Keywords: sex drive, women’s sexuality, eroticism and sexuality, Ayurveda aphrodisiacs, Kama Sutra aphrodisiacs
It is terrible to be with a man who just wants to come and its equally frightful to be with a woman who just wants to give a man. How do you make your partner feel during and after sex?. Do you listen to each other during the act? More choices in the 21st century are giving partners more uncertainty and crippling self-doubt. Sexual alchemy: the feeling of aliveness, renewal, vitality, and energy is given less importance than the act of sex. It is relationships that have taken the most hit in the last 2-3 decades and part of it is due to an overemphasis on sex, changing partners frequently, and infidelity.
For thousands of years and Kama Sutra, sexuality, eroticism, and sex drive or libido have been at the forefront of coupling. Even animals have sex. The difference in human beings is that of transforming sexuality, creativity, and the ability to anticipate and imagine ourselves in the act. Sex is about (or should be?) vitality, vibrancy, confidence, life energy, connecting and reconnecting, and transcendence.
According to Esther Perel (1), a practicing psychologist and relationship consultant: “erotic intelligence is about your radiant state and sexuality is to go inside yourself, by making a spiritual connection.” Its creativity: erotic imagination and fantasizing with the help of aphrodisiacs or whatever works in giving you and your urges a high-sex drive or high libido that leads to better sex. Having said that, what you fantasize may not be so. Demonstration in actual may be an act, we would actually shun upon in reality. The limit is that you can’t force, your other one, to want.
Sex Drive: Men Versus Women
Men and women are completely different where sex drive is concerned, due to our biological and physiological bodies. Women’s sexual urge and drive are influenced to a large extent by social, cultural, and environmental factors. Due to these reasons, women’s sexual drive and libido are more difficult to analyze. Male sex drive is generally and mostly about biology and hormones. Testosterone is a necessary hormone in men’s sex drive. The study at Aalborg University in Denmark shows that women who have less testosterone have lower libido and sex drive. Women come, less frequently in sex whereas men can most certainly come in every encounter. Men can get orgasm with 2-6 minutes. Whereas women can take more than 10 minutes if they get one. The uncertainty of orgasm also makes women less interested in sex (2).
The sex desire gap between partners is common.
This gap can be a source of much angst as well. According to one study, desire and frequency issues (both low sexual desire and desire discrepancy) are the most reported sexual concerns (34%) among women. A more recent study delivered similar results, with 40% of participants reporting low sexual desire. This call-out of "low sexual desire" is also likely an indicator of desire discrepancy between partners. After all, we often measure our desire levels in relation to the person we're with.
Source: Nine Jumbo
Source: Healthline. Exercises that increase testosterone level- but not all exercises are created equal.
Kama Sutra and Aphrodisiacs in English are named after Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Aphrodite was imagined to emerge from a clamshell and to date, oysters and seafood are recognized as aphrodisiacs Why are aphrodisiacs advocated for a higher sex drive?
Is intoxication and alcohol an aphrodisiac? Some men and women think it is, but it has the opposite effect of slowing your mind and what's the point of it?- If you don't remember your sexual fulfillment after a binge drinking session. Having said that, a little grape wine or intoxicating drink may loosen you up from your inhibitions if any, and give you the erotic feeling and sexuality needed for the act. This sort of intoxication from plants and fruits has been used since times immemorial.
Western and eastern aphrodisiacs have been different since Kama Sutra or Roman times. Chocolate, champagne and wine in the west and traditional ancient superfoods from India like saffron milk, nutmeg, shilajit, garlic and ashwagandha to name a few. Indian Ayurveda has a long list of aphrodisiacs and sex driving potions based on plants. But first, the famous Indian handbook and guide on love and sex – Kama Sutra, in its last chapter explains all about different plants and devices you can use to enhance your sex life.
A recognized scholar of erotica in Indian culture and author of Kama Sutra for women (to decipher instructions), Sandhya Mulchandani (3) has set some basic rules for aphrodisiacs. Don’t try an aphrodisiac if
- It seems dubious
- You suspect it can cause problems
- It is obtained from killing an animal.
This advice is so you don’t risk the negative and impure things as mentioned in Kama Sutra.
