Gassing You Up! Mollusks as Aphrodisiacs

Hippocrates’ Epidemics 6.294

“There are those who get gassy when they have sex, like Damnagoras did. And others fart during sex.”

Ἔστιν οἷσιν ὅταν ἀφροδισιάζωσι φυσᾶται ἡ γαστήρ, ὡς Δαμναγόρᾳ, οἷσι δ᾿ ἐν τούτῳ ψόφος.

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 8 357d

“The family of mollusks like the octopus, cuttlefish, and other similar animals have flesh that is hard to digest. This is why they work as aphrodisiacs. They themselves are gassy and the pinnacle of sexual activity needs a gassy state.

These kinds of meat are better boiled since they have bitter juices.”

τὸ δὲ τῶν μαλακίων γένος, οἷον πολυπόδων τε καὶ σηπιῶν καὶ τῶν τοιούτων, τὴν μὲν σάρκα δύσπεπτον ἔχει. διὸ καὶ πρὸς ἀφροδισιασμοὺς ἁρμόττουσιν· αὐτοὶ μὲν γάρ εἰσι πνευματώδεις, ὁ δὲ τῶν ἀφροδισιασμῶν καιρὸς πνευματώδους προσδεῖται διαθέσεως. βελτίω δὲ ταῦτα γίνεται ἑψηθέντα· τὰς γὰρ ὑγρότητας ἔχει πονηράς

Luttrell Psalter, England ca. 1325-1340 British Library, Add 42130, fol. 185r
Luttrell Psalter, England ca. 1325-1340 British Library, Add 42130, fol. 185r

Gassing You Up! Why Mollusks Are Good Aphrodisiacs

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 8 357d

“The family of mollusks like the octopus, cuttlefish, and other similar animals have flesh that is hard to digest. This is why they work as aphrodisiacs. They themselves are gassy and the pinnacle of sexual activity needs a gassy state.

These kinds of meat are better boiled since they have bitter juices.”

τὸ δὲ τῶν μαλακίων γένος, οἷον πολυπόδων τε καὶ σηπιῶν καὶ τῶν τοιούτων, τὴν μὲν σάρκα δύσπεπτον ἔχει. διὸ καὶ πρὸς ἀφροδισιασμοὺς ἁρμόττουσιν· αὐτοὶ μὲν γάρ εἰσι πνευματώδεις, ὁ δὲ τῶν ἀφροδισιασμῶν καιρὸς πνευματώδους προσδεῖται διαθέσεως. βελτίω δὲ ταῦτα γίνεται ἑψηθέντα· τὰς γὰρ ὑγρότητας ἔχει πονηράς

Luttrell Psalter, England ca. 1325-1340 British Library, Add 42130, fol. 185r
Luttrell Psalter, England ca. 1325-1340 British Library, Add 42130, fol. 185r