[Better Sex Products Review] For Play Couples’ Chocolate

Whenever I encounter a sex-related thing I haven’t tried before, I immediately want to try it (and tell my readers all about it, obviously.) That’s why, when For Play Couples’ Chocolate came across my social feed recently, I immediately fired off an email to founder Victoria to enquire about featuring them on my blog.

She was kind enough to send me some samples of her company’s products to try. We decided to publish this review today in celebration of World Chocolate Day.

Sex and chocolate are, after all, two of life’s greatest pleasures.

So What is For Play Chocolate?

For Play Couples' Chocolate

For Play Chocolate came about when Victoria – a former CMO with an MBA – began to research the issue of sustaining intimacy in a long-term relationship. Drawing on research from an array of experts including Dr Karen Gurney and Emily Nagoski, PhD, she decided to create a product to “remind couples to make time for intimacy and play.”

Known variously as couples’ chocolate, sex chocolate, horny chocolate, and aphrodisiac chocolate, For Play Chocolate kits are designed to help couples to connect, get in the mood for romance, and enjoy greater levels of intimacy.

Each box of For Play Chocolates comes with six chocolates (three for each partner) and six “Play Cards”. The cards offer suggestions for erotic experiences to try, from taking a sexy shower together to experimenting with food play. There are also question prompts you can use to help you connect, reflect, and learn more about each other and your relationship.

The chocolates are labelled “His” and “Hers”, and there are boxes available for same-gender or different-gender couples. I’d love to see a non-binary or genderless version added to the range in the future, if possible.

They come beautifully packaged in sleek and stylish boxes in either pink, purple, or green. The chocolates themselves are beautiful, too, decorated with pink and bronze edible shimmer. The overall first impression is of luxury and high quality.

For Play’s products are vegan and made using ethically sourced 62% Ecuadorian dark chocolate. Their supplier is Original Beans chocolate, rated as a leading company by Chocolate Scorecard for environmental, sustainability, and labour practices.

How Does It Work?

For Play’s chocolate is super delicious, combining the sweet-bitter combo of quality dark chocolate with the infusion of subtle, natural botanical flavours. It melts smoothly in the mouth and the popping candy leaves a fun tingling sensation in its wake.

But how does it work?

Mr C&K had a long chat about this when we sampled our chocolates, and we came to the conclusion that this product works in two main ways. I’m going to call them “direct” and “indirect.”

The Direct Effects: The Science Bit

The direct way that For Play Chocolate works is through its botanical and adaptogenic ingredients. To understand this better, we need to delve into the science a little bit.

An aphrodisiac, in the most basic sense, is “a food or drug that arouses sexual instinct, brings on desire, or increases sexual pleasure or performance” (Healthline.) Numerous foods, from oysters to strawberries and even hot chilli peppers, have been alleged to be aphrodisiacs throughout history.

Another common food thought to have aphrodisiac properties? Dark chocolate.

Little to no concrete scientific evidence directly links most common aphrodisiac foods to an increase in sexual desire. However, this doesn’t mean there is nothing to the concept at all. Experts have attempted to explain aphrodisiacs’ apparent benefits through various means, from simple placebo to the sensual pleasure of consuming delicious things, the “luxury” status that society affords some of these foods, and the impact on bodily functions that play a role in sexual activity and desire (such as blood flow and dopamine release.)

Some foods and edible compounds, therefore, may play a role in sexual functioning in various ways. Let’s look at the active ingredients in For Play’s couples’ chocolate and what the research has to say about them.

Dark Chocolate

Cacao pods

Dark chocolate is rich in both antioxidants and caffeine, both of which can improve blood flow. It also contains L-arginine, which may enhance sexual responsiveness. A 2021 systematic review suggested that “l-arginine, as part of a combination product, may be considered for the treatment of women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, regardless of age.” (Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder or HSDD is, broadly, a lack of sexual desire or very low desire that causes distress or negatively impacts your life.) Consuming chocolate also triggers the release of chemicals such as endorphins and dopamine, which are associated with feelings of happiness and wellbeing.