To answer my questions on aphrodisiacs: it is food or drink that can have a positive effect on your libido. It's not pills like Viagra. It's love potions that can make you stronger and instantly alive, confident, attractive, vibrant, and radiant. The attractive behaviors around your partner is what eroticism is all about. We should not confuse eroticism with sex. Sex may have an orgasm at the end but not eroticism- yes it may lead to sex. It is this eroticism which is essentially what aphrodisiacs are supposed to do for us.
Source: Magzter The Kama Sutra Laid The Foundation For The Most Civilised
Source: ThingLink APHRODITE- The Greek goddess of love and beauty.
“Some aphrodisiacs mentioned in Kama Sutra are weird”, says Mulchandani (3) That’s true because animal meat such as dear meat was not an issue in the Kama Sutra philosophy advocated. At the same time, Kama Sutra advocated food that you can incorporate in your daily diet as part of healthy sex life and not for one-off encounters. The food recommended could alter various balances in your body to enhance and improve vitality and eroticism at the same time; heightening or lowering your body temperature and sensitivity.
Here is a list of some ancient aphrodisiacs in your Kitchens:
- Milk and Honey
- VajiKarana: (the Vaji branch of Ayurveda) says its anything made from milk, sesames, panchanritam, yogurt, and honey, or any product of milk with sugar to give you energy. These are all aphrodisiacs. Kama Sutra says “drink milk with sugar or better still, testicles of a goat or ram/ boiled in it.” The Vaja -Karana is about increasing fertility and stamina.
- Saffron: Cleopatra bathed in milk and saffron due to its aphrodisiac properties to give hot leads to serenity and pleasing smell. Scientific experiments have explained how sperm motility promotes male fertility with milk, saffron and honey. This is why it is customary to give the Indian groom on his wedding night a drink of milk, saffron, and honey at the very least.
- Dates: Dates are highly-strengthening food and possess the ability to restore sexual drive, increase endurance, and improve overall vitality. Eating one date daily every morning as it is useful in combating low libido and sexual debility, even chronic fatigue.
- Asparagus: (is not only a western vegetable) in fact Kama Sutra recommended Shatavari (wild asparagus) paste for the ultimate sex driving force. Even today Shatavari is an Ayurveda potion given to an Indian couple on their wedding night. Shatavari also helps remove excess ammonia from your body which causes excessive fatigue. Asparagus vegetable is called Safed Musli (root) by Ayurveda and it is typically used for low sex drive besides being an aphrodisiac. Asparagus is primarily used as a tonic to rejuvenate your reproductive system for both men and women.
- Garlic promotes and ensures higher sex drive and performance. But the pungent smell even after brushing ten times will lurk somewhere in your teeth or gums. Have you a solution to the smell of this high performing herb? Do write back).
- Indian Ginseng: (Ashwagandha- is a Sanskrit name after “the smell like a horse’s urine”); gives the user the strength of the horse. But there is no scientific proof about this. Having said that, ashwagandha mixed with Shatavari (wild asparagus), ghee or milk, and a pinch of nutmeg serve as an aphrodisiac in the Indian culture. This also ensures a great night’s sleep. Men perform better with this potion.
- Fenugreek: (Methi) an exotic seed more favored by Indian women for breast enlargement and boosting sex drive.
Source:timesofindia.indiatimes Stress Relieving to promote longevity
- Nutmeg: (Jaiphal). A German mystic said, “when a human being eats nutmeg it opens up his heart.” There are some more German stories around nutmeg. An overdose of nutmeg can give you nausea or dizziness.
- Fungus: (Kirajari) is found on caterpillar’s larvae. In China, Nepal, and Tibet its been collected for many years. The larva has huge aphrodisiac properties and despite its high prices, the market for Kirajari is booming. The Fungi is collected at around 5000ft, in the mountains and is a labor-intensive job. People have to collect it by crawling in snow caves. In India, it exists in Bemire, Arunachal.
- Drumstick therapy
- Shilajit: ( Mumijo in Russian) vegan superfood is one of the strong contenders in improving sex drive and libido in men and women. It also helps in improving fertility in healthy men and women. Shilajit is an aphrodisiac, a medicine, life itself, called “conqueror of the weak. Shilajit is referred to as the “heart of life and lungs of the mountains. Found 12000-16000 ft. high in the mountains, this gooey tar-like resin can do wonders to your sex life and ED in days and weeks. Recent research has shown its ability to cure certain diseases and keep others at bay. You can have the bitter (plant rot and stone sweat of the mountains) shilajit as is or dissolve it in water or coffee or green tea.
