For as long as chocolate has been consumed, it has been attributed with libido-lifting, sex-enhancing properties. The mythology surrounding chocolate’s physiological effects is extensive and – we hate to break it to you – much of it is more fiction than fact.
Table of contents
The History of Sex and Chocolate
Montezuma, a renowned fan of drinking chocolate, regularly drank liquid cocoa to excess in order to increase his “success with women”. Whether his chocolate habits truly enhanced Montezuma’s sexual prowess is pretty dubious – sure, it may have granted him the energy to face his harem, but it’s unlikely to have directly effected his libido.
Montezuma wasn’t the only historical figure who claimed chocolate had aphrodisiacal properties; other significant leaders similarly endowed chocolate with such wishful thinking. Read more here.
Few people know that the true origins of Valentine’s Day are not rooted in cutesy cards and Cupid’s arrows, but in a violent Roman festival called Lupercalia. So how and when did chocolate become part of the centrepiece for this annual holiday?
The Victorian era first saw the iconic heart-shaped box of chocolates which would be eventually become a tokenistic – and almost cliché – feature of Valentine’s Day.
Richard Cadbury, with his revolutionary method of making solid bars, fathered this idea of the box of chocolates. People even held onto the ornate boxes as keepsakes.
For a more detailed account of Valentine’s Day, see our article on it here.
Is Chocolate an Aphrodisiac?
Whilst chocolate has historically been considered an aphrodisiac, the truth of the matter is that chocolate does little to directly enhance libido or increase one couple’s attraction towards one another.
That said, because it tastes good and it does contain a small amount of dopamine-releasing hormone theobromine, chocolate can act as a mood enhancer. So, it won’t not make you want to rip each other’s clothes off.
But for the complete lowdown on the (mostly fraught) connection between chocolate and sex, please see our article on the science behind this cocoa-claim.
Sex Sells: the marketing of chocolate as “sexy”
Sex sells – an advertising mantra which absolutely can (and has, liberally) been applied to chocolate.
Those of you who remember watching tv in the 1980s and 90s might remember the notorious flake ads – one of which went heavy on the innuendo with a woman reclined in a bath which begins to overflow as she sinks her teeth into a Cadbury’s flake bar.
These ads established a trend in the chocolate-advertising industry whereby ad-campaigns really pushed the limits of sexual innuendo to the max. And who can blame them? Chocolate and sex is pleasure squared – and who isn’t going to be tempted to buy into that?
For some more examples of when ad-campaigns made chocolate synonymous with sex, see our full article on the history of sexy chocolate advertising.
Much as sex does sell, here at Cocoa Runners we’re committed to delivering the truth on all things chocolate.
We strip away many of the invented properties of chocolate which have often functioned as a selling point or “good excuse” to indulge in chocolate. However, craft chocolate isn’t a hard sell, nor does anyone need an excuse to consume it, because we know it’s doing good in the world already!