Eating chocolate leads to higher levels of sexual satisfaction and an increase in libido. That was the finding of urologists from San Raffaele hospital, in Milan, Italy in a study that was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The researchers questioned 163 women about their chocolate habits, as well as how satisfied they were with their sex lives. Female participants who ate at least one cube of chocolate a day were more likely to report a healthy libido than those who didn’t consume chocolate at all.
Is this surprising? Well, chocolate contains the chemical phenylethylamine (PEA), a stimulant that releases the same mood-altering endorphins that flood our bodies during sex and are responsible for the excitement we feel when we’re attracted to someone, so perhaps not.
In my book Sex Again: Recharging Your Libido I wrote about chocolate and sensuality and included a couple of exercises that use chocolate to stimulate desire. They seem particularly appropriate for Valentine’s Day so I’m including them here to encourage you to grab some Valentine’s Day chocolate and share it with someone you love for double the fun.
Chocolate and kissing stimulate the mind and body in very similar ways— with chocolate actually producing the more intense and longer-lasting response. Both kissing and chocolate induce brain states that are alert yet relaxed—and decrease anxiety. Both rev up your heartbeat—in a good way. Chocolate has some unfair advantages, like the mental stimulants caffeine and theobromine and the serotonin-assisting tryptophan. Chocolate also provides a “natural high” thanks to the release of the dopamine that its sugar and fat content triggers in the brain.
But the chocolate feature I ask my readers to take advantage of is the conveniently sexy way it melts at body temperature. Try taking a bite of chocolate and, with it melting in your mouth, kiss. Enjoy the silky smoothness, as well as the extra sensory stimulation. Or try passing a piece of chocolate back and forth with your partner while you kiss. Can’t think of anything better to do with a Kiss!
This exercise is a favorite of our YinOva massage therapist Nicole Kruck. I sometimes call it “the chocolate bite meditation,” though it can be done just as well with a piece of fresh ripe fruit. It is a classic practice of mindfulness. The point here is to tune into all your senses with the goal of intensifying pleasure—an excellent skill to employ when having sex!
Choose a small piece of chocolate, and sit quietly with it for a few minutes. Take a good look at the chocolate. Describe it to yourself. Light or dark? Smooth or rough? Even or uneven? Now close your eyes. Hold the chocolate, touch it, and notice how it feels—the texture and shape. Bring it to your nose and notice how it smells. You can even listen to the chocolate as you break or bite off a piece.
Bring the chocolate to your lips and slowly take a small bite. Allow the chocolate to linger on your tongue, blossoming in your mouth, before swallowing or taking another bite. Notice not only the taste and the smell but also the feeling in your mouth as the texture shifts. Let your senses speak to you.
Throughout this meditation, check in periodically to notice if you are feeling any sensations in parts of your body not directly involved with the chocolate. Bring awareness specifically to your pelvis. Are you feeling any sensations there? There are chemical components in chocolate that make a good case for it being an aphrodisiac. Even so, for our purposes the more powerful effect of chocolate in this exercise is the way it awakens your senses, which opens you to sensual experience in general