Food as foreplay
Some people say food is like sex. Clever advertisers use sex to sell food, and use food to allude to sex or to make some product sexy. They know that our lower brain activity can get muddled, and influence us greatly. In our sensual lives, food and sex are bound to work in parallel, even get intertwined. Without even getting kinky, one can enhance the other, and even in the most conservative lives, one can certainly lead to the other.
I say keep the crumbs out of the bed, but I’ve also been accused of being a prude. Nonetheless, listening to a girlfriend talk about the importance of foreplay one day over drinks, I couldn’t help but be reminded of how I relish the anticipation and preparation leading up to any meal, even if its just a ham and butter sandwich, mmm.
Do I find the build-up to a fine meal, be it in the labor of cooking, or getting ready for a night out, as good as the final result? Maybe not, but it certainly plays a big role in my overall enjoyment of the event, like foreplay is to a sexual tryst. Sex is that much more satisfying, the climax that much more intense, if there is a substantial amount of mental and physical build-up, teasing and imagery. Of course, this analogy only applies to people who take as deep a pleasure in food and cooking as I do.
I am a complete foodie, and so can sit down to a meal, and fully appreciate it on its own. If circumstances allow, I eat intently, deriving the maximum amount of pleasure by picking it apart, thinking about it, savoring every taste, sometimes for hours afterward. However, when I’m on the giving end as opposed to the receiving end, I invariably get more out of the process itself.
In fact, when it comes to the preparatory work, I relish multi-step, complex tasks. I plan my time, make sure I’m very organized, so as to keep the pressure off and keep it fun. I don’t want it to feel like work, because then it would never feel like foreplay. A part of the plan is leaving a little leeway, some room for spontaneity.
It begins with planning the menu, tapping into my inspirations of the moment, flipping through books, rehashing old hits and misses, thinking about the possibilities. Then comes the list making, setting the game plan, which I really get off on. Trips to the market follow, which offer up a feast for the eyes, a lot of touching and smelling, some tasting of the produce, and I select the most beautiful ingredients that stir me. I might change things on a whim if so inspired inorder to take advantage of a seasonal ingredient or a coup de coeur.
When the cooking begins, a new stage of titillation or therapy ensues. I put on the soothing sound of CBC talk radio, some soulful opera, or some Bran Van, depending on my mood and probably, my date. I go through the process of chopping, sweating, grinding, simmering, with the accompanying scents, sounds and caresses. As the components of the meal take shape, the tastes evolve into what I had imagined, and things get checked off my list, I feel better and better. Once the Mise en Place is done, short of a few finishing touches, I clean the kitchen and pour myself a glass of wine. I am utterly content, albeit feeling a tingle of anxiety. I’m excited for the night to unfold, for my guest(s) to sit down; I’m almost on the verge.
Soon after, the tension and pleasure peaks as my guest(s) are served, and everyone digs in with big smiles. As their enjoyment mounts, mine plateaus, and I bask in the warm glow of friends nourished and tickled pink, enveloped in the warm embrace of laughter and good vibes for the rest of the night.
When on the receiving end, as in the case of a night out on the town for a restaurant meal, the very different preliminary process also lends much stimulation, enhancing the whole evening. I love to be the one choosing the restaurant because this just adds to my foreplay, as I go over my ever present mental list of restaurants I love or want to try, peruse the guides and menus, discuss it with friends.
Once the reservation has been secured, I start thinking about where we’re going, and how it will be. I will have it in the back of my mind all week, looking forward to it, up until the moment I’m getting dressed in my resto attire (tasteful, with plenty of room around the girth). I’m out the door with a spring in my step.
A pleasant way to extend the build-up and further whet the appetite is a lovely apéritif, or two. I particularly enjoy a glass of Champagne, with its seductive, lively flavors, its tickling bubbles. At this point, the anticipation really starts to build, as the night officially gets under way. I feel like I’m in the lobby before a show, anxious, excited, hungry for a good time and ready to let go, escape.
The curtain rises. The reading of the menu is the ultimate teaser, every item tantalizing me as I let myself be enamored, repelled or just curious...Yes, no, maybe, yes... And I always have to comment. This can be torture for my companion if he isn’t as food obsessed and wanting to play the same game.
As I wrap my head around the offerings, and preconceptions whirl about my head, a good idea of the delights to follow take shape. I let myself be torn here and there by the suggestion of this and that, and I painstakingly make my selections. These are the previews, which I’ve always liked at the theatre too.
Now, I’m primed, and ready for the giddy, sensual ride ahead. A winning appetizer or two, a wine pairing on the mark, and I’m won over.... a session of multiple orgasims is in motion.
Good food and wine in good company can be as good as sex when someone else is cooking. If I’m cooking, I happily settle for the foreplay, and hope my guest(s) get the orgasms.
Sex or not, sharing good food with a hot date or even good friends feels like one long, warm, loving embrace on either end.
I wrote this five years or so ago, and for whatever reason, I now find this funny, not even me. I don’t know if its that I’m getting older or what, but although I still find that wining and dining can be very sexy, I now find too much tra-lala and endless tasting menus tiring, unless I’m really in the mood. Give me fresh tomatoes, sea salt and olive oil, some crusty bread and cheese. No prep, no fan-fare, just pure and simple, equally satisfying and sensuous. Like a good quickie.