Do Aphrodisiacs Really Exist?
Fairy Tales with Exotic Ingredients
Aphrodisiacs are the pieces of fruit offered by the goddess Aphrodite. And the only real truth about them is the belief that they exist. We have always been dreaming about discovering a magical potion which would be an aphrodisiac. A long time ago, some people had been saying that they had found some ingredients or special recipes which were able to excite either men or women. Nevertheless, those were more fairy tales than scientific facts.
As far as sexual matters are concerned, we have always been dreaming about a Human Being, articulated as a doll, which will be present and willing whenever it pleases us. Dreaming about magical substances which were able to make women completely devoted to men and which gave men enough energy to satisfy women. We have always been dreaming about a Human Being who should be easily manipulated, docile and submissive. On the way, we have discovered the rhinoceros horn, or oysters, among others. Both are exclusively sexually stimulating because of the visual association that we can establish between them: male genitals in the case of the horn, and female genitals in the case of the oysters.
When, a long time ago, we had been discovering exotic food, which was so rare that we didn’t know if we could eat it, we had believed that it had stimulating powers: ginger, cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, or cacao, to name a few. The “Spanish fly” was, together with the opium, the “star” of the XVIII and XIX centuries’ European brothels. Anyway, the effects of those ingredients have never been demonstrated. They work only in our imagination…Sorry! I know that I am going to disappoint a lot of people.
What’s New in Science? Male Viagra Versus “Female Viagra”: Designer Aphrodisiacs?
Nowadays, pharmaceutical laboratories produce a wide range of substances (it is not because science is rational that it means that it has stopped believing in miracles…or in making a lot of money…). Most of them are known as Viagra and they say that it is a wonderful “male aphrodisiac”. But the Viagra pill only helps men to have a more “solid” erection. It has nothing to do with an aphrodisiac. A good aphrodisiac arouses by creating desire. In the case of men, if there is no desire, the Viagra pill is not going to be effective at all. It only works as a mechanical process (to be more precise: it raises the penis, nothing else).
In the case of women, it is totally different. Pharmaceutical laboratories invented some testosterone patches for women who have very little desire due to different reasons: when they are menopausal, when they had suffered a hysterectomy, etc… The process of these patches is completely different from the Viagra pill because they work directly on the female brain and help recover the “lost” desire. Nothing is mechanical as in the case of men. Nevertheless, these patches are called “the female Viagra”. It makes no sense, not only because these medicines have nothing in common, but also because, to tell you the truth, I am a little bit fed up with using the adjective “female” every time the subject is discussed. It makes it seem like we always depend on men.
During the Sexual Medicine Congress in Lyon, France, a study has been presented, demonstrating how an antidepressant that’s been proven ineffective (editor’s comment: Addyi, formerly known as Flibanserin) had a wonderful effect on the female libido instead, without the side effects of the testosterone patch. As in the case of the patches, people are still calling it the “female Viagra”. I hope it is just a marketing campaign.
These medicines for women who have lost sexual desire are wonderful and are, obviously, good news. But don’t forget that they don’t cure the real problem. They are like a “Band-Aid”. I think that it is marvelous to have these products at our disposal. But the real treatment and cure lie in understanding WHY our sexual desire does not work. Otherwise, women are going to spend their lives eating pills. And for that, I always recommend visiting a sex therapist.
There is also another problem on the horizon: a lot of people (men and women) who have no sexual problems at all believe that, if they use these medicines, they are going to perform better in bed. This is a very big mistake. These products have NO EFFECTS on sexually healthy people.
And to finish, I would like to advise that the pills advertised online as magical cure-alls are of no use. Most of the time, they are just a placebo. The Internet is a big market without any qualified salesmen. Don’t trust the advertising you see in browser pop-ups. So inform yourself, and save your money.