It turns out, the oyster aphrodisiac myth not be a myth at all. You may have heard that they’ll get you in the mood because oysters are high in zinc, which is linked to high testosterone levels and in rats. I’ve also heard it’s because eating an oyster is similar to giving oral sex to a woman, which I don’t understand because I’ve definitely never done that in a Red Lobster. But as far as oysters leading to sex is concerned, there may be science to back this idea up.
New research from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which looked at data of 501 couples who were trying to get pregnant, shows that eating seafood is linked to having more sex — and higher pregnancy rates. They study went on for four years, where couples were each followed for one year or until pregnancy was detected. And the results were clear — more seafood intake was associated with having more sex and fecundity — which essentially just means fertility or the ability to produce offspring. Say it with me: fecundity. More seafood, higher fecundity.
Basically, the research found that 92 percent of the couples who ate fish and shellfish at least twice a week were able to get pregnant within the year. They also found that those who ate the most fish and shellfish — to the tune of eight or more times a month — had a 22 percent higher rate of sexual activity than average. So if you’re trying to get pregnant — or just have more sex life — you may want to pass the lobster.
The researchers actually didn’t set out to prove the link between seafood and sexual intercourse, so the results were a shock to them too. “We are not sure what exactly is driving this association,” Audrey J. Gaskins, Sc.D., Research Associate at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, tells Bustle. “For example, the original reason why shellfish such as oysters were linked to increased libido was due to their high zinc content. Studies have shown that in humans, dietary zinc intake has a positive correlation with testosterone levels and in rats that zinc therapy improves sexual competence. However, given that we did not measure zinc intake in our study and zinc is found in many other foods other than seafood, we felt uncomfortable making this link in our study.”
Gaskin also says there’s a possible behavioral explanation for the link. “It is also possible that couples who consume higher amounts of seafood together share more meals and thus more time together (including nights) which may be a behavioral explanation for the association we observed with sexual activity,” she says.
So now you know. But that’s not the first time a link between food and sex has been proven. Take a look at some of the connections below.
1. Millennials Like Food As Much As Sex
In 2016, a survey from Havas Worldwide and Market Probe International, of almost 12,000 adults of all ages, found that 54 percent of millennials believed that food is on the same level as sex. Millennials are far more likely to put food that high on the list than other generations — as only 42 percent of Baby Boomers said the same.
2. Guacamole Can Help You Hook Up
Whether you’re looking for love or sex, certain foods can help you get there. Zoosk, the dating platform, looked at 3,733,185 dating profiles and 364,609,566 first messages and found that food was often associated with a higher response rate. For example, mentioning guacamole in a message got you 114 percent more replies than not mentioning it. It really is the way to our hearts — and our everything else.
3. An Apple A Day Can Help Your Roll In The Hay
This is one reason to get your five-a-day. Research published in the journal of Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that apples can actually stimulate sexual arousal in women. The research found that apples can improve lubrication and overall sexual function. Just something to keep in mind the next time you’re at the grocery store.
4. Men And Women Think About Sex More Than Food
A 2011 study from psychologists at Ohio University found that women think about sex about once every 50 minutes, compared to men who think about it every 28 minutes. When it comes to food, women think about it every 62 minutes — while men tended to think about it every 38 minutes.
So let me get this straight: Some women think about food less than once an hour? The average woman does? I have never met any of these women. I want to take my own poll about how many seconds pass between me thinking about bread. If I can get the number up to 20, I win.
5. Some Foods Can Mess With Your Sex Drive
Kelly Connell, sexuality educator and counselor and sex educator at NaughtyNorth.ca, tells Bustle that some foods — including major players like dairy and carbohydrates — can mess with your testosterone levels — and therefore your sex drive.
Food and sex have a long history of links and association — some positive, some negative, and a lot of them get messy when you try to combine the two worlds. But it seems that eating more seafood can give you a sexual boost, so it may be worth going for the lobster next time you’re out.
Originally posted on Bustle