The best thing about wild, brief flings—well, OK, the second-best thing about them—is that you don't have to overthink anything. The planning, second-guessing, should-I-really-ing are not a huge part of the equation.
So it's not too surprising that a recent Yelp survey of 2,000 millennials indicated that they're likely to order takeout or grab some snacks with their one-night stands. Of course, anyone who's actively choosing to respond to a Yelp survey might be just a little bit biased... but still: Seventy-seven percent said their food of choice for those hot nights in is pizza. Second runner-up: tacos, with ice cream coming in at a close third.
But are there better options? Maybe instead of the greasy, bloated—but satisfied—feeling you get from a hot slice (or let’s be real, three), you could eat something that gets you right back in the mood.
You already know about the aphrodisiac powers of oysters, but it’s hard (read: impossible) to keep a tray of fresh, raw bivalves in your fridge at all times. Instead, you might want to stock up on these powerful little aphrodisiacs for next time. Hey, it can't hurt, right?
Red ginseng candies
Some studies have indicated that this ancient herbal remedy really does improve libido, testosterone levels, and sperm health (on second thought, that might not be what you’re going for).
Maca cookie dough
Peruvian maca root is another plant-based aphrodisiac that actually holds up in the laboratory when it comes to boosting sexual desire. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men. Gonzales GF, Córdova A, Vega K. Andrologia, 2003, Jul.;34(6):0303-4569. And edible cookie dough is just a good idea in general. You can make your own at home or just buy this spread.
The capsaicin in chili peppers releases endorphins in your brain, giving you a rush of excitement. Capsaicin, a pungent principle of hot red pepper, evokes catecholamine secretion from the adrenal medulla of anesthetized rats. Watanabe T, Kawada T, Yamamoto M. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 1987, Feb.;142(1):0006-291X. You can take all that talk about spicing things up in bed literally... and sip some spicy margaritas while you're there.
Think Italian, Spanish, Greek
So pizza is technically Mediterranean (but let's be real: New York perfected it). However, we're talking about dishes that offer more veggies, fruits, nuts, and olive oil—the good stuff from the so-called Mediterranean diet. If you don't live in a place with high-quality delivery, then make do with a good stash of the above ingredients; studies have shown that people whose diets include those good fats report improved sexual function.
If a few drinks are how you and your fling wound up at your place, skip this. Just like with your shining wit, the arousing benefits of red wine go south after one or two glasses. Regular moderate intake of red wine is linked to a better women's sexual health. Mondaini N, Cai T, Gontero P. The journal of sexual medicine, 2009, Jul.;6(10):1743-6109.
OK, screw science, which has so far only been able to prove that chocolate makes you feel better when you're in a bad mood—get this!—just because it tastes good. Chocolate and women's sexual health: An intriguing correlation. Salonia A, Fabbri F, Zanni G. The journal of sexual medicine, 2006, Aug.;3(3):1743-6095. So, fine: Chocolate is simply a nice thing to have around the house, and it’s nice to offer to both short- and long-term guests.
What to Avoid
Nothing can ruin a mood more than feeling bloated or, yeah, flatulent. There's no time like the present to figure out what your trigger foods are. If you have a sensitivity to dairy or gluten, save the pizza for another night. Sodium is another culprit (and a big component of pizza) that could be making you feel like a very unsexy balloon. While tacos were the second-most popular one-night-stand food, we caution against ordering any with beans, due to the indigestible sugars in that "magical fruit." Onions and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower) are other—very nutritious—ingredients you may want to stay away from right before a hookup.
According to the survey, 21 percent of the respondents said they have turned down a date or relationship because of the other person's eating habits. Turnoffs include chewing too loudly, chewing with their mouth open, eating too much junk food, and drinking too much alcohol.
On the other hand, if you're looking to get that fling out of the house quickly and get back to your regularly scheduled life... turn this list upside down and proceed accordingly.
Sabrina Rojas Weiss lives in Brooklyn, surrounded by her fellow freelance writers and competitive stroller-pushers. Her work has appeared on Refinery29, Yahoo, MTV News, and Glamour.com. The views expressed herein are her own and are meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Follow her on Twitter @shalapitcher.