Talking About Sex, Talking About Food

I’m not the only person who’s noticed a connection between sex and food, though I do talk about it a lot. After all, tastes vary, you won’t know what you like unless you try it, and if people are going to share either one, talking about what they enjoy makes it much easier.

So when I ran across this article on dating when you have a special diet due to allergy or other medical concerns, I was struck by how much of the advice could have come from a sex guide. Here’s what I mean:

Give some thought to how you want to convey your dietary restrictions. Miller recommends coming up with “a few sentences that simply describe your needs and what you’d want the other person to do, if anything. Be assertive and clear, but don’t be afraid to have a sense of humor about it.

Coming up with a short and simple explanation of your needs and preferences is really important. And since so few of us get much practice at it, the fabulous Reid Mihalko even designed a workshop called Your Safer Sex Elevator Speech. Though I think this idea could be extended beyond safer sex- what kinds of sex you like, any physical limitations (e.e.” can’t do that because of my knees.”) or even just our favorite activities can often be expressed with “a few sentences that simply describe your needs and what you’d want the other person to do, if anything.

There’s also this:

Tone is important. If you seem nervous or make your allergies sound scary, you’ll make your date nervous, as well. If you’re relaxed and confident about your allergies, your date will feel the same way. Strike a balance. The message is that food allergies are serious but manageable.

Same thing. If you’re telling someone about your sexual desires, your boundaries, or anything else, acting nervous or scared or ashamed will add that emotional spin to the conversation. Being upfront about it and unapologetic will help you do any creative problem-solving or teaching that needs to happen. And it’s the same, whether we’re talking about your sexual wants or your food limits.

Want another example? The entire article is full of tips for planning ahead to help make food allergies easier- research restaurants or suggest one that you know is safe. Offer alternatives for dates that don’t involve food. Bring a snack that you can eat, in case your date suggest stopping for a bite to eat.

All of these sorts of things have clear sexual parallels. Bring your own safer sex supplies, especially if you have sensitivities to some lubricants or latex. If some sexual activities don’t work for you, make a few suggestions.

So once again, there’s a lot that food and sex have in common. Which means, I guess, that I’ll keep on using that comparison.

Mangia!

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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