The Mouthful: Your Guide To Terrible Aphrodisiacs

Ty Bannerman
4 min read
The Weekly AlibiÕs  Guide to Terrible Aphrodisiacs
(The Order of the Good Death)
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Love is such a tricky thing. Anytime you’re dealing with another person’s feelings, it’s a gray and murky area, and doubly so when it comes to romance. A million things can go wrong, and if they don’t feel the same way as you do about them, then the whole thing’s a nonstarter anyway. No wonder lovelorn people throughout history have turned to a little “boost” from chemical/quasi-magical substances from time to time. Although we at the Weekly Alibi certainly don’t condone the use of any kind of chemical or magical substance to induce love, in the interest of education on this Valentine’s Day, we have investigated three traditional aphrodisiacs. In this article we weigh the pros and cons of each.


“An apple held in the armpit until warm, and then eaten by anyone, will make them love you.“ – Traditional love charm

Pros: Apples and armpits are both super easy to come by. Also, other than a slight stank taste, an armpit apple is unlikely to do any real harm.

Cons: Assuming that you’re a smooth enough character to warm up your apple in the required place without attracting attention, you’re still going to have to get the object of your affection to eat it. “Oh, hey, here’s a suspiciously warm apple I just found under my shirt. Want some?” The good news is that if he or she falls for that, they’re practically yours anyway. And if it doesn’t work, at least you’ll have an armpit apple to munch on while you wonder why you’re so very, very alone.

Spanish Fly

“The effects of Spanish fly lingered in the body … when Elizabeth awakened, she would need his sexuality. She would need him.” – The Lady’s Tutor by Robin Schone

Pros: It’s one of the most famous aphrodisiacs on this list, and people have used it to inspire lust since at least Roman times. There’s even some evidence that it works: Apparently, the desiccated insect powder increases blood flow to the genitals which causes sexual excitement. Plus, it’s supposedly pretty easy to slip into a meal. And finally, it’s always funny to trick people into eating bugs.

Cons: It’s hard to come by, with most powder sold under the name being fraudulent mixtures of various gray market chemicals with unknown side effects. Also, the real stuff is basically poisonous; a miscalculation in dosage could result in murder charges rather than true love. And that’s really not a line you should be walking.


“It is peddled in the dusty souks by herbalists in Morocco and Cairo, where it is an aphrodisiac and stirred by the teaspoon into cups of sweetened tea.“ – Floating Gold, A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris by Christopher Kemp

Pros: Just say that beautiful word out loud. “Ambergris.” It sounds like love and magic mixed together. Supposedly the rare, powdery substance releases natural pheromones that heighten sexual attraction. No wonder it’s been used as an ingredient in perfume for thousands of years.

Cons: Ambergris is, well, super-compacted whale poop. Also, it’s ridiculously hard to find. Unless you’re lucky enough to just come across a pile lying around on a beach somewhere (and you’re not), or rich enough to buy some at $12 a gram, you’re going to have to complete some arduous steps. First you need to find a sperm whale that’s swallowed something sharp like a giant squid’s beak. Then you need to follow it around for a few years while compacted fecal matter and secretions form around the object, and then, finally, you need to wait for the whale to either throw it up or crap it out. Now for the easy part: Simply collect the whale crap in a bucket, and start brainstorming recipes. Oh yeah, that’s the other thing. You have to feed the whale poop to the person of your dreams, and I don’t know about you, but cetaceofecophagy is one of my major turn-offs.

After our tireless research, one conclusion seems unavoidable: All in all, you’re probably better off just being yourself. It may not work, but at least you won’t accidentally kill anyone or have to carry an apple around in your armpit. Or touch any whale poop.
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