Academic journal article The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality

Sad but True: Chocolate Consumption Is Not Independently Associated with Improved Sexual Health in Women

Academic journal article The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality

Sad but True: Chocolate Consumption Is Not Independently Associated with Improved Sexual Health in Women

Article excerpt

Historically, chocolate consumption has often been linked to enhanced sexuality, particularly increased sexual desire and pleasure. Indeed, in contemporary cultural representations chocolate consumption is often portrayed as producing a sensual, almost sexual-like, pleasure. Chocolate does contain several biologically active compounds (i.e., methylxanthines, biogenic amines, and cannabinoid-like fatty acids) that can produce pleasurable psychological sensations. There is some research data indicating that chocolate may facilitate peripheral vasodilation in the genitalia, therefore potentially having a positive impact on sexual arousal. In addition, because, for many people, chocolate tastes so good, it may stimulate the release of endorphins which enhances mood which, in turn, may put people in the mood for sexual activity. However, little scientific research has attempted to uncover what, if any, direct impact eating chocolate has on sexuality. Salonia, Fabbri, Zanni, et al. (2006) conducted a study to "... assess whether daily chocolate intake affects sexual function in a convenience sample of Northern Italian women" (p. 477).

As part of a larger study examining the correlates of sexual function, 153 women who were not specifically complaining about sexual disorders completed questionnaires that included the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), the Female Sexual Distress Scale (FSDS) as well as questions concerning lifestyle practices. …

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