by William Dean
"...anybody who doesn't absolutely, totally and unconditionally enjoy food, cannot possibly enjoy sex."
-- Shobhaa De, Upper Crust Magazine, India
While the true power of foods as physical aphrodisiacs is debatable, I don't believe there can be any doubt as to the enduring truth that sensual foods and food experiences add immeasurably to having good sex. Okay, there. I've said it.
The older I get, the more convinced I become that things assemble themselves in a like fashion. If your life consists mostly of chugging down soft drinks, fast foods eaten in the car on the way to somewhere while mutually juggling your cellphone, it's my considered opinion your sex life will be approximately the same.
Shoehorn sex. Cramming the moments together into the too tight space between
microwave dinners eaten while watching not-to-be-missed sitcoms, speedy trips
to the strip-mall for forgotten necessaries like milk and bread, running errands
in a frantic pace like a pizza deliverer: you know the drills. How can your
sex life be any different?
It's just life as it is, you say? Get real, you advise me? Baloney, I reply.
And not the richly seasoned, aged properly, delicious bologna you see hanging
up in fine Italian delis, but the overly-processed "mystery meat products" in
the supermarkets you slap on white bread for lunch.
I refuse to be deterred or detoured by the fine whines you throw in my path. "I don't have time!" "I don't know how to cook!" "It's easier!" Nothing but excuses and alibis. All I see is your rushing escape from the sensual pleasures to be gained from food and sex. These are the same excuses and alibis I continually read or hear from the "sex buzzers." I shake my head sadly at your plight, but know in my heart you're missing the banana boat.
Fast food. Fast sex. Stuff it in, get it over with. Move on.
Believe me, I know the philosophy, I simply don't subscribe to it. Burger and fries sex. Pizza sex. Pre-made salad sex. That may suffice for the ever-in-a-rush-into-tomorrow college types, grabbing their food and sexual adventures off the shelf like a used textbook in the student store, but come now, really. Is that how you want to eat and fuck for the rest of your life?
The sensual pleasures get lost in the quick shuffle. It's reflected in everything from the invitation -- "We can grab a quick bite someplace" -- to the consummation -- "Maybe we'll hook up again sometime."
Contrast the fast food 'n' sex routine to the slow, lingering delights to
be found in a slower, sensual sequence as described by Leslie Forbes in Bombay
Ashok selected an ivory-white cauliflower from a basket. He heated some
mustard oil in a karahi and separated the florets of the cauliflower as carefully
as if he were arranging lilies, adding a teaspoon of shot-grey mustard seeds
to the hot oil and slapping the lid down as they started to explode. They
smelled of popcorn, the smell of my father's southern kitchen. A clove of
garlic and a thumb of peeled fresh ginger were crushed to a paste in a rough
stone mortar with some coarse salt, then stirred into the pan with the cauliflower
and a little water. He covered the pan again, all his movements sure and unhurried.
At the last minute he threw in a handful of grated fresh coconut that had
been sitting in a metal bowl with a piece of linen over the top.
Hands broad across the palm with long, strong fingers and beautiful nails.
I wondered what they would feel like on my back.
Sensual, exotic, yet smooth, and if this can be done with so humble a food as cauliflower, imagine something even more complex and tasty! It's no surprise that the woman observer begins wondering what the cook's hands would feel like upon her bare skin.
Without a doubt (at least to me) you can tell a great deal about potential
lovers from the way they cook and prepare a meal. If it's a grab for a frozen
entrée, a toss in the microwave, and a stab at the buttons for cooking, the
lovemaking will quite likely be just as perfunctory. The kind you see in bad
porno vids; fake grunts and fake moans seem to go along with chemical synthetic
tastes and dubious preservatives.
On the other hand, to watch someone create as they prepare a meal; the flash of inspiration as they reach for a spice; the way they move the food around to suit them or ensure it cooks evenly; the dash of this and the splash of that. The projection is that the intimate will be as exploratory and sensually exciting. Like a lush, sweeping panorama of pleasures that will build one gesture, one taste upon another into a genuine erotic feast that satisfies the senses wholly; that, as The Bard says, is "a consummation devoutly to be wished."
If you dare not cook things yourself, then you must seek out restaurants to take the place of your kitchen. The sterile environment of fast food places -- with the barely-disguised fatty aroma of grease and plastic overwhelming you -- is no place for lovers. Instead, look for the cozy, the fashion-conscious, the small and exotic. Suit your restaurant to the mood you want to paint the rest of the night with.
Want the kinky splay of latex and leather? Then don't drag your intended to
a family-style restaurant serving meat loaf and mashed potatoes at all-you-can-eat
prices. Look for one those chic black-on-red Thai bistros and play with the
chopsticks over spicy dishes aromatic with coconut milk and peanut sauce. Want
eloquent and elegant lingering caresses for "dessert"? Eschew the fake rustic
BBQ rib joints, and escort your lover into the hushed environs of a brocaded-wall
and dark wood Continental restaurant where the cream-and-butter atmosphere is
conducive to fingers touching and the escape of soft smiles. Want to accent
the lusty brio of laughing hungers that go beyond the table? Then go Mediterranean
-- Greek, Italian, Spanish, North African -- where the scent of herb and spice
merges in richly seasoned grains and hot tastes.
Kick off your athletic shoes and sweats along with your fast food menus and get your sensual appetites aligned in both food and sex. Let your taste buds span the globe as well as your lover. Become your own erotic feast.