Old Wives Tales debunked – Shellfish for sex


Can oysters help improve your sex drive? Let Alison Lee inform you first before you change your entire diet to shellfish

More than 50 per cent of men over 40 will experience erectile dysfunction – FACT. Ok, if you’re reading this, chances are you’re a pimply undergraduate who still hasn’t quite figured out how to get laid but guys, you’ll hit 40 someday.

And even young men can experience impotence (not that an old wife like myself would know anything about that sort of thing from personal experience, of course). This can be due to, sadly, pretty much anything, such as diabetes, obesity, and the old faithful alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse.

If you’re one of the poor unfortunates suffering from this problem, you might want to stock up on some aphrodisiacs. Luckily this doesn’t mean filling your fridge with exotic delicacies like rhinoceros horns and tiger penises, because oysters, purported for centuries to enhance sexual performance, might actually do the trick.

Sceptics claim that there’s no real evidence for this. According to the non-believers, it’s merely a myth arising due to the shape of an oyster, which is similar to that of a woman’s genitals.

We can therefore safely assume that such sceptics haven’t gotten many close-up glimpses of “down there”, because no sane, sexually-fulfilled person can say there’s much resemblance between a grey slimy thing in a knobbly shell and a vagina.

They argue that throughout history, this resemblance has been recognised – hence Boticelli’s famous painting “The Birth of Venus” (the Roman version of Aphrodite), depicting the goddess emerging from a clam shell. However, the original legend goes that Aphrodite was born when the god Cronos cut off the genitals of the god Uranus and threw them into the sea, resulting in Aphrodite being birthed from the sea foam. That’s pretty damn weird, but there were no molluscs involved.

However, scientists have discovered that oysters are rich in zinc, a mineral essential for testosterone production. Testosterone regulates sex drive and ensures a normal sperm count. Also, researchers have used high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on oysters and discovered that they are also rich in the amino acids “D-aspartic acid” and “N-methyl-D-aspartate”. Rats supplemented with these amino acids demonstrated increased production of sex hormones progesterone and testosterone.

So, problem solved. When the big 4-0 rolls around, take up oyster fishing and never go unsatisfied again. But beware; cooking oysters destroys these nutrients, so eat them raw. Also, oysters caught in springtime (the breeding season) have the highest concentration of amino acids.

However, all this scientific evidence doesn’t alter the fact that eating raw oysters may simply increase ones passionate desire to reach for a sick bag. Luckily chocolate is also scientifically proven to be an aphrodisiac, so if shellfish doesn’t turn you on then a plain old Kinder Bueno might just do the job instead.