Chocolate, oysters, and cherries have gained a saucy reputation for their supposed ability to boost sex drive. They are, of course, aphrodisiacs—foods that are believed to stimulate sexual desire. But these aren’t the only aphrodisiacs capable of spicing things up in the bedroom. There are some genuinely unusual aphrodisiacs out there, and we have compiled a list of ten of them. Prepare to be shocked, amazed, and amused by some of the most unusual aphrodisiacs from around the world.
Balut is a boiled duck egg with the developing duckling embryo still inside. This Filipino delicacy is touted by locals as the equivalent of viagra. It is also a good source of protein and calcium, so you can feel healthy and sexy at the same time!
Skinks are lizards found all over the world, except boreal and polar regions. Around the year 77 AD, these ubiquitous little critters were identified by Pliny the Elder (a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher) as an aphrodisiac in his book Naturalis Historia (Natural History). Specifically, the feet and muzzle of a skink were to be soaked in white wine with rocket seeds to enhance sexual performance.
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If you have been to Thailand, you have seen signs banning this notorious fruit on public transport systems. If you haven’t, allow us to explain why. Durian is not permitted in confined public spaces like trains, buses, and even hotels in some Asian countries because it stinks. Bad. The smell has been likened to rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage.
Despite its smelly reputation, durian is believed by some to heighten sexual desire. One study showed that mice that ate durian experienced increased libido and sperm count. It is also replete with vitamins and minerals and is thought to help maintain healthy bones, improve sleep, and fight cancer.
4. Mannish Water
This Jamaican delicacy is made of a variety of goat parts, including (but not limited to) it’s head, testicles, and stomach. Mannish water got its name because this aphrodisiac supposedly augments the sex drive, and thus makes men more “mannish.” Of course, we know that the ability to get and maintain an erection does not have anything to do with your gender identity.
Since the goat is traditionally a symbol of lust, it makes sense that consuming its organs may ignite the eater’s sexual passion. However, there is no scientific evidence to back up these claims. The famous adage might be “you are what you eat,” but it is hard to believe eating goat will make you as horny as one.
5. Baboon urine
Baboon urine is one of the most unusual aphrodisiacs on this list (although there are certainly some worthy contenders later in this list). Baboon urine has been used in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, as a way to ensure lovers stay faithful to their partners. The urine is ground with some soil and specially selected herbs into a fine powder. Then, it's applied to the vagina.
But why baboon urine? Why not giraffe urine instead? The answer, according to one baboon urine vendor, is because it influences men to adopt a baboon’s urinating habits (no, we’re not making this up). The vendor, who reportedly sells baboon urine in front of toilets at Egodini bus terminal for $2 a pop, claims: “A baboon by its nature urinates only on one spot. Even if it travels from Matopo to Bulawayo, when it gets pressed, it will travel to Matopo before it relieves itself. When you apply the powder, the man will absorb the baboon’s urine, and it will start regulating his bedding tendencies”.
After a lover applies the baboon urine to their genitals, they can rest assured that their partner “will never release his seeds of manhood to any woman but to [them] only.” It’s foolproof.
Now and then, a sperm whale will throw up, and the object it throws up is worth almost as much as gold. Ambergris—also known as “treasure of the sea” and “floating gold”—is created in the intestines of sperm whales when the indigestible parts of its prey (such as squid beaks) fuse.
If you want to treat yourself with a luxury aphrodisiac, ambergris is priced at $25 per gram—making it almost as expensive as gold (which is priced at $38 per gram). Scientists have found that ambrein, odorless alcohol extracted from ambergris, was able to boost sexual activity in rats. However, no one has studied the effects of ambrein on human libido.
7. Casu Marzu
When most people think of the word “aphrodisiac,” they conjure up romantic images of oysters, chocolate, and cherries—not illegal, maggot-infested cheese. But casu marzu, a worm-ridden cheese made in Sardinia, Italy, is believed by locals to have aphrodisiac properties.
The cheese is made by heating sheep’s milk, leaving it to curdle, and then cutting off the crust to allow flies to enter and lay eggs. It is then left in a dark shed for a few months to allow the larvae to hatch and eat the cheese. As the larvae worm their way through the cheese, their excretions give it its soft, rich flavor.
Like ambergris, casu marzu is notoriously tricky to get hold of. But unlike ambergris, it is hard to come by because it is, in fact, illegal. The EU European Food Safety Authority banned the cheese because the maggots found inside it have been known to jump into the eater’s eyes as well as burrow through their intestines if they aren’t chewed and killed before they are swallowed.
It is not surprising then that you can only buy this cheese on the black market. But what is surprising is that there still appears to be demand for the cheese. It has been eaten on the island for centuries, and people even make it to this day.
Which one will you try?
All of these unusual aphrodisiacs have one thing in common—at first glance, they are not exactly sexy foods. Whether through research or local lore, though, it is believed they all increase your libido. Which of these unusual aphrodisiacs will you try?