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Geoducks are a species of clam from North America, sold as aphrodisiacs, but are they?

  • 1987 UPI article: Saving the geoduck from the sexually hungry

    'The geoduck is threatened with extinction due to a voracious international appetite for aphrodisiacs,' the Save the Geoduck Committee said in a statement released Tuesday in New York.

    The committee said that Japanese have been 'devouring' the geoduck 'raw as sushi and in powdered form as a purported aphrodisiac.'

    Japanese and other Asian people 'have had to supplement their voracious appetite for sexually arousing diets with the Puget Sound geoduck, hailed for its aphrodisiac qualities and its extraordinary muscular elasticity,' the group said.

  • 2015 BBC News article: The 'phallic' clam America sells to China -

    Its delicate texture and exotic looks are prized by connoisseurs - who consider the "elephant trunk clam", as it is known in China, to be an aphrodisiac.

  • 2016 Eater article: Everything You Need to Know About Geoducks

    And if the texture and taste aren't enough to please, these wrinkly creatures are also heralded as aphrodisiacs — especially in China. Scientific explanations for these unique properties are few and far between. (Maybe they just spark love because it's nearly impossible to look at a geoduck and not think of a penis.)

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    Most "aphrodisiacs" (not only in Chinese culture) are simply things that have a phallic appearance or stand up very straight - like the horn of a rhinoceros, which was made into an aphrodisiac by Western media. People mostly wished for their own body (or parts thereof) to imitate this appearance. The definition of "aphrodisiac" varies between people and cultures, but if you want immediate, measurable results, you have to resort to Viagra and similar substances. – Elmy Aug 26 at 7:20
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    @Elmy : makes me wonder why viagra pills are not produced and sold in the shape of a phallus... – Evargalo Aug 26 at 8:38
  • Most aphrodisiac are resembling pussies, to me. It might be cultural and sex orientation. They even stink the same if it happened you dated the wrong one :) – Alchimista Sep 19 at 10:55
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I couldn't find any studies of aphrodisiac properties of the Geoduck clam.

Other clams have been investigated, for example, Aplysia dactylomela. In one experiment extract from clam is compared to negative control (vehicle) and positive control (Viagra). Authors showed that lipid extract from this clam does induce mounting behavior in mice above control. But the quality of this research is low (for example, no dose-response relationship, and just 2 animals were used per group).

It is important to note that the placebo effect can drive aprodisiac function. For example in controlled study of 2% testosterone, 30% of control group (taking placebo) reported increased sex drive. As often with any intervention, if patient expects improvement of subjective characteristic X, there is a chance that X will improve.

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