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Is Caviar Natural Viagra? Fishing for the Sexy Truth on ‘Bling Empire’

The odd claim about caviar and sex on Netflix’s new reality show sent me on the hunt for the truth about aphrodisiacs

Netflix’s new reality TV series Bling Empire, about a few immensely wealthy Los Angeles socialites, is full of unexpectedly sexual moments. Straight himbos rip off their shirts in testimonials, people constantly flirt in haute couture and a penis pump flies out the window of a Beverly Hills mansion.

However, the most alluring moment comes as an unassuming aside in the first episode. If you’re not listening carefully, you’ll miss the… well, fishy comment. 

The cast is gathered at matriarch Anna Shay’s (haunted) Beverly Hills home for a party. A very pregnant Cherie Chan, heiress to an undisclosed denim empire and former pop star in Japan, is in line at the buffet with her hot fiancé who won’t propose, Jessy Lee. Their friend Kane Lim (the group’s unreliable narrator) approaches the duo and asks Chan what she’s eating.

Cherie Chan, the claimer of caviar’s sexual powers, on Bling Empire. Courtesy of Netflix ©2021

“Caviar. Really good for men,” Chan says, wearing a luxurious fur-lined coat and nodding profusely. “Natural viagra.” 

Lim, who is off-camera, questions if that could be true. Chan is nine months pregnant when she makes her sexual-health claim, so it doesn’t seem like Lee needed to chow down on caviar before going to pound town. (Sorry!) But Chan doubles down. Maybe she knows because Lee actually did need a bite nine months ago before, um, taking a bite.

“No. Google it,” Chan says, adamant. I don’t think Lim ever did Google it. The scene jumps to a testimonial of Lim critiquing Chan’s penchant for overusing Facetune. “Oh my gosh, Cherie, you look like Asian Avatar,” he says. Rude! 

The rest of the episode is filled with enough hijinks to make this innocuous comment forgettable: rival diamond necklaces, shady dinner seatings and enough candelabras to make Lumiere jealous. Still, I’m wondering if Chan’s wellness Viagra hack is true.

So, let’s do as she instructed and Google it. 

In 2019, the BBC reported that caviar is an ancient aphrodisiac. “Historically, foods considered to be aphrodisiacs were hard to find, rare or expensive, like truffles, foie gras and caviar, or shaped like a sex organ, like asparagus or artichokes, and even animal testicles,” Martha Hopkins, author of the aphrodisiac cookbook The New Intercourses, told the BBC. 

Caviar, an egg, can actually stimulate blood flow. It contains the amino acid L-arginine, common in protein-rich dishes like fish and red meat. (Another hot ingredient to look for is quercetin, found in red wine, green tea and kale.)

So does that make caviar an aphrodisiac? Maybe not a strong one, but the placebo effect may help its cause. The suggestion of eating a Sex Food — something edible that “suggests sex to the mind,” per WebMD — is likely enough to get some people in the zone. 

However, an aphrodisiac is not the same as a medical cure. For example, Viagra doesn’t cause arousal. It’s a pharmaceutical drug that relaxes muscles in blood vessels to increase blood flow to the penis. In plain English, Viagra won’t actually turn you on; it simply forces your dick up. Being horny, well, that’s still on you. 

Then again, you could just watch shirtless himbo Kevin Kreider for five minutes on Bling Empire and solve that problem too.

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