According to psychosexual therapist Paula Hall, of Relate: Oxytocin is the "bonding chemical" that is released during sex - with the amount released increasing with the quality and quantity of the sex (more orgasms equals more oxytocin and a greater sense of closeness and the feelings of desire and love).
According to one research report, men’s armpit sweat may relax women and make them more receptive to and successful in mating:
"Male axillary extracts contain pheromones that affect pulsatile secretion of luteinizing hormone and mood in women recipients." ~ Preti, G. et al. (2003). Biology of Reproduction. 68, 2107 - 2103.
More intriguingly, findings have also been reported that extracts from the armpits of young women function as a male sexual attractant:
"Pheromones, sexual attractiveness and quality of life in menopausal women." ~ Cutler WB, Genovese E. (2002). Climacteric. 2002 Jun;5(2):112-21
"Pheromonal Influences on Sociosexual Behavior in Postmenopausal Women" ~ Susan Rako and Joan Friebel (2005). The Journal of Sex Research, 41; 372 -381).
Something which, probably needs no further elaboration here, but which was even featured in a business article in the early part of the decade: (with Dr. Stuart Meloy).
Although an interesting segue is tempting, paraphilias are not the focus of this discussion. But, never fear, much more can be read on the topic - perhaps starting from the salient 2002 paper of Kreuger and Kaplan:
"Behavioral and Psychopharmacological Treatment of the Paraphilic and Hypersexual Disorders"
Journal of Psychiatric Practice. 8(1):21-32.
Other interesting papers on the topic:
As cited in such papers as that of Dr D Hodgson in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine:
"Of gods and leeches: treatment of priapism in the nineteenth century." ~ J R Soc Med. 2003 November; 96(11): 562–565.
According to The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy - Finley Ellingwood, M.D., 1919.
The finding is further supported by modern homeopathic approaches (which also recommend, amongst a host of other treatments, Salix nigra). Perhaps this is because some evidence also exists of certain drugs - including cannabis - causing priapism?
This concept was also noted elsewhere: “chronic use of cocaine or ephedrine [and ephedra] may deplete norepinephrine from sympathetic nerve terminals, leading to priapism”. Quoted from:
Munarriz R, Hwang J, Goldstein I, Traish AM, Kim NN. (2003) Cocaine and ephedrine-induced priapism: case reports and investigation of potential adrenergic mechanisms. Urology. 62(1):187-92
Leiblum SR, Nathan SG. (2001). Persistent sexual arousal syndrome: a newly discovered pattern of female sexuality. J Sex Marital Ther.; 27(4):365-80
At least when compared to that focussed on increasing desire.
Using Google as an indicator:
“aphrodisiac” yields over eight million hits,
“anaphrodisiac” yields only around 50 thousand.
One holistic medicine site defines anaphrodisiac as “herbs that decrease or allay sexual feelings or desires”, but gives no examples. In contrast, the same website defines aphrodisiac as “(Sanskrit- Vajikarana) Restores or increases sexual power and desire. Two types: Tonics: Develop tissue substance. Stimulants: increase the functioning of the reproductive organs." It goes on to list a series of categorized examples: "Angelica, ahwagandha, asparagus, fenugreek, fo-ti, ginseng, gokshura, hibiscus, kapikachu seeds, pippali, rose, saffron, and shatavari. The nutritive tonics such as aghwagandha, bala, fo-ti, ghee, licorice, marshmallow, sesame seeds, and Shatavari increase semen and breast milk.”
“…a rise in prolactin and dihydroepiandrosterone levels…may reduce the sensitivity of the receptors and lutropin in the testes and inhibit testosterone secretion.”
Urol Nefrol (Mosk). 1993 Mar-Apr;(2):47-50.
Liu J, Burdette JE, Xu H, Gu C, van Breemen RB, Bhat KP, Booth N, Constantinou AI, Pezzuto JM, Fong HH, Farnsworth NR, Bolton JL. (2001). Evaluation of estrogenic activity of plant extracts for the potential treatment of menopausal symptoms. J Agric Food Chem; 49(5):2472-9.
Tesch BJ (2002). Herbs commonly used by women: an evidence-based review. Dis Mon; 48(10):671-96.
Armanini D, Bonanni G, Mattarello MJ, Fiore C, Sartorato P, Palermo M. (2003). "Licorice consumption and serum testosterone in healthy man." Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 111(6):341-3
Armanini D, Fiore C, Mattarello MJ, Bielenberg J, Palermo M. (2002). "History of the endocrine effects of licorice." Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 110(6):257-61
Armanini D, Bonanni G, Palermo M. (1999). "Reduction of serum testosterone in men by licorice." N Engl J Med; 341(15):1158.
Or, the conflicting results of:
Josephs RA, Guinn JS, Harper ML, Askari F. (2001) "Liquorice consumption and salivary testosterone concentrations." Lancet; 358(9293):1613-4).
A 1988 Japanese study demonstrated a reduction in plasma testosterone levels in women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome when placed on a regime using a traditional Japanese herbal medicine known as shakuyaku-kanzo-to (which contains both liquorice root and peony root extracts).
Takahashi K, Yoshino K, Shirai T, Nishigaki A, Araki Y, Kitao M. (1988) " Effect of a traditional herbal medicine (shakuyaku-kanzo-to) on testosterone secretion in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome detected by ultrasound." Nippon Sanka Fujinka Gakkai Zasshi. 40(6):789-92.
Ilayperuma I, Ratnasooriya WD, Weerasooriya TR (2002). "Effect of Withania somnifera root extract on the sexual behaviour of male rats." Asian J Androl. 4(4):295-8.