12 Traditional Christmas Items That Are Low-Key Aphrodisiacs Too

There's "The 12 Days of Christmas". Well, here's how to turn those days into super sexy Christmas nights.

Life & Travel

Now y'all already know, if I could find a way to make sex have a fall theme, that in the spirit of peace and goodwill, a sista had to tie in one of the most popular holidays of the year to coitus too. To tell you the truth, it really wasn't all that hard. All I did was think about some of the things that traditionally go with Christmas and, based on what I already know about aphrodisiacs, see how they lined up with encouraging sexual desire. Hmph. You might be surprised.

As far as how to make Christmas itself the kind of sex-inspired gift that keeps on giving, be on the lookout for a few tips sooner than later (I got you). For now, as you're out 'n about doing some of your holiday shopping, I'd advise that you pick up doubles when it comes to some of the items on this list—one you can use for traditional purposes; the other, you can take into your bedroom so that you can bring a whole new meaning to yuletide cheer.

1. Eggnog


Although eggnog is not my favorite drink in the world, I can be compelled to partake of a sip or two around the holidays. Almost every time I have it, there is a part of me that wonders how it became a part of Christmas cuisine. From what I've researched, it started out in early medieval Britain (they used to drink something similar called "posset"). The combo of milk, eggs and sherry symbolized good health and prosperity. Then monks began to consume it and eventually, around the 1700s, it made its way over to us.

The reason why it qualifies as being an aphrodisiac is because the ingredients that are in it—especially the eggs, honey, vanilla and nutmeg—are things that can help to boost your libido. Eggs are a fertility symbol. Honey contains boron which regulates hormone levels and nitric oxide which intensifies arousal. The smell of vanilla causes a lot of men to have faster erections, and apparently the 50 percent ethanolic extract of nutmeg increases the sex drive; mostly the sex drive of men.

So, if you've never had or liked eggnog, maybe all of this info will inspire you to give it another shot. In the spirit of Christmas—and good sex.

2. Candy Canes

I recently read a couple of articles that said the cooling sensation of peppermint soap or diluted peppermint oil (make sure to dilute the oil; it is really strong) provides the kind of cooling effect that enhances stimulation in women and can even trigger multiple orgasms. That got me to thinking that sucking on a candy cane and then performing oral sex on your partner must be the total bomb. That's why this signature Christmastime candy made the list.

Just make sure that you use peppermint more as a topical thing than anything else. Studies reveal that the menthol in mint, when it's digested by men, can lower their testosterone, not raise it. And who wants that?

3. Gingerbread Houses


How in the world is a gingerbread house an aphrodisiac? It's due to the ginger that it's made from. Aside from the fact that the calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium in ginger is great for treating motion and morning sickness, menstrual cramps and migraines, on the sexual tip, ginger significantly increases blood circulation in both men and women. The more blood that's moving around in our genital regions, the hornier we tend to be. The better our orgasms end up being too. So, spend quality time making a gingerbread house with the kids and a different kind of quality time with your partner eating it once you're done.

4. Mistletoe

This one should be obvious. I mean, "Kissing under the mistletoe"—duh. But if you've ever wondered why so many of us do that, basically it's this. Mistletoe is an evergreen plant that is a symbol of peace. People started kissing underneath it during the Greek festival of Saturnalia, believing that mistletoe protected them from misfortune, along with granting them long life as well as fertility. If that's got you sold, Home Depot, Lowe's and local nurseries typically sell it.

5. Hot Chocolate


You've probably heard somewhere before that chocolate—preferably dark chocolate—is an aphrodisiac. The reason why is because the chemicals phenylethylamine and serotonin that are in it will not only improve your mood, they are considered to be sexual stimulants as well. Some health experts say that you'll get the most sexual benefits out of chocolate if you eat four ounces, on a daily basis, that is made out of 70 percent cocoa. A fun way to get some of those ounces in is to drink some hot chocolate—or to make some chocolate body paint. Or…do both.

