Sex And Food

We’ve all heard the line, “I’ve had good sex, and I’ve had bad sex, but I’ve never had bad chocolate.”

There are certain instinctive drives that all human beings share. Hunger is one of them. Eating is necessary for our survival as individuals, so we eat. We can’t live without eating, so the drive to eat is hardwired into our psyches. As individuals, we can live without sex, but as a species we cannot, so that drive is also hardwired into our psyche.

Now this is not exactly a scientific explanation here, but I think that sometimes those wires get crossed. Sometimes they seem to be spliced together. At least they have in me. I’ve been thin and I’ve been fat. I feel sexier when I’m thin. Now I know that a lot of you are going to pipe up here and say that being sexy is not about body size, but about how we feel inside. Well, you’re right, but since we’re talking about me here, just let me say that when I’m fat I don’t feel sexy inside. No one ever seems interested in me sexually, either. Make no mistake, I still WANT sex when I’m fat, but I don’t feel sexually attractive, and consequently I don’t attract potential partners. Whether that’s because I’m fat, or because I’m not projecting my sexuality, or both, I don’t know and, frankly, I don’t care. That’s just the way it is.

The opposite is also true. When I’m thin my libido is on full throttle. Doesn’t matter what else is going on in my day, I’m always ready for sex when I’m thin. And when I’m thin and projecting that kind of sexuality, I get opportunities.

And I’m grumpy if I don’t get sex when I want it. I’ll give you three guesses what I am tempted to do in that case. You got it. Eat. Specifically, I want to eat chocolate ice cream.

This makes no sense. I want sex. I know that I attract men when I am thin. I don’t have a man, so I get fat, and in my case, sick? Does this make sense?

Ray Audette* once told me that the physiological effects of chocolate haven’t even begun to be understood. That may be true in the lab, but here in real life most of us women know that it’s a sexual substitute, at least temporarily. In a constant effort to research what I write thoroughly, I went into a sex toy shop the other day. They had an entire case of body-part shaped food. Guess what the food was? Chocolate.

But it’s not just chocolate that does this. We all know thatit’s a proven fact that when we drink alcohol the members of the opposite sex become more attractive to us. The girls really all do get prettier at closing time. And what was the first kiss I ever saw on the movie screen? Lady and the Tramp sucking up the same strand of spaghetti.

This might be one of the reasons that so many of us find it so difficult to stay on our low carbohydrate eating plans. We’re not just effecting our physiological hunger drive. We’re overlapping into our physiological sexual drives. Our wires are crossed, and when one shorts out it shorts out the other.

I have observed that being fat actually diminishes my sex drive. It may be the weight. It may be correlational. Perhaps the same foods that make me fat also diminish my libido. I know in my case that dairy does this. Several years ago I was almost at goal weight and was doing extensive testing to see what if any low carbohydrate foods I might have an intoleranceto on the grounds that they might be the culprits of my long stall. I had eliminated all but the purest of paleolithically* correct low carbohydrate foods. I was feeling great and losing weight.

At that same time I was in the rush of infatuation of a new and very exciting relationship. My sex drive was running overtime.

I got around to testing out how whey-based protein shakes might effect me. Since they are dairy-based, I had not been using them for several months. The first day it was as if someone slammed the door on my libido and threw away the key. Gone. I couldn’t care less. Same man, same me – the only thing different was the food.

That’s just one experience with one food. But I wonder how many of us are unconsciously medicating ourselves with food to control our sex drive. I can see that I have done this. There is no question in my mind that for several years spent as a divorced mom of a young child, with no suitable man in sight, I used food because I didn’t have appropriate opportunities for sex. As soon as I changed my foods and started losing weight, I realized that it was time to go find someone. That was fine for me. I was legally and morally free to do that, and I was finally emotionally ready to do that, too. But what if we’re not free or ready?

How many of us have wondered, if we got thin, would we be tempted sexually? Would we cheat on our partners, or behave promiscuously if we were thin? Do we not trust ourselves to behave morally without the defense barrier of 50 extra pounds?

Do we not enjoy the partners we have sexually, and staying fat and sick keeps them at a distance?

There is no question that food is necessary for our survival. And if we are to survive as a species, sex is necessary, too. But it has been a big help to me to examine the areas in my life where the two things are intertwined. If nothing else, it helps me know what it is I’m really craving.

And it may not be necessary to completely divorce food and sex from one another in our lives. Just remember that if your partner wants to smear ice cream on your belly and then lick it off, it needn’t ruin your diet. You don’t have to actually eat the ice cream yourself to enjoy it.


* At the age of 33, Ray Audette was diagnosed with diabetes. This was devastating–he’d already been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for over 12 years and was forced to walk with a cane. Tired of being sick all the time, and unhappy with what his doctors said couldn’t be cured, he decided to school himself on these disorders. As a result of his research, he developed an interest in Paleolithic nutrition (the science of what our Stone Age ancestors ate before the development of agrarian societies). He then started on a natural diet, and although he expected positive results, he was astounded by the improvement he saw in just one week. His blood sugar levels were normal, and within a month, the arthritic pain was gone; his muscle tone improved, and he lost 25 pounds.

It became his mission to share this information, so he developed NeanderThin, a simple plan for achieving a healthy weight–and, most importantly, a healthy body.


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We all know what it feels like to be overweight. The self-disgust. The shame. The exhaustion. Unpleasant physical symptoms abound; maybe we even have to have our blood taken regularly to test for diabetes. A trip to the doctor's office includes the inevitable rationalizations about heavy clothing as we step on the scale and later dire pronouncements of doom and gloom from the doctor if we don't do something.

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