Valentine's Day - Love Bites
Where Would We All Be Without L-O-V-E?
Valentine's Day - The Early Traditions
Let us honor that temporary insanity we call romance as we approach our most misguided holiday when we celebrate love and martyrdom! The real St. Valentine had little to do with the holiday of hearts and chocolates. In 270 a.d. he was beaten with clubs and beheaded by the Prefect of Rome for his assistance to Christians. The original holiday was a festival celebrating Februata Juno, the Roman goddess of love. On February 14th boys would draw the names of girls whom they would then pursue. As was common in the volatile days of religious take-over, the festival was turned into a Christian holiday. Imagine the boys' surprise when one year, without warning, in place of the names of nubile young women the slips contained the names of saints. This was the onset of sexual frustration which was unknown until that time.
I made that last part up. Sexual frustration or unrequited love goes way back. There is evidence in the oldest texts of love potions and aphrodisiacs that were used by lovers on unwilling lovees. When attraction is dissected and examined under a microscope it seems that it may boil down to "my dysfunction needs your dysfunction to function." Do not let this logic stop you! Without passion in our lives we become the walking dead. This passion need not be directed toward a person, however, the sex drive is as intrinsic to our health as normal hunger. What we need is a reliable cheap drive thru so we can take care of these needs in our car on the way to our next appointment...just like MacDonald's!
In a more socially acceptable vein I will share a number of potential food stimulants to dupe your loved one into returing your affecions. According to "Inter Courses, An Aphrodisiac Cookbook" by Martha Hopkins and Randal Lockridge, "...the more an ingredient resembles a sexual organ the stronger the power over the libido." This is known as the Doctrine of Signatures. I do not mean to suggest that if you form a meatloaf into an anatomically correct sex organ it will improve your sex life. In fact, the sight of a giant phallic meatloaf may have the opposite effect. Your date may run screaming from your apartment as you lovingly carve off a slab for his dining pleasure.
Beside visual similarity, there is also texture to consider as with honey or scent as with some potent herbs. The following list is only a small part of what humans have used to try to conjure up love. I am giving only common items that may be sitting in your panties...er, that is PANTRIES right now.
CHOCOLATE: A common gift on Valentine's Day. It stimulates the body's chemistry to enhance feelings of love. The Aztecs and Mayans used it for centuries for sexual stamina. Cocoa was frowned upon by the Catholic church when it first came over from the new world. It was thought to provoke wanton behavior.
HONEY: From the Kama Sutra to the Bible honey has been associated with love and sex. It was used for centuries in concoctions as a sexual aid. There is an account that attributes the death of Attila the Hun to an overdose of honey tonic on his honeymoon.
FIGS: Also used as an aphrodisiac since ancient times. There is evidence that figs were used to increase sexual desire during festivals such as Saturnalia in Rome and Dionysian orgies. Cleopatra used figs to entice her lovers. Contrary to popular belief she was not fabulously beautiful only fabulously knowledgeable in the strategies of seduction.
BASIL: Royal herb of the Greeks, basil is thought to hold the power of fidelity. In "Secrets of Venus" Vera Lee says that ancient wives with straying husbands would, "...powder their breasts with pulverized basil." The essential oil is thought to keep your lover from looking at other women...at least while you are standing there smelling like pesto.
ROSEMARY: Medieval women scented their bath water with rosemary to allure men. Aparently, the scent is so memorable that if you manage to get the subject of your desire into a rosemary scented sack just once, every time he gets a whiff of the herb...let's say in a nice roast pork...he will be filled with desire to reenact that lustful moment with you. Personally, I am not sure I want to strike up that comparison.
OYSTERS: As in some sexual acts, once you get past the looks of it they are not half bad. According to "Erotic Cuisine: A Natural History of Aphrodisiac Cookery" by Marilyn Ekdani Ravicz this food falls under the Doctrine of Signatures because when they ar closed they resemble testicles and after they ar eopen they look like a vulva. Casanova freely empoyed oysters to unleash powers of seduction on his unwitting prey. Oysters have loads of zinc which increases testosterone production that enhances sexual desire in both genders.
Nuts, especially filberts; avocados; grapes; mushrooms, especially truffles; celery and red meat also have high aphrodisiac qualitities.
Before trying any of these enticements to ecstasy consider first what my Aunt Bertha once said, "It is better to be loved than to love...it keeps you in control." Furthermore, if you must ply your loved one with truffles and oysters to keep him under your power you may have to get a second job which may reduce your time and energy for Whoopee.
Let me leave you with a lovely recipe for an avocado salad that I recreated from one I had in Manhattan near Bloomingdale's at a small restaurant.
2 large avocados (ripe enough to give under slight pressure but not soft); lemon juice - cut avocados in bite size pieces and sprinkle lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved; fresh or dried thyme (a couple pinches); 2 tbls good olive oil; 2 tbls red wine vinegar, salt to taste - add these ingredients to avocados and stir gently to mix. Enjoy with a naked friend. ;-)