If you’ve ever seen the “Ambergris” episode of Bob’s Burgers, you know that it is a truly strange substance. Secreted by a sperm whale, it is used both as a food and as an ingredient in some luxury perfumes. Casanova apparently used ambergris-infused perfume to make the ladies swoon, and it has a history in the Middle East of being consumed to increase a man’s virility. One royal family in that region reportedly combines ambergris with milk and honey to create the passion-inducing dish. It is banned in the United States because of the endangered status of the sperm whale, but other countries still buy and sell it. Depending on the size of the ambergris, it can be worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Viagra has won the Pfizer company more free advertising than it could have imagined, yet Viagra is only a treatment, and one with limited application, not an answer to society's dreams. But the debate around sexual dysfunction can stand as metaphor for civic ease and unease; desire frustrated can image a place continually inhibited from realising itself.
The link in this uniquely Irish chain of being is Mr Brian Cowen, Minister for Health, whose function in the current Viagra debate is uncomfortably close to that of the parish priest at a dancehall in 1950s Ireland. He now has the power to influence who may or may not make love, who may or may not experience human intimacy. And all for the cost of the Government grant to the GAA at Croke Park.
In this way, she suggests parsley and truffles may be effective for women in need of an aphrodisiac. These foods have an aroma that is very like that of androsterone, a pheromone responsible for men's sometimes musky body smell, and which is known to influence female arousal.
But beyond the stories, suggestions, and implications drawn from the makeup of the different foods, the scientific evidence remains weak.
Farce - Aphrodisiac: But the debate around sexual dysfunction can stand as metaphor for civic ease and unease.