As a health nut, you know how important it is to work wellness into your routine. You take the stairs instead of the elevator and do chair exercises at your desk. And if you’re going to eat out, it’s got to be organic. Why should sex be any exception? Rather than eat first then engage in sexy play later, on your next date night consider eating your way over your lover’s body. If concerns over sugar content or empty calories kill your buzz, fear not. Whipped topping is far from your only option. Most any food can work its way into pleasurable fun, so go ahead and experiment with your favorites.
1. Sliced or Mashed Avocado
If it’s good enough for DIY facials and jicama chips, it’s good enough for precoital picnics. Avocados aren’t only simple to mash and spread on virtually any body part, but they're also bursting with nutrients, providing nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant chemicals known as phytonutrients per serving (about a fifth of a medium avocado). You’ll also get two grams of fiber, which contributes to your daily need of the healthy carb without going so high as to cause gassiness. Thanks to avocados' healthy fat content, you may even end up with softer, plumper skin.
2. Whole or Sliced Strawberries
Strawberries are the perfect shape for mouth-to-mouth action. Chris Shuff, a registered dietitian in Jacksonville, Florida, recommends placing a medium-size strawberry in your lover’s mouth to share in a sensual kiss. One berry contains fewer than 10 calories, yet fulfills more than 10 percent of adults’ daily vitamin C needs. A half-cup of sliced strawberries provides more than 80 percent. “The vitamin C is going to play an important role in your sexual longevity throughout life, so get on it now,” said Shuff. Because of its role in circulation, vitamin C can help by allowing blood to flow to all the right places.
Listen Now: How to Turn Anxiety Into Your Best Friend
3. Sushi or Sashimi
Raw fish a la your birthday suit may be the perfect pairing. A 2016 study released by Singles in America showed that folks who have sushi on a first date are 170 percent more likely to go on a second date than non-sushi eaters. The likely reasons could lead to more pleasurable sex as well. Sushi is an adventurous food, said researcher Dr. Helen Fisher in an interview with Esquire, and a sense of novelty boosts that feel-good, falling-in-love hormone dopamine in the brain. The heart-healthy omega-3 fats in oily fish, such as salmon, improves circulation, enhancing physical arousal.
4. Cooled Oatmeal
Sensual food play doesn’t have to happen at night. Morning sex can set an upbeat tone for the day; keep tiredness from interfering later on; and even improve immune function and heart health. And since they're an energizing whole grain, pairing oats with your quest for the Big O may enhance these perks. Serve oatmeal (cooled to room temperature or chilled overnight) on your lover’s back, neck or belly. Add cinnamon for a naturally sweet smell and flavor. While foods as aphrodisiacs may be more placebo than science, cinnamon is believed to have arousing benefits. And belief alone can be powerful. As an added bonus, you won’t have to waste time before work washing dishes.
5. Warm Honey
Instead of chocolate syrup, share honey with your honey. Unlike refined sweeteners, honey provides antimicrobial, antioxidant and soothing effects — and relaxation plays a major role in arousal. Megan Fleming, a sex and relationship therapist in New York City, recommends drizzling honey, drop by drop, on your partner’s body. “This could be an experience both amazing to watch [while] holding each other’s gaze,” she said, “or one that might be heightened by wearing a blindfold, where you are waiting to feel where the next drop will fall.” Other senses will be heightened, making taste and touch more powerful. For temperature play, Fleming suggests lightly heating the honey before use. Hot and cold foods can boost arousal by stimulating neuroreceptors in the skin.
Read More: 10 Sexy Dinner Ideas for the Best Date Ever
6. Melted Dark Chocolate
Commonly believed to be an aphrodisiac, dark chocolate can also deliver sexual health perks. “One of its powers, besides being seductively delicious, is the ability to improve circulation to all the right places,” says registered dietitian Chris Shuff. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in July 2014 showed that dark chocolate may improve artery health by increasing blood flow. This plays an important role in engorgement (i.e., swelling and hardness of the clitoris and penis during arousal). Drizzle melted and slightly cooled dark chocolate on your partner’s body to lick off, paying extra attention to choice places.
7. A Trail of Cashews
Nuts are — ahem — delicious. Once you’ve drizzled honey, dark chocolate or another sticky treat on your lover, dietitian Chris Shuff recommends adding cashews to the mix. “Snack your way down a happy trail of cashews leading to the belly button,” he said, adding that cashews are a good source of vegetarian protein, healthy oils and zinc. “They add a nice texture change to [your] erotic food journey, and zinc plays an important role in fertility.” If cashews aren’t your favorite, go with other nuts, such as almonds, pistachios or a mix of several varieties. For a spreadable option, go with cashew, almond or peanut butter.
8. Sweet Cherries
No sexy sundae is complete without a cherry on top. Once you’ve licked or munched your way to your lover’s abdomen, dietitian Chris Shuff suggests savoring a cherry from their belly button. “Not only are cherries high in fertility-enhancing antioxidants, such as anthocyanin," he says, "but they also serve up real sex appeal if you can tie the stem into a knot using only your mouth.” Whether you’re successful or not, you’ll deserve a reward for trying. To enjoy more of the sweet fruit, dot chopped cherry bits on swirls of melted dark chocolate.
9. Sweet Potato Frosting
Yes, you read that right. Frosting doesn’t have to be laden with sugar and trans fats to be sumptuous. For a healthy twist on the sweet spread, make your own frosting by heating fresh or canned sweet potato puree with chopped dark or bittersweet chocolate in a saucepan. Allow it to cool until it’s comfortable to touch, then make like human cakes and spread the gooey goodness on each other’s skin. You’ll not only gain flavor and arousal points, but antioxidants and fiber as well.
10. Coconut Oil Chocolate Sauce
Looking for a saucier cocoa treat than frosting? Coconut oil is dairy-free, making it useful if you and your partner are vegan or lactose-intolerant. Integrative health advocate Kayla Grossmann makes chocolate sauce by blending virgin coconut oil with coconut powder and raw honey. While you’re at it, bring any remaining coconut oil to the bedroom. “Coconut oil can be used as body lotion, which might be the perfect way to get your partner in the mood by helping them relax. Massage their feet, back, neck, shoulders and anywhere else they hold tension,” says clinical psychologist Megan Fleming. “Then you can transition to a more pleasurable and erotic massage.”
Read More: 10 Foods to Fire Up Your Love Life
11. Whipped Coconut Cream
If you want to stick with tradition sans food-related guilt, make your own whipped topping using coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk; powdered sugar or stevia to taste; and a splash of pure vanilla extract. Both coconut products whip up the way heavy cream does and suit dairy-free diets. The type of fats in coconut milk may have a positive impact on HDL, or good, cholesterol levels. It can also increase LDL, or bad, cholesterol, however, so spend a bit less time eating and more time playing.
What Do YOU Think?
What’s your favorite food to eat off your lover’s body? Which of these would you try? Share your top pick in the comments below!
August McLaughlin is a health and sexuality writer, podcast host and author of “Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment” (Amberjack Publishing, 2018). Her articles appear in DAME Magazine, Cosmopolitan.com, the Huffington Post and more, and she loves connecting with readers through her blog and social media. augustmclaughlin.com