Does your mouth get wet when you eat? Do you make sounds of anticipation when you smell a good meal, or when that first morsel is pressing between teeth and tongue? Have you ever moaned "Oh God" after you have tasted something extraordinary or during an orgasm? Hmmmm. Maybe I should have named this blog; "Everything You Wanted to Know About Food and Sex but was afraid to ask." As a sex, relationship and pleasure consultant, I think we should spend more time talking and thinking about the relationship between our food and sexuality; it's all connected. After all, everybody eats. And would eating be even more exquisite if we began to acknowledge and explore that eating and food are an expression of our erotic natures?
I believe that the food we eat and how we eat can be a metaphor, a filler, and an experience of our sexuality. Want a peek into your sex life? Take a look at your relationship with food. There is very little that is more primal, basic and loaded then our relationship with food and sex. Chances are, if you are restricting and dieting your food away -- you may also be having an issue with your sexuality. And if you are eating endlessly, you may be trying to meet your sensuous needs through food (more about the shadow side of sex and food in a later blog). It's all about finding a balance and understanding where our relationship with food and sex meet. Once we understand it, we can enjoy it all so much more.
Food is one big erotic equation. It's all about obstacle plus prohibition plus yearning, which equals desire. It can be full of guilt and conflicting messages like, "This is yummy!" and "This is bad for you!" The paradoxes about having and not getting when it comes to food and sex are endless. We're stuck yearning for it -- and deeply captivated by desire -- like a lover we can't have. But maybe we can if only we can score that reservation, afford the meal, cook the meal, and have enough calories in our daily budget to blow them. Food can be exotic and comforting -- just like sex -- food can consume our wildest desires for pleasure.
It's all about the set up that fills us with desire. We can spend an extraordinary amount of time in unconscious "foreplay" with our food. We scan recipes, count calories, read and write food blogs, scan those Yelp Reviews, watch Anthony Bourdain endlessly or Michael Pollen's fabulous new series on Netflix called "Cooked."
There are tons of places to get a "hook up." Want food porn? Just check out the Travel Channel or The Food Network. And you don't have to wait until the kids are asleep in order to indulge. Food is the sex we can do in public. Food allows us to be an "exhibitionist." We take pictures of our most sexy meals and put them on social media so everyone can look at our great conquest, but we would get in big trouble if we did that with our lover. We can "eat around" and be food sluts without any scolding from our community. Food doesn't require monogamy or faithfulness.
The foodie version of "sleeping around" is recorded without catching a breath by food bloggers and shared with the world as a kind of food erotica. And eating is the one sensual activity where we are encouraged to try new things -- and have multiple courses. We are permissioned to be a "Food Voyeur" and it's not even scandalous -- just sometimes a little bit naughty.
In fact, being a food "Peeping Tom" is even encouraged and we constantly seduce you to watch -- the term "Food Porn" didn't come from nowhere. We delight in watching food being cooked, eaten, talked about, competitions for who is the best at it -- and read foodie blogs as erotica. Compare it to our more underground behavior with sex and your eyes may open in a new way and perhaps even with a new excitement around your food as a new unexplored channel to your erotic delight. Setting the table for a dinner party may become an entirely new experience for you...
And we all want to expand our palate. We want to taste things that we have never tasted before. Just like sex -- we want to be tantalized into trying something different. We want new sensations in our body. Sometimes we even want to be a little scared by our food. Can we put that chocolate bug in our mouth? How about that really old tofu? Want to be tied up? Have a spanking?
Living an alive life is all about pushing our own boundaries. That's why people watch porn, read erotica, tune into cooking shows, watch food videos and read recipes. We want to be inspired and aroused.
When it comes to your next meal or your next orgasm -- the yearning for something just slightly out of reach until the moment that we have it --- is precisely the lure. Great food and great sex "gets us off," and we all like that a lot. But the juice is in the anticipation. Think about it. How many people wait months for a meal that takes 20 minutes to eat? Or spend an extraordinary amount of time planning an erotic experience that may be over in minutes (unfortunately) or an hour?
The pleasure in great sex and in great dining is often in the anticipation. It's all about arousal, and arousal is the common link between pleasure and feeling good. When we are aroused by cooking and eating or exploring the very alluring world of food -- we are actually stimulating our inner pharmacy and producing those feel-good endorphins. We do the same thing with genital arousal. Are you with me yet?
Food is more than just a metaphor for sex -- food is sex.
You can "Self Pleasure" with food by eating alone. Or you can eat with a lover. You can even do it in groups -- people you know and strangers. How daring are you? Feeling kinky? You can dine out with a blindfold and eat in the dark ... in public. Oh My!
How would our experiences with our food be enhanced if we just owned that we were playing in our erotic nature? I think that bringing awareness to the insight that eating and all we do around eating is an expression of our sexuality would make the experience even more delicious. I also contend that as we explore the sensuality of our food and how we interact with it -- our sex lives would deepen and become more expressed as well.
Close your eyes. Experience your food erotically using your senses. Use your senses -- touch, smell, sight, taste and sound are all parts of both sex and eating. Wake up to your food as a sensual experience.
Food and sex have a long history together and one that is rooted in our biology. Bring your sexuality into your food with consciousness and bring your food into your sexuality.
That's how you get "The Mouthgasm."
Pamela Madsen runs retreats around the country to help women re-connect to their bodies and sensuous nature and is author of the book; "Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner" (Rodale 2011).