I was standing alone at a birthday party in a basement, eating cake off a paper plate. At 14, I felt pretty cool—this was a party for a whole school grade above me, and I was there with my boyfriend. He was off getting me a Mountain Dew right that second.
Mike* came back, handed me the Dew, and looked at me.
"You got a little something on your face," he said, and then, with zero warning, came in close and...sensually licked the frosting off the side of my mouth.
I went completely still, horrified, feeling him flick at the frosting flecks with the tip of his tongue, which smelled like Doritos.
Who eats food off someone else's face?
What kind of monster.
Mike stepped back, satisfied.
"Sweet," he said. "I'm gonna go play basketball." He went upstairs, and my life was forever changed.
I didn't know it then, but that was my first skirmish in an ongoing war whose cause I will rally behind forever, and my battle cry is this: Food and sex do not go together. I'll say it again: Food and sex do not go together. You can disagree with me, but you'll have to be okay with being wrong.
Food is a sensual pleasure. Sex is a sensual pleasure. Trying to combine them is too much—suddenly you're George Costanza, attempting to eat a sub sandwich, have sex, and watch TV all at once. It's not like having sex while your best sex playlist is on, or fooling around on satin sheets—food and sex are both full experiences, in and of themselves. You try to combine two of the most highly sensual acts, and you're not going to be able to give either one of them the attention they deserve.
Think about all the edible items commonly touted as "fun to do sex with"—whipped cream, chocolate sauce, honey, fruit. Have you ever actually used any of these foods in bed? (You probably have, you filthy minx.) Was it incredible? Or was it…kind of giggly and sticky? Is "giggly and sticky" how you want to remember a sex experience? All right then.
Whipped cream? The worst idea. Mmm, give me those sweetened milky genitals, ooh, come here and smell my breath afterwards.
And honey! Honey is delicious. But it's sickening if you eat more than a teaspoon of it by itself. Now let's think about how much more than a teaspoon of honey it would take to lightly drizzle someone's body. You're telling me you feel confident you're going to eat all that honey? No you're not. But now your partner is covered in it and so are your sheets and it's in everyone's hair and you're supposed to sexily lick it all up and ha ha oops, you threw up.
And yet, leading magazines and websites keep circulating this advice. One suggests, "feed each other ice cream [in the dark]. Not being able to see means more spilling, which means more licking up the mess."
This sounds cute, right? But picture it: You're buck naked in a dark room. A cold spoon finds its way to your mouth, and you open up, trusting your sweet partner to feed you the correct amount of Cherry Garcia. But you underestimate the amount; the ice cream falls off the spoon and onto body, and oh right—it's freezing ice cream. Yelping ensues, along with a frantic search in the darkness for the cold lump. Meanwhile, the ice cream slowly melts into your mattress, because you do not own rubber sheets. Everyone is cold, naked, and has the gummed hands of a toddler eating a popsicle.
Here's a tip involving brie, you guys. Fucking brie. "Get messy by spreading the soft cheese over your lover's nipples and licking it off." Oh my God I can't even talk about this. Let's put soft, ripened cheese with a rind made of mold on your person's nipples? Do you even like the person you're fucking? Do you?
Here's one suggesting you and your lover feed each other mango. But wait—it also says, "The fruit is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, which allows the two of you to feed each other repeated bites. Want to make things even spicier? Try them prepared with a squirt of lime juice and fiery cayenne pepper."
Let us suppose that this cayenne mango feeding-each-other cuteness goes well, and you move from foreplay to, say, oral. Do you have any idea what happens if you get cayenne pepper on your genitals? It BURNS, y'all. It doesn't stop burning. Sometimes, if you are my friend whose name I've promised not to mention, it burns so much that your lover has to stop, get dressed, go the the shop, and get a gallon of milk to pour on your burning crotch while you shriek, naked, splay-legged in the bathtub.
Why are we disguising the way our partners taste, anyway? Sex doesn't need to taste like a banana cream pie. Sex should taste like sex (and a banana cream pie should be thrown in the bin, where all banana-flavoured things belong).
No one I've ever talked to has ever had a phenomenal food 'n' sex experience, and yet flavored condoms and edible underwear and body-dusting sugar remain stalwarts of sex columns. It's an open secret that these tips rarely work, so why do people keep suggesting that they're great ideas?
Generally, we are taught that that the human body is inherently disgusting. But our kinkiest secret of all is that we are still into it. The human body can totally be gross, and we still want it. However, it isn't acceptable to admit that, so we mask our desire for our partner's body with the more conventional desire for chocolate sauce. Do we need to hold hands and whisper it? We want to consume one another. No whipped cream required.
I just want the reign of sex tips involving food to end. Not only are these tips viscerally appalling, they're also dangerous. You know where you don't want to introduce sugary, foreign substances?
By all means, have food before sex. Enjoy it after—immediately after, even. (I have a mini-fridge next to my bed that is filled with chilled grapes and icy sparkling water, so let me assure you I understand about sensual pleasures.) But let's all agree to stop using food during sex. There's no need. It's never as fun as it sounds. And chocolate stains on sheets look really bad in the launderette.