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November 15, 2005

Eat Your Heart Out - November 15, 2005

Sex and food. These are two things that go particularly well together, a pair that has been entwined throughout history. Aphrodisiacs were sought as remedies for various sexual anxieties, including fears of inadequate performance and the need to increase fertility and potency. Of course, there are certain foods whose physical properties resemble sexual organs (figs, oysters, asparagus, carrots), leading them to be recorded as aphrodisiacs. Yet there are other foods labeled aphrodisiacs that were deemed such for their chemical properties, of which the most well known is chocolate. Called the “nourishment of the gods” by the Aztecs, chocolate contains the alkaloids theobromine and caffeine, both of which stimulate the nervous system, and also includes a small amount of “cannabinoid” chemicals similar to the active ingredient in marijuana. Talk about having a craving for chocolate.

This would be the reason why we see so many chocolate displays in sex stores around the country: chocolate candies, edible chocolate underwear, chocolate lubricant, and, of course, chocolate body paint. Now from a solely culinary standpoint, I was curious—do these actually taste like chocolate? If so, then what distinguishes them from a can of frosting from the supermarket? So I decided to perform a not-so-scientific study with my roommates and tested several leading chocolate body paints. Some were exceptionally bad, and some were pretty good. By cost-per-volume, it is probably more economical to buy a can of frosting, but then again, you don’t want to look like a cheapskate if you are asking your love interest to lick chocolate off of you. Or if you are like me and are currently without a boyfriend, you can just slather the chocolate body paints on some ice cream, the way you would Hershey’s syrup. Because chocolate is pretty good, no matter where it goes.

Chocoholics Body Frosting (original sin chocolate) ($2.50 for 1.5 oz at www.chocolatefantasies.com)

This paint resembled Hershey’s chocolate syrup and possessed a nice dark brown color, reminiscent of melted dark chocolate. According to one tester, “It has good spreadability but it has the aftertaste of chemical burn.” Overall, it was not something that we would have wanted to get down and dirty with. Score: 2 licks out of 5.

Chocolate Fantasy Body Topping (chocolate almond) ($2.50 for 1 oz at www.chocolatefantasies.com)

The almond flavoring of this paint was really artificial, and although it licked off the body smoothly, it did not have a good overall aesthetic quality. It did come with a paintbrush for painting which added a kitschy element; but overall, this was not something that we would want to eat. Score: 2 licks out of 5.

Chocolate Fantasy Body Topping (chocolate raspberry) ($2.50 for 1 oz at www.chocolatefantasies.com)

Similar to the chocolate almond topping above, this also had an artificial flavor that left a medicinal aftertaste, one that was “not enjoyable,” according to one of the testers. It did lick off well, and had somewhat of a sensual feeling to it, yet the chocolate taste was too watery and artificial. Score: 2.5 licks out of 5.

Lickit & Luvit Chocolate Love Cream ($7.49 for 2.5 oz at www.condom.com)

This jar proclaimed that it was made from Belgian chocolates, and, indeed, it tasted more like milk chocolate candies than any of the other paints. Yet, as one tester stuck her finger into the jar, she forcefully proclaimed, “Ew, that felt gross, ew,” objecting to the way the chocolate paint felt. Score: 3.5 licks out of 5.

Naked & Naughty Chocolate Finger Paint ($8.99 for 4.5 oz at www.condom.com)

Despite the fact that this thick chocolate paint was hard to get out of the jar, it had a rich and complex dark chocolate taste, reminiscent of straight cocoa powder. As for its spreadability, one tester suggested that “it feels like you are really painting something,” though it was agreed that it left a slight chalky aftertaste. Score: 4 licks out of 5.

Tom and Sally’s Chocolate Body Paint ($9.95 for 8 oz at www.one passionplace.com)

This was the overall winner of the group. “I would totally use this,” one tester said. Indeed, it has a nice creamy texture that spreads like pudding. Although it had undertones of caramel and butter that seemed to overshadow the chocolate qualities, it was deemed to be the most “natural-tasting” and the best product of those we tested. Score: 5 licks out of 5.