A Sense of Life

03 Jun 2005, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in food

After giving this subject much thought, I have come to form a hypothesis that the connection between openness to the sublime pleasure of food and to sensuality may be rooted in one’s sense of life. To swoon over a forkful of something divine — one that inspires rolling of the eyes and primal groans — requires a person to be open enough to experience a feeling of pleasure that deeply. This would likely be apparent in a person who also revels in the art of making love.

I think of a person who can feel all the way to his core — to his pleasure center, if you will.

Gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin had a famous quote: “Tell me what you eat and I’ll show you who you are.” Do you subsist on bland pork chops, or do you savor the delicate perfume of garlic on a medium-rare steak that is flowing with aromatic juices? Do you eat to get full, or to satiate your palate? I would liken that to someone who prefers the missionary position rather than the numerous other ways one can enjoy sex. I am also speaking of a person on the whole, as not every meal can be a gastronomic feast, nor can every sexual encounter be a marathon.

In the end, such an approach to food and sex reflects a greed for life. And that is a huge turn-on. I think it is no small coincidence that seizing one’s time on earth with gusto is likened to “sucking the marrow” of life.

From a personal perspective, I have found that the deeper I come to know myself, the stronger the potency of these sensual responses. It seems to require the ability to experience pleasure on a very deep level, without any sort of inner censor, and to appreciate the quality and source of that pleasure.