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