Maca

Maca powder

Maca, which comes from the Peruvian maca root plant, has long been thought to boost fertility and sex drive. One 2002 study indicated an improvement in self-perception of sexual desire in men after 8 weeks of maca use. Another pilot investigation also indicated that treatment with maca extract increased sexual desire amongst male athletes. Maca is only in For Play’s “For Him” chocolates, as there is currently more evidence for its effectiveness in (cis) men.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a herb that originated in India and has been utilised in various ways for centuries. A 2015 pilot study showed that ashwagandha root extract could improve sexual functioning in otherwise healthy cis women. Another 2022 study indicated that treatment with ashwagandha provided a “statistically significant improvement” in sexual functioning amongst women with HSDD. Ashwagandha is in For Play’s “For Her” chocolates.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek, a clover-like herb that belongs to the pea family, finds use in both cooking and herbal medicines. One study found that “Sexual function analysis for all women… found that treatment with fenugreek resulted in reported increases in sexual arousal and desire in women” (Tester, 2015.) Another double-blinded and placebo-controlled 2021 study found that fenugreek “offered significant beneficial effects to sexual problems” amongst its female participants.

Korean ginseng

Ginseng

Ginseng is a vasodilator, or something that opens the blood vessels. By increasing blood flow in this way, it can have sexual benefits such as helping with erectile dysfunction. A small 2002 study and a 2008 systematic review found “suggestive evidence for the effectiveness of red ginseng in treating ED.” Likewise, a placebo-controlled double blind 2010 study found that “Oral administration of KRG extracts improved sexual arousal in menopausal women.”

In a Nutshell…

A product like For Play Chocolate is a helping hand, not a magic bullet. If you’re stressed out, angry at your partner, or suffering from the sexual side effects of health problems or medication, it isn’t going to magically override all that and make you horny. No food or substance can, because human sexuality is way more complicated than that.

What its ingredients can do, though, is give your body a natural nudge in the right direction. Combined with creating the right conditions for pleasure and intimacy – which we’ll discuss more in the next section – these adaptogenic ingredients can work with your body to enhance intimacy and pleasure.

For Play notes that you should seek medical advice before using their products if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications. And, of course, you should avoid this product if you are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients.

The Indirect Effects: Finding New Ways to Stay Connected

For Play Couples' Chocolate

The indirect way that For Play Chocolate works is all about creating the time, space, and physical and emotional context for greater intimacy in your relationship.

Sex, after all, is mental at least as much as physical. In her life-changing book Come As You Are, Emily Nagoski writes extensively about the devastating impact that life stress, mental health challenges, lack of trust, lack of emotional safety, and feelings of pressure can have on sexual desire. To connect better with our partners and ourselves, we need to reduce stress, feel safe and seen, and make space for desire and pleasure.

Staying connected and keeping intimacy, passion, and sex going in a long-term relationship can be challenging. New relationship energy (NRE) naturally fades over time into the more comfortable, cosy warmth of long-term love. This is particularly true when you’re married or nested, your lives are very entangled, or you’re raising children together.

It is important for couples to set time aside to focus on each other and their relationship. Exploration, adventure, and trying new things can all help to keep the spark of novelty alive. With those things and a little effort, the long haul can be where the really good stuff is. There’s nothing like completely knowing someone and them knowing you inside and out, and choosing each other every day.

Using a product like For Play Couples’ Chocolate can help you to create that all-important time together. It can facilitate the conditions needed for intimacy of all kinds – including sexual, physical, and emotional – to flourish.

For Play Couples’ Chocolate is really a date night in a box. You get to set aside dedicated time for your relationship, enjoy some tasty treats together, and explore new ways of connecting. There are even some suggested Spotify playlists to help set the mood.

I found the question cards particularly great for this aspect of the experience. The question prompts sparked some interesting discussions and also plenty of laughter. Even seemingly simple questions (“What does intimacy mean to you?” was my favourite) can get you thinking and talking about things in a different way.

Verdict

For Play Couples' Chocolate

I really enjoyed this product, which is far more than just a gimmick. A lot of thought and care has gone into the formulation and creation of For Play’s kits. The quality of the chocolate, ethical credentials, and beautiful presentation really elevates them, too.

For Play Chocolates retail for £28 per kit. That’s less than you’d pay for a meal in a mid-range restaurant or about what you’d pay for a couple of drinks in a nice bar. Since you only need one chocolate each time, you’ll get three experiences out of one box. And, of course, you can continue to use the cards for as long as you like.

A thoughtful (and tasty) romantic gift or a cute way to set aside a little “us time” with your partner. There’s also a 30 day satisfaction guarantee with your purchase.

Shop For Play Couples’ Chocolate here.

Thanks to For Play Chocolate for sending me this product to test and sponsoring this review. All views are, as always, mine. Professional product images by For Play and reproduced here with permission.

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