Written by Natalie Fiato, Wellness Coordinator, Civility and Sexual Health Promotion
When someone typically thinks about food and sex, the first thought may be a nice dinner for two on Valentine’s Day, or on the less conventional side, perhaps a pair of edible underwear. Long-standing cultural beliefs suggest that eating certain foods before sex can enhance your mood (libido), and includes things such as oysters, chocolate, and hot chilies. While there is a long list of foods considered aphrodisiacs (see additional resources below), there is also an important list of food items that should not make their way into the bedroom (or really into any sexual play at all).
Generally, it’s not a good idea to put most food items near, on, or in the genitals, as they may cause irritation, potential infection, and risk getting stuck or lost inside of you. This is especially true for the female reproductive anatomy and high-sugar foods (think whipped cream, honey, jelly, or chocolate syrup) that can alter the body’s natural pH and create the perfect conditions for a yeast infection. While the idea of food play may entice you, health professionals generally recommend you keep food to sexual activity at the waist and above. It is also worth mentioning that it is a good idea to ask your sexual partner(s) in advance if they are allergic to anything, to keep everything and everyone comfortable!
Another area where food and sex may mix involves lubrication. Most barrier methods (think condoms, gloves, finger cots, and some dental dams) contain latex, a material that is incompatible with oil-based lubricants. What this means is that certain forms of lubricant (what you may find in your kitchen) used during sex will eventually degrade the barrier method to the point of breakage. While it may seem like an appealing, low-cost solution to swap out pharmacy-grade lubrication (typically formulated with water or silicone) for an oil-based product in your kitchen, the result may be undesirable. Examples of items to stay away from include any natural oils (such as vegetable, avocado, olive, or coconut oil); if you are still keen on using a more natural product in the bedroom, please refer to the additional resource listed below.
To conclude, there’s always a place for water and proper hydration when it comes to sex. Staying well hydrated is key to not only your physical health, but your sexual performance and personal comfort as well. Drinking too much alcohol can actually have a strong adverse effect on sexual performance, stamina, and satisfaction. There is no limit, however, to how many chocolate-covered strawberries you or your BAE can consume.