Source:Indiamart.com Pure Shilalit- Himalaya Shilajit 100% pure
A recipe of an aphrodisiac from the famous help book Kama Sutra (4):
Crush together equal parts of cinnamon and green nutmeg.
Add. Twice the quantity of above of ginger root
Add. Nine corns of black pepper
Add. 2/3 cloves
Add. a teaspoon of saffron.
Allow the above mixture to infuse for 3 days in 250 ml alcohol at 60 degrees.
Then add 25 mg ginseng root
Consume, 3 teaspoons of the aphrodisiac 30 minutes before every meal
Make it a part of your daily diet.
We don’t know more about that recipe, but the ingredients are either too inexpensive or too costly. The inexpensive ones free the sexual spirit as the aphrodisiacs being everyday spices and on the other hand, the costly ones probably give a placebo effect due to the feeling of exoticness. As long as there is the feeling of exotic, erotic, and sex driving force, that’s what that matters.
Other Eastern Recipes
Recipe: Take 15 grams of the dried roots of asparagus and boil it with one cup of milk. Take this mixture twice daily for satisfactory results. The regular use of this recipe is valuable to cure impotency and premature ejaculation. Eating asparagus in your salad helps to increase male libido (5)
Recipe: To make preserved dates, you need 10 fresh dates, a quart jar of ghee, 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom, and 1 pinch of saffron. Soak the dates in a jar of ghee and add the rest of the ingredients. Cover the jar and store it in a warm place for at least 12 days. (5)
Western common aphrodisiacs:
- Chocolate: contains chemicals anandamide and phenylethylamine that boost the good hormone serotonin levels.
- Oysters: Appearance and high zinc property help in boosting semen production and regulate sexual hormones. Some experts say that it is the way of eating and slurping that is sexy.
- Asparagus: contains Vitamin E and that helps stimulate sex hormones.
- Watermelon: contains citrulline which relaxes nerves.
- Maca: Sweet root vegetable nicknamed Peruvian Viagra. There is no scientific evidence but it is supposed to improve your stamina and increase your awareness.
- Banana: The shape may be orgasmic to you and also it has the extra punch of potassium that will give you the extra strength in your muscles, which may help to intensify your orgasms.
- Rocket: The Romans discovered the aphrodisiac and used it in making love potions. It is loaded with nutrients which make you feel alive and radiant
- Celery: contains Phyto-androgens, similar to testosterone, and is recommended to enhance women’s sex drive.
- Pomegranate: also called the Love Apple, packed with anti-oxidants, boosts blood flow, increasing your genital sensitivity.
- Red whole Chilies:
- Beetroot: produces nitrates and your body turns it into nitric oxide (NO). NO can help as support for Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Nitric oxide aids in keeping the pressure in the corpus caverns to keep up the erection. Nitric oxide helps to keep up the pressure needed for an erection. Beetroot juice can help in lowering blood pressure and support high blood pressure which restricts blood flow. cGMP – Cyclic guanosine monophosphate facilitates blood flow to the penis by facilitating and relaxing arteries. Other foods containing nitrates may also improve the cGMP in males and help keep an erection. You can use ginger, celery, or oranges to reduce the strong smell of beetroot. Beets contain valuable minerals like manganese, potassium, copper, and iron. Beets also provide proteins and antioxidants. Having said that, it's best to consult your physician if you have s disease like diabetes or heart disease. (adapted from 6)
Source: Love Food. How to melt chocolate?
Source: NDTV Food Beetroot
There were many quaint aphrodisiacs a few centuries ago, like Cobra blood Japanese blowfish and, rhino horns, baboon urine, and Spanish fly. But they have lost their exquisiteness and pushed some animals to extinction.
Ayurveda Solutions to Sex Drive
According to Ayurveda's philosophy on health systems, the primary principle an intense or strong libido or sex drive is to keep your body, mind, and emotions in balance.
Ayurveda health systems’ basis of desire and getting ‘in the mood’, is dependent on the following, beside a balanced body and mind:
- No psychological or emotional issues
- good health with good circulation and metabolism
- No stress (of money, liabilities, work pressures and deadlines)
- No relationship issues
- Not grieving
Age is a factor due to hormonal changes and effects of diet, work, and fatigue which can bring listlessness. Work fatigue and household responsibilities can make you indifferent to everything except food and sleep. If you are becoming spiritual, you may experience a shift in your libido.
