After months of physical distancing, you may be out of practice in the dating game. But with the recent introduction of “support bubbles” across most of the UK, it appears that the government is daring the nation’s singletons to re-enter the labyrinth of love. The measures (literally) open the door to the notion of dinner dates. For the first time since the 23rd of March, one person can visit another’s home – and even stay overnight. For those whose first steps back into the dating game are filled with trepidation: fear not. Science is here to decode the mystery of courtship in the age of Corona. So whoever is lucky enough to be the VIP member of your support bubble, feed them well with this step-by-step guide to the perfect dinner date.
It’s 7 PM and the doorbell rings. You welcome your guest into your support bubble – queue a smattering of coquettish laughter. Obey host etiquette and promptly offer them a drink. Science suggests that alcohol is the ideal concoction to commence this night of seduction. This notion arises from a substantial body of research which indicates that alcohol – in moderation – reduces inhibition. This effect occurs because your brain works more slowly when it’s on booze. Alcohol enhances the action of certain neurotransmitters which reduce communication between brain cells. , it is alcohol’s sedative effect on the brain’s frontal lobe which lowers inhibitions, stopping first date nerves from killing the mood.
If the date is going well and you are starving for some human touch then suppress your hunger with this romantic meal. On the menu is oyster stew: this dish is the perfect melange of ingredients which increase sexual desire. The principal component – oysters – has been heralded as an aphrodisiac for centuries. The scientific basis for this reputation comes from oyster’s rich zinc content, with each providing over 50% of the recommended daily amount (8 mg). This mineral is needed by proteins which are involved in producing the sex hormone testosterone. In both men and women, this hormone increases the sensitivity of the sympathetic nervous system which regulates sexual response. Why not also add zinc-rich pulses to the stew to raise testosterone levels even further? Pulses – such as beans and chickpeas – were considered to be the ultimate aphrodisiac in the Middle Ages. However, the reasoning for our ancestors’ passion for pulses was more scientifically dubious. Medical writers of the 16th century concurred that the wind released by flatulent foods enabled the male erection. In the last few centuries, our scientific understanding has grown and it now suggests that another traditional component of this stew – the humble celery – also provokes desire. Celery contains androsterone, a pheromone found naturally in human sweat that makes males more attractive to females.
They want to stay for dessert – a certified good sign. It’s time to indulge your senses with the decadent taste of chocolate. Throughout history, chocolate and romance have been inextricably linked. In the Palace of Versailles, hot chocolate was considered an exotic luxury and the food-porn of choice amongst 18th-century French royalty. Chocolate gains its lustful reputation thanks to the presence of two chemicals: tryptophan and phenylethylamine. Firstly, tryptophan is needed for the synthesis of the chemical serotonin which mediates arousal. Secondly, phenylethylamine triggers the body to release dopamine, a chemical signal associated with both the brain’s pleasure system and increased socialness. So – thanks to its neurochemical effects – a chocolate dessert promises a romantic end to your evening.
One last tip to boost sexual desire: try cannabidiol (CBD). This chemical is the major constituent of cannabis which is not psychoactive. Instead many of its various biochemical effects are thought to improve sex life. CBD oil induces these systemic effects by indirectly interacting with two types of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body: CB1 and CB2. When CBD interacts with CB1 receptors located in the heart, there are fewer contractions. Moreover, when CBD activates the same receptors in the blood it triggers vasodilation. As these two effects both lower blood. CBD reduces anxiety and promotes a sense of relaxation before sex. Try compounding the arousing effects of CBD and chocolate by consuming them together. Melt CBD-infused chocolate with hot milk to finish your date in the romantic style of French royalty.
Nevertheless, romance is an extremely complex science and the research is certainly mixed. Regardless, evidence indicates that the reputation of these foods as an aphrodisiac can itself induce arousal thanks to the placebo effect. Either way, taste-test whether this (unofficial) recipe for romance successfully fuels your amorous tryst.