Clams & Sex

Hard clams (round clam, quahog, littleneck, cherrystone and chowder clam) are born as males, and about half of them become females later on. Clams of both sexes are needed for reproduction.

One of the most important nutrients for sexual health is zinc. Oysters and clams have high levels of zinc, which may have been the basis for their reputations as sexual enhancers. 

A restaurant was sued after a customer found a condom in her clam chowder. 

When you are eating steamed soft-shell clams, remove the thing that looks like a condom.

Prozac makes clams horny. 

"Spawning occurs when males and females release gametes into the water column during the summer months, as water temperatures reach approximately 22 to 24 degrees Celsius (Chesapeake Bay Program 1987). Eggs are buoyant and have a diameter of 0.07 millimeters plus an outer envelope 0.03 to 0.1 millimeters thick. Fertilization occurs in the water column followed by development into planktonic larvae. The larvae pass through various developmental stages, marked by the formation of shell valves, umbo, and ciliated foot. After approximately four weeks of development, settlement occurs with the larvae attaching to sand grains and taking up a benthic lifestyle. During this stage, the siphons develop, the mantle fuses, and the shell develops ridges. As the juveniles grow, they burrow into the sediment, maintaining contact with the surface using only the siphon (Eversole 1987). Prior to sexual maturity, hard clams go through a hermaphroditic stage (occurring at 6 to 7 millimeters in length) having both male and female gonadal cells while functioning mostly as males (Eversole 1987). At the end of this stage they become either male or female and reach maturity by age two and at lengths of 3.2 to 3.8 centimeters. Hard clams in the south reach maturity in about one year, while their northern relatives mature in two years, thus sexual maturity in northern quahogs is dependent on size rather than age (Eversole 1987). In their first 5 to 6 years, quahogs can reach sizes of 5 to 6 centimeters (littleneck) and reach their maximum length of 15 centimeters at an estimated 20 years."

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