Ayurveda advocates a daily diet routine that makes you feel healthy, exotic, and sexy within yourself. These days there are couples who meditate together and follow up with a sex routine. Sex is Ayurveda’s third pillar of health. Sensual pleasure and eroticism fulfill a person's mental and emotional sense of ‘being’. Sex according to Ayurveda and Yoga is one of three pillars of abundant, physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual health. The other two pillars are diet (digestion) and sleep.
Indian Ayurveda and Yogic philosophy are based on 4 life goals: the Kama, Artha, Dharma, and Moksha. You are looking at the first one: Kama – Pleasure only in this blog. The Kama is based on Kama Sutra which was written by a Celibate monk. Kama’s purpose in our life is to enjoy it fully from nature (sunrise, laughter flowers, looking at beautiful things and people) and of course making love with a strong libido, based on your sexuality and erotic life. This culture of sexuality and erotic life comes from Kama Sutra.
Since sex forms, one of the pillars of optimal health, overindulgence in sex can lead to physical, emotional, psychological imbalance. In his book, Paul Pitchford (7) writes “excessive sexual activity depletes the kidney and adrenal of vital energy and its related essence known as jing. Jing directly tones life force and deficient resistance to disease and adaptability to the environment diminishes with its weakness. Excessive ejaculation in particular reduces Jing, draining the body’s vitality. According to modern nutrition, semen contains substantial amounts of zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a proper immune system. Excessive loss of semen, therefore, taxes the body’s stores of these nutrients.”
Ayurveda advises moderate sexual activity depending on your body type.
- Kapha body types can engage in sex daily
- Vata body types need to be careful as they need to conserve energy and should engage 1 or 2 times a month. (what about the 21st-century fashion to become anorexic and intentionally make your body Vata type? If you know the answer, please do write back).
- Pitta body type can engage in sexual activity once a weak
This all seems so structured I know, but Ayurveda health systems strategize on digestion, environment (nature), seasons, and the impact on our bodies. You might find this laughable and so ancient, but body constitutions do matter and change a lot with sexual activity. So do think of these aspects when selecting your sex partners.
Erin Casperson (8) on Ayurveda and Relationships, goes back to Vagbhats the author of 2500 years old classical Ayurveda text called, “Ashtanga Hridayan.” Vagbhata says, “during the winter season a person can indulge in sex daily, as much as they like after making use of aphrodisiacs and obtaining strength; once in 3 days in spring and fall and once every two weeks in rainy season and summer.”
The above philosophy and practice of sexual activity (yes, it sounds like a school time table) are based on balancing sex with seasonal qualities. Sex depletes your Ojai - your vital essence, which gives you strength, and immunity. Strong Ojai supports body tissues, a stable mind, alert consciousness and are a good way to keep your body resilient. To have a daily sex routine (also recommended by Kama Sutra) you will need to ensure nourishing your Ojai as a daily ritual and lifestyle.
Vagbhata says, your body is strongest in winter, medium in strength in spring and fall, and the weakest in summer. This directly related to Agni (fire) in our bodies that build our Ojai. Therefore, seasons and body types determine the Agni element in your body.
Ayurveda recommends high quality cooked foods (good quality oils, ghee, coconut, or olive oil) and not salads. Salads will not give you the strength as you burn up to 300 calories each time you have sex. You also lose Ojai and they need to be replenished with food like spiced milk and saffron milk. Turmeric milk or golden milk is the new post-coital cigarette.
During your sexual encounters, you should use natural oils like coconut oil instead of synthetic lubricants. Keeping a natural oil handy in your favorite places is good sense. You can message each other, get erotic, feel, and connect. It's not necessary to have sex always to feel sexual. Yoga also supports healthy Ojai and fulfilling sex life. Doing yoga to strengthen vital body parts along with breathing exercises (into your lower pelvic core, if possible). Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) is recommended when you finish yoga in the context of sexual enjoyment, besides other health reasons.
Source: Store.Jiva Treats the root cause of sexuality problems
Source: Isha Foundation. Balancing of Male and Female Energy
Modern Day Problems Interfering Relationships
- Work stress, environment, and lack of motivation
- Financial debt or low income
- Relationship issue - lack of communication about sex
- Lack of emotional support leads to a lack of sex drive
- Family responsibilities, parenting, pregnancy, fatigue due to no house help
- Injury, chronic illness, hormonal imbalance
- Trauma, grief,stress and crisis will enhance a woman's anxiety will mostly bring down your libido.
