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Eat Up, Sis. Thanksgiving Foods That Are Great For Your Sex Life.

Traditional Thanksgiving dishes can be tasty...on a few levels.

Food & Drink

Whenever the seasons change or a holiday rolls around, I try and find a way to incorporate sex into it. For instance, last month, I wrote about how to have Halloween-themed sex and, last year, I wrote "Here's How To Have Some Really Great Fall-Themed Sex". Today, in honor of Thanksgiving—and the fact that all of us who are actually here to see it in our right mind, most definitely have much to be grateful for after all that 2020 manifested—I figured I'd focus on traditional Thanksgiving foods that can actually make your sex life better.

Hopefully, this will accomplish two things. One, it will motivate you to do a little cooking this year and two, it will prevent you from overeating so that you can have a little dessert—wink, wink—once you're done. So, let's dig into 10 Thanksgiving-themed foods that are delicious—in the kitchen as well as the bedroom. (By the way, if you click on some of the food reference links, they will take you to a few recipes. No need to thank me. It's all good.)

1. Turkey

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What in the world would Thanksgiving be without turkey (especially fried turkey, but I digress)? Health-wise, turkey is off-the-charts, in the best way possible, when it comes to protein. Turkey is also a good source of nutrients like vitamins B3, B6 and B12, selenium, phosphorus and zinc (bookmark that zinc part; I'll be circling back around to it in just a sec) and the amino acid tryptophan. The selenium in turkey helps to balance your thyroid. The Vitamin B6 helps to give your system energy. And, aside from tryptophan being able to produce what is so well known in the Black community as "the itis", that amino acid is also great at strengthening your immune system as well.

On the sex tip, turkey earns itself a round of applause because of the zinc that it's got. Not only does zinc help to increase the level of sexual arousal in both men and women, it can help your partner to maintain his erection longer too. Turkey legs for everyone!

2. Herb Stuffing

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Aside from turkey, probably the most popular Thanksgiving dish is stuffing. Well, if it's really good, it's gonna have hella seasonings in it, right? If you happen to make stuffing that has garlic and sage in it, you are doing your body a world of good! Garlic is good for you because it contains potent properties that can help to fight heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer cells and, thanks to its antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties specifically, it's a beast when it comes to stopping colds and the flu in their tracks. Sage is dope because it contains a fair amount of Vitamin K and antioxidants that can help to support your oral health, improve your memory, keep your bones strong, slow down signs of aging and even reduce menopause-related symptoms.

The reason why these both are must-have seasonings for your (cornbread) stuffing is because garlic has the organosulfur compound allicin in it; allicin is able to increase blood circulation in your body, including when it comes to your sex organs. Meanwhile, sage can help to keep your estrogen and progesterone levels balanced (the more balanced your hormones are, the better and sexier you'll feel) while decreasing your stress hormone cortisol, so that you're less anxious and way more calm.

Au Gratin Potatoes

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As far as potatoes go, definitely sweet potatoes are the healthiest. Matter of fact, they are actually considered to be a "perfect food" (I shouted out that very point in an article about your diet vs. your sex life here). But today, since it seems that white potatoes oftentimes get a bad rap, I decided to share some of the benefits that come from eating them from time to time too. White potatoes contain a good amount of protein, fiber, vitamins B6 and C, potassium, manganese and magnesium. They also are filled with antioxidants, can help to balance out your blood sugar levels, can improve your digestion and are totally gluten-free.

It's the potassium in white potatoes that specifically make them a sex drive increaser. For one thing, potassium is able to help to regulate your thyroid while increasing sex hormone production in men. Plus, people who deal with depression-related symptoms are oftentimes low in potassium, so knowing that it can put you in a better mood is one reason to serve up some au gratin potatoes this year.

4. Roasted Asparagus

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Let me just go ahead and say this on the front end—if you like to give fellatio, you might wanna skip out on this dish. On the other hand, if you borderline hate giving head, serving up some roasted asparagus may be ideal. The reason why I say that is because, some people have claimed that when their partner has asparagus within a day of engaging in oral sex, it has sometimes created an odor that is a little, let's say "odd".

Still, asparagus makes the list of semi-traditional Thanksgiving foods that are great for sex because it's a veggie that is high in folate which triggers histamine production in your body. Histamine is an organic chemical compound that helps to boost sexual arousal and can even make it easier for us to orgasm. Now do you see why it's on here?

As far as other reasons why roasted asparagus is a great Thanksgiving side dish, it's got protein, fiber, antioxidants, a good amount of Vitamin K and a fair amount of vitamins A, B1 and C. All of this can work together to lower your blood pressure, reduce bodily inflammation and protect your skin from damaging UV rays.

