The Science Behind Why Food and Pleasure Are Intertwined

The Science Behind Why Food and Pleasure Are Intertwined

Food is heavily intertwined within our culture, and it comes as no surprise that somewhere along the way it also found a home in one’s sex-life.

We’ve all heard the chefs on TV shows call food ‘sexy’ and some of us may have thought about licking chocolate syrup or whipped cream off our partner. The phrase ‘food porn’ gets tossed across social media without a thought. There are reasons for all these occurrences.

In the list below, we’ll talk about sex and how food is related to our sex drive.

Is Food Really a Turn-On?

Indulgent foods, like chocolate, produces endorphins, like dopamine, when eaten. Since dopamine is responsible for feelings of love, lust, and addiction, food that’s a TV screen away can be related to the climax that is just out of reach. Aphrodisiacs are variations of food, drugs, and drinks that stimulate sexual desire. These chemicals are found in food such as chocolate, artichokes, avocados, and pomegranates. Nitric acid, which is released into a person’s body during sexual arousal, is found in honey. Obviously, this isn’t enough to significantly affect a person, but stimulating sexual desire through food could, in time, become an association in the brain.

How Can Food Affect Your Hormones?

Swaying endorphin levels, and stimulating sexual desire can all increase the attraction to another person, simply because of the emotional context. Food has the potential to increase your attraction to another person because of the hormones being affected; for example, in women, higher fat diets lead to higher estrogen levels.


How Has the Sexual Nature of Food Influenced Culture?

Things as simple as sharing a meal can increase oxytocin levels. This bonding over food creates a reward system that involves the food itself. We buy chocolate and wine for Valentine’s Day; a holiday that revolves around love, sex, and food. Many of these foods promote good blood flow or are antioxidants. Pomegranates are even shown to help with erectile dysfunction. In different cultures, many foods are even symbols of fertility: figs, olives, and chili peppers.

Other instances of where sexy food has invaded cultures are through the phrases that link sex to instances of high enjoyment of the food. Two of the most commonly known phrases are ‘food porn’ and ‘foodgasms,’ food that looks really good, and food that tastes as good as sex feels, respectively.

Food has been related to sex drive because it has the ability to influence hormone levels, and act as a catalyst for sexual desire simulation. But even on just an Instagram-level, we understand that immense pleasure can be derived from the perfectly filtered #Foodstagram.