Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! Let's Talk Chocolate and Sex!

... and Aphrodisiacs!

Got your attention? I hope so. I really wanted to write something different for Valentine's Day. Different for me. I didn't want to do Valentine's looks, or gift ideas. You get PLENTY of those through other blogs, right? So when I was contacted by PR discussing chocolate as an aphrodisiac with tips by Dr. Laurie Steelsmith I got really excited! Dr. Steelsmith, according to PR, is a naturalistic physician among other things. And she's written a book Great Sex Naturally (pictured above) that I've been given the opportunity to read.

Let's talk about Chocolate first!

Back in my undergraduate education, researching chocolate as an aphrodisiac was the project I chose to do for the final year, so I have an old interest. Now I didn't get the best grade on my project - but Dr. Steelsmith puts it much better than my little poster presentation ever could.

So, here's the advice from the Dr. Steelsmith on Chocolate:
"3 Aphrodisiac Effects of Dark Chocolateby Dr. Laurie Steelsmith

Many people have heard that chocolate is for lovers. But it's not just because women love chocolate and get excited about opening a red, heart-shaped box. There's a biological basis for chocolate's sexy effects. Dark chocolate possesses substances that affect our moods, energy, and sexual function in truly remarkable ways. Here are three of them.

Increases blood flow to sexual organs.
Chocolate contains L-arginine, an amino acid that can be an effective natural sex-enhancer for both women and men. It works by increasing nitric oxide and promoting blood flow to your sexual organs, which increases sensation, satisfaction, and desire.

Stimulates and elevates mood.Chocolate is known as a super libido food partly because it is a rich source of PEA, the acronym for phenylethylamine, sometimes referred to as the "love supplement" or the "romance chemical." As a stimulant and mood elevator, PEA can induce sensations of euphoria--and it's naturally released by your brain when you're in love! This chemical promotes the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which enhances feelings of well-being, joy, and pleasure.

Acts as an energy booster.Chocolate really packs an aphrodisiac punch because it also contains the compound theobromine, found in tea and kola nuts as well. This substance works on the central nervous system, causing one to feel stimulated and excited.

Eating chocolate can be a sensual experience, but it is also good for your health. The right type of chocolate can be loaded with immune-boosting antioxidants, making it very beneficial for the physical heart, the organ we associate with love, caring, bonding, and intimacy. If you're going to indulge in chocolate regularly, however, dark chocolate is best--as pure and unsweetened as possible. The extra fat and calories in other chocolate products can end up having poor health consequences and anti-aphrodisiac effects."
Makes it even more yummy, yes?

Book Thoughts  - Now, about Great Sex Naturally...

Great Sex Naturally was written by both Dr. Steelsmith and her husband. Together, they tackle things that affect a woman's libido, including mental and physical health, hormones, and ways to help with just about everything affecting your how you feel and your attitude toward sex. They start off by discussing how the the topic of personal female libido is something that most physicians do not concern themselves with, which resonated strongly with me. I've always found with my doctors that they are usually only concerned if women can make babies and not if they have fun making them. Great Sex Naturally acknowledges this that it  is meant to help fill that gap, at least a little bit.

In this book you'll find information about the female sexual psyche, anatomy, hormones, foods, muscle toning, massage, pressure points, smells - the list is exhaustive! There's even a "detox diet" described in there to help get you up to tip top shape from the inside out (and she gives references on where to purchase supplements and products she recommends). And although the book is meant for women, there's a section on men at the end too. And actually, it might make a good read for a man, just to understand the dynamics involved in a healthy female libido.The book actually makes a point to say that for a libido to be at it's healthiest BOTH partners need to have a healthy libido - like we feed off one another. A very holistic approach!

The writing style does tend to ramble, more so at the beginning. But I do like the approach taken here. Every recommendation is given with clear instructions (dosages in some cases, ingredients in others) all with a wonderful ton of voice that encourages rather that discourages the reader (and I'm a reader who gets discouraged EASILY with stuff like this). I'll fully admit that I myself have not yet tried any of the libido enhancing ideas in this book, but I have a few I have my mind on.

I think the approach taken is interesting - it's not your normal self-help "So your sex life sucks! Try these little tricks!" book. The holistic approach taken by Dr. Steelsmith makes sense if you subscribe to that way of thinking. I think just about every girl could find something to take away from this book, even if it's simply the idea you are born with the right to have "great sex" whatever that happens to be for you.

Disclaimer: The advice in the above post is Dr. Steelsmith's opinion. I can not speak to the scientific nature of the claims about chocolate, nor can I validate the scientific claims in her book. I just got a chance to read it and thought I'd share with you.

The information in this post was provide by PR. I received a sample copy of Great Sex Naturally to read for review purposes only.