Finding Love in a Half Shell
Feb 09 2017

Finding Love in a Half Shell

It's not just the oyster, it's what they represent, how we revere and even emulate them and what our consumption of them says about us and does for us. Oysters are not just aphrodisiacs, they are a representation of sexuality.

“Science is the poetry of reality.” – Richard Dawkins

Science is the answer to the age-old question of oysters being aphrodisiacs. Neuroscience research reveals that a rare amino acid is present in oysters, and it stimulates hormone development, thereby enhancing libido. Oysters also contain neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. It is the ultimate dating cocktail!

In his famed book, "A Geography of Oysters," author Rowan Jacobsen politely refers to the oyster's appearance as "labial." It's an obvious observation that can be arousing. As with other aphrodisiacs like avocados, figs, asparagus, bananas, or nuts because of their appearance or form, we naturally succumb to the temptation to follow the paths of our associations.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” – Charles Caleb Colton

Finding Love in a Half Shell Oysters do something remarkable from a sexual standpoint. They are evolved to maximize the efficiency by which they reproduce. They are among the most virile creatures on Earth and dedicated to sexual activity.

Now consider the context in which oysters are most commonly consumed. These are convivial occasions. Eating oysters on a date, covertly suggests that you are daring, taboo or wild. Now, with all of the neurotransmitters stimulated and hormones flowing it is no wonder so many of these occasions end amorously. Robb Vices’ February surprise will enhance that cocktail of love and increase your chances by decreasing your inhibitions.

Finding Love in a Half Shell

“… ritual is permissible only to the extent that it is as genuine as a kiss.” ― Ludwig Wittgenstein

Oyster consumption is steeped in all kinds of process and ritual. Even the process of shucking is an activity by which a prize is coaxed from its protective shell. Ultimately finesse, skill and strength forces the shell to yield and present its fruit.

There is also a kind of murderous ritual taking place at a raw bar. You can consume an oyster just moments after it is killed. Just as our ancestors did at the beginning.

The act of eating them is also a ritual. Choosing them. Dressing them. Preparing your palate with wine. Getting them off the shell and into your mouth elegantly. Thinking about the flavor profile. Savoring them.

“In history, a great volume is unrolled for our instruction…” Edmund Burke

Eating oysters is foreplay. It has been for thousands of years. And for hundreds of cultures on all of the continents. If anything is true for humanity, it is those things we have all agreed upon. Since recorded history began, oysters have always been considered to be an aphrodisiac.

The historical anecdotes are numerous. We know oysters were always served before Roman orgies. We know of Lord Byron's assertion that oysters were his secret weapon in lovemaking, as well as, tales of Casanova’s reliance on oysters to boost his ability to perform sexually.

My favorite Roman theory was posited by Chef Sandy Ingber of the Grand Central Oyster Bar. He suggested to me that the reason Rome conquered Brittany and England was for the oysters which were so revered as aphrodisiacs that the cost and casualties of war were acceptable.

We all know Jonathan Swift's famous quote "He was a bold man who first ate an oyster!"

There is a primal connection that modern humans have to oysters that is on par with the primal connection we have with sex.

"Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Goethe

So is the oyster really an aphrodisiac? It conclusively seems so.

It is human nature to demonstrate individual boldness; especially modern human nature. Consuming oysters has been considered bold for eons because they have genius, power and magic in them. Eating oysters is bold. Doing something bold in life brings us status. Bold people with status are sexy.

“Secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.” – Charles Dickens

Oysters cannot do all the work. Robb Vices’ February box is designed to take bold and sexy to the next level. A carefully curated compilation of eccentricity, romance and seduction. “What’s inside?” you ask.

“What is more alluring than a secret?” we reply.