READ MORE | Catch up on all the Need Wood? columns on Project Q Atlanta

Papa likes to eat! And not always the healthy stuff. Can diet affect sexual performance? In a word, kinda. If your body is a cholesterol storehouse, beware your stamina and stiffy, but forget miracle foods.

Hey Mike!
imageThe guys and I have been tossing around the idea that eating well can improve your sex life. One friend says that a healthy diet can make you last longer and go stronger in bed.

I think my sex life is amazing, and after (mumble) years, I even hear I’m good at it. But other than trying to keep my weight below a certain threshold, I don’t worry much about what I eat. My friends say that if I tossed down a salad before tossing salad, both my partners and myself would actually be more satisfied.

Do you think I should do less pizza and cheesecake and more salmon and fruit? Will cutting the Cokes for water really make that much difference?
—Dying to Eat

Dear Dying:
imageYes, I do but not in the sense that if you eat, say, blueberries, that somehow you’re going to put an extra “o” in “ooohhh.”

If you want diet to affect your sex life, concentrate on eating food that helps your heart. Why? Because getting firmer erections and being more sensitive to stimulation requires good blood flow to the genitals. That’s why guys with clogged arteries have such a hard time getting it up.

That means any diet helping the heart pump blood is a diet that’s good for sex. So what does a sex diet look like?

Low-fat foods, lots of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, getting 10 percent of calories from fat, 5 percent from saturated fat and 75 percent from carbohydrates. Blah, blah, blah. You’ve heard all this shit before. I ain’t writing a diet column, though I do hear, “Eat Me!” a lot.

Again, anything friendly to the heart is friendly to the hard. The thing you’re asking for is the thing I can’t give you—what specific foods can help you become Le Stud. I’ve seen magazines single out foods like eggs, vanilla ice cream, celery, grapes, blueberries and oysters, but they’re talking out of their asses.

Those articles are based on the idea that particular vitamins and nutrients in some foods can boost an aspect of sex. For example, the vitamins in eggs supposedly reduce performance anxiety and premature ejaculation. Puh-leeeez.

Scientists laugh at the idea that a particular food can have a particular effect on sex. It’s true that some vitamins and nutrients have particular sexual benefits, but the amount you’d have to eat would give you some sorry-ass side effects. Blueberries, for instance, improve blood flow to the genitals. But to have an effect, you’d have to eat so much you’d get diarrhea. Great. Now your partner can blow your hardest hard-on while you’re choking the toilet.

There are some interesting, valid studies done by legitimate scientists on food’s effect on sex, but they have more to do with what you smell than what you chew. For example, the neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment & Research Foundation in Chicago conducted two studies that measured penile reaction to different smells.

Men appeared to be turned on most by a combination of lavender and pumpkin pie smells. So if you’re on a coffee date, order the pumpkin-spice latte and wear a lavender-based after-shave.

Research has shown time and again that smells have an effect on the sexual desire of a partner but we don’t know exactly how. We do know, however, that how you smell is correlated to what you eat. Beyond that, there are no specific foods guaranteed to improve your sex life.

imageContributing blogger Mike Alvear is an Atlanta-based columnist, author and TV personality. Dating life in the dirt? Download his ebooks, “Attract Hotter Guys with the Secrets & Science of Sexual Body Language,” and “Attract Hotter Guys Online: The Secrets To Making Yourself Irresistible on Gay Dating Sites.” Have a question for Need Wood? Just .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).