What foods can be used safely for all forms of sex?

Originally Published: October 21, 2005
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Alice,

What foods can be used safely for all forms of sex? How do foods need to be prepped? Any "side effects"? I would really like to incorporate food into my sex life, but I'm not sure where to start.

Thanx, Alice.

Dear Reader,

Food has long been associated with fertility and procreation. In ancient Greece, for example, couples who had difficulty conceiving were encouraged to eat foods such as eggs or bulbs (onions). These foods were believed to contain sexual energy due to their similarity in shape to seeds or sperm. The phallic shape of a banana and the similarity in shape of an oyster to a vulva has led to their reputation as aphrodisiacs — foods that arouse or intensify sexual desire. Additionally, lust and desire are reputed to result from the taste and scent of vanilla, licorice, mustard, and nutmeg. Little research exists to show that any particular food significantly affects desire, but people can do their own research in this department.

To prepare for your adventure using food in sex play, think about tantalizing the five senses. Consider each of them and figure out what might work for you and your partner; for example, fresh flowers, candlelight, soft music, and special glasses filled with sparkling cider, seltzer with lime, or champagne... whatever piques your fancy. Of course, you'll want to take time with your appearance and smell fresh.

As you and your guest sip your bubbly, you both may feel less inhibited or even adventuresome. Strawberries dipped in chocolate appeal to some — tasty to nibble, chocolate-dipped fingers appeal to others. The classic film, Tom Jones, based on the novel by Henry Fielding, has perhaps the most famous food and lust scene in the history of the cinema. You may want to view this film together to expand your imaginations and to provide a way to talk about what each of you may want to do or try sexually or gastronomically.

For the menu, let your imagination be your guide — consider the ambiance and food presentation, tastes, and textures. Also take note of your partner's allergies and intolerances before you head to the kitchen. These are relevant concerns as you plan your meal. In addition, for food-sex play, foods encounter super sensitive tissues of the mouth, anus, penis, and vulva. Though a mild allergic reaction might cause an uncomfortable rash, a more serious allergic reaction could lead to anaphylactic shock or even death. To be safe, avoid using foods that you or your partner has reacted to negatively.

Also, everyone has different tolerances for spices and temperatures. Proceed with caution when using products that contain cinnamon, menthol, cloves, or mint. The concentration of these herbs and spices varies and sometimes causes stronger than intended sensations.

Foods in certain sizes and shapes can be used during sex play. Think cucumbers rather than broccoli, salami rather than cocktail weenies. Do not use foods that can get lost inside the anus — always choose foods with a non-slip base that's wider than the anal opening, to allow for a firm grip for easy and safe removal. For rubbing against or insertion into a food, use half of an open, soft cantaloupe or a large, seeded papaya, for example. Whatever your preferences, foods intended for sex play need careful washing and smoothing of any loose, rough, or sharp areas.

If you are prone to or concerned about possible irritation or infection, for extra protection, use a lubed condom over foods that will be inserted gently and gradually into the vagina or anus, or on a penis that is rubbed against or inserted into foods. A bit of additional lube is likely to make the experience go even more smoothly. And, if food is to be passed between orifices, an alternate food or a new lubed condom is needed. People need to avoid reusing foods for different or subsequent food-sex play sessions.

Oily and sugary products are not to be used below the belt. Oil breaks down latex condoms, traps bacteria and irritants close to the skin, and washes off with difficulty. In warm, moist environments, sugar encourages growth of yeast and bacteria. As a result, keep the sweetened whipped cream, jellies, fruit, and sugary beverages on the outside of the tender private parts. Chocolate and champagne are other ingestibles that people often use to set a romantic mood, but are not to be used inside/on the tender parts of the genitals. For safer substitutes, consider visiting sexuality specialty shops in person or on-line. They often stock sugar- and glycerin-free edibles that could be used in food-sex play.

Oily and sugary foods also might stain the sheets. (Of course, cleaning products can get out all kinds of stains, and the adventure might be worth it!)

Natural secretions protect sensitive mucous membranes of the vagina and anal canal. Even though you and/or your partner may want to wash-up before or after food-sex play, it's important not to rinse out the inside of the vagina or to use enemas in the anal canal. Washing away the body's natural lubrication increases the chance of irritation and/or tearing during penetration. In addition, douching or using enemas after penetration pushes food residue into the body and increases risks of bacterial growth or infection.

If you and your partner are open to new food experiences, it might be fun to add a few creative recipes to your sexual repertoire. Intercourses: an Aphrodisiac Cookbook, by Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge, can "serve up" inspiration for creating a unique meal. To help ensure a pleasurable experience, use your partner's favorite foods — safely.

Alice