You've thought about your hair, your outfit (and what goes under your outfit), your shoes, and even your perfume choice. But have you thought about what you'll eat? Here are 9 foods to skip—plus 3 to pick—for a steamy night out.
Garlic: No amount of gum or mints can overcome the pungence of the "stinky rose." Unless you're trying to escape sucking face with a vampire, avoid at all costs.
Spaghetti: Gracefully twirling noodles is about as easy as herding cats. And there's nothing—I repeat nothing—sexy about hoovering unruly strands or splattering tomato sauce all over your lap.
Beans: Take a cue from your grade school days and remember this valuable life lesson: "Beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot."
Spinach: This leafy green is absolutely wonderful until it sticks in your teeth and remains there uncomfortably until you notice it in the bathroom mirror. Your date will have no choice but to grapple with some very uncomfortable questions: Should I say something? Should I pretend not to notice?
Soup: Sick days. Cold nights. Liquid Diets. There's a time and a place for soup, but slurping your way through a meal (while trying to reign in a runny nose), isn't exactly romantic.
Spicy Food: Save the heat for the bedroom. A spice-induced sweat sesh is guaranteed awkward—especially when your makeup starts to melt.
Asparagus: Our bodies convert asparagusic acid (aptly named, as it's only found in asparagus) into sulfer-containing molecules that leave quite the scent in your urine. This vegetable is definitely a no-go if you're planning to go farther than second base.
"Bottomless" Anything: If you're looking forward to dessert (and I'm not talking about tiramisu), it may be smart to pace yourself. Bottomless booze makes it easy to overindulge, to the point where you're falling all over him—literally—before you've even made it out of the restaurant.
Red Meat: Great taste, seriously smelly results. A study out of the Czech Republic found that subjects who ate red meat were perceived to have a less pleasant, less attractive and more intense odor than their veggie noshin' counterparts.
So which foods are safe options?
Salmon: Talk about a win-win: By improving your circulation and boosting blood flow, the omega-3s found in fatty fish can also help stimulate sex drive.
Whole Grains: Prepare for a marathon—not a race—with slow-burning, complex carbs such as whole-grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, and barley.
Dark Chocolate: The melt-in-your-mouth goodness is sensual enough as it is. But dark chocolate, in particular, is rich in phenylethylamine, the same chemical associated with love, sex, and overall bliss. So yeah—green light on the molten lava cake.
Kathryn O'Malley is a freelance writer for MarieClaire.com and the creator of dramaticpancake.com, a food blog devoted to the people and stories behind great recipes.