5. Cranberry Sauce

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Pretty much the only berries that are in its peak shape during this time of the year are cranberries. When it comes to their health benefits, cranberries are considered to be a superfood because they're high in antioxidants, vitamins A, B, C and K, potassium and magnesium, with even a bit of zinc and iron too. It's especially a good idea to add them to your diet because cranberries can help to reduce your risk of heart disease, improve your oral health and they're awesome at keeping UTIs at bay.

Without question, cranberry sauce is a signature Thanksgiving treat. The reason why you should make (or serve) some this year is because the Vitamin B in them can increase your drive while the Vitamin C in them can help to synthesize your androgen, estrogen and progesterone hormones, so that you're able to stay sexually aroused.

6. Cloves

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Smoked ginger chicken with cloves. Moroccan hummus that's flavored with cloves. Homemade ginger snaps (the best ones contain cloves). These are just some of the dishes that you can offer up on Thanksgiving that have another edible item that can boost your libido. Yep. You've guessed it—cloves.

Aside from the fact that this particular spice contains a good amount of fiber, antioxidants and manganese, cloves have antimicrobial properties that can kill the kind of bacteria that leads to tooth decay. Cloves also have a reputation for being able to regulate blood sugar, increase liver health, fight the development of cancer cells, reduce stomach ulcers, make your bones stronger and also boost your libido.

On the libido tip, cloves are effective because they're the kind of spice that can warm up your body while increasing blood flow, including to your genital region. And since they can also increase your energy levels, I'm pretty sure you can see why I thought that they just had to go on this list.

7. Red Wine

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Ain't nothin' wrong with a glass—or a bottle—of red wine over the holidays. It's good for you because it's the kind of alcoholic drink that is filled with antioxidants. Plus, red wine can help to keep your heart healthy, it's able to protect your body from radical cells, it can balance out your blood sugar levels and it can even reduce the risk of experiencing depression-related symptoms.

And yep, red wine is good for your sex drive too. The main reasons are because it not only has the ability to increase your sex drive, but studies have found that red wine can cause women to produce more lubrication too. Just make sure to drink enough to get tipsy and not drunk. The flip side is too much alcohol can zap your energy.

8. Hot Chocolate

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A cup of hot chocolate on a cold fall day, whether it's Thanksgiving or not, is always divine. If the drink is homemade with a good amount of dark chocolate in it, you'll be enjoying something that is an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, zinc and manganese. All of these things can help to protect your skin from damaging UV rays, protect your heart, improve your brain function, fight off free radicals, boost your mood, reduce your risk of getting diabetes and can control your appetite which can ultimately lead to weight loss over time.

Sipping a little with your Thanksgiving evening dessert can increase blood circulation throughout your entire body. And, since dark chocolate is proven to be able to trigger the production of serotonin and dopamine in your system, drinking some hot chocolate can make you want to get extra close to your partner as well. #drinkup

9. Apple Crisp

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Most of us have heard the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". Well, when you stop to think about all of the good things that can come from eating this piece of fruit, there actually can be quite a bit of truth within that statement. First up, apples are a good source of fiber and Vitamin C, plus it contains small amounts of many other vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, E and K along with manganese, potassium and copper. As far as health benefits go, apples are great because they help to keep your cholesterol levels in check, can lower your diabetes risk, promote good gut health, will protect your lungs from oxidative stress and even apples even help to stop your brain from experiencing mental decline

And just what can apples do for your libido? Well, because they are full of the flavonoid (which is an antioxidant) called quercetin, apples are able to increase blood circulation to your genitalia, help to fight erectile dysfunction in men and also strengthen sexual desire in women. Apple crisp, anyone?

10. Pumpkin Pie

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Last year, I watched a video that addressed the long-standing debate within the Black community about what's better—sweet potato or pumpkin pie (Tony Baker and KevOnStage debated it here and Kev had some friends try pumpkin pie here). Personally, I like them both; however, on the sex tip, it's gonna be pumpkin pie for the win, each and every time!

Aside from the fact that the combination of pumpkin and lavender essential oils can increase a man's erection speed by as much as 40 percent (crazy, right?), pumpkins are another food that are high in zinc (we already discussed what zinc does) and omega-3 fatty acids which can help to balance out the prostaglandins (hormone-like substances), so that you are able to maintain great sexual health.

And since pumpkin is also a signature Thanksgiving fruit that is loaded with Vitamin A, protein, fiber while also being a good source of Vitamin C, copper, potassium and manganese, and since it can also help to strengthen your visual, boost your immune system, give you healthy skin, protect your heart and reduce your risks of being diagnosed with a chronic disease—why in the world would you not wanna serve up a delicious homemade pumpkin pie this year? Eat up and enjoy. On every level, y'all!

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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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