by the thyroid gland. The thyroid is the body's thermostat, the gland that regulates energy used to maintain body functions during sex. Shrimp is an important source of iodine.

Fennel tones and stimulates the female sex glands; plus, it has energy enhancing properties. It is especially good for those who suffer from adrenal gland exhaustion. With all the stress we face in today's society, we can all benefit from fennel's ability to increase the flow of blood to the brain and other large muscles.

Source: Joy Nordenstrom

About Joy of Romance:
The Joy of Romance makes fulfilling your romantic desires easy. By focusing on providing superior service, top-quality products, and teaching the life skills necessary for you to be the best you can be in your relationships, the Joy of RomanceTM creatively inspires you to place romance, passion and your intimate relationships as a top priority in your life. Designed to inspire the inner romantic in everyone, our team will guide you through the steps, supply you with all the accoutrements, and aid you in creating the desired results. The Joy of Romance cultivates more love and joy throughout the world. It succeeds in accomplishing this mission by teaching individuals and couples relationship-building skills, by creating magical events in couples' lives thereby cultivating a solid foundation of love-filled memories, and by bringing together the best-of-the-best of products, services and content in the arena of romance. Our passion fosters the development of your dream relationship.

Joy is offering a "Download-able How-to Create a Aphrodisiac Affair Dinner Party". Pre-sales will be available on the 19th. The product itself will be download-able by December 2nd when the Intelligent Love Vodcast on it launches.The kit will include the theme idea, pdfs of the invitation, grocery list, recipes, menus for the table, name cards and a high-definition video of the chef and me grocery shopping, choosing the wines, cooking and setting the table. Plus, there will be the instructional points on aphrodisiacs and questions to provoke interesting discussions at the dinner table.

About Joy Nordenstrom:
She delights in the ways that romance and loving action improve the quality of life. Through the Joy of Romance, she enjoys providing event planning for parties of two, a gathering place for romantically inclined individuals, educational support, romance coaching, as well as, the exciting accessories that go along with the creation of life's magic moments.Before embarking on her mission to excite and educate people about making romance an essential priority for their relationship success, Joy ran the operations of several businesses. Occupations have ranged from modeling to party photography, from vice president of a start-up importing/exporting motorcycle company to starting her own New Zealand wine importing business, and from being a Chief Operation Officer of an entertainment company to the Director of Sales Development and Marketing of a loyalty card business.An entrepreneur since she can remember; she has a strong work ethic built on a commitment to integrity. As described by her colleagues, Joy is a professional who embodies the qualities of fearlessness and adaptability. These two qualities, along with her commitment to make a positive impact in the lives of those she serves, are engrained within the mission and passion of Joy of Romance. Joy holds a MBA from Mills College, in addition to a bachelor's degree in communications and business economics with a minor in studio art and psychology. She is a certified matchmaker from the Matchmaking and Behavioral Science Institute in New York City, a business coach to entrepreneurs, and an organizational consultant. Born Joy Marie Time to a minister and a registered nurse, Joy carries on a legacy of caring in both personal character and in her professional passion.

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