- Excessive intake of alcohol, drugs and other intoxication
- Excessive masturbation can weaken sexual nerves and lead to lower libido
- Excessive sexual activity with a partner
Source:flo.health Low Sex Drive in Women.
Source:healthline.com Low Sex Drive and Depression
- Prioritize relationships as that will bring together everything for you – connect, commit, communicate, and go for counseling if you see symptoms of low sex drive- take it seriously. Some relationships can go down if you ignore it.
- Talk openly with your partner about your likes and dislikes, please don’t brush it under the carpet. Remember your relationship may be hinging on your sexuality. Don’t let it go out of hand, so one or both of you must turn to a third person for sex. What can I do differently to please you? this simple question can be a great conversation trigger.
- Give quality time to each other- even if you have been together for 5 years, 10 years, you need to review your sexual appetite and adapt to changes happening very fast in our world of digital relationships and technology toys (cell phones) that are all the time distracting us. We need to reinvent relationships every 5 or 10 years. If you need to start all over again and reengineer your sex life, go and do it. Don’t wait for your other to initiate talking.
- Sleep, sleep, sleep- quality is essential and key for your sex drive.
- Diet improvement
- Exercise and be in touch with nature
- Be experimental with toys, vibrators, and all; role-plays, kinky can be great too. Sometimes we need to whisper dirty, talk kinky but it may not happen- this is part of eroticism. Recognize your other’s masculine or feminine side and be sensitive. We all have our male and female aspects in our bodies- respect them.
- A QUICK blast with a laser can boost a woman’s sex drive, scientists say.
- Seeking professional help and counseling needs motivation and communication bonds with partners and friends. Low sex drive can break a relationship if your partner is not seeking help. Cajole, motivate, and support the other half (or better half). You both have to work on it together to have thriving relationship.
Source: herbal cart. Boost Libido and Sex Drive As High As Viagra
To conclude, nothing on sex and sexuality can be complete without mention of Freud and his theories on sex. Are they relevant today? Maybe, we will find out in Part II of this blog. For now, a fresh scientific approach in 2014 authored by Serge Stoléru concluded: “Functional neuroimaging studies of sexual arousal (SA) have thrown new light on the four fundamental characteristics of sexual drives by identifying their potential neural correlates. While these studies are essentially consistent with the Freudian model of drives, the main difference emerging between the functional neuroimaging perspective on sexual drives and the Freudian theory relates to the source of drives. From a functional neuroimaging perspective, sources of sexual drives, conceived by psychoanalysis as processes of excitation occurring in a peripheral organ, do not seem, at least in adult subjects, to be an essential part of the determinants of SA. It is rather the central processing of visual or genital stimuli that gives to these stimuli their sexually arousing and sexually pleasurable character.” (9)
We will cover Changing Sexuality and Infidelity: Expectations and Consequences in Part II of this blog.
1.Perel.E. A Psychologist and authority on Relationship. She has written several books and TED talks on Eroticism and Sexuality.
2.http://www.sexual.nu on Jan,05 2003.
3.Mulchandani.S. Kama Sutra for Women, Illustrated Edition. ISBN-13: 978-8174363190, ISBN-10: 817436319X
4.The Ancient Indian aphrodisiacs from the Kama Sutra lurking in your Cupboard. Quartz India, By Agents of Ishq. May 30, 2017, 5. 5.Effective home remedies to improve sex desire (libido), Entertainment Times, 21 July 2017
5.Effective home remedies to improve sex desire (libido), Entertainment Times, 21 July 2017
6.Norton.S. “Aphrodisiacs: 10 best foods to get you in the mood.” Is there any truth in the libido-boosting claims, or are all the theories as limp as a lettuce leaf? Indpendent.co.uk 13 February 2015 13:17
7.Pitchford.P. “Healing with Whole Foods, Asian Traditions, and Modern Nutrition.” 784 pages. North Atlantic Books 3rd edition (November 5, 2002). ISBN -10:9781556434303
8.Casperson. E. “Six Ayurveda Practices for Better Sex Life.” Ayurveda Relationships. Kripalu Centre for Yoga and health.
9.Stoléru.S.“ Reading the Freudian theory of sexual drives from a functional neuroimaging perspective.” Front Hum Neurosci. 2014; 8: 157. PMCID: PMC3957062,PMID: 24672467 Published online on 18 March 2014.