The two things I think about most often are food, and well, sex. Though my parents would probably rather their college dollars be funding less crude endeavors (but hey, we settled for an English degree, didn’t we?), let’s face it — in the energized world of collegiate academics and social life, the only things I can consistently count on are my body’s own natural urges.

Food and sex go hand-in-hand: both are satisfying pleasures that we crave and indulge in. And while I’m clearly getting a lot more of one than the other (e’hem…pass the mac ‘n cheese), why not try and combine them?

Gif courtesy of

And no, I’m not telling you to add food into your sex life. Though if that’s what you’re into, right on man. What I’m talking about are foods that increase your sex drive from a biological perspective. We’ve all heard the myths that certain foods can increase your body’s libido … but which ones are they, do they really work and where can we find them? And can I buy them in bulk at Costco on my parent’s credit card?

When I think of libido-increasing foods, my mind goes straight to shelled oysters served on a silver platter by an overly-oiled, overly-muscled and overly-quaffed man. Think Fabio and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

sex drive

Photo courtesy of (Yes, that’s the Fabio International Fan Club.)

And while an article entitled ‘Foods to Increase Libido‘ does include oysters on its list of “11 foods that will provide the essential fuel to spark your sexual appetite and increase libido,” it also ventures towards less traditionally assumed ‘sex foods.’ The list includes celery, raw oysters, bananas, avocado, almonds, mangoes, peaches, strawberries, liver, figs, garlic and chocolate. Though the article is somewhat crude, and more than a little bit sexist (it jokes that chocolate is “the surest way to a woman’s vagina”), these foods do seem to have scientific support as well.


Photo by Parisa Soraya

Garlic, arguably the list’s least sexy food (cue bad breath montage), is cited as containing “allicin, an ingredient that increases blood flow to the sexual organs.”

Oysters, the list’s most stereotypical food, “are high in zinc, which raises sperm and testosterone production.”


Photo by Parisa Soraya

However, scientific research is not the only approach being offered for an increased sex drive. In a 2013 Fox News article, author Jacqueline Silvestri Banks advocates for a more holistic method to balancing, and heightening, the body’s primal urges. While she nods to the ‘aphrodisiac’ food suggested by, Banks strongly promotes a historical approach to a heightened libido based in ancient Chinese medicine.

She suggests eating seven foods: sea vegetables, Adzuki beans, cranberries, microalgea, freshwater clams, Umeboshi plums and homemade bone broth. While the more ‘holistic’ foods on this list might be harder to find (I doubt that CVS has a bone broth flavor of Ramen), sea vegetables, cranberries and clams are available at many on campus restaurants and stores.


Photo by Parisa Soraya

Other natural approaches to increasing libido have been cited recently in the news as well. The Washington Post published a 2011 article on fenugreel (an herb used in Indian curries), which stated that “researchers found that men taking fenugreek can boost their sex drive by at least a quarter.”

Though these holistic foods are not as common in mainstream scientific studies, they have a certain je ne sais quoi that is giving them a rising presence in the trending libido-increasing culture. And in the resurgence of craft products sweeping across the Ann Arbor campus, this makes sense. We are drinking microbrews, purchasing organic foods, listening to records and wearing chunky sweaters found in thrift stores. There is a clear shift towards vintage happening amongst Ann Arbor’s collegiate, and it seems that a movement towards these more holistic foods could very well be the next craze. Holistic foods are like dubstep — we hardly ever know what they’re talking about, but we listen anyway.


Photo by Parisa Soraya

So whether it’s coming from the bedroom or the kitchen, if you’re interested in increasing your libido while simultaneously stuffing your face, try adding any of these foods into your everyday diet. Also, check out these local dishes, which are filled with many of the ingredients cited above.

  • Chicken Liver Mousse made with pistachios and roasted garlic: This dish can be found at Mani Osteria & Bar, and is served tapas style (which is perfect for a date — but let’s be honest with ourselves, how many dates are we really going on?).
  • Smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe: Smoothies can be blended to be heavy in libido-boosting fruits like mangoes, peaches, or strawberries. Or try out a Roasted Seaweed Snack, which can be found at Trader Joe’s. These salty crisps make a stellar light treat, and come in both traditional and wasabi flavors.
  • Zingerman’s seasonal Cranberry Pecan Bread (around $15 a loaf…offered only in November and December).

Photo by Parisa Soraya

And while I can’t verify myself that these foods are a guarantee (I guess I could tell you that I ate half an avocado and then got laid seven times, but we both know I’d be lying), give these foods a chance and see if you get a bit more bang for your buck…