Miscellaneous · Polyamory · Relationships · Tea

tea love

This year, in honor of my love (read: obsession) with tea and Polyamory Week, I decided to to talk about some tea aphrodisiacs and share a little slice of life à la Minx about each one I feature. I read up on tea aphrodisiacs from the website of a tea company I absolutely love, SipsBy. (Did I mention I LOVE TEA? This is not a paid promotion post for any of the tea companies I may mention below; I really just like tea that much. I even had to build extra shelves in my kitchen just to hold my tea collection…and my tea accoutrements still don’t fit so my woodworking boyfriend is going to build me another unit.)

Damiana a herb from a shrub native to central and South America that was used by the Indigenous people as an aphrodisiac in a sort of tea consisting of the leaves of the plant and sugar. When the Europeans colonized the Americas, of course they discovered the drink, and trade expanded it across the world. In 1875, damiana tea was introduced in the U.S. by Dr. J.J. Caldwell, who promoted it as a sexual tonic, and the herb was introduced in many products like wafers and drinks as a result.

I first heard about this tea from a cutie I had a crush on that I met in an online polyamory group a couple years ago. When we’re not in a panini, I tend to put on a lot of tea-centered events. I finally got the courage to invite them to a group outing at a tea house one summer – what I felt was a low stakes way to gauge interest. From that hang out, I discovered that they also enjoy tea more than a normal amount! We chatted about teas during that event and kept up a slow, steady-ish kind of virtual convo in the weeks afterwards.

A few months later, they mentioned wanting to go with someone to RennFest. Since I’m a nerd who buys a multi-day pass every year, I volunteered as tribute. It was a fun time, of course, but in the car AND while we were there, they kept mentioning damiana, how they hoped the shop they usually get it from had it in stock, and schooled me on its properties. I assume they were able to pick up a good supply of it because some time after, when I had a tea party at my house that I invited them to, they gifted me a fair amount of damiana leaves.

You’d think this was the start of a real romantic tale, especially with the casual exchange of aphrodisiacs, right? Well, I’m not very good at being bold in my interest (and I might have been teetering the edge of relationship saturation at that time), so nothing came out of it….EXCEPT my appreciation of damiana tea.

Does it work? Give it a try to find out. In my opinion, I give it 🤤🤤🤤

Ginseng is still used in traditional Chinese medicine to help treat sexual dysfunction and to improve sexual desire, and has been a part of Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. As it grew in popularity, ginseng became a symbol of divine harmony and was frequently used in trade. It’s still a popular herb in tea today.

Years ago, when I put on my first annual Mad Hatter Tea Party (yes, I’m that person), I invited this good friend – someone I had had a crush on for years. (Hmmmm…I’m starting to notice a theme with folks I have crushes on). She was pretty neutral about tea, honestly, but I suspect came because she thought it would be fun…and maybe because she also had had a crush on me for some time. (Queer women, amirite?)

WELL, during that party, I shared a lot of tea with her specifically, and there was a ginger ginseng tea from Adagio Teas (shoutout, cuz I buy a bulk of my teas from them!) that she really enjoyed. It delighted me how much her eyes lit up and the questions she asked about tea after that. I even brought that same tea along on a camping trip that we took a couple of years later – one where I was going to express my feelings for her. I even practiced my speech beforehand, and figured one night while we were sharing a bed and snuggling I would bring it up. But then the first night she ranted around the campfire about how so many folks she thought were friends turned out to want to use her for clout or sex, so I abandoned my plan to share my feelings and only shared the tea, once again.

This story has a happy ending though – we eventually admitted our crushes and then, after a long slow burn, became official. She’s now my girlfriend, our one year anniversary is coming up, and she has her own tea corner in her house. Her hubby asks me “What kind of tea would you like?” when I go over, so I think he may have gotten some tea education too (h̴e̴h̴e̴). I continue to share teas that I enjoy with her, and she introduces me to new teas, too!

Oh, and here’s the Adagio Tea blend, for those interested.

Cinnamon is another spice has a long history: it’s been referenced in Chinese writing all the way back to 2800 BC. Worth even more than silver for its health and aphrodisiac properties, it’s caused wars due to its high demand. Traditional cinnamon, also known as Ceylon cinnamon, is produced in Sri Lanka and was held in a monopoly by the Dutch until England eventually took over the territory after winning it from France.

I rarely use sweeteners in my tea, but I frequently put a whole stick of cinnamin in my black tea for just the right amount of spicy sweetness. But I also use cinnamon in my spiritual practice. I have an in interest in, and study ATRs, or African Traditional Religions. I practice my form of hoodoo (and lean heavily into animism and astrology). Cinnamon has been used throughout history to purify and sanctify (both spiritual spaces and the body, as it is still used to treat upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting among other things).

Now before I get too woo and scare some of you off: the point of this post is that I use cinnamon to relax and love myself. And being an introvert with several partners means I take my alone time seriously. Tea is a way I slow down and reflect. Taking time to get a warm cup of tea, dress in a sexy, comfortable piece of lingerie, and breathe in the calming aroma of cinnamon reminds me that 𝐼 am precious and worth being loved simply for existing.

(Here’s a gorgeous cinnamon tea from a Black owned company, Just Add Honey, that also has one of my favorite tea shirts – please go check out their shop!)

Beets – a polarizing root veggie. They were enjoyed in Ancient Rome and Greece for their aphrodisiac properties. The gorgeous pink color of beets is reminiscent of love, and the juice was used as a lip and cheek stain by women in the 19th century. Because beets contain boran, they help to boost your sex hormones while also increasing stamina.

HOWEVER, I don’t use them that way, and my memories of beets don’t really jibe with sexual connection. But I wanted to put this here cuz I’m a relationship anarchist, and a lot of my deepest connections are platonic. Beets remind me of my bae, one of my longest partners, one of my deepest emotional connections, my Tre. I don’t know how we discovered that we both love beets, sometime when we were living together, I suspect. But bonding over cooking, in general, is something I associate with her because she is one of the best cooks I know.

And I can’t tell yall how proud I was the day she texted me, asking me how I cook my beets. I felt like I was on top of the world. And now that I know there’s beet tea out there, I’m gonna share that with her.

Chocolate was so beloved that the Mayans referred to it as “food of the Gods,” and the cocoa bean has a long-time tie to sex. The Mayans used it to pay for prostitutes. The Aztec ruler Montezuma was said to consume as many as 50 cups of cocoa elixir before heading to his harem. When chocolate was introduced to Europe by the Spanish explorers, it wasn’t as an aphrodisiac, but the Europeans soon discovered there was more to chocolate than just its delicious taste, and it is still used as an aphrodisiac today.

Cocoa nib based teas are usually what I use to lure folks over into the tea side. Personally, I don’t care much for most chocolate (I actually don’t like many sweets, although I do enjoy a really dark chocolate with sea salt and nuts), but even I know it is irresistable to most folks. It’s how I got my old office drinking looseleaf tea on occasion (by making a big ol’ pot of Fireside Cocoa by Tea & Absinthe, the nerdiest tea company), why I have it on hand for all my parties for those who claim they aren’t tea drinkers, and how I showed a metamour that hot tea can be as good as sweet ice tea.

Matter of fact, that partner is now buying a good amount of looseleaf tea for both themself and their partner (my metamour). Seems I have quite a bit of influence on people’s tastes – or I just rant and rave about tea long enough until people listen.

A win, either way.

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