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Food vs. Sex? No!

12 Nov 2009, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in sensuality

I’m seeing lots of discussions lately about the connections between food and sex, and I’m not sure if it’s simply because I’m more focused on the subject than ever before, or because others are thinking about it a lot, too. Perhaps both. The question that has my attention right now is whether or not food has started to replace sex as a means of evoking and pleasing the senses.

Pardon me while I pull myself back together.

The author of the article, my new pal AV Flox, suggested that perhaps foodie culture is a result of sexual dissatisfaction. Thankfully she insists on bringing the magic back to sex, which is one of the reasons I like her very, very much. I also think she’s on to something.

If you’ve read any of my posts over the last 5 years (and hey, I hope you’ve read one or two), then you know that I see food and sex as companions happily intertwined on the journey of the senses. In complementary fashion, they appeal to our deepest pleasure points, arousing, sustaining and nourishing the most important parts of ourselves. Sadly, given the generally prudish nature of American culture, and an overstressed population that tends to operate in a state of blithe self-oblivion, the roots of sensuality and sexual pleasure have been relegated to too many secret conversations, private thoughts and therapy sessions. Instead, we watch reality TV and wonder why we feel dissatisfied.

Gael Greene thinks lust has headed completely toward the kitchen — and if she’s right, this is good news, at least in my opinion.

When I see a person who enjoys fondling vegetables while shopping, or who can appreciate the subtleties of flavor components, I know there is potential (if expertise has not already been achieved) in the bedroom. Sensual pleasure in all its forms is rooted in our philosophy — in our outlook on life itself. In the anthology Food & Philosophy: Eat, Think & Be Merry I contributed an essay called Food and Sensuality: A Perfect Pairing comparing bad cooking shows to cheap porn. Momentary thrill, not much left afterward. There is a deeper meaning to all of it, and greater heights to be reached when we can clear our minds of clutter, quick thrills and petty, everyday concerns to get to the good stuff. There is so much good stuff.

There are many blog posts to come on this subject, but I’m thinking aloud with you as I go, and would love your input. Has food replaced sex for you, or enhanced it? Has playing with food awakened something in you sensually?

Photo: Kelly Cline

  • http://ellesnewenglandkitchen.com Elle

    Great article! I was just reading another one last week saying that all of the technology we have–iPhone, Blackberry, etc–are completely putting a damper on sex. People were saying that their partners would interrupt sex to answer and email or text message! I was shocked!

    My husband and I have always found food a great way to connect and become closer. To make food for someone you love is to share a part of yourself, and feed their hunger. Some of our closest times have been while we’re working together to prepare food in the kitchen. Also? Shopping together for the foods we make–it’s a great way to forget the day’s stress and reconnect.

    I definitely believe that sharing a love for the foods you create and eat together can bring you closer together–not only in the kitchen, but also in the bedroom.

  • http://www.foodphilosophy.com Jennifer Iannolo

    I don’t know what I would do if a sex partner engaged in coitus interruptus of the digital variety. Aside from kick him out of bed. :)

  • matt

    i know that guys are highly visual, so the link between good food and good sex would be natural. myself, i would hope that they could both lead to one another in my marriage. i think that technology is boring ourselves to death. as a culture, our imagination, creativity and spontaneity is challenged by so many competitive influences that it is no wonder the average family size has declined.

  • http://wilywordsmith.blogspot.com Vicequeenmaria

    Did you see my cartoon? (NSFW) Eat My Facebook LOL!

    I think how we eat says a lot about how capable we are of intimacy. We shouldn’t rush through food any more than we rush through sex. This is more of an overall tantric approach to life and food is just part of it.

  • http://www.foodphilosophy.com Jennifer Iannolo

    I heart you. :)

  • gaz regan

    I can see someone eating far more if (s)he isn’t getting regular sex, but that still isn’t a substitution as far as I’m concerned. It’s something to take your mind off the subject. And I can see how eating and sex have their similarities in a sensual sense, so to speak, but if I was starving to death and there was no food to be had, I doubt that I’d be yearning to get some nooky instead.

  • http://austinscoolestblog.com Jason Crouch

    Jennifer – Why am I not surprised to see this post as the first one in my reader from you? On another note, I enjoy food and sex both, although not in that order. I don’t see them as mutually exclusive (i.e. not warring rivals).

  • http://www.foodphilosophy.com Jennifer Iannolo

    Well, Gary, since we’re talking about foodies, they’re likely not in survival mode, so while I agree with your last point, food and sex (IMO) are inextricably linked from a sensual standpoint. I see neither as a distraction from the other, but rather as complementary indulgences.

    Jason, I am nothing if not consistent in my messaging. :)

  • http://www.mackhillfarm.com Lisa

    It’s all a happy circle for me. Good sex makes me quite creative in the kitchen and good food inspires great sex. A decadent Sunday morning of sex and sushi? Perfect.

  • http://www.savory.tv Heidi from Savory Tv

    I love your musings! I think everyone is passionate about food to some extent, but that there is an intimidation aspect for many. We know we like it, but may not feel comfortable with how to shop for or prepare it, and choose to stick with the same 10 recipes on rotation that we know work well.

    It’s when this intimidation sets in that we stop exploring and creating, which is never a good thing, with either sex or food :)

  • http://foodwishes.blogspot.com Chef John

    Food hasn’t replaced sex for me, but food blogging has.

  • Jennifer B.

    You are so right! If you are the insecure type, one way to tell if he/she is not getting enough good quality sex, is if he/she goes to the fridge right after love-making. On-the-other-hand however, food does taste better after sex. Maybe because our senses are magnified. Try it, and you will be gaining weight in no time, Sex or no Sex.

  • beatrice

    Sex is magical when your tastebuds change and chocolate tastes like a dip in the fondue waterfall.