Daniel Gingras

In one of my favorite “Seinfeld” episodes, after vanilla-scented incense fails to set the mood and makes George Costanza hungry for pudding instead, he realizes his desire to incorporate a pastrami sandwich into his sexual acts. It’s a winning combination: his favorite sandwich plus his favorite act. “Food and sex. Those are my two passions. It’s only natural to combine them,” he said. In one scene, you see two bodies romping beneath a blanket as George passionately calls out his partner’s name. But we quickly see the scream is a decoy, as his arm shoots out from the blankets to reach into a drawer and withdraw the pastrami and mustard on rye.

The combination of food and sex is the hope to achieve a greater high than possible through sex alone, by indulging in two pleasures instead of just one. It’s reputed to have a heightening effect similar to how eating Red Vines during a movie is better than doing either alone, or similar to how some families will eat dinners in the TV room, or gradually bring TVs into the dining room. Or similar to how the movie “Black Knight” becomes tolerable, if (and only if) you transform it into a drinking game where every time Martin Lawrence delivers an unfunny line, you shoot tequila. The example that goes back the farthest is drinking and sporting events, which have been paired for thousands of years.

So, combining activities to heighten sensations is everywhere in our culture, and unsurprisingly the idea to combine sex and food appears here and there too, like in “Seinfeld” or the well-known whip-cream bikini scene in “Varsity Blues.” But, do college-age people partake in this or not? I know that personally I have never encountered anyone wanting me to bring over whipped cream or chocolate sauce for a two-course quickie. I have never had anyone ask me to cook naked, or to make love to them on a huge platter of pate a Foie Gras. At this point in our lives, I daresay that few have become bored enough with regular sex to seriously venture into the realm of food and sex. It does not appear to be mainstream among the college aged.

But it’s not a far stretch.

Consider that food is already closely linked to sex and courting. A nice dinner out or a home-cooked meal is often the romance that leads to the foreplay that leads to the sex. There are also specific foods designated as aphrodisiacs believed to arouse or intensify sexual desires. Some dessert foods like strawberries dipped in white chocolate or luxuries like champagne already have sexual associations and connotations. In a Maxim interview, Jenny McCarthy claimed to have had the best orgasm of her life while “eating strawberries and (having sex).” At the end of the night, it is even a commonly understood sexual invitation to invite somebody into your home for coffee or a drink. And lastly, a quick trip to condom.com showed a variety of condoms in flavors like banana, cherry, mint, strawberry, and vanilla, or my choice of brand-name lubricants in pina colada, passion fruit, vanilla cream or chocolate raspberry, items that are by no means part of a food fetish, but nonetheless tie food to sex.

In the end, George got burned for trying to further indulge by adding television, to form the perfect “trifecta” between food, TV and sex. And who knows, maybe biting into a Carl’s Junior Six-Dollar Restaurant burger, watching ABC’s “Lost,” and ejaculating at the same time might really be the best thing on earth. But for the time being, I’m fine with keeping things one-dimensional in the bedroom. As Larry the Cable Guy says, “If I’d wanted a banana split, I would have gone to the local dairy queen.”

For Questions, comments or to have Daniel bake you a sensuous handmade pizza, write to dgingras@calpoly.edu.

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