Valerie Payne is a media producer at CNN
Food and sex make natural bedfellows, according to C. Nzingha Smith, author of "Lust-Have Recipes: IN-Gredients for Stimulation.” Her cookbook, co-written with caterer Melissa Roberts, is packed with sensual recipes, erotic poetry and sex tips inspired by real-life couples.
According to Smith, "Couples need to find different ways to arouse and turn each other on and translate that into the bedroom." Each recipe in the book contains some type of aphrodisiac ingredient, which she describes as "stimulation thought to arouse sexual excitement."
The author invited me into her kitchen for a little taste of some of the meals from her cookbook. She prepared "Oral Fix," a roasted asparagus salad with a pomegranate vinaigrette, "Double Jointed," a Parmesan-encrusted mahi-mahi fillet with a side of coconut rice, and "Juicy," a peach parfait - all seen in the video above. Asparagus is one of the aphrodisiacs used in the recipe "Oral Fix," and the book claims that eating it three days in a row may increase libido.
All of the meals in the book are light, simple and easy to minimize kitchen prep and post-meal sluggishness. "The basis of the night should be in the bedroom," Smith says.
I asked Smith to share her top three sex tips from the book. First she offered that role playing can be a fun way to bring the spark back to any partnership. She suggests meeting your partner at a bar or lounge, pretending you are strangers, then meeting up for a "one night stand." Second, she advised cuddling in bed and reading erotic stories or poetry. Last, Smith claimed that if a man drinks pineapple juice it will...you'll have to pick up the book and discover that one for yourself.
My personal favorite tip from the book was writing a "lust letter" to your partner. Smith says we as a society are so caught up in digital media that it's a refreshing change to write an old-fashioned paper love letter to that special someone. It's as simple as grabbing a sticky note, writing, "I love you" and leaving it on the bathroom mirror for your lover to see in the morning.
Smith emphasizes that couples need to slow down and take some time to explore each other and try new things. "Lust-Have Recipes" just might provide the little bit of spice you're missing.