How Many Oysters Do You Need To Eat To Boost Your Sex Drive?

The association of certain foods with the ability to increase sexual desire is not a new one. Records throughout history show spices being transported for sale due to their enhancing abilities in the bedroom (per WebMD). Aphrodisiac is a term applied to a variety of foods, spices, drinks, or drugs that are said to evoke or enhance romantic or sexual desire, experience, or attraction (via Healthline). 

Throughout the ages, various exotic foods or spices have been said to have some effect on the sexual intrigue between partners. While the list can vary, depending on who you ask, one food that seems to always come up is oysters.

These slippery, slimy, bivalves are often consumed raw with lemon, shallots, or cocktail sauce added to intensify their flavor (via Food and Wine). Other alternative serving options can include smoked, grilled, or even fried oysters. Though the preparation and cooking may affect your taste, it doesn't seem to have an impact on the supposed aphrodisiac abilities of this briny bivalve.

Are oysters really an aphrodisiac?

The argument for the validity of aphrodisiac foods continues, to include whether or not oysters can increase libido or performance of intimate relationships, according to Chef John Howie on his now-defunct blog. The claim originates long ago with the story of Casanova, a legendary lover known for his sexual conquests, who reportedly consumed dozens at a time to aid in his love affairs (via The New York Times). 

However, modern scientists have examined this claim, and well, while they may have been an aid for Mr. Casanova, current research suggests that the effect may simply be all in your mindset. According to Howie, consuming raw oysters often involves manually shucking them by prying their tough shells apart to reveal the delicate bivalve inside. He goes on to explain that while there's no scientific evidence backing the effects of oysters on the sex drive, the suggestion seems to be enough to create a pseudo-effect that many swear is the real deal.

How many oysters do you need to eat?

Oysters are high in zinc, which could be a leading reason why men believe that they have an impact on intimate performance. According to Howie, impotence in men is thought to have some connection to low levels of zinc in the body. A serving of six oysters contains 32 milligrams or 291% of the daily value recommended, as stated by Healthline. For impotence resulting from low zinc levels, a weekly appetizer of oysters may in fact increase the desire or performance for sexual relations in men. Though, the same effects might be experienced by eating various portions of other zinc-rich foods like crab, shrimp, or other shellfish. 

Additionally, these effects are not necessarily true for women. So if you're planning a romantic dinner and trying to include those foods that are sure to put you and your partner in the mood, you may want to consider including other aphrodisiac foods like chocolate, cinnamon, or even pistachios.