Chocolate. Don't you just love it?
Actually, we crave it. Lust after it. And when we forsake the diet and let our basest instincts run rampage, we're quite happy to get publicly orgasmic about it.
Possibly the best thing ever to cross the Atlantic, it's a classic case of "If it feels THIS good, it must be bad for me".
But the good news is that it's not. In fact, in moderation, it's downright good for us!
In it's purest form, it's packed with cancer-beating anti-oxidants, and has some properties that can drive your cholesterol and blood pressure levels down.
Every woman knows about chocolate's 'feel good factor' as a result of the hefty dose of mood-enhancing endorphins (or 'them dolphins' as my brilliantly batty old neighbour used to call them) and boosts seratonin levels too. Another known seratonin-booster is chilli, so handle those high cocoa solid posh chocs flavoured with chilli with care - or you may just explode with happiness!
It should have come as no surprise when eminent scientists announced a couple of years back that chocolate produces a more intense and longer-lasting buzz than a passionate kiss (the result of yet another lengthy scientific study to add to "Things we already know" - Doh!).
I'm willing to bet that the scientist in charge of the study was a man, single, and had never spent much time in female company. If he had a wife, partner, daughter or female flatmate, he would have reached his conclusions MUCH faster.
The feel-good factor doesn't stop at the chemical level, oh no. It works on all the senses.
Think of that creamy, velvety sensation spreading across your palate, coupled with the unmistakable rich sweet smell as it melts in your mouth. And with the only gloop involved being those gorgeous cocoa solids dissolving on your tongue, a chocolate fix is a much tastier and less messy than getting physical. It involves less effort too.
What REALLY surprises me is that many men naven't twigged to the fact that given the choice between some of Belgium's best and a roll in the hay, most of us girls would have to give it some serious thought - and be tempted by the likes of Johnny Depp, George Clooney or whoever our choice of fantasy happens to be - before opting for a bit of slap and tickle over our favourite sweet treat.
Men, bless 'em, just don't get it. Chocolate doesn't seem to have the same chemical effect on them. I guess all that testosterone must give them some kind of choc immunity along with other caveman-like characteristics. They're touchingly gullible on the subject, so they're lucky that most of us are not soul-sistahs of Cruella deVil, cos we can (when so inclined) literally wrap them around our little fingers for the sake of a square or two of Dairy Milk.
Case in point. As a teenager, I suffered from slight asthma. One winter evening, I had a mild attack when out with my boyfriend and I didn't have my inhaler with me. Playing the sympathy vote - and with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek - I looked up at him with big doe eyes and told him in my most pathetic helpless female voice "Chocolate sometimes helps".
To my amazement, he obediently trotted off in search of the nearest bar of Bourneville. I was so surprised, I nearly fell off my bar stool laughing (nearly, but not quite - that would have given the game away and cost me my choccy treat).
Of course, not all women are like me.
Some, like my lifelong friend Ffynella the Fragrant are restrained, disciplined and dignified.
Until a Chocolate Sundae appears on the horizon...
...Once she gets a whiff of the chocolate sauce, you'd better make way as Hurricane Ffynella roars across the table and dives in face-first, and only emerges after ten minutes of ecstatic noises that could make her a fortune on the phone-sex lines.
So, it's official. Chocolate beats sex.
But as they're both pretty good, I think we should let our menfolk keep thinking that they're all we really want, while we continue to smile sweetly at them as we fantasise about a Cadbury's Flake.
This post is inspired by Table 2 of "Oui Chef!" at www.beckicklesie.com. November's theme is - surprise, surprise - chocolate, in celebration of Becca's birthday at the end of the month. So check out other entries if you feel the need of some vicarious choc-induced indulgence.