6. Figgy Pudding

I don't think I've ever had figgy pudding before (if any of y'all have, let me know in the comments how it tastes). But I have heard a few Christmas songs that mentions it, so yeah, it makes this list too. The main reason is because figs are considered to be an aphrodisiac fruit. A lot of people think this because they like the smell and texture of fresh figs. Also, the antioxidants, flavonoids, fiber, antioxidants and potassium that are in figs are surefire libido booster. And, since figs are a symbol of love and fertility, it can't hurt to at least have a slice of some homemade figgy pudding cake, right?

7. Pine


Back when I was a Christmas-observer, something that I adored was the smell of a live Christmas tree in my home. Well, believe it or not, pine pollen is a proven aphrodisiac. Aside from the 200 nutrients that it contains, the fact that it has DHEA in it, that means that pine pollen also levels out testosterone and estrogen in our bodies. Since it can also help with muscle pain, headaches and nausea, why not keep some of it in your house?

8. Ribbons                 

A woman had me cracking up when she told me that while she loves to be tied up during sex, what will turn her off instantly is if a man pulls out a pair of handcuffs. "How woke can a ninja be if he thinks that with all of this police brutality going on that I want to reenact that bulls—it?" I mean and I'm sayin'.

To me, the alternative would be satin ribbons. They are definitely a Christmas tradition, they are softer and sexier than cuffs and, if you use them instead of cuffs, you won't have to worry about you or your partner being triggered. #MerryChristmas

9. Sleighs


I've been sledding before; it's fun. I've never actually been on a sleigh ride before (you know, when a horse or some reindeer are actually pull the sled), but I will definitely put it on my bucket list. Know what else is going to go on there? The sleigh ride sex position. What the heck is that? From what I've seen and read, it's a spin on reverse cowgirl. The twist is, rather than the woman doing most of the work, her partner (who is lying on his back with his knees slightly bent) helps her out by lightly lifting her pelvis up and meeting her halfway with each thrust. A sleigh ride indeed!

10. Stockings

As far as the Christmas tradition of stockings goes, from what I've read, St. Nicolas once heard about a man who was too poor to pay for his daughters' dowries so that they could marry. The man was also too proud to accept handouts, so one night, St. Nick climbed down the man's chimney and put gold coins in his daughter's stockings (hmm…).

Fast forward to 2019 and, as a male friend and I were discussing what can make a sex life go stale, something that he said was, "When women stop dressing up. It can be just as fun to take off sexy clothes as it is to have sex." When I asked him if there was a particular article of clothing that turned him on especially, he paused for a minute, smiled and then said, "Stockings."

That's cute because I once read another man describe stockings as being "jewelry for women's legs".

That's why stockings are on this list. Extra points are definitely given if they are thigh-highs (like these). Based on the tradition and what the guy shared with me, when stockings are around, all sorts of nice surprises end up…popping up.

11. Toys

Toys ain't just for children. In fact, this is how much the xoTribe is a fan of sex toys. There's the article "8 Crème De La Crème Sex Toys You Can Buy On A Budget". There's "5 Discreet Vibrators That Will Fit Into Your Carry-On". There are also "A $2K Sex Toy Gave Me The Ride (& The Orgasm) Of My Life" and "Yoni Investments: 4 Standards Your Sex Toys Should Meet". So, if you'd like to gift yourself with a toy of your own, those articles should help you out. Or, you can get ahead of the 2020 sex toy trends and treat yourself to a tongue vibrator. (Have mercy!)

12. Color Red


Red is definitely a signature hue for Christmas. As far as color psychology goes, red symbolizes love, passion, energy, sex and intensity. So, if you're trying to figure out what to get your partner, you can never go wrong with some new red lingerie or even some red satin sheets—even if they're just for Christmas Eve or Christmas night. Make it a very Merry Christmas—and to ALL a good night!

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Featured image by Shutterstock

Originally published on December 12, 2019

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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