Looking to put a little you-know-what back into your partnership? Has your cha-cha left the station?

Well, maybe food can help get your relationship back on track – if you’re ready to use your imagination, that is.

It has nothing to do with eating a dozen raw oysters or for that matter any other food touted as an aphrodisiac because, well, they don’t exist, according to Dr. Guy Grenier, a London, Ont.-based clinical psychologist and author whose practice includes couples counselling.

“There is no such thing as a true aphrodisiac – something you can put in your body that will increase your desire for sex, or increase your sexual response,” he says.

“We’re far more visual creatures than we are tasting creatures when it comes to sex and that’s why anything that looks like a genital has been imbued with sexual powers.”


Oysters have been perceived to look like female genitalia, he says, and rhino horn like, well you know. Even carrots in some cultures are thought to be an aphrodisiac. But according to Grenier, it’s not so much what you eat, but how you go about eating it that makes the difference.”

And there’s more.

“Anything that makes you feel good, anything that makes you feel attractive, anything that makes you feel physically adept is going to be a positive quality for sexual arousal,” he says. “If food can be that thing, more power to it.”

Scroll through for a few of Grenier’s tips on using food to kick-start your relationship and get your mojo working again.


Indulge yourself: “Sometimes buying something expensive creates interest because it’s associated with indulgence,” he says. “It’s not just wine, it’s expensive wine. It’s not just Scotch, it’s a rare scotch, or it’s truffles instead of mushrooms.”

“It’s the idea you’re being indulgent – it’s ‘aren’t we just throwing caution to the wind here and ordering a fancy seafood dinner with expensive wine – or making it ourselves at home’.” This can stimulate more than a way of thinking, he says.

“For some people who are uncomfortable with sex, being indulgent about something else can get that sex indulgence going too.”


Food as fun: Grenier suggests heading to a candy store and getting something silly, like those little candy dots stuck to pieces of paper. “Maybe you’re putting them all over your body and somebody’s removing them however they choose to remove them – with whatever body part.”


Explore sex through the senses – including taste: Here, each partner has to come up with something they think will be sexy – a sexy piece of music, a sexy scent, something sexy to look at and something sexy to taste.

“There’s really no limit, it’s just we often don’t think of sex that way. We think of sex as an act, as some kind of mechanical thing,” says Grenier. “Instead, we need to get people to stop and smell the roses, literally. Why not marry this kind of thinking to date night and let food help set the mood.”

If that doesn’t work, Grenier has another idea. He suggests watching the 1986 movie 9½ Weeks, starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke. It’s an erotic romantic drama and there’s a steamy scene in front of an open refrigerator where Rourke and Basinger are using foods as erotic toys. At one point, he puts an ice cube on her belly button and, well, it goes from there. That scene is parodied in a 1991 comedy called Hot Shots, starring Charlie Sheen and Valeria Golino. In that particular film, Sheen puts an ice cube on Golino’s belly and it sizzles and bubbles so he grabs an egg, homefries and a few pieces of bacon and slaps them on too.

“The food won’t do it for you, it’s the attitude about food and the indulgence that’s going to do it for you,” says Grenier.

At the end of the day, he adds, “we all have to participate in our own sexual satisfaction.”