The information contained in this article is not a substitute for, or alternative to information from a healthcare practitioner. Please consult a healthcare professional before using any product and check your local laws before making any purchasing decisions.Don’t trust anything on the internet — until Mashable tries it first. Welcome to the Hype Test, where we review viral trends and tell you what’s really worth millions of likes.”Basically, you’re going to get really horny,” said a TikTok user, referring to the effects of Aphrodisiac Sex Chocolates from the online sex shop Lovers. Aphrodisiacs are foods or drinks said to increase sexual desire. Some hail them to work wonders, while others say they’re only placebos. The TikTokker and her partner cheers the chocolates in the video, which has amassed 2.4 million likes and counting. Her review of them afterward: “Wow.”When it comes to these viral “Sex Chocolates,” do the horniness claims hold up? Not really — both because of the chocolates themselves, and because of what we assume about aphrodisiacs.The science behind aphrodisiacs Some foods actually can increase sexual arousal, function, or both, said Dr. Bryan Quoc Le, who has a Ph.D. in food science and wrote 150 Food Science Questions Answered.It all depends on the ingredients (and their chemical compounds), the concentration of said ingredients, and dosage. There’s limited research on the effectiveness of these substances in increasing libido, however, and the placebo effect — as in you want the food to work so it does — can be strong. “Don’t expect a magic bullet,” said Le. Here are the 17 herbal ingredients in Lovers Sex Chocolates listed on its website and packaging: ginseng, guarana, damiana, saw palmetto, yohimbine, fenugreek, kola nut, valerian, licorice, sarsaparilla, fo-ti-tieng, gotu kola, ginger, betel nut, dong quai, passion flower, avena sativa. In the ingredient list elsewhere on the packaging, however, they’re just described as “assorted herbs.”

Ingredients for Lovers’ sea salt and caramel Sex Chocolates.
Credit: mashable

Beyond whether these ingredients can impact sexual drive, Le noted there are relatively a small amount of them to begin with. “There’s hardly any volume or mass in these chocolates to contain enough aphrodisiac components to elicit a response,” said Le. “With 17 different ingredients, it’s hard to determine if enough has been added to cause any effect.”One of the TikTok testers said you need to eat two Sex Chocolates in order to feel the effects, but even that’s dubious. The chocolates are 0.45 ounces or 12.8 grams each, which is already puny (a fun-size Snickers, for instance, is 17 grams) — and the herbs make up just a small fraction of the ingredients.Further, the herbs were in powder form when baking, according to Lovers. Powdered herbs are absorbed by the bloodstream quicker than whole herbs, said Le — but there’s a caveat. Powdered herbs have a shorter shelf-life and potency over time as opposed to whole herbs. By the time the chocolates arrive and you ingest them, they may not be as strong as they were during manufacturing.The plant ginseng may help relax and increase blood flow in the muscles of the penis, explained Le. The erectile dysfunction drug Viagra works in the same way. However, a 2013 study of about 120 men with various levels of erectile dysfunction found that ginseng didn’t help with dysfunction any more than a placebo. In this double-blind study, neither the subject nor the researcher interacting with them knew if they received ginseng or a placebo, helping to prevent bias. Take another chocolate ingredient, yohimbine, which is a type of tree bark. Le cited one study where men having trouble orgasming were given 20 mg doses of yohimbine and it did somewhat improve ejaculation quality and orgasm. The study was limited, however, because there were only 29 subjects and it wasn’t a double-blind study.None of this evokes confidence that these little Sex Chocolates will do very much. Then again, one shouldn’t equate aphrodisiacs with FDA-approved erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra.Sexologist and educator Goody Howard says the two serve different purposes (when the aphrodisiacs work). Aphrodisiacs, she said, don’t “make” you horny. They enhance horniness. For them to “work,” you need to be horny already. “You still have to push that first domino,” said Howard of her own experiences. My experience with Lovers Sex Chocolates I tried four flavors of the Sex Chocolates, listed from my favorite to least favorite: sea salt and caramel, “birthday sex” (cake batter), banana bliss, and amaretto. The chocolate all looks the same, save for salt flakes on the sea salt ones. Each filling is white with a taffy-like texture. The only difference is the flavor. Sea salt and caramel and cake batter are pretty solid, with the latter having the consistency and taste of frosting. Banana bliss and amaretto, however…pass. But, if you enjoy the taste of artificial banana or pistachio, you may think differently. Dissecting flavor is one thing, but did the chocolates get me in the mood? I can’t say they did at all. I tried them all in Mashable’s office, which is as unsexy an environment as I can get, so I wasn’t expecting much. If anything, I had some indigestion after, and that’s definitely not what Lovers is going for. What’s more is that the filling is so gummy, it stuck to my teeth — not very sexy. If I were in bed and ate these, I’d probably want to brush my teeth before kissing anyone.Will Lovers Sex Chocolates work for you?In the TikTok video, the couple eating the chocolates in bed were presumably going to have sex whether they ate the chocolates or not. We can’t really decipher whether their experience was due to the aphrodisiac ingredients or a placebo effect. If you’re already horny with your partner, will you know if the chocolates “worked,” or if they worked because you wanted them to?Howard acknowledged that aphrodisiacs don’t work for everybody. We’re all individuals, and how our bodies interact with certain ingredients and dosages varies. Health conditions factor into the supposed effectiveness of aphrodisiacs, too. For people with circulation problems, for instance, certain foods may sexual function by improving blood flow to the genitals. Those with normal circulation may not see the same benefits.
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No one can determine if the chocolates will work for you. It’s best to keep in mind that, as Le said, aphrodisiacs aren’t magic. And as Howard noted, they’re not a substitute for Viagra. If you have erectile or any other sexual dysfunction, your best bet is to see a medical professional. Considering how small the chocolates and the concentration of herbs are, I wouldn’t be surprised if they only produce weird stomach noises for you, as they did for me. If you want to try herbal or other natural aphrodisiacs like oysters, you may have better luck (though, again, maybe not). If nothing else, you don’t have to worry about overdosing on aphrodisiacs like you do with Viagra. Eating too many chocolates may just leave you lethargic…or with the aforementioned indigestion. Ultimately, if you want to be hornier, take your time with foreplay. Allowing yourself to get aroused can be the exact magic bullet you need. Read moreThese dating sites are actually good for finding a serious relationshipThe most underrated sex positions, according to porn starsHow to sext betterHow to record voice notes and voice prompts on